Sunday, December 22, 2013

GIRL MISSING by Tess Gerritsen

Publisher:  Bantam
Date published:   April 29, 2014
Genre:   Romantic Suspense
Format: Electronic ARC
Obtained via:  Publisher / Above the Treeline
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina


Recently divorced Kat Novak takes her job as a coroner in the medical examiner’s office seriously.  She doesn’t just autopsy the deceased that pass through her doors, she digs until she finds out just why they died.  Because of the care she takes one morning she agrees to take on the autopsy of a young Jane Doe’s body.  While others may have deemed the young woman “just another junkie who OD’d”, because of questions on the table, she begins to dig deeper.  Who was this woman?  Where is the needle she used for that last final injection?  And what is this new drug that ended a life before it began?  In the victim’s belongings she finds a matchbook with a phone number.  When she dials the number the man on the other end tells her nothing except he will be right there.

When Adam Quantrell arrives at the coroner’s office he will not tell Kat who he is looking for, but he is clearly relieved the young woman Kat has called about is not the one he is looking for.  Kat cannot help but feel Adam knows more than he is willing to tell and she shows up at his home with questions.  Despite admonitions from the two police officers she generally works with to stay out of it, she continues to dig and when not only a second but third victim turns up, Adam can no longer stay out of it.  Despite Kat’s demands he back off Adam dogs her footsteps until she has nowhere to turn but to the very man who could be behind what are no longer simple overdoses.  Is Adam behind the killings or is he simply another victim?

Tess Gerritsen’s GIRL MISSING was originally written and released in the early 1990’s at the beginning of a stellar writing career.  Having read all of Ms. Gerritsen’s books starting back with her first, ADVENTURE’S MISTRESS back in 1985 I looked forward to what is, in a way, a retro-book.  One of the great things about Ms. Gerritsen’s books is you can see her growth and development as an author over the years.  She has truly honed her craft and each book, especially her Rizzoli and Isles books get better and better.  She captures the time she is writing the story for and her characters reflect a sense of realness.  They could be someone you know.  Had I not read GIRL MISSING after her Rizzoli and Isles books it would definitely have been an easy five hearts.  But because I know what a fantastic writer she has become, GIRL MISSING is not quite up there.  The story is a tad formulaic and seemingly told by rote.  I was kind of surprised that as a re-release certain aspects were not updated.  For instance Kat and Adam look for a payphone and a yellow pages at one point.  Given how wealthy Adam is, if the book were written today—or truly updated—he would definitely have had an app for that. 

Still, Ms. Gerritsen builds up to a white knuckle mystery that leaves you certain Kat will not make it out unscathed let alone alive.  If you are a fan, do check it out.  If Ms. Gerritsen is new to you, do read it and see if you don’t agree she is a fantastic story teller.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement this book.

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