Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Title:       The Mephisto Club [Rizzoli&Isles, book 6]
Author:   Tess Gerritsen
Rating:   ★★★

The Mephisto Club feels like a timely read for the Holy Week. It talks about fallen angels and demons, and that evil still walks among us, and poses the question of the possibility that the fruits of relations between fallen angels and women are possible, and that the offspring are possible explanation for men who have committed terrible acts (i.e. mass murders).

Evil exists. Evil walks the streets. And evil has spawned a diabolical new disciple in this white-knuckle thriller from New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen.

The Latin word is scrawled in blood at the scene of a young woman's brutal murder: I HAVE SINNED. It's a chilling Christmas greeting for Boston medical examiner Maura Isles and Detective Jane Rizzoli, who swiftly link the victim to controversial celebrity psychiatrist Joyce O'Donnell, Jane's professional nemesis and member of a sinister cabal called the Mephisto Club.

On top of Beacon Hill, the club's acolytes devote themselves to the analysis of evil: Can it be explained by science? Does it have a physical presence? Do demons walk the earth? Drawing on a wealth of dark historical data and mysterious religious symbolism, the Mephisto scholars aim to prove a startling theory: that Satan himself exists among us.

With the grisly appearance of a corpse on their doorstep, it's clear that someone or something is indeed prowling the city. The members of the club begin to fear the very subject of their study. Could this maniacal killer be one of their own or have they inadvertently summoned an evil entity from the darkness?

Delving deep into the most baffling and unusual case of their careers, Maura and Jane embark on a terrifying journey to the very heart of evil, where they encounter a malevolent foe more dangerous than any they have ever faced . . . one whose work is only just beginning.

The Mephisto Club is action-packed and really creepy, and the kind you really have to have the stomach to read and not visualize. However, the feelings I have for the story are actually a credit and praise to Gerritsen's ability to make me visualize it, no matter how much I tried not to.

The Mephisto Club was well-written, and dare I say it, not a book one can easily put down. In fact, no matter how gruesome and creeped out I was by the story, I couldn't help but pick it up again and again until I reached the end. Gerritsen's masterful writing has got me hooked.

What I don't understand about the story is that it's entitled The Mephisto Club, and so much has been focused on the club, and fallen angels and other metaphysical thought-provoking questions, that I'm quite surprised that in the end, it wasn't purely about the club at all, and I can't give it away without spoiling the story. That was quite a disappointment for me, although the build-up, the suspense, and the action was all very to the point.

I usually enjoy a good thriller/mystery/police tale, and I have started reading the Rizzoli & Isles series of Tess Gerritsen because of the TV show Rizzoli & Isles. If you saw the TV show first before you thought of reading the series, there are a lot of notable differences with the characterization (as usual!) and adjusting to the interaction of the book characters might take some time, especially if you've been imagining Jane and Maura as you read the book (like I do).

I have been going through her books slowly because man, she's a terrific writer. I definitely got the creeps, and reading/finishing this at 12 midnight must be one of the worst things I've done to myself lately. I tend to have vivid nightmares that I remember even when I wake up, that I shouldn't read these kinds of books. But since I've been on romance overload, I needed something to cleanse the palate. I think I want to creep back under the comforts of regency romance again. Any recommendations?

If you read a thriller/suspense/murder story, do you usually set a specific time or bar yourself from reading the story at a specific time of the day to avoid nightmares, etc? I should really learn my lesson!