From the New York Times bestselling author of The Surgeon and The Apprentice comes a chilling new novel of suspense featuring Boston medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles, on the deadly trail of an anonymous madman who's committed an unholy crime. . . . THE SINNER Not even the icy temperatures of a typical New England winter can match the bone-chilling scene of carnage discovered in the early morning hours at the chapel of Our Lady of Divine Light. Within the sanctuary walls of the cloistered convent, now stained with blood, lie two nuns-one dead, one critically injured-victims of an unspeakably savage attacker.
A grisly murder at a convent baffles Medical Examiner Maura Isles and Det. Jane Rizzoli at the start of this assured, richly shaded seventh novel from bestseller Gerritsen (The Apprentice; The Surgeon, etc.). The popular duo are called to Boston's Graystones Abbey when two nuns are discovered in an abandoned chapel, one dead and the other near death, both brutally bludgeoned. Red herrings are everywhere: Isles's discovery that one of the murdered nuns had recently given birth (followed shortly by the discovery of the baby's body in a pond near the convent); the murder of a homeless derelict with her face and extremities removed by her killer; and the lurking menace of a multinational chemical company. Complicating matters further is the sudden arrival of Isles's ex-husband, Victor, a celebrity humanitarian with his own suspicious connection to the case, and Rizzoli's old flame, FBI agent Gabriel Dean, who's responsible for the baby now growing in Rizzoli's belly. The investigation is rather low-key, but Gerritsen gives atmospheric depth to her tale with descriptions of snowbound Boston and an exotic past tragedy. Isles's pleasantly bitchy coldness ("Go ahead and pass me, idiots. I've met too many drivers like you on my slab") gives a welcome edge to the proceedings, and the struggles of both Isles and Rizzoli to balance their tough professional acts with romantic drama are satisfyingly gritty. BOMC main selection; 6-city author tour. (Aug. 19) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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Posted September 25, 2012 by Abby , Vancouver, BCI recently discovered this author so have been doing "catch up" Thoroughly enjoyed this book!
August 01, 2004
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Excerpt from The Sinner (A Rizzoli & Isles Novel: #3) by Tess Gerritsen
They called her the Queen of the Dead.
Though no one ever said it to her face, Dr. Maura Isles sometimes heard the nickname murmured in her wake as she traveled the grim triangle of her job between courtroom and death scene and morgue. Sometimes she would detect a note of dark sarcasm: Ha ha, there she goes, our Goth goddess, out to collect fresh subjects. Sometimes the whispers held a tremolo of disquiet, like the murmurs of the pious as an unholy stranger passes among them. It was the disquiet of those who could not understand why she chose to walk in Death ' s footsteps. Does she enjoy it, they wonder Does the touch of cold flesh, the stench of decay, hold such allure for her that she has turned her back on the living They think this cannot be normal, and they cast uneasy glances her way, noting details that only reinforce their beliefs that she is an odd duck. The ivory skin, the black hair with its blunt Cleopatra cut. The red slash of lipstick. Who else wears lipstick to a death scene Most of all, it ' s her calmness that disturbs them, her coolly regal gaze as she surveys the horrors that they themselves can barely stomach. Unlike them, she does not avert her gaze. Instead she bends close and stares, touches. She sniffs.
And later, under bright lights in her autopsy lab, she cuts.
She was cutting now, her scalpel slicing through chilled skin, through subcutaneous fat that gleamed a greasy yellow. A man who liked his hamburgers and fries, she thought as she used pruning shears to cut through the ribs and lifted the triangular shield of breastbone the way one opens a cupboard door, to reveal its treasured contents.
The heart lay cradled in its spongey bed of lungs. For fifty-nine years, it had pumped blood through the body of Mr. Samuel Knight. It had grown with him, aged with him, transforming, as he had, from the lean muscle of youth to this well-larded flesh. All pumps eventually fail, and so had Mr. Knight ' s as he ' d sat in his Boston hotel room with the TV turned on and a glass of whiskey from the minibar sitting beside him on the nightstand.
She did not pause to wonder what his final thoughts might have been, or whether he had felt pain or fear. Though she explored his most intimate recesses, though she flayed open his skin and held his heart in her hands, Mr. Samuel Knight remained a stranger to her, a silent and undemanding one, willingly offering up his secrets. The dead are patient. They do not complain, nor threaten, nor cajole.