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November 26, 2012 / John Sheridan

Review: The Last to Die by Tess Gerritsen

Amazon UK, Amazon, Kindle

Anyway I was thinking with a year-end wrap-up coming soon I should write up some of the books I’ve read but not discussed yet so here goes……this was my first Tess Gerritsen and while I would hesitate to say it would be my last I would need some convincing given that I thought this was only average. My gut feeling though is that long term fans will be satisfied. Any series that makes it this far usually has plenty of devoted fans. Personally I found it hard to shake images from the Rizzoli and Isles tv series even though I only watched a couple of episodes of that before disengaging from it completely.

There were a couple of items that troubled me while reading this. Firstly, Maura Isles seems to display quite an unwarranted jump in logic in identifying the Evensong school as being members of the Mephisto society which for those unfamiliar with it “believes that evil is real. (They) believe that humanity itself is under attack and (their) mission is to defend it.” And to go from wanting to withdraw Julian from the school to suggesting it as a haven for Teddy Clock in a matter of hours stretches credibility. Outlandish happenings in crime fiction are a given and as a rule don’t bother me but this did. The frequency with which the Icarus flashbacks are inserted also grates but they do make sense eventually.

The slaughter of the children’s families and subsequent foster families identifies them as being linked in some way beyond their evident misfortune and while the ultimate conclusion does contain a nice twist, my interest had waned earlier in proceedings. My rating is 6 out of 10.

Amazon Description:
For the second time in his short life, Teddy Clock has survived a massacre. Two years ago, he barely escaped when his entire family was slaughtered. Now, at fourteen, in a hideous echo of the past, Teddy is the lone survivor of his foster family’s mass murder. Orphaned once more, the traumatized teenager has nowhere to turn—until the Boston PD puts detective Jane Rizzoli on the case. Determined to protect this young man, Jane discovers that what seemed like a coincidence is instead just one horrifying part of a relentless killer’s merciless mission.

Jane spirits Teddy to the exclusive Evensong boarding school, a sanctuary where young victims of violent crime learn the secrets and skills of survival in a dangerous world. But even behind locked gates, and surrounded by acres of sheltering Maine wilderness, Jane fears that Evensong’s mysterious benefactors aren’t the only ones watching. When strange blood-splattered dolls are found dangling from a tree, Jane knows that her instincts are dead on. And when she meets Will Yablonski and Claire Ward, students whose tragic pasts bear a shocking resemblance to Teddy’s, it becomes chillingly clear that a circling predator has more than one victim in mind.

Joining forces with her trusted partner, medical examiner Maura Isles, Jane is determined to keep these orphans safe from harm. But an unspeakable secret dooms the children’s fate—unless Jane and Maura can finally put an end to an obsessed killer’s twisted quest.

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