Body Double by Tess Gerritsen
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (416 pgs)
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Cholla
Dr. Maura Isles makes her living dealing with death. As a pathologist in a major metropolitan city, she has seen more than her share of corpses every day–many of them victims of violent murder. But never before has her blood run cold, and never has the grim expression “dead ringer” rung so terrifyingly true. Because never before has the lifeless body on the medical examiner’s table been her own.
Yet there can be no denying the mind-reeling evidence before her shocked eyes and those of her colleagues, including Detective Jane Rizzoli: the woman found shot to death outside Maura’s home is the mirror image of Maura, down to the most intimate physical nuances. Even more chilling is the discovery that they share the same birth date and blood type. For the stunned Maura, an only child, there can be just one explanation. And when a DNA test confirms that Maura’s mysterious doppelgänger is in fact her twin sister, an already bizarre murder investigation becomes a disturbing and dangerous excursion into a past full of dark secrets.
Searching for answers, Maura is drawn to a seaside town in Maine where other horrifying surprises await. But perhaps more frightening, an unknown murderer is at large on a cross-country killing spree. To stop the massacre and uncover the twisted truth about her own roots, Maura must probe her first living subject: the mother that she never knew . . . an icy and cunning woman who could be responsible for giving Maura life–and who just may have a plan to take it away.
As a medical examiner for a large city like Boston, what would be your greatest worry? Finding someone you know, on your table, ready for an autopsy, most likely. Dr. Maura Isles isn’t nearly so lucky as to simply find someone she knows before her, no, she’s presented with a dead body bearing her exact same face… and in front of her own home. The real question is, who is this woman and why exactly is she dead? That’s what Maura and her friend, Detective Jane Rizzoli, are charged with finding out.
Dr. Maura Isles comes a long way in this fourth Rizzoli & Isles novel. Before, she was almost a side character there to help Detective Rizzoli and her crew solve the murder of the day. However, in Body Double, you can see her friendship with Jane grow and become more than just a casual, working acquaintance, even if they’re not quite best pals yet. Also, as Maura digs deeper into her past trying to uncover the secret of this look alike, her personality really begins to shine. I loved learning more about what makes Dr. Isles who she is and in this book, she begins to learn what makes herself tick as well. It’s always an interesting journey when you’re learning as much about the characters as they are about themselves. She really became a more solid and real character for me here.
Detective Jane Rizzoli isn’t letting being pregnant stop her from getting her man. She continues to push forward in typical Rizzoli fashion, demanding, forcing, and grouching her way through her cases. I was anxious to see how the author was going to deal with Jane’s pregnancy in this book. Kudos to Ms. Gerritsen for not allowing Jane to wimp out and keeping her true to her nature. Instead, she pushed forward and let nothing get in her way. It was nice also to see her softer side when interacting with her now-husband, Agent Gabriel Dean. Their developing relationship gives the often caustic Rizzoli another layer of substance, making her an even more enjoyable character.
Each time I pick up the next novel in this series, I know I’m going to be treated to an exciting and yet sometimes gruesome story. Body Double more than delivers on that promise. So far, for me, this has been the most intense and enjoyable story of the series and I cannot wait to see what the next book holds in store for me. The added layers of Maura’s past increase the intrigue of the usual murder needing to be solved and makes it that much more personal, engaging the reader on a deeper level. I highly recommend this fourth book to anyone looking for an edge-of-your-seat thriller to keep them up at night.