Die Again (Rizzoli and Isles #11), by Tess Gerritsen

Three stars (of five)

Gerritsen returns with the newest instalment of her popular Rizzoli and Isles series, already a sensation on television. Detective Rizzoli is called to the home of a popular taxidermist who’s found dead alongside the body of snow leopard on which he has been working. When Medical Examiner Maura Isles examines the body, she is able to draw parallels with a number of other deaths where the victims have been strung up like hunting spoils. Using their deductive reasoning, Rizzoli and Isles are able to tie the clues to a safari in Botswana that went horribly wrong. Tracking down the sole survivor from the safari might be the only way to stop a killer who stalks their prey like a jungle cat, with no regard for how much blood they spill. An interesting story that bring the crime fighting duo together for the eleventh time, sure to entertain the series regular.

Gerritsen is back and has brought a new take on her crimes for the latest novel. Series readers have been waiting a while, so the novel’s arrival is sure to bring about mixed reviews. Having become a great fan of the television series, it is hard not to draw comparative lines between the two, with the television actors burning their image and persona into the likes of Rizzoli, Isles, and Frost. For me, the novel and its ideas are sound, though there is a lack of excitement and real action. Surely, a murder and safari will have inherent excitement, but Gerritsen does not live up to the expectation I have for R&I stories, whether in book or television format. I found the safari narration to lack intrigue and interest, with a flimsy character taking the reins in those portions. Perhaps a trial effort by Gerritsen she’ll shelf in future tales.

Kudos, Madam Gerritsen for your return to the scene of the crime. Not my favourite of your novels, but you cannot win everyone over at each turn.