About the Book: For untold years, the perfectly preserved mummy had lain forgotten in the dusty basement of Boston’s Crispin Museum. Now its sudden rediscovery by museum staff is both a major coup and an attention-grabbing mystery. Dubbed “Madam X,” the mummy—to all appearances, an ancient Egyptian artifact—seems a ghoulish godsend for the financially struggling institution. But medical examiner Maura Isles soon discovers a macabre message hidden within the corpse—horrifying proof that this “centuries-old” relic is instead a modern-day murder victim.

To Maura and Boston homicide detective Jane Rizzoli, the forensic evidence is unmistakable, its implications terrifying. And when the grisly remains of yet another woman are found in the hidden recesses of the museum, it becomes chillingly clear that a maniac is at large—and is now taunting them.

Archaeologist Josephine Pulcillo’s blood runs cold when the killer’s cryptic missives are discovered, and her darkest dread becomes real when the carefully preserved corpse of yet a third victim is left in her car like a gruesome offering—or perhaps a ghastly promise of what’s to come.

The twisted killer’s familiarity with post-mortem rituals suggests to Maura and Jane that he may have scientific expertise in common with Josephine. Only Josephine knows that her stalker shares a knowledge even more personally terrifying: details of a dark secret she had thought forever buried.

Now Maura must summon her own dusty knowledge of ancient death traditions to unravel a murderer’s twisted endgame. And when Josephine vanishes, Maura and Jane have precious little time to derail the Archaeology Killer before he adds another chilling piece to his monstrous collection.

My Review: There are few times in the book calendar year so happy for me as the release of a new Tess Gerritsen novel. Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles are some of my favorite fictional characters and I always look forward to what comes their way next. (having said that, I loved the Bone Garden beyond all measure)

On top of that, Gerritsen always manages to find an interesting albeit super creepy topic to explore. The Keepsake is certainly no exception.

I grew up in St. Louis and the St. Louis Art Museum has a mummy. I can still remember the first time we took a field trip to the museum in school…how fascinated I was by both the mummy and the jars that apparently contained the mummy’s inner organs. I stood at the glass case staring in at those urns and trying to understand it all…staring at the mummy and trying to understand the life that it represented.

That fascination found a place in this book. For starters, there’s a museum with loads of artifacts that are not fully catalogued in the basement. That’s creepy. One of those items is a mummy, but it is soon discovered that the mummy is not ancient but from modern times. Very creepy. At this point, I couldn’t help but think what a perfect fall read this book was!

As usual, we delve a little bit into Jane and Maura’s personal lives, but the case really is the main focus. There’s a lot of suspense, some gory facts you feel you probably could have lived without but that make everything that much more interesting, a character whose past is shrouded in mystery, and so many twists and turns that just when you think you have it figured out–you realize you don’t.

The pacing is spot-on, the prose is easy as usual, and the ending leaves you eager for next book.
Once again, I have to say this is the perfect fall read, so enjoy!

Tess Gerritsen is also one of my favorite bloggers. You can read her blog here. You can also visit her website and watch the spooky trailer for The Keepsake!

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8 Responses to “Review: The Keepsake by Tess Gerritsen”

  1. mari Says:

    I love Tess Gerritson’s book. Can’t wait to read this one.

  2. Michele Says:

    I tried one Tess Gerritson book a few years ago, The Surgeon, and couldn’t get into it. Is there a better one to start with as I hear a bunch of folks love her.

  3. Amy Says:

    Hi Michele,
    The Surgeon is actually the first in the Rizzoli/Isles series and generally I would say it’s the best place to start. But, I started with The Body Double which was fantastic, or you could try one of her stand alones like Harvest or The Bone Garden which is actually my favorite book of hers. 🙂

  4. Monica Says:

    Michele –
    I actually started with The Mephisto Club, loved it, and went back and read everything else she’s written. Mephisto is still my favorite by her, though, so I’m glad that’s where I started.

  5. Steve Says:

    Tess Gerritse is an excellent author and I have read all of her novels. I could not put The Keepsake down and read the book in two days. Looking forward to her next novel

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