Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Keepsake

I was very proud of myself for pulling my nose out of my books to spend some good quality time over Thanksgiving with my family! I did end up finishing one book, but only read a night before I went to sleep, so it took a little longer than it normally does. Tess Gerritsen is one of my "go to" authors when I want a good mystery. Her stories are always very captivating and her topic are very attention grabbing.

Here is a clip from the first chapter:

"My daughter, Nefertari, is the one and only treasure that I brought back with me from Egypt. And I am terrified of losing her. Tari is so much like me. It's as if I am watching myself sleeping. When she was ten years old, she could already read hieroglyphs. At twelve, she could recite all the dynasties down to the Ptolemys. She spends her weekend haunting the Museum of Man. She is a clone of me in every way, and as the years pass there is no obvious trace of her father in her face or her voice or, most important of all, her soul. She is my daughter, mine alone, untainted by the evil that fathered her" (p.7)

This book has all the great characters that I have come to love from Tess Gerritsen, Maura Isles the Medical Examiner, Detective Jane Rizzoli and her partner Detective Barry Frost. Jane, just back from having a little baby girl is quick to jump in and trust her instincts. I really like the way that Gerritsen has developed her character and allowed her to not only be a kick butt detective, but also a loving mom and friend as well.

An Egyptian mummified body is found in the basement of Boston's Crispin Museum during an inventory project. Dr. Isles is called in to observe the CT scan to determine how old the mummy, named Madam X by those in the museum, actually is. While the cloth used to preserve the mummy is authentic and very old, the body preserved inside is not. The cloth tells a story of it's own and has the word "Medea" connected with it. This causes one of the characters in the book, Josephine, some obvious discomfort and obviously has some significance to her. As the story unfolds, two other bodies are found and although they are not mummified like Madam X, their bodies have also been preserved in various ways.

As leads are tracked down and connections made, it becomes apparent that one of the museum's own is very deeply intertwined with this investigation. Dr. Josephine Pulcillo, who has not been with the museum for very long, is closely watched by Jane as she discovers that pieces of her past do not seem to fit together as perfectly as they appear. When she receives a cryptic message with geographical coordinates, she takes off on her own and discovers her missing keys hanging on a tree limb. Using her keys, she opens the trunk to her car and finds the second body has been stored there.

Another lead takes the detectives to Texas to speak with a very wealthy man whose son is considered a prime suspect, but no one seems to know where he is. His mother is deathy ill, and as more evidence comes to light, the family is quick to surround themselves with a team of lawyers.

Archeology has always been something I find interesting. It is amazing to me what is buried underneath us. How societies have been preserved and are there to tell us their story. The descriptions of the excavation sites in Egypt are great and really make me want to hope a plane to Egypt.

The plot thickens when Josephine herself disappears at the hands of the killer, and it is up to Jane and Dr. Isles to find her before it is too late. Will she be the next victim to be preserved??

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who loves a good mystery. It is not easily figured out and Tess Gerritsen provides twists and turns up until the very end, keeping you on your toes!!

Title: The Keepsake
Author: Tess Gerritsen
Date Finished: November 28, 2008
Pages: 368

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