Book Review: Die Again by Tess Gerritsen

"The circle of life is also a circle of death."


FOR those of you who like gory and gripping thrillers with plenty of action then this is for you.

This is Gerritsen’s eleventh book in the Rizzoli and Isles series. If you’re a Gerritsen fan  then you’ll be aware of the hit TV series Rizzoli and Isles starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander.

We  begin with a two week safari in Okavango Delta, Botswana, the experience of a lifetime for a group of seven: Millie Jacobson, one of the narrators with boyfriend and writer Richard Renwick, creator of MI5 hero Jackman Tripp, Sylvia and Vivian from Cape Town, Elliot from America and the Matsunagas from Japan. Unfortunately, Millie has been forced to accompany Richard but it doesn’t take long before she feels despondent when she realises that her relationship is dying a death.

Clarence is the tracker. He hasn’t worked with the bush guide before, Johnny Posthumus of Dutch ancestry who grew up in Africa. In a dramatic opening, they wake to find a footprint and realise that a cat has intruded into their camp feet away from where they were sleeping in their tents. This proves an omen of things that will soon take us by storm.

Terror strikes. Sylvia and Vivian found what was left of him – Clarence, the tracker. No footprints or animal tracks although a spotted hyena scat indicated that a hyena had fed on Clarence once he’d been killed. And with that, Johnny decides that the expedition is over and they should head back to safety, collecting the few remnants of bones and hair for Clarence’s family to bury and packing up their tents and belongings. Once in the truck, it is then that Johnny realises the truck has been tampered with and they are stranded by the river hoping that there will be a search party looking for them within the week.

The story moves on six years to Boston with Jane Rizzoli and partner Barry Frost investigating a gruesome murder of a taxidermist called Leon Gott. In the garage, his body was hanging from a ceiling hoist, squirming with maggots. His abdomen had been sliced open and his organs removed.

At the autopsy, Forensic Pathologist Maura Isles and Professor Guy Gibbeson from Harvard discover the internal organs of a cat which turns out to be a snow leopard from Suffolk Zoo. Throughout the course of this gripping novel the detectives have to track down Gott’s killer which leads them to investigate those involved in the Botswana safari. Complex but satisfying and well worth a read.