THE SILENT GIRL by Tess Gerritsen

Book Quote:

“Violence leaves a mark, a psychic stain that can never be scrubbed away with mere soap and bleach. In a neighborhood as insular as Chinatown, everyone would remember what had happened…. Even if this building were torn down and another erected in its place, this bloodied ground would remain forever haunted in the minds of those who knew its ugly past.”

Book Review:

Review by Eleanor Bukowsky В (JUL 5, 2011)

Forensic pathologist Dr. Maura Isles angers the members of the Boston Police Department when she testifies against Officer Wayne Graff. Dr. Isles maintains that Graff’s savage beating of alleged cop killer Fabian Dixon led to the suspect’s death. Although Maura knows that she will be ostracized because of her testimony, she tells the truth as she sees it: “I only concern myself with the facts…wherever they may lead,” she says. Her attitude irritates her good friend, Homicide Detective Jane Rizzoli, who can understand why Graff “lost it.”

Tess Gerritsen’s The Silent Girl is about the evil that men do, the grieving relatives who are left behind to mourn their dead, and the thirst for vengeance. The main plot centers around a tragedy that occurred nineteen years earlier, leaving five people dead, including the alleged perpetrator, a Chinese cook named Wu Weimin. The incident was known as the Red Phoenix massacre, named after the restaurant in Chinatown where the carnage took place. The police close the case, after deciding that Wu shot the others and then turned the gun on himself. However, the widow of one of the victims defends Wu; she insists that he was a kind and unaggressive man who would never hurt anyone.

Dr. Isles, Homicide Detective Jane Rizzoli, and Jane’s partner, Barry Frost, find themselves in the thick of a complex case that begins when the unidentified corpse of a beautiful woman is found on a roof. Her neck is slashed and her hand is severed by a very sharp implement. Who was she, and why was she murdered this way? As the investigation proceeds, it eventually becomes clear that there is some connection between this killing and those that were blamed almost two decades ago on Wu Weimin.

The Silent Girl is sharply written, engrossing, fast-paced, and suspenseful. The author skillfully incorporates intriguing information about Chinese history, martial arts, and forensics into her story. The well-defined characters include Iris Fang, fifty-five, who runs a martial arts academy and serves as an occasional first person narrator; her talented and loyal associate, Bella Li; Johnny Tam an ambitious young Chinese detective; and Patrick Dion, the grieving father of a seventeen-year-old girl, Charlotte, who disappeared a month after her mother was gunned down in the Red Phoenix restaurant.

As the investigation proceeds, Rizzoli and her colleagues become increasingly baffled. No matter how much information they uncover, the most important facts remain stubbornly elusive. It is almost as if the detectives are chasing ghosts. Gerritsen skillfully wraps everything up with an electrifying conclusion that raises a provocative question: Is taking the law into one’s own hands ever justified?

AMAZON READER RATING: stars-4-5from 161 readers
PUBLISHER: Ballantine Books (July 5, 2011)
REVIEWER: Eleanor Bukowsky
AUTHOR WEBSITE: Tess Gerritsen
EXTRAS: Excerpt
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* Originally published as the Tavistock Series

** Originally published as an Harlequin Intrique

July 5, 2011 В· Judi Clark В· No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  В· Posted in: NE & New York, Sleuths Series

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