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Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bone-chilling stand-alone novel, 29 Oct. 2007
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This review is from: The Bone Garden (Random House Large Print) (Paperback)
For the first time in several years Tess Gerritsen has written a one-off novel, so there's no sign of Rizzoli and although Dr Maura Isles does get a mention, it's so insignificant as to be an indulgence on the author's part. Another cause for hesitancy before I hit the `buy now' button was the knowledge that this story mostly takes place in the early 19th century, and not being one to buy any historical-style novels I did consider giving Tess's latest a miss. I'm glad I trusted her though, because I now realise that she did the right thing to take a break from Rizzoli, the timing was right, and there are enough autopsies to keep the fans of Dr Isles happy too - even if the images they portrayed were even more shocking then ever, such was the brutality and plain crudeness of the profession in Boston 180 years ago.

I wouldn't go as far as to call it a thriller however. Suspense levels were low but the overall style and flavour was different to anything from the Rizzoli series, and I found the atmospheric creations compelling, the characters and language authentic and above all I found the description of the early days of anatomical research and surgical techniques very interesting, if rather saddening. It made me realise how lucky we are today to have the luxuriously high standards of medical treatment and hospital safety that we do. This tale always held my attention, then, but mainly for the impression it gave that much of it was based on fact. It was almost like a fictionalised documentary, and I found the facts more compelling than the fiction. You could regard it as a testament not so much to the pioneering doctors and surgeons of that relatively primitive time, but to the countless victims of their research. If you like Tess Gerritsen's story-telling skills, this latest offering will not disappoint.
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