Tuesday, February 9, 2016

TESS GERRITSEN: MEDICAL MYSTERIES ARE HER BEAT


Growing up as the daughter of Chinese immigrants author Tess Gerritsen was a Nancy Drew fan who dreamed of writing books but was encouraged to have a real profession. She went to medical school, started a physician career in Hawaii and soon found herself the winner of a writing contest. Several published paperback romances later she started writing medical mysteries and that is when she hit the literary jackpot.


Gerritsen’s recent works can be divided into two realms: stand alone thrillers and her Rizzoli & Isles series, the latter of which became a popular television series. Many Gerritsen titles can be found on the shelves at the Monrovia Public Library in the fiction, mystery, Large Print, CD and Spanish sections.

Exploring epidemics in Life Support, an unusual illness that results in teenage violence in Bloodstream and skeletal remains found at a home in The Bone Garden, the author has a real knack for writing fast-paced thrillers that take advantage of her knowledge of medicine and forensics. The most recent title,  Playing with Fire, is a departure for Gerritsen as it takes its mystery storyline from a piece of music that relates to the events in Venice’s 1930’s Jewish ghetto.

In 2001 Gerritsen introduced Boston police detective Jane Rizzoli in The Surgeon and in 2002 medical examiner Maura Isles in The Apprentice. Since then the two have anchored such titles as The Sinner, Body Double and Ice Cold. The most recent is Last to Die about some orphans who are the victims of violence. What makes the Rizzoli & Isles series popular are compelling plots, realism and the great relationship between the homicide cop and the doctor.


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