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    Review of THE SINNER by Tess Gerritsen (see her website)

    Ballantine Books, August 2003

    Dr. Maura Isles sees a lot of death--the cops even called her Queen of the Dead. Still, the two nuns, one murdered, the other near death, are a little much to take. When she discovers that the younger nun had recently given birth, the mystery seems largely solved. But deeper currents run through the mystery and soon the feds bring in evidence connecting this and other murders to a massacre that took place in distant India. Isles pushes herself to continue the investigation, to find the possible connection. What she finds is more damaging than she could have imagined. In a strange way, even Isles becomes a victim.

    Detective Jane Rizzoli suspects that she may be pregnant as a result of a brief affair with a fed. The autopsy on the dead nun's baby pushes her to the limit. But she swears she'll find out the truth. The truths she finds, however, are about something deeper than simply crime.

    Author Tess Gerritsen (see more reviews of novels by Gerritsen) writes an emotionally compelling and exciting adventure. Both Isles and Rizzoli are sympathetic characters caught up in the aftereffects of terrible crimes and in their own emotional nightmares. Each has built a protective shell, but the mystery that they uncover together shreds those shells, leaving them exposed to a world more terrible than even they had wanted to believe. Gerritsen's highly professional writing and her obvious technical understanding of the medical procedures adds to the reader's enjoyment of this exciting story.

    A prologue gives the reader more information than the protagonists enjoy about the motives behind the mystery, I'm not sure this was necessary or helpful, but it does add a different type of suspense to the story as we wonder how Isles and Rizzoli will be able to trace the murders back to their cause. THE SINNER is an interesting and emotionally satisfying story. Once I started it, I found I couldn't do anything else until I'd finished it.

    See more reviews of novels by Tess Gerritsen.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 10/22/03

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