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    Review of THE MEPHISTO CLUB by Tess Gerritsen

    Ballantine Books, September 2006

    When a young Boston woman is butchered in a ritualistic fashion, her body parts displayed in unspeakable ways and diabolical messages written on the walls in her blood, it sends chills through the law enforcement community--especially when the killer taunts a famous psychologist who specializes in studying the criminally insane, Dr. Joyce O'Donnell. More grizzly murders follow, and it quickly becomes apparent that a certain group is being targeted, a group that includes the psychologist. The Mephisto Club, which includes several wealthy and erudite members from many walks of life, meets regularly in a mansion on Beacon Hill to discuss and analyze evil. Now it appears evil doesn't like being targeted and is fighting back.

    While working the case, medical examiner Maura Isles is fighting her own demons--an unholy attraction to a Catholic priest. And Detective Jane Rizzoli has her own cross to bear, following a string of bizarre clues that include shells from the Mediterranean and red ochre paint from Cyprus, all the while dealing with her animosity for Dr. O'Donnell, who had a hand in defending Jane's serial-killer mother.

    Meanwhile, a young woman named Lily is living in anonymity in Italy, staying one step ahead as evil stalks her, getting closer with each strike.

    Gerritsen uses finely drawn characters and bits of biblical and other ancient history to weave a fast-paced, frightening thriller, moving smoothly between past and present. The villain is one of the scariest I've encountered in some time. Is he some kind of supernatural demon or just a fiendishly clever and demented human? Whatever the answer, when you're finished, you'll find it hard to deny that evil walks the earth.

    See more reviews of novels by Tess Gerritsen.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 1/30/06

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