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The Keepsake    by Tess Gerritsen order for
by Tess Gerritsen
Order:  USA  Can
Ballantine, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

The Crispin Museum scores a major coup when it announces the re-discovery of a perfectly preserved Egyptian mummy. Who exactly had tucked Madam X away in the bowels of the dusty and nearly bankrupt museum is a mystery. What the current curator is certain of, however, is that their grisly find will bring the failing museum a fresh wave of public interest as well as a much-needed financial shot in the arm. Specialized tests are performed to pinpoint Madam X's age and perhaps even her lineage. But when medical examiner Maura Isles discovers irrefutable proof that the mummy is really a 20th century murder victim, the case is handed over to Boston homicide detective, Jane Rizzoli.

A search of the museum soon uncovers more grisly remains of young women, painstakingly preserved in arcane ways. That the last victim had been placed in the trunk of archaeologist Josephine Pulcillo's car throws another twist into an already puzzling case. Jane is certain that the young woman is hiding something and begins a quiet investigation into Josephine's background that raises even more questions. But before Jane has a chance to confront Josephine with these inconsistencies, the young woman disappears and then barely survives a killer's late night rampage. Now Jane and her team must race against the clock to stop the Archaeology killer before he claims yet another victim.

Gerritsen's latest thriller is another nicely paced police procedural that's also very high on the creep factor, as Jane Rizzoli and her partner Barry Frost hunt down a killer who uses ancient preservation rituals to create human keepsakes. There are twists, turns and surprises aplenty as the author expertly reveals clues about Josephine's shadowy past and her link to a relentless serial killer. In a secondary thread, Rizzoli must deal with her partner's unravelling marriage. Maura Isles' role is more downplayed than usual and when she is onstage, she's pining for a man she's beginning to realize she can never have. In the meantime, Anthony Francone (first introduced in The Mephisto Club) renews his attentions in another attempt to persuade her to join his exclusive club.

Fans of Gerritsen's work won't be disappointed - The Keepsake is another riveting thriller that's guaranteed to create a spine tingle or two.

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