Written By: Tess Gerritsen
Published By: Ballantine Books
Reviewed By: Melissa Minners
I’m a big fan of the Rizzoli & Isles television series that used to air on TNT and now is available in syndication and on DVD. In fact, I have every season on DVD. Yet, I never have read any of the books this television series was based on. I have read Tess Gerritsen’s work before, but nothing from the Rizzoli & Isles series. When I was offered the opportunity to review Rizzoli & Isles: Listen to Me, I decided now was the time to start.
Boston Homicide Detectives Rizzoli and Frost, with the help of Medical Examiner Maura Isles, are investigating the seemingly senseless murder of Sofia Suarez. A well-loved widow and nurse, Sofia didn’t appear to have any enemies and the only things missing from Sofia’s home are her laptop and her cellphone. This could be a murder of convenience…a burglar caught in the middle of his/her crime by the homeowner. But where was the blunt object that was used to kill her…and why keep striking her. She was already knocked to the floor. The burglar could have escaped easily. Instead, they followed her and kept beating her over the head until she was dead. The investigation leads the team to discover that Sofia was making phone calls to people that she knew at her former hospital, in a town where a young woman was murdered, and her child abducted. What did Sofia learn that was worth murdering her over.
Meanwhile, Jane’s mother is caught in a mystery of her own. Angela’s boyfriend, retired Boston police officer Vincent, is away helping his sister recover from surgery. With Vincent away, Angela begins to focus more on the neighborhood she has lived in since she married her ex-husband. A new neighbor has moved in across the street, a couple that doesn’t appear to want any interaction with their neighbors, especially Angela. Of course, Angela finds this suspicious, especially when one of the neighbor teens goes missing. Angela tries to bring the strange things she has been noticing to the local police department, but they don’t find her suspicions worth looking into, so of course, Angela goes to her daughter for help. Unfortunately, Jane is so wrapped up in her own case, she isn’t really listening to her mother and her nosey neighbor observations.
Listen to Me is the latest book in the series. There are quite a few books before this and I worried that I might be a tad lost joining things this far in, but I shouldn’t have. The author doesn’t just assume that you already know the characters. She gives you little bits and pieces of information about them throughout, so if this is your introduction to Rizzoli & Isles, you won’t be lost at all. Sure, the characters are a bit different from the television series, but one character is the same in both – Angela. I actually started smiling when Angela appeared in the book. She’s the same quirky, fun, nosey character I remember from the television series and it isn’t surprising that she would be spying on her new neighbor…especially one that was doing his very best to avoid her at all costs.
I loved that there wasn’t just one mystery going on in this novel. Jane, Frost and Maura had the mystery of Sofia’s murder to solve, while Angela had the new neighbors and the missing teenager to wonder about. And we, the reader, were brought along for the ride, solving the mysteries along with our favorite characters. Tess Gerritsen’s writing is so descriptive, you can picture the characters and the situations they find themselves in your mind’s eye perfectly. Often times, just when you think you have things figured out, you are thrown for a loop by what is actually taking place. For instance, I thought I had the new neighbor figured out, but the reason the teen was missing threw me for a loop. And Sofia’s murderer? I was completely thrown by that one!
Listen to Me is a terrific read – fast and completely engaging. In fact, it has inspired me to read all of the Rizzoli & Isles books I have missed. Definitely a must read for Rizzoli & Isles fans and a good place to start for those who have never read any of the books in the series.