I was a bit confused at the beginning of ‘Die Again,’ finding myself on safari in Botswana, when I was expecting to be in Boston with a detective & medical examiner. Of course, it was all pulled together in later chapters, and quite well. In Boston, Detective Jane Rizzoli is on the case of a taxidermist found dead in his garage, hung from the ceiling and gutted, along with a the body of a snow leopard. Medical examiner Maura Isles connects the case to a several semmingly unrelated deaths where the victims have all been found hanging upside down. Together, the ladies follow the odd clues back to Botswana, where Jane uncovers the unsolved mystery of a deadly camping safari four years prior. When she realizes the two cases are connected, Rizzoli must track down the single survivor of the trip to uncover who is truly behind these horrible deaths.
If you’ve watched the TNT television show based on this series, you’re familiar with one version of these characters. I’m a big fan of the show, and have watched from the beginning; unlike some readers, I don’t have an issue with the changes made by the show; some people have complained that the characters are too different from they were written by Gerritsen. Well, that is true to some extent. In the books, Jane Rizzoli is described as a small woman, with a mass of dark curly hair, carrying an enormous chip on her shoulder; Maura Isles (who doesn’t even appear until the second book) is described a cool, aloof, and goth-like, with black hair, pale skin and a “slash of red lipstick.” The press and police refer to her as the Queen of the Dead. Jane is a bit unlikable in the novels, I find; her television counterpart is rather loveable. Other than the dark hair, Angie Harmon doesn’t look much like the novel version of her character, but it’s a perfect casting, I think. And although Sasha Alexander isn’t goth in the least, she seems to be the perfect Dr. Isles, at least for me. They are two lovely women, great actors, and the show is awesome; the books are wonderful, as well. I’ll be enjoying both. The new season begins February 18th, and Die Again, the 11th book in the series, is in stores, and online now. Enjoy!