21489683Everyone is related to Africa; everyone comes from Africa. We are all distant relatives. – Damian Marley

Let’s face it – think of Africa, and the first images that come to mind are of war, poverty, famine and flies. How many of us really know anything at all about the truly great ancient African civilizations, which in their day, were just as splendid and glorious as any on the face of the earth? – Henry Louis Gates

No matter what we call it, poison is still poison, death is still death, and industrial civilization is still causing the greatest mass extinction in the history of the planet. – Derrick Jensen

 

I felt like a kid at Christmas when I received the request from Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine to read and review Die Again: A Rizzoli and Isles Novel. I have always been a huge fan of Tess Gerritsen and the series, and to be trusted with this eleventh addition to the series was a mind blowing experience! Woo hoo!

If you are one of those who have only watched the television series (and why would that be? You don’t know what you are missing!) the series is indeed good, but it can’t reach the depth and brilliance of the books. There simply isn’t the time or capability for a television series to meet the standards of exceptional writing Ms. Gerritsen is known for. I highly encourage you to read all of them, starting with The Surgeon and working your way through. If you love a police procedural with strong suspense, mystery and thrills, and a pair of the most exceptional women characters in literature, you can’t go wrong.

 Okavango Delta, Botswana

In the slanting light of dawn I spot it, subtle as a watermark, pressed into the bare patch of dirt. . . . I crouch down beside it and feel a sudden chill when I realize that only a thin layer of canvas shielded us while we slept.

On a photography safari in Botswana with a diverse group of seven tourists from four continents, a guide and a tracker, Millie Jacobson wakes this morning to the prints of a leopard inside the perimeter of the camp. But that is only the beginning – a whisper, a bare scent on the wind, to what is to occur next. For evil stalks. And not on four legs.

Boston

The call comes at eleven fifteen A.M.

I’m on Sanborn Avenue, West Roxbury, oh-two-one-three-two. The dog-I saw the dog in the window …”

 Detective Jane Rizzoli takes the call, expecting just another murder. What she gets is something unexpected. And unexpectedly gruesome, even for a long-time Boston Homicide Detective. The victim, a big game hunter and taxidermist, is hung in his own garage, gutted like one of the animals whose lives he has taken for the sheer joy of murdering them.

What happens next spans not only continents but also many years as the incidents incidents come closer and closer together, threads drawing together like a fine tapestry woven of blood and pain. But could these instances be even older, more frightening and more deadly, than Jane and Maura could have ever expected?

This is, to my mind, one of the best, and most wide ranging of Ms. Gerritsens works. The mysteries are, of course, brilliant. But the interpersonal relationships between the characters, especially Jane’s family and Maura’s life, have grown and developed over time. The interpersonal relationships between the police officers, the FBI, and the various groups who are part of the case are just as one would expect, well rounded and often aggravating.

Honestly? I was thrilled that the first Boston victim found his end the way he did. With no compassion, no love, no feelings of regret for the loss of the often endangered species he slaughters with no compunction, I cheered his passing. The book is filled with evil people who consider it their right to slaughter entire species simply so they can have a trophy head hanging on their wall. Take that evil species destroyer! But over and beyond the ideals of ecological saviours vs. ecological destroyers, this is an amazing story of an incredible country, filled with life and death, where taking your next breath can often mean an intense struggle for survival. A world where joy comes in the rise of the sun over the horizon, in sight of amazing wildlife, and the often harsh lifestyle that draws its visitors into its soul.

“But that’s what our ancestors did, Millie. This is where we all come from. Some part of you, some ancient memory deep in your brain, recognizes this continent as home. Most people have lost touch with it, but the instincts are still there.”

If you are up for an amazing novel that will draw you in and leave you breathless, you must read Die Again. It shouldn’t be missed.

Publication Date:  December 30, 2014

I received this book from Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own. Highly recommended!

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