Blood Red Ink Site Logo

Crime. Crime Writers. Crime Writing

The Silent Girl: Tess Gerritsen

This Review posted by Sam Blake on 3 September 2011.

All day I have been watching the girl.

What an impressive opening line…the best crime starts with a great hook, and this one drags you straight in by the hair.

When a hand is found in a Chinatown alley in downtown Boston, Geritsen’s brilliant detective Jane Rizzoli climbs to a nearby rooftop and finds the hand’s owner – a woman whose throat has been slashed so deeply that her head is severed. The murder of this woman with no ID links to a horrifying murder suicide that happened nineteen years earlier in a Chinatown restaurant. Pathologist Maura Isles makes a break in the case, a break that leads Rizzoli to link the deaths of the five people in the restaurant to the deaths of many more. Chilling, eminently believable, this book is deeply satisfyingly complex, touching on ancient Chinese myth and legend, antiquities  – and family honour.

With a double twists that you will NOT see, The Silent Girl ticks all the boxes to make it brilliant crime fiction, a book that will resonate long after you put it down.

For crime writers – I was immediately struck in the first page of this book what a consumate professional Tess Geritsen is – she establishes time, location & character in one sweep, creating a picture as precise as a crime scene photo. We are watching a girl –

…..She looks younger than the others, but perhaps it’s because she’s Asian and petite at seventeen, just a wisp of  a girl. Her black hair is cropped short as a boy’s, and her blue jeans are ragged and torn….

We are right there with the watcher, seeing this girl, hearing the sounds of the street, feeling darkness fall. Shwoing not telling at its very very best. This is a must read. As Lee Child says ‘Suspense doesn’t get smarter than this.’