Valuable quotes

"No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow." ~~

"The minute you start talking about what you're going to do if you lose, you've already lost." ~~

Cree Prophecy - "When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money." ~~

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Mephisto Club

Sixth in the series of Medical examiner Maura Isles and Boston City police detective Jane Rizzoli.

A few years back I joined an obscure little whodunit book club that literally gave us books to read, just so we could rate them. Nice work if you can get it, and I did. For a person such as myself who couldn’t keep myself in books, this was ideal. Oh yes, there were some kumquats to gnaw through, but for the most part, I had, to one degree or another, a retty good book to read when I was ready to relax for the evening. There were the exceptions to those kumquats too. One such non-kumquat was author Tess Gerritsen.

Fast forward to the present and Ms. Gerritsens sixth in her series of books featuring heroines Laura Isles and Jane Rizzoli. All the books in this series are stand-alone thrillers, as is The Mephisto Club. The title refers to a somewhat loosely knit organization of wealthy, but naive idealists who claim to seek out evil and try to strike it down. Or at least so they say.

The club’s acolytes devote themselves to the study and analysis of evil: is it able to be explained by science? And does it have an absolute physical presence? Do modern day demons walk the earth? Drawing on a wealth of dark historical data and mysterious religious symbology, the clubs scholars claim they can prove what they believe to be true - that Satan and his minions actually exist among us today. But is the club only investigating murders, or are they the target of the killings? Or do they emanate from it?

As the story opens, Medical examiner Maura Isles and Boston City police detective Jane Rizzoli find themselves involved in an unnerving Christmas Eve investigation. A murder in a rundown house in the city - a young woman brutally murdered and then meticulously dismembered by her killer. The words "I have sinned", written in blood, are left ominously scrawled above her on the wall, along with what seem to be religious symbols. This whole murder scene, the women feel, is one of the worst they’ve encountered over the course of their careers. How were they to know this was only the beginning?

Soon afterwards, a second murder victim is found and the whole scene has eerie similarities to the first, now also drawing the interests of The Beacon Hill Mephisto Club – a society of religious and crime historians with an unhealthy appetite for every gory detail, and headed up by the well-connected and very rich Anthony Sansone.

Also causing the women concern, is a phone call traced from the crime scene back to Jane's nemesis, psychologist Joyce O'Donnell. What this all points to, they have to find out and fast before any more deaths occur! In fact, as they investigate further, they begin to wonder if they themselves might be the next victims!

Tess Gerritsen can take you easily into her story. She is a qualified American physician and former anthropology student. During her studies at Stanford University, Tess developed a keen interest in ancient cultures as well as spending time studying the workings of the human body and human remains. It’s this combination of interests that led her into writing, affording her an opportunity to develop stories from her studies as well as through her travels. Her first-hand experiences in autopsy rooms and the medical professional comes through expertly in her writing.

There are some glitches in the plot, however nothing major, and the story stands up and is riveting and hard to put down. If you liked Da Vinci Code, you will thoroughly enjoy this book! A powerful story that I wouldn’t be surprised to see made into a movie. Unsettling and edgy – just what you expect from a good thriller.

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