by Tess Gerritsen
I've read a good number of Tess Gerritsen's books ranging from her earliest, the Harlequins, to the more recent, in this case a Rizzoli and Isles novel (the TV series starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander is a much chirpier and lighter take, but that's enjoyable too, nonetheless). This time Jane and Maura are, if not at odds, certainly struggling to understand the mindset of the other, which is fairly unusual, since they can usually figure out the reasoning of the other woman.
The story opens in the past, in first POV, of a young woman who's come along with her ass of a boyfriend who's decided that he wants to be Y chromosome personified by going on a safari in Botswana, living on the land. But it turns out the young woman's relationship with the ass is fraying; she doesn't want to be there, she knows he's an ass, and even worse, the other clients are being picked off, one by one, possibly by a large predator, a big cat. Her ordeal, and the aftermath works into the present-day homicide investigation that Rizzoli gets involved in, with puzzling pieces that make it difficult to understand what was going on that would have caused what turns out to be a series of murders...caused by large cats?
And as a cat fancier, I found the theme of cats as cold-blooded murderers, no matter the size, to be somewhat dismaying, but really, it wasn't information that I didn't already know. (Let me pause here as I remember my late cats, recalling as they cuddled against me, purring, flexing their little claws. My darling little mouse murderers.) Something called a leopard cult comes into play here, something I've never heard of before but certainly worth looking into when I get a chance.
The killer kitty theme aside, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Gerritsen knows her characters well, and she weaves their personal lives, their tribulations, and their interactions into the homicide investigations effortlessly, forming an absorbing story. One thing's for sure: I'm never going on an African safari.
Coming up: So many choices!