Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Silent Girl ~ Journey into Chinese fables and the Monkey King

If you have been following me for some time, you will already know I love mysteries and thrillers. I loved Dexter Morgan (from Jeff Lindsay's great series about a serial killer) before Michael C. Hall brought him to life on television. Unfortunately I can't say the same for Tess Gerritsen's characters Rizzoli and Isles. My husband and I love to watch the series where the characters are portrayed by Angie Harmon (Jane Rizzoli) and Sasha Alexander (Maura Isles). I met Ms. Gerritsen during the summer of 2005 when we were both attending the American Library Association's Annual Conference in Chicago, Illinois. We briefly chatted together while waiting for my mother to make her way to our location in order to meet one of her favorite authors.

I have to admit, I did not read the book right away. I have a very difficult time reading autographed books. I am always worried something will happen to this prized possession and I would be simply devastated. So fast forward a number of years ~ about five years. It was only then I picked up one of Ms. Gerritsen's books because I heard the television series was going to be premiering during the summer. I wanted to have a head's up on these two characters. Did I start with the first book in the series? Of course not, that would be too logical! I started with book number eight in the series, Ice Cold. Thoroughly enjoyed the book and the characters so I knew instantly I would love the series, which we are advid watchers.

Now, life and other books have followed. I don't know why I did not pick up another Gerritsen book until this week, but that is exactly what happened. Did I pick up book number one...no. Again I went with a newer title, not the latest, but number ten in the series (currently there are twelve books), The Silent Girl.

The Silent Girl
by Tess Gerritsen
The book was inspired by Ms. Gerritsen's mother's telling of Chinese fables, specifically the main character in Wu Cheng'en's Journey to the West, Sun Wukong, also known as the Monkey King. The book opens in San Francisco where a young girl is being observed by an unknown narrator. We then move forward seven years when we are introduced to a nineteen year old mystery in Boston's Chinatown, the incident at the Red Phoenix, by a young man telling ghost stories to tourists. The characters in the book are centered around the victim's family members and those involved in the almost two decades old investigation. The thrill and mystery remains exciting through the entire read. I thought I had the storyline figured out, but was delighted by the twist Ms. Gerritsen inserted to keep her readers on their toes. I had to make myself to go to bed without finishing the book last night, but picked it up and completed it as quickly as I could today. I have already checked out the first book in the series, The Surgeon. It is my understanding that although it is the first in the series, the television series is actually based more on the second book in the series, The Apprentice. I'm sure I will read it as well. I'm hooked now Ms. Gerritsen. Way to add more books to the list of books I will never finish before I die. Well played.