First Sentence: We called him Icarus.
In Italy, a man is kidnapped and his family accidentally killed in the process. In Ithaca, NY and in New Hampshire, the foster families of two children are murdered, as were there parents previously. Then the same happens in Boston with the family of Teddy Clock. Unaware of the other cases, Detective Jane Rizzoli is the lead with her friend, Dr. Maura Isles the pathologist. To keep Teddy safe, Maura takes him to Evensong, the secure school run by Anthony Sansone and Jane, with her partner Frost, heads down a very twisty, dangerous road to find a killer.
Starting with the first sentence of the prologue, you can put the rest of your life on hold until your reach the very last word; Ms. Gerritsen has taken hold.
Addressing the details, the dialogue is excellent; natural and sharp. The descriptions create a very strong sense of place; particularly important and the characters move from locale to locale. The characters are very well drawn and fully developed. This is the only place where Ms. Gerritsen does lose minor points as someone new to the series might feel a bit lost, particularly when incidents are referred to from the previous two books.
The great strength of this book is the plot. There are three, possibly four, story lines. This only adds veracity to the book as no live runs single path. What is wonderful is that each is as compelling, and often suspenseful, as the other. With every page the plot becomes more layered, more engrossing and takes you somewhere you never expected it to go. There are amazing twists and turns. Even at the very end, we’re left uncertain as to where the series may go next.
On the slightly negative side, I can't say I'm thrilled with the Mephisto Club thread. Although it's interesting, it seems to be taking the series a bit into the conspiracy theory realm for me.
“Last to Die” is a gripping, compelling, non-stop, go-away-I’m-reading book. It may not be great literature--in fact, I'd forgotten the plot a month later--but it is one really great airplane read.
LAST TO DIE (Susp-Rizzol & Isles-Massachusetts/Maine-Contemp) – Good+
Ballantine Books, 2012