While attending a medical conference in Wyoming, Maura Isles stumbles across an old friend from college. Currently battling a troubled romance with Father Daniel Brophy, Maura decides to do something spontaneous for once and sets out for a weekend away in a snowy cabin to indulge in some skiing and a catch up with these old acquanitances. However while en route to the cabin the snow is falling heavily and Maura and co. take shelter in the small village of Kingdom Come, a choice they're all soon regretting. Gerritsen paints an eerie picture of the town, windows are left open despite heavy snow storms, uneaten meals are set out on tables and theres no one in sight... what became of the residents of Kingdom Come?
Having not been able to contact Maura, Detective Jane Rizzoli begins to worry for her friends safety and sets off to Wyoming to find her, fearing the worst. What follows is a tense and creepy ride with Gerritsen's two leading ladies at the helm. This is something quite new for Tess, not her standard crime novel instead she's inviting us to uncover a mysterious towns secret and what results is a truly unsettling read. This is the 8th book in this series but I feel it could easily be read if you are new to this author. Well worth a try for a spooky escape on these long summer nights.
I've read three other books by Tess Gerritsen and so was expecting this to be an exciting thriller. I was not disappointed. The book continues to follow the exploits of law enforcement officer, Jane Rizzoli, and her friend and colleague forensic pathologist Maura Isles. Maura is attending a scientific conference in Wyoming held in a lodge in Jackson Hole: a very remote location in the Grand Teton national park. Maura's conference is held as winter approaches which adds to a sense of menace as she and some other conference attendees set off on a trip that ends in disaster. Maura goes missing and much of the book is taken up with Jane Rizzoli's determined quest to find her. The story also involves the mysterious disappearance of the members of a religious sect headed by a sinister, charismatic leader. The book has all the surprising twists and turns that make for a good thriller and I, at least, didn't anticipate the ending.
This has all the ingredients you would expect in a Tess Gerritsen; suspense, a bit of CSI forensic action and a great plot. But The Killing Place has something more... It is bloody scary! I read this in two sittings and could not put it down. My husband is reading it at the moment, he didn't think he would like it as he had tried one of her earlier novels and it wasn't really his cup of tea. This time it is different, he loves it and he is sooo scared (don't tell him I said that).
This is definitely the best Rizzoli/Isles novel yet!
This is the eighth in what is branded as the Rizzoli/Isles series, although the first (THE SURGEON) was originally intended to be a standalone, and Maura Isles didn't appear until the third novel THE SINNER. In this one, police procedurals take something of a back seat - as does Rizzoli, for the most part - because it's all about Boston medical examiner Dr Maura Isles who, after attending a pathologists' convention, makes a spontaneous decision to go on a short skiing trip with some old friends into the wintery isolation of the Wyoming outback. Things go badly wrong, Maura goes missing, and her friend Detective Jane Rizzoli goes on a rescue hunt. Central to the story's plot is a cult run by an all-controlling leader, a cult that is based on absolute control of the women while the men give up all their worldly possessions in return for a life of polygamy with mainly early-teen brides.
Although I personally find Maura Isles a rather bland and uninteresting character (one the author has admitted to be loosely based on herself), the story itself started out with good promise and easy-on-the-eye reading. It flows smoothly and it's easy to read 'just one more chapter'. At the halfway point, if not well beyond that, I would have expected, come the finish, to be posting a positive review of a very good novel. But it didn't turn out that way. Without spoiling things, let me just say that the twist (for want of a better word) is actually a complete let-down, a change in direction that in a way wastes all that has gone before. It's a real anti-climax with a nothing ending.
At times there are hints of Gerritsen going back to her romance roots, for this is really a different kind of novel altogether than the first two or three in the series, when Rizzoli was Rizzoli (not 'Jane' as she has become), when Gabriel Dean was a cool and magnetic FBI agent, and when explicit descriptions of autopsies were memorably vivid. There's also a confusing time-frame element, because at one point Rizzoli refers to her husband Gabriel as the man she met just two years earlier, when for regular Gerritsen readers that meeting actually took place in 2002, some seven or eight years ago. When Dean appears in this novel I immediately hoped that he would take a leading role, as he did in THE APPRENTICE, but it never happens. He's just a bit-part. Meanwhile there's the oh-so-dreary relationship between Maura and Daniel Brophy which has been dragging on for more books in this series than I care to remember - it might be every single one that Maura has been in, but whatever the number, it's very, very uninteresting.
So in the end I was disappointed. I've read at least a dozen Gerritsen novels including every one of the Rizzoli series (I still regard Maura Isles as a visitor), and despite a promising start this one faded into mediocrity at best. The author's decision to change direction late on, and create a kind of twist-that-wasn't, is a fatal error of judgement, and having taken a year off from writing I would have expected much better from her than this. It's an easy read, it offers potential early on, but the hoped-for slam-dunk never happens. It's frustrating because Gerritsen IS a good writer, and to her credit she doesn't spew out the same old dross that many crime-fiction authors seem to do, but it's still a disappointment and while it may be entertaining for anyone unfamiliar with her books, for fans of Gerritsen's best works this has to be regarded as well down the pecking order. I would question the wisdom of a ninth outing for Rizzoli, and would suggest that Gerritsen would be better advised to try something completely new, to start from scratch with completely new characters and concepts.
on 19 April 2011
I wish I had seen the review already posted, as I had previously bought 'The Killing Place'. I DO think Amazon should be more careful, maybe they need more info from publishers, but it strikes me as mean to put the same books ( albeit under different titles, and don't say they don't know now ) in a package.
So, caveat emptor, if you order 'Ice Cold ', it is the same book as 'The Killing Place'.
on 31 January 2011
While attending a medical conference in Wyoming, Dr. Maura Isles is invited on a skiing trip, by an old friend. When their car takes a wrong turn, in bad weather, the skiing party find themselves stranded, in a remote village called Kingdom Come, which consists of twelve houses. However, there is no sign of any of the inhabitants.
This book grabbed my attention from the start!! The parts of the story set in the small isolated village I found intriguing and very creepy. For me, this was the best part of the book.
Jane Rizzoli comes into the story when the skiing party's burnt out car turns up, with four charred bodies inside. However, Jane is not convinced that Maura Isles was one of the occupants, and starts to to dig deeper, and uncovers sinister goings-on in the area.
I found as the book progressed, while still a good read, was not as nail biting as the first one hundred or do pages, and the ending was a bit of a letdown. Overall, though I found it a very good thriller.