Wow, I don’t think I’ve read a book this quickly or wish it would have been longer this much in a long time.  I would suggest starting the series just to get to this book, I enjoyed it that much.  Also, remember that the giveaway for a signed copy each of the first two books in the series ends at midnight tonight.

A severed female hand is found in the course of a perfectly normal Chinatown ghost tour.  Her body is found on the roof above with the head nearly cut off.  The only clues are two silver hairs, two nonhuman silver hairs.  It doesn’t take much digging for Rizzoli and Isles to discover the connection to a horrific murder-suicide nineteen years earlier.  One of the only surviving connections to the Red Phoenix massacre is a martial arts master who knows much more than she’s willing, or able to share.  What was it that murdered the woman on the roof?  When all clues point to the Monkey King, will Rizzoli be able to outwit a foe who’s got centuries of experience on his side?

I’ve got to admit when I’d first read the materials included in my review copy of Tess Gerritsen’s The Silent Girl I was prepared to be disappointed.  It kept mentioning that this was a deeply personal book for the author, and I was worried that the personal aspects would affect the story telling or displace Rizzoli and Isles somehow.   I shouldn’t have worried.  Gerritsen is at the absolute top of her game here, with writing and plot every bit as tight as any of her previous books and a use of mythology that had me absolutely enthralled.  The characters introduced were handled deftly, kept front and center without stealing the spotlight, and made memorable with development that minor characters seldom receive.  Johnny Tam in particular stands out as a character that I hope to see more of in future books.

This is definitely a Rizzoli book though, with Isles moved over to the side as a secondary character while Jane tackles the investigation head on.  I like this, especially with the last book, Ice Cold, having been as Maura centric as it was.  It’s great to see more of Rizzoli’s character development, such as seeing her worrying about her daughter and husband.  It’s great to see a Rizzoli who’ll still get spitting mad at the suggestion that something’s too dangerous even after she’s acknowledged the danger to herself.  She’s still brash and bitchy, but the chip on Rizzoli’s shoulder has definitely shrunk a bit since The Surgeon.

When it comes right down to it, the only complaints I can think of for The Silent Girl are that it could have done without the final chapter and that the ad for the TNT series “Rizzoli & Isles” takes away from the cover.  I give Tess Gerritsen’s The Silent Girl a five out of five, this makes me want to reread the rest of the series.

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