The Keepsake (Rizzoli and Isles Series #7)

The Keepsake (Rizzoli and Isles Series #7)

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Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles—the inspiration for the hit TNT series—continue their bestselling crime-solving streak.

For untold years, the perfectly preserved mummy had lain forgotten in the dusty basement of Boston’s Crispin Museum. Dubbed “Madam X,” the recently rediscovered mummy is, to all appearances, an ancient Egyptian artifact. But medical examiner Maura Isles discovers a macabre message hidden within the corpse–horrifying proof that this “centuries-old” relic is instead a modern-day murder victim. When the grisly remains of two other women are found, it becomes clear to Maura and Boston homicide detective Jane Rizzoli that a maniac is at large. Now Maura and Jane must unravel a murderer’s twisted endgame before the Archaeology Killer adds another chilling artifact to his monstrous collection.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780739343289
Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/09/2008
Series: Rizzoli and Isles Series , #7
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 6.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen earned international acclaim for her first novel of suspense, Harvest. She introduced detective Jane Rizzoli in The Surgeon (2001) and Dr. Maura Isles in The Apprentice (2002) and has gone on to write numerous other titles in the celebrated Rizzoli & Isles series, including The Mephisto Club, The Keepsake, Ice Cold, The Silent Girl, Last to Die, and Die Again. Her latest novel is the standalone thriller Playing with Fire. A physician, Tess Gerritsen lives in Maine.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

He is coming for me.

 I feel it in my bones. I sniff it in the air, as recognizable as the scent of hot sand and savory spices and the sweat of a hundred men toiling in the sun. These are the smells of Egypt’s western desert, and they are still vivid to me, although that country is nearly half a globe away from the dark bedroom where I now lie. Fifteen years have passed since I walked that desert, but when I close my eyes, in an instant I am there again, standing at the edge of the tent camp, looking toward the Libyan border and the sunset. The wind moaned like a woman when it swept down the wadi. I still hear the thuds of pickaxes and the scrape of shovels, can picture the army of Egyptian diggers, busy as ants as they swarmed the excavation site, hauling their gufa baskets filled with soil. It seemed to me then, when I stood in that desert fifteen years ago, as if I were an actress in a film about someone else’s adventure. Not mine. Certainly it was not an adventure that a quiet girl from Indio, California, ever expected to live. 

The lights of a passing car glimmer through my closed eyelids. When I open my eyes, Egypt vanishes. No longer am I standing in the desert gazing at a sky smeared by sunset the color of bruises. Instead I am once again half a world away, lying in my dark San Diego bedroom. 

I climb out of bed and walk barefoot to the window to look out at the street. It is a tired neighborhood of stucco tract homes built in the 1950s, before the American dream meant mini-mansions and three- car garages. There is honesty in the modest but sturdy houses, built not to impress but to shelter, and I feel safely anonymous here. Just another single mother struggling to raise a recalcitrant teenage daughter. 

Peeking through the curtains at the street, I see a dark- colored sedan slow down half a block away. It pulls over to the curb, and the headlights turn off. I watch, waiting for the driver to step out, but no one does. For a long time the driver sits there. Perhaps he’s listening to the radio, or maybe he’s had a fight with his wife and is afraid to face her. Perhaps there are lovers in that car with nowhere else to go. I can formulate so many explanations, none of them alarming, yet my skin is prickling with hot dread. 

A moment later the sedan’s taillights come back on, and the car pulls away and continues down the street. 

Even after it vanishes around the corner, I am still jittery, clutching the curtains in my damp hand. I return to bed and lie sweating on top of the covers, but I cannot sleep. Although it’s a warm July night, I keep my bedroom window latched, and insist that my daughter, Tari, keeps hers latched as well. But Tari does not always listen to me. 

Every day, she listens to me less.

 I close my eyes and, as always, the visions of Egypt come back. It’s always to Egypt that my thoughts return. Even before I stood on its soil, I’d dreamed about it. At six years old, I spotted a photograph of the Valley of the Kings on the cover of National Geographic, feeling instant recognition, as though I were looking at a familiar, much- beloved face that I had almost forgotten. That was what the land meant to me, a beloved face I longed to see again. And as the years progressed, I laid the foundations for my return. I worked and studied. A full scholarship brought me to Stanford, and to the attention of a professor who enthusiastically recommended me for a summer job at an excavation in Egypt’s western desert. 

In June, at the end of my ju nior year, I boarded a flight to Cairo. Even now, in the darkness of my California bedroom, I remember how my eyes ached from the sunlight glaring on white- hot sand. I smell the sunscreen on my skin and feel the sting of the wind peppering my face with desert grit. These memories make me happy. With a trowel in my hand and the sun on my shoulders, this was the culmination of a young girl’s dreams. 

How quickly dreams become nightmares. I’d boarded the plane to Cairo as a happy college student. Three months later, I returned home a changed woman. 

I did not come back from the desert alone. A monster followed me. 

In the dark, my eyelids spring open. Was that a footfall? A door creaking open? I lie on damp sheets, heart battering itself against my chest. I am afraid to get out of bed, and afraid not to. 

Something is not right in this house. 

After years of hiding, I know better than to ignore the warning whispers in my head. Those urgent whispers are the only reason I am still alive. I’ve learned to pay heed to every anomaly, every tremor of disquiet. I notice unfamiliar cars driving up my street. I snap to attention if a co- worker mentions that someone was asking about me. I make elaborate escape plans long before I ever need them. My next move is already planned out. In two hours, my daughter and I can be over the border and in Mexico with new identities. Our passports, with new names, are already tucked away in my suitcase. We should have left by now. We should not have waited this long. 

But how do you convince a fourteen- year- old girl to move away from her friends? Tari is the problem; she does not understand the danger we’re in. I pull open the nightstand drawer and take out the gun. It is not legally registered, and it makes me ner vous, keeping a firearm under the same roof with my daughter. But after six weekends at the shooting range, I know how to use it. 

My bare feet are silent as I step out of my room and move down the hall, past my daughter’s closed door. I conduct the same inspection that I have made a thousand times before, always in the dark. Like any prey, I feel safest in the dark. 

In the kitchen, I check the windows and the door. In the living room, I do the same. Everything is secure. I come back up the hall and pause outside my daughter’s bedroom. Tari has become fanatical about her privacy, but there is no lock on her door, and I will never allow there to be one. I need to be able to look in, to confirm that she is safe. 

The door gives a loud squeak as I open it, but it won’t wake her. As with most teenagers, her sleep is akin to a coma. The first thing I notice is the breeze, and I give a sigh. Once again, Tari has ignored my wishes and left her window wide open, as she has so many times before. 

It feels like sacrilege, bringing the gun into my daughter’s bedroom, but I need to close that window. I step inside and pause beside the bed, watching her sleep, listening to the steady rhythm of her breathing. I remember the first time I laid eyes on her, red- faced and crying in the obstetrician’s hands. I had been in labor eigh teen hours, and was so exhausted I could barely lift my head from the pillow. But after one glimpse of my baby, I would have risen from bed and fought a legion of attackers to protect her. That was the moment I knew what her name would be. I thought of the words carved into the great temple at Abu Simbel, words chosen by Ramses the Great to proclaim his love for his wife. 

Nefertari, for whom the sun doth shine 

My daughter, Nefertari, is the one and only trea - sure that I brought back with me from Egypt. And I am terrified of losing her. 

Tari is so much like me. It’s as if I am watching myself sleeping. When she was ten years old, she could already read hieroglyphs. At twelve, she could recite all the dynasties down to the Ptolemys. She spends her weekends haunting the Museum of Man. She is a clone of me in every way, and as the years pass there is no obvious trace of her father in her face or her voice or, most important of all, her soul. She is my daughter, mine alone, untainted by the evil that fathered her. 

But she is also a normal fourteen- year- old girl, and this has been a source of frustration these past weeks as I’ve felt darkness closing in around us, as I lie awake every night, listening for a monster’s footsteps. My daughter is oblivious to the danger because I have hidden the truth from her. I want her to grow up strong and fearless, a warrior woman who is unafraid of shadows. She does not understand why I pace the house late at night, why I latch the windows and double- check the doors. She thinks I am a worrywart, and it’s true: I do all the worrying for both of us, to preserve the illusion that all is right with the world. 

That is what Tari believes. She likes San Diego and she looks forward to her first year in high school. She’s managed to make friends here, and heaven help the parent who tries to come between a teenager and her friends. She is as strong- willed as I am, and were it not for her re sis tance, we would have left town weeks ago. 

A breeze blows in the window, chilling the sweat on my skin. 

I set the gun down on the nightstand and cross to the window to close it. For a moment I linger, breathing in cool air. Outside, the night has fallen silent, except for a mosquito’s whine. A prick stings my cheek. The significance of that mosquito bite does not strike me until I reach up to slide the window shut. I feel the icy breath of panic rush up my spine. 

There is no screen over the window. Where is the screen? 

Only then do I sense the malevolent presence. While I stood lovingly watching my daughter, it was watching me. It has always been watching, biding its time, waiting for its chance to spring. Now it has found us. 

I turn and face the evil.  

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The Keepsake (Rizzoli and Isles Series #7) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 374 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
good, but not as good as others.
Scotti_LeeMarie More than 1 year ago
This book is the most amazing so far. I really do love all of Gerritsen's titles, but this one has stuck in my head for months. I catch myself thinking about it practically every day, and the smallest things will trigger thoughts about this resounding tale. I would recommend this to anyone who likes mystery novels. If you are on the fence, this book will tip you into fandome.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Boston-based medical examiner Maura Isles has examined a lot of corpses while on the job, but this one is special. The Crispin Museum invited the ME to attend a CAT scan of Madame X the perfectly preserved mummy found in their basement who the curator believes will save their financially troubled facility.------------- However, instead of an ancient Egyptian royal, the modern medical test proves the mummy is a recent homicide victim. They also find a cryptic note inside. Boston Police Department Detectives Jane Rizzoli and Barry Frost lead the investigation. The message leads the cops to archeologist Josephine Pulcillo, who along with her mom has been on the run from an obsessed serial killer. Soon more modern day mummies are found, but the culprit remains elusively hidden in spite of Egyptian embalming knowledge.-------------- The latest Rizzoli-Isles police procedural is a superb thriller that needs a graphic warning label not to read on a full stomach. The story line is fast-paced from the moment the mummy goes from ancient historical to contemporary and never slows down as obsession keeps a mother and daughter in fear of revealing secrets to the cops. Tess Gerritsen is at her best with this gruesome horrific murder mystery.----------- Harriet Klausner
Boomers More than 1 year ago
Excellent....loved the museum and archeology background
BookAddictFL More than 1 year ago
Tess Gerritsen is an excellent writer and this book does not disappoint. The plot revolves around an archeologist and there is a fair amount of information dispersed throughout the book on various aspects of archeology. If you have no interest in this subject, you may not find Keepsake quite as engaging. I am probably not a good judge of that, since I am fascinated by the subject! The story moves at a good pace and the mystery keeps you guessing until the end. Gerritsen is a master with characters, giving them those all too human traits that make them feel like real people. The plot is intricate without being overly complicated. Gerritsen took me into her world and held me there throughout the story. I couldn't ask for anything more!
katknit More than 1 year ago
Jane Rizzoli is one of the strongest female detective characters in the genre, and, after having her baby girl, she's back in action. Jane shines in this serial killer/stalker/confused identity thriller, as she struggles to unkink the many tangled lines in these crimes. Gerritsen appears to be attempting to show Jane as a whole person - mother, partner, cop, friend - and it's refreshing to see her uncertain at times, empathizing with other parents at others, trying to be supportive of her soon to be divorced detective partner. And the crimes in this installment are ingenious. While it's possible to make good guesses as to what "went down", there are some gratifying zigs and zags along the way, and at the conclusion, to keep the reader absorbed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Tess Gerritsen¿s The Keepsake is a fast moving, well-paced whodunit. Medical Examiner Maura Isles is called in to observe the CT scanning of a mummy for a museum. The observers are shocked to find the mummy isn¿t ancient at all, but the well-preserved body of a modern murder victim. Solving the murder falls to Jane Rizzoli, a Boston police detective. Soon Rizzoli discovers other women who have been murdered and preserved using disturbing and macabre methods. Knowing the killer has chosen his next victim it becomes a race against the clock to stop this murderer. I really enjoyed this novel. I haven¿t read every one of the books in this series, but I like the authors writing style and the way she moves her stories along, so I¿m going to have to put the one¿s I¿ve missed on my list. I¿ll admit to feeling pretty darn smug when about halfway through the novel, I figured out ¿whodunit¿. And I¿ll admit to feeling more than a little sheepish, when in the last two chapters, I found out that I was wrong, Wrong, WRONG! I really love it when a book surprises me. It¿s nice to figure out the end before it ends, but its soooo much better to be wrong!! Tess Gerritsen has that uncanny knack of adding personal information in just the right amount. She never deviates from the actual story, instead just adds enough tidbits about Isles and Rizzoli to make the reader want to see where their stories will ultimately lead. In fact, having not read all of these series, the bits added and the bits alluded to will be just enough to send me to the bookstore to pick up those earlier novels. Don¿t get me wrong the reader certainly doesn¿t have to do that to enjoy this novel. The author manages extremely well to give us enough information, and yet I imagine a faithful reader wouldn¿t feel like they¿ve just re-read the previous novels while reading this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book
Kathy89 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A mummy found in a corner of a museum's basement starts a series of events leading to the discovery that this mummy has a modern day bullet. One of the curators is getting threatening letters andsomeone plants a severed head in her car. She goes on the run with the detectives discovering who she is and why she has an assumed identitt.
ElizaJane on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dr. Maura Isles is invited to a CAT scan of an Egyptian mummy recently found in the basement storage of a museum. During the scan a bullet appears in the "ancient" mummy's leg. Rizzoli and her partner are called in for the autopsy and the case begins when it is confirmed that the mummy is from modern times. More bodies are found in the form of various ancient burial preservations and Rizzoli and her partner discover they are on the path of a serial killer who has been at it for quite some time.After my disappointment in Gerritsen's last book in this series The Mephisto Society, I am glad to say she is back to form in this fabulous crime thriller. Not only are the murders and the serial killer very unique, the plot is full of twists and turns and while I figured out part of the solution there was more to it that surprised me in the end. Not particularly gory (or perhaps I am becoming jaded) but certainly taught and tense. A page-turner and one of those books that you tell people "Be quiet, I'm at a good part!" quite frequently. As usual I look forward to Tess Gerritsen's next installment in this series.
silenceiseverything on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have found that it is a bit difficult to write a review on a book that's part of a series, particularly if you have reviewed most of the other books in the series. Chances are that most of what you say in the newest review is going to sound repetitive. Regardless of whether you liked it or not. But, still, review I must. So, I'm going to say that while I have stated my love for the Jane Rizzoli & Maura Isles many times in my numerous reviews, The Keepsake was the first one that I felt sort of "meh" about. Wow! Typing that sentence nearly killed me and now I feel ashamed... Let's start with the good: the archeology. This was something that I found absolutely fascinating (well, you know, that and the shruken heads) and could not get enough of. That's what I love about Tess Gerritsen's mysteries. Sure, it focuses mainly on the whodunit (is there a more amusing word than "whodunit"? Besides "oy", I mean), but they're usually set to a backdrop of some really intriguing premise. In The Mephisto's Club it was nephilism and here in The Keepsake it's archeology. And, boy do I love it when a novel I'm reading teaches me about things I didn't have a clue about before. I really wished that Gerritsen would've expanded on this just a tiny bit more because it was my favorite part (besides Jane Rizzoli and her utter awesomeness, I mean). This is book 7 in the series, so obviously by now I'm in tune with the characters since I keep reading. Jane Rizzoli was all types of on in this book. Usually, I like her anyway, but in The Keepsake, I loved her! From being all Mama Bear with Frost to her sometimes dry sense of humor that's so dry you can't really tell if she's joking or not, she was just great. Definitely my favorite character in this one. Barry Frost was another one that I was endeared to. He's just so sweet and dopey. Although, that whole "losing objectivity in the face of an attractive woman" thing was sort of grating, though. Here comes the "while not bad, it definitely was annoying" part of the review: Maura Isles. She's usually my favorite character in most of these books. But in The Keepsake, she really didn't serve a purpose besides whining about her relationship with the priest. This was made even more obvious by the fact that she was gone for half the novel. Seriously, I was halfway through when I suddenly thought "Wait! Where's Maura?". It just seemed like the author had shipped her off to destinations unknown. Just as suddenly as it hit me that Maura wasn't there, there she was again. But she came back to the plot in a way that had me believing that Gerritsen forgot about her for a bit and thought "Crap! I've been so focused on everything else, I forgot all about Maura. Well, maybe, I can plug her in right here and explain it using this lame plot point..." Well, it didn't really work. So, I have to say that The Keepsake might've been my least favorite of the series (I hesitate to say "worst" because Tess Gerritsen's "worst" is a lot better than most mystery authors' "best"), but I can't really complain (more than I have above) because it was a quick page-turner and it kept me intrigued. And I'm still looking forward to the next book (which I have right next to me and am trying to restrain myself from reading it for at least a week) and I'm so excited for the Rizzoli & Isles series that premieres on TNT in about a week and a half.
emhromp2 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love unexpected endings like this one! Endings only very clever readers could have anticipated (ie. not me :D) and that make sense. I don't get the idea that Gerritsen is performing a yearly trick with her thrillers. I think she re-invents herself.My only problem is that I keep confusing Lena Adams from Karin Slaughter with Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles with Sarah Linton. I have a feeling I am not the only one.
mmyoung on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I decided to read this book purely because I saw an episode of Rizzoli and Isles and I wanted to know how much the television version of these characters strayed from the written versions.My very short review of this book is that it is far better than the television show based on it and I am definitely going to read at least one more Gerritsen before deciding what I think of her as a writer. Episodic television shows and thrillers differ in ways far beyond the superficial. Rizzoli and Isles is a lightly plotted (as in you had better duck or you might get hit by the trucks driving through those plot holes) buddy show. The big twist is that the buddies are both women. Imagine Bones if you had Bones as a medical examiner and Booth as a woman. When you only have 42 minutes in which to tell a story you tend to make the story fairly straightforward. Thrillers, especially ones written and published in the era of the doorstop sized book, can take their time, fill in back story, let the reader go away and think about things for a while. Television shows cannot afford to do any of those things. There is more need on television shows to trot out all your characters at least once a show while the written form encourages the exploration of what characters are thinking and feeling even if it doesn't really advance the plot.To move from the general to the specific. Some parts of The Keepsake seems to be included not because they advance the story but because they advance larger arc stories that run from book to book. For example, the several chapters that focus on Isles personal life may seem irrelevant to someone new to the series and as does the times spent on the deterioration of Frost's marriage and Rizzoli's concerns in dealing with the dissolution of her own parents marriage. Because I choose to read this book after seeing the television show this concentration on what seems to be a superfluous character is less jarring than if I had randomly picked up the book because of the cover blurb -- just as they would not be jarring to readers who had read previous books in the series. The reader who picks up this book at random will find many textual clues that indicate that it is part, though not the first, of a series. As for the story itself it is definitely a page turner. I read it in basically one gulp. I disliked the focus on torturing women and hope that is not a constant theme in Gerritsen's work. Some of the police procedural details seem lightly sketched in and, as is often the case in books such as this, it isn't so much that the detectives do great work it is more a matter that criminals escalate their behaviour and/or kill off suspects to the point where "whodunnit" is fairly obvious.
hlilburn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Of all of the library donations I have been going through, this one sparked my interest the most. The Keepsake refers to the dead bodies the Archeology Killer preserves in historically accurate ways in order to keep them "close" to him. The author's medical background helps with the descriptions on how the killer turns his victims into a mummy, a shrunken head, and a bog-man. (I always wondered how they did it). It's a cool idea, but I don't think he could pull it off with such accuracy that he would fool an entire museum and all of its archeological staff members. The book spends alot of time swaying between two suspects, making the concluding revelation unsurprising. I do enjoy the cover - comparing pinned butterflies to a murder victim is fantastic, although the book has nothing in it about pinned butterflies. My favorite part was learning how to make a shrunken head. (not that I would ever get the chance...)
ctfrench on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The discovery of a preserved mummy in the basement of Boston¿s Crispin Museum causes much media attention. Egyptologist/ archeologist Josephine Pulcillo, in hopes of not disturbing the wrappings, plans to scan the mummy beforehand to see what they can learn. Medical examiner Maura Isles is invited to be present for the scan and discovers this is no Egyptian mummy of ancient times but a woman who died more recently. When a shrunken head is discovered behind a wall in the museum, homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and Dr. Isles become suspicious they have a serial killer on their hands who is proficient in the ancient rites of preservation. This notion is confirmed when a bog-preserved body is found in the trunk of Josephine Pulcillo¿s car. The only thing the three bodies have in common: Josephine Pulcillo, whom Rizzoli suspects is hiding secrets from her past.This latest in Gerritsen¿s series involving Maura Isles and Jane Rizzoli is an exceptional read; filled with historical information regarding mummification and forensics, enmeshed within a thrilling mystery. Dr. Isles is still involved in an illicit affair with a priest and Rizzoli remains in her stable relationship with an FBI agent. The two women are tough and independent and very likable. Rizzoli is maturing and mellowing in her marriage while Isles is in a relationship that brings her more despair than happiness. This well-written series continues to remain strong and fresh not only because of these strong women characters but the issues they face, forensically and personally.
judithrs on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Keepsake. Tess Gerritsen. 2008. This is the latest in the series featuring medical examiner Maua Isles and Boston Homicide detective Jane Rizzoli; it is one of the better ones. Readers who have read other books in the series will enjoy this more than those who have not. An Egyptian mummy found in a private museum turns out to be a murdered woman rather than an Egyptian queen. Readers with weak stomachs may find out more than they want to about mummies, shrunken heads and bog people!
brainella on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another Rizzoli & Isles book -- this one involving a museum, murder (of course), hidden identities and mummies. For years a mummy laid forgotten in the dusty basement of Boston¿s Crispin Museum. ¿Madam X,¿ is an ancient Egyptian artifact but Dr. Isles discovers a message hidden on the corpse -- proof that the treasure is actually none-too-old murder victim. When two other women are found, it becomes obvious that a serial killer is involved. Good book -- great archaeology background and history of Egypt. Tess Gerritsen knows her stuff. Good book.
Darrol on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A little disjointed, and maybe too many themes. Egyptian archaeology, bog preservation, shrunken heads, pathological brother-sister attachment, rich protecting psychopathic son, bad romantic attachments (ie. with priest or with a wife that has moved on). Even the theme of mother protecting daughter was a little over-written. I am glad that the Mephisto Club element only was hinted at. Because the variety of evil, although in an unlikely combination, was fully human.
Kingray on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Excellent story line and great ending
blockbuster1994 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was disappointed that this did not turn out to be a thriller set in Egypt, with sandstorms, mummy attackes and spitting camels. Rather tame, more of an intellectual mystery, this novel offered up a fresh angle, but delivered the same old psychos.
she_climber on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great fast-paced thriller/mystery with lots of twists and turns. I loved the Egyptian tie-in. Another amazing Gerritsen novel leaving me excted for the next one and hoping the wait's not too long.
Bumpersmom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Modern day mummies?? That's what this murder mystery is about. Bodies that have been preserved in the ancient Egyptian's process before being placed in their tombs are discovered, but the victims are from modern time. Once again Tess Gerritsen has homicide detective Jane Rizzuto investigating a bizarre series of murders. Medical Examiner Maura Isles, Jane's cohort in crime solution, is also puzzled by the events unfolding before her. This is a well written mystery-suspense-thriller covering crimes that began over 20 years earlier thru present day. The twists are there, I came away satisfied that this book was well worth the time.
busyreadin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A very good mystery involving a serial killer who turns his victims into mummies.
BookishRuth on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When the ancient Egyptians mummified their dead, they often layered amulets and jewels within the linen wrappings. Finding such treasures in a 2000-year-old mummy is not unusual, but ¿Madam X¿ is full of surprises.After a CT scan reveals a bullet in the mummy¿s leg and modern dental work in the jaw, medical examiner Maura Isles and Boston PD Detective Jane Rizzoli have a murder investigation on their hands. The mummy was recently discovered in an unlabeled crate in the basement of the Crispin Museum, a small family-run museum in the Boston area. When Jane and her partner Barry Frost uncover more preserved human remains in the museum¿s storage area, they realize they have a very intelligent and unorthodox serial killer on the loose.The discovery leaves them with more questions than answers. What is driving the Archaeology Killer (as the murderer is dubbed by the press)? Why does he go to such lengths to preserve his victims? What is his connection to Egyptologist Josephine Pulcillo -- a woman who, like Madam X, is harboring many secrets of her own? Most importantly, how do they stop him before he claims another victim?As someone who has had a lifelong love of archaeology (in particular, Egyptology), I greatly enjoyed the archaeological elements in The Keepsake. The book was so vividly atmospheric and creepy that I found myself looking over my shoulder more than once during my reading ¿ just in case.Tess Gerritsen has created another chilling, fast-paced thriller that is sure to delight fans of the Rizzoli/Isles mystery series. Readers new to Gerritsen¿s writing will also find The Keepsake very accessible and enjoyable.
pstotts on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In her latest novel ¿The Keepsake¿, Tess Gerritsen shows off her masterful mystery writing chops by crafting a riveting tale of unparalleled suspense. Enthralling and smartly written, the novel is a pulse-pounding rollercoaster ride that will have you reading deep into the night. The twists and turns are non-stop. Just when you think you¿ve figured something out, Gerritsen blindsides you with something unexpected, only deepening the mystery. Immediately within the first few pages of ¿The Keepsake¿, Gerritsen¿s skill is evident, and it makes it easy for the reader to sit back and enjoy the ride. And oh what a ride! Josephine Pulcillo is an anthropologist who has no idea that her past is about to finally catch up with her. And making things even more interesting, it¿s going to catch up with her rather quickly too. With the discovery of what is originally thought to be an ancient mummy, which is dubbed Madam X, Josephine¿s life and the lives of those close to her are about to be changed forever.It seems that Josephine has been running from certain events in her past for years, and the discovery of Madam X apparently starts a bizarre chain of events possibly related to Josephine¿s murky past. It isn¿t long before Madam X is not the only mummified body to be found. Soon other mummified bodies begin turning up, and all of them seem to be connected to Josephine. Eventually the shocking truth about the mummies is uncovered. These bodies aren¿t mummies that are centuries old, but rather are recently murdered victims. With the discovery of Madam X, a serial killer, who is inspired to kill women and mummify their bodies, starts doing just that with a vengeance, seemingly enjoying seeing his gruesome handy work in the spotlight. As each subsequent murder victim is revealed, the killer gets increasingly more brazen. Eventually, he starts toying with the detectives on the case, taunting them mercilessly to find and stop him. It seems that the killer is particularly fixated on a certain woman, and won¿t stop his killing spree until he can make her his ¿keepsake¿. ¿The Keepsake¿ is a winning combination of a spine-tingling suspense thriller, a riveting mystery and a heartstopping action-adventure story that starts at the very first page and continues all the way through to the end. Gerritsen keeps the reader holding their breath in anticipation over the next twist to the story, constantly dangling them along a precipice that keeps the story both harrowing and exciting. Not for a single moment is the reader left bored or uninterested in the narrative. Smooth dialogue and terrific character development left me totally and utterly engaged. The plotting is quick, and not bogged down with unnecessary description or exposition. Gerritsen¿s tight plotting guarantees that everything has a purpose in the story. Clues are sprinkled liberally throughout that get you thinking along one track, before Gerritsen pulls the rug out from under you and reveals an entirely different unexpected direction. There are books that you can¿t put down. And then there is ¿The Keepsake¿, which doesn¿t even give you the option of putting it down. Each page seems to hold some intriguing new clue or some unbelievable action sequence that makes you curse the fates for not letting you sleep. The ending is flat-out spectacular, and leaves you in that strange place where you are totally satisfied, yet still crave more since it was so good.It should be noted that for those who are squeamish, the novel is somewhat graphic (though incredibly effective) in its descriptions of the murders that occur in the story. So be forewarned that to enjoy this ride, you are going to have to get a little bloody. But it¿s so worth it. Last Word:¿The Keepsake¿ immediately found a place near the top of my favorite books of 2008. A masterful and engaging suspense novel, ¿The Keepsake¿ is a stunning success for Tess Gerritsen. Filled with intense non-stop excitement and an incredibly riveting plot,