Tess Gerritsen - Dark Streets
Any discussion on suspense authors isn’t complete without a reference to Tess Gerritsen, the woman described by Stephen King as being “better than Michael Crichton.” Lee Child said of her novels, “suspense just doesn’t get better than this. Not only recommended but mandatory.”
Born the daughter of a Chinese Immigrant and a Chinese American chef in San Diego, California, Gerritsen grew up dreaming of writing her own Nancy Drew novels (no wonder I like her!) Although writing was her first love, sustainability proved to be the key, and she pursued a medical degree and went on to work as a physician in Honolulu, Hawaii. While on maternity leave with her first child, her love of writing resurfaced and she submitted a short story to a magazine contest. She won first prize and embarked on a whole new career – although her early attempts were far from Nancy Drew-worthy. Inspired by the many romance novels she read while a physician, her first novels were romantic thrillers. After several false starts her first novel, CALL AFTER MIDNIGHT, was bought by Harlequin Intrigue in 1986. Over the next ten years, Gerritson continued to churn out romantic thrillers for Harlequin Intrigue.
IN 1996, Gerritsen decided to make another career switch: from romantic thriller to medical thriller. HARVEST was published in 1996 and debuted on the NY Times Bestseller list at #13. Following that, she wrote three other medical thrillers, Life Support, Bloodstream, and Gravity. But the best was yet to come.
IN 2001, Gerritson tried yet another genre: the crime thriller. The Surgeon, which received a RITA award for best romantic suspense novel, debuted to stellar reviews. It also introduced the character (albeit secondary in the novel) of Detective Jane Rizzoli. The character was an instant hit with the fans and Gerritson went on to write (to date) eight more Rizzoli and Isles novels. The series was such a hit it was subsequently made into a tv series, starring Angie Harmon as Jane Rizzoli and Sasha Alexander (formerly of NCIS) as the cool, unflappable medical examiner Maura Isles.
Although one might say Gerritsen’s roots are in romantic suspense, her real fame is derived from her medical thrillers and she is best known for her Rizzoli and Isles series. The books are listed in chronological order below:
The Mephisto Club
The Silent Girl
And the latest, Last to Die.
From the author’s site:
For the second time in his short life, Teddy Clock has survived a massacre. Two years ago, he barely escaped when his entire family was slaughtered. Now, at fourteen, in a hideous echo of the past, Teddy is the lone survivor of his foster family’s mass murder. Orphaned once more, the traumatized teenager has nowhere to turn—until the Boston PD puts detective Jane Rizzoli on the case. Determined to protect this young man, Jane discovers that what seemed like a coincidence is instead just one horrifying part of a relentless killer’s merciless mission.
Jane spirits Teddy to the exclusive Evensong boarding school, a sanctuary where young victims of violent crime learn the secrets and skills of survival in a dangerous world. But even behind locked gates, and surrounded by acres of sheltering Maine wilderness, Jane fears that Evensong’s mysterious benefactors aren’t the only ones watching. When strange blood-splattered dolls are found dangling from a tree, Jane knows that her instincts are dead on. And when she meets Will Yablonski and Claire Ward, students whose tragic pasts bear a shocking resemblance to Teddy’s, it becomes chillingly clear that a circling predator has more than one victim in mind.
Joining forces with her trusted partner, medical examiner Maura Isles, Jane is determined to keep these orphans safe from harm. But an unspeakable secret dooms the children’s fate—unless Jane and Maura can finally put an end to an obsessed killer’s twisted quest.
Gerritson does what she does best; writing with sharp jolts and sheer suspense. I look forward to many, many more from this author!
Columnist: Toni LoTempio – admin by day, writer by night, Toni is the author of several paperback and e-books of romantic and paranormal suspense – check out her website at www.tonilotempio.webs.com and her cat’s blog! www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com Check out her YA fantasy, MY SUPERHERO SISTER and her paranormal romances, NO REST FOR THE WICCA and RAVEN’S KISS. She is also featured in the paranormal romance anthology, Every Witch Way But Wicked, whose sale proceed benefit Nathan Fillion’s charity, KIDS NEED TO READ, available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.