Sunday, 11 December 2016

Girl Missing by Tess Gerritsen - Book Review

4/5 Stars

The first body is a mystery.

The next body is a warning.

The final body...might be hers...

Edition: Paperback
Pages: 310
Chapters: 15
Publisher: Bantam Books

Book Links: Goodreads
                      Author's Website


Girl Missing is a solid thriller/romance novel by a solid author. Described as the 'bridge' between her more lovey-dovey type novels and her well-known medical mysteries by the author herself, Tess tells a warm tale full of horror. It's predictable, yes, but not shabby at all. The story offers a suspenseful journey that does hold a surprise or two, and while I'm usually hesitant about overt romance, it's not unwelcome here.

But there are two aspects that transcend just simple enjoyment: Kat Novak, our protagonist, and the ease with which Girl Missing can be read. Tess's writing in this novel is simple and vivid, cutting to the point with genuine emotion with a hero who is genuinely engrossing.



She's young. She's beautiful. And her corpse, laid out in the office of Boston medical examiner Kat Novak, betrays no secrets - except for a matchbook clutched in one stiff hand, seven numbers scrawled inside.


When a second victim is discovered, Kat begins to fear that a serial killer is stalking the streets. The police are sceptical. The mayor won't listen. And Kat's chief suspect is one of the town's most prominent citizens.


With the death toll rising, Kat races to expose a deadly predator who is closer than she ever dreamt. And every move she makes could be her very last.

Plot - 4/5 Stars

Girl Missing delivers a reliable thriller full of chaos and conspiracies. Generic, maybe, for those who are crime aficionados, but nonetheless well put together and fun to read. We, of course, begin with a murder, which then leads to mystery. The story develops quickly, with a balanced structure that provides gruesome discoveries and tense action.

But the dank and dark investigation collides with red-hot romance. The warmth of that romance cuts through the morbidity, adding tenuous personal situations to the deadly professional ones. That said, don't get too comfortable, because Tess blasts forward with a tremendous, and literally explosive, push.

Things end on a satisfying note; loose ends are tied and the mystery is solved, leaving the reader with a pleasant aftertaste.

Pace - 4.5/5 Stars

Girl Missing is driven with a brutal grip. The author doesn't waste time with fluff or formalities, instead preferring to get to the nitty-gritty with superb suspense. 

There's also not a lot of medical jargon, something I'm used to in Gerritsen's other novels. While the protagonist is in the dead-body business, we spend more time on secrets and chemistry rather than the medical magic behind both. (To elaborate a little, I love Gerritsen's experience and knowledge in her books. It adds authenticity to the horror she can create and the good she can dispense, but it also adds a weighty feel that isn't present in Girl Missing.)

Characters - 4/5 Stars

And now we reach Kat Novak - protagonist, hero, full-time main character. An assistant medical examiner, Kat initially embodies your typical viewpoint. She stumbles upon a mystery that sucks her well-meaning butt into its tangled web. But Kat is so much more. She has brilliant bite to her. A feisty nature that's tempered with a harsh childhood and intrinsic compassion. She doesn't get a whole lot of medical examining done (how she keeps her job I have no idea), but her mission to avenge the dead isn't hard to imagine.

Plus she has the wit to end all wit; her sarcastic nature shines like a star.

Next up is Adam, the love interest and overall swoon-worthy male costar. Yes, I said swoon-worthy without any shame. Adam's really only there to fulfil the novel's romantic inclinations, but Tess does give him a palpable personality and fractured family dynamics. He bounces well off of Kat, and their chemistry is undeniable.

Writing - 4/5 Stars

Tess pulls all the above aspects together tight, but not so tight that they could easily snap. Girl Missing revels in paranoia and love that are justified. Scenes are clear and full of excitement, whether they're showing action, mystery, or romance.

Tess Gerritsen has a way with words.

Overall - 4/5 Stars

If you're looking for a quick thriller that gets you a little hot under the collar, you could do a lot worse than Girl Missing. It might be a little predictable, but its enjoyability is never affected. Sharp writing and a fast pace round off a great story with two smoky leads at the helm.

For more Tess Gerritsen reviews: Index

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