Review of The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritsen
edited: Tuesday, September 04, 2007
By Christy Tillery French
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Tuesday, September 04, 2007
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The Mephisto Club
Ballantine Trade Group
1540 Broadway, New York, NY 10036
0345476999 $25.95 www.ballantinebooks.com www.randomhouse.com 1-800-726-0600
Boston Medical Examiner Maura Isles is called to a gruesome scene early on Christmas morning, where a young woman has been brutally killed and dismembered, with satanic symbols all around her body and the Latin word "Peccavi" (I have sinned) scrawled backwards across her bedroom wall. Detective Jane Rizzoli, back on the job after maternity leave, suspects a serial killer is on the loose when Maura's nemesis, psychiatrist Joyce O'Donnell, is murdered in the same manner. Dr. O'Donnell was part of a group of scholars from around the world calling themselves the Mephisto Club that track demons. When members of this group are murdered and Maura's life is threatened, the action moves to Europe in search of a young woman whom the Mephisto Club is certain will draw the demon to them.
This captivating thriller touches on a fascinating subject: demonology, its origins and presence in the world today. Gerritsen's outstanding characterization is once more on display along with a thrilling, fast-paced plot. Jane Rizzoli remains a strong character, a jaded woman whose marriage and baby have become a calming force. Maura is a lonely woman intrigued by a priest, and this relationship is a painful one for Maura as well as the reader, who longs for Maura's happiness. Gerritsen offers a galvanizing look at Rizzoli's parents, the two people who shaped her, which helps the reader understand her cynicism and insecurities. An electrifying read.