Book Review: I Know A Secret

Author: Tess Gerritsen
Genre: Crime
Publisher: Penguin Random House

A director with a love of horror films is found lying on her bed, the scene perfectly set, right down to the gruesome mess in her hand. It’s clearly murder- after all, who poses an accidental death with such attention to gory detail?- but Medical examiner Maura Isles can find no apparent cause of death.

It’s frustrating enough to be trying to solve one impossible murder, but when another body is found, scene staged and gory as a horror movie, Rizzoli and Isles realise they’re on the hunt for a serial killer. The race is on to stop the killer and save the next victim, but how can you protect someone who’d rather die horribly than reveal their secrets?

‘I Know A Secret’ is the twelth novel in the beloved Rizzoli and Isles series, chronicling the lives and cases of Homicide Detective Jane Rizzoli, and Medical Examiner Maura Isles. And while it’s always good to start with the first book of a series, those new to the Rizzoli and Isles mysteries won’t find themselves floundering if they skip ahead to the latest story. But be warned: you’ll likely start buying up the rest of the series. After all, Rizzoli and Isles is popular for good reason: the stories are masterfully written, rife with tension to leave you balanced on the edge of your seat, unable to put the book down until you know how the story ends.

Gerritsen has made magic here, creating deeply relatable, realistic heroines who are an absolute pleasure to read. These are not your pop culture ‘strong women’ who turn to swooning wrecks at the first sight of an attractive male character, falling into line with the barest hint of a smouldering look. Rizzoli and Isles are strong in their own ways, and their own rights, often vulnerable, prone to failure and unladylike behaviour, and real in a way that makes it impossible not to care about their chances of survival as the stakes rise.

Those new to crime should remember that whenever there’s a medical examiner character, there’s likely going to be some forensics and gore. If you prefer your crime on the comfy end of the scale, this might not be your ideal read. But for anyone looking for an edge-of-the-seat, lose-your-weekend-reading kind of story, ‘I Know A Secret’ should be on the top of your TBR pile.

‘I Know A Secret’ is published by Penguin Random House and is available at all good booksellers.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Review by Kylie Thompson

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