Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Ice Cold

The latest in Tess Gerritsen’s series featuring Detective Jane Rizzoli and Medical Examiner Maura Isles starts off like a spine tingling horror film. Complete with an eerily abandoned town aptly named Kingdom Come, a snowstorm, and a group of people seeking shelter after their vehicle has gotten stuck in a ditch, Gerritsen creates an amazingly tense and often frightening atmosphere. I had mental visions of the film Silent Hill through this first part, and have to admit to feeling a bit white knuckled. The uncertainty of Maura’s survival and the introduction of a brainwashed, polygamous, and pedophilic cult keep the reader engaged, but sadly the second half fizzles and seems oddly incongruent with the horror-movie style of the first hundred or so pages. Despite the second-half lag, Ice Cold was still entertaining and worth a go, but if you’re new to Gerritsen my recommendation would be to take a look at some of the earlier books in this series, such as The Surgeon, The Sinner, or my personal favorite Vanish. I actually was introduced to the series with Vanish and it made me an instant Gerritsen fan. Dealing with the horrors of human trafficking, and placing Jane Rizzoli in the position of hostage (a hostage in labor to be exact), Vanish is full of psychological twists that are absolutely enthralling. The combination of intriguing characters, impossible and horrific situations, and brilliant plot makes for one hell of a good mystery read (which is why it was nominated for an Edgar Award).

On a connected note, TNT has adapted Gerritsen’s characters into a television series, Rizzoli & Isles which will begin airing on Monday, July 12 at 10:00 pm. It stars Angie Harmon (Law & Order) as Rizzoli and Sasha Alexander (NCIS) as Isles. TNT has produced some pretty well written and cast programs; let us hope that the station runs true to form with this series. I’ll give it a go and report back.

Just an asside, but if you read Vanish and are slightly twisted (like I am) and wanted to read another really good thriller that deals with the subject of human trafficking read Lost Girls by George Shuman, it made me never want to travel alone again. Or watch Taken starring Liam Neeson.