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Gerritsen’s ‘Silent Girl’ chilling, thrilling

How can a cold murder case out of Boston’s Chinatown be connected to a puzzling homicide in the same area 19 years later?

That’s what Detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles must figure out after a young woman is found dead in Tess Gerritsen’s "The Silent Girl."

Rizzoli follows the killer’s trail and soon learns about the mysterious disappearances of several teenage girls who are connected to a massacre 19 years earlier.

Adding to the mystery, medical examiner Maura Isles finds inexplicable monkey hairs clinging to the clothing of the corpse. Rizzoli turns to rookie Detective Johnnie Tam for help understanding the culture, language and legend behind the murders at the Red Phoenix restaurant.

Relatives of the massacre victims receive an unsigned letter on the anniversary of the slayings. Most of the family members believe the letter was sent by Iris Fang, who has never been satisfied with the outcome of the original investigation into the murder of her husband, a restaurant waiter.

New clues surface when the forensic lab gets involved, and hidden footprints show that there was a witness to the crime. The hunt takes a deadly turn though when the detective who led the original investigation turns up dead after passing on information that there were perhaps more missing girls.

Rizzoli, Tam and Isles find themselves chasing an elusive prey that swings through the night.

With “The Silent Girl,” the ninth novel featuring the intriguing team of Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles, Gerritsen once again creates an exciting and suspense-filled adventure. The author incorporates many of the legends her Chinese mother shared with her, making this book especially dear to her heart. She does an incredible job including those fables in this story, bringing a sense of mysticism to the overall tale.

Released to coincide with the second season of “Rizzoli & Isles,” the TNT television series based on Gerritsen’s novels, “The Silent Girl” is a chilling and thrilling way to pass a hot summer day.

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