My rating: 5 of 5 stars
In The Silent Girl, the 9th Rizzoli and Isles novel, Detective Jane Rizzoli must grapple with the fallout from an old cold case. Nineteen years ago, what became known as the Red Phoenix Massacre left five people shot dead on the floor of a restaurant in Boston’s Chinese community. Now, when two puzzling – and grisly – murders occur in the same neighborhood, it becomes increasingly apparent that they are somehow connected to the former crime. What plays out is a gripping, sharply written investigation, in which the families of the massacre victims, the Irish Mafia, Chinese folklore, a mystical sword, and an eerie, shadow-like avenger thrust upon Jane the most frightening challenge of her career. Pathologist Maura Isles plays a smaller role than usual in this episode, as she tries to conduct the forensic examinations while coping with the resentment of a police department who think she betrayed them in court.
The Silent Girl represents author Garritsen at the top of her game. In a genre replete with good writers, she has devised an original, intricate scenario with some exotic elements that are intriguing and entirely believable. The rapidly paced investigation leads to a powerful, dramatic conclusion, one in which Jane must define her own philosophy of justice before she can make the decisions that the situation demands.
Compelling, suspenseful, intelligent fiction, highly recommended.