Monday, September 7, 2009

THE KEEPSAKE by Tess Gerritsen

by Tess Gerritsen
Ballantine Books
1745 Broadway in New York, NY 10019
ISBN: 9780345497628

The discovery of a preserved mummy in the basement of Boston’s Crispin Museum causes much media attention. Egyptologist/ archeologist Josephine Pulcillo, in hopes of not disturbing the wrappings, plans to scan the mummy beforehand to see what they can learn. Medical examiner Maura Isles is invited to be present for the scan and discovers this is no Egyptian mummy of ancient times but a woman who died more recently. When a shrunken head is discovered behind a wall in the museum, homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and Dr. Isles become suspicious they have a serial killer on their hands who is proficient in the ancient rites of preservation. This notion is confirmed when a bog-preserved body is found in the trunk of Josephine Pulcillo’s car. The only thing the three bodies have in common: Josephine Pulcillo, whom Rizzoli suspects is hiding secrets from her past.

This latest in Gerritsen’s series involving Maura Isles and Jane Rizzoli is an exceptional read; filled with historical information regarding mummification and forensics, enmeshed within a thrilling mystery. Dr. Isles is still involved in an illicit affair with a priest and Rizzoli remains in her stable relationship with an FBI agent. The two women are tough and independent and very likable. Rizzoli is maturing and mellowing in her marriage while Isles is in a relationship that brings her more despair than happiness. This well-written series continues to remain strong and fresh not only because of these strong women characters but the issues they face, forensically and personally.

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