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Last to Die by Tess Gerritsen

Last to Die is the latest in Tess Gerritsen's Rizzoli & Isles series.  My initial reaction to the murders in this latest outing is that "it's a trap!"  And now that I think about it, that first reaction turned out to be correct in the end.

Three young kids, Will, Claire, and Teddy, have each survived the respective massacres of their families; the massacres occurring within the same week.  Two years later each survives the massacre of their respective foster families.  Will and Claire have come to Evensong Academy where child survivors of violence find safety, kindred spirits and an education that teaches them how to deal with a dangerous world and helps them to heal from their traumas.

In Boston Teddy survives the massacre of his foster family, and Det. Jane Rizzoli, with Dr. Isles' help, puts the pieces together and realizes that Teddy may still be in danger.  Jane races to Teddy's emergency foster family placement just in time to prevent the massacre of his third family.  Unsure how the killer tracked Teddy to his current location, Jane takes Teddy to the only place where she thinks he'll be safe: Evensong.  The academy is isolated with security measures in place and a staff and faculty who also happen to be members of the highly secretive Mephisto Society which tracks violent crimes looking for patterns that point toward evil; they are determined to defend humanity from what they perceive to be deliberate attacks.  Awaiting Jane and Teddy are Anthony Sansone, director of the academy, and Dr. Isles, who's there visiting her foster son, Julian "Rat" Perkins.

Shortly after Jane and Teddy's arrival, three child effigies dripping in blood are discovered hanging in the forest that surrounds the school.  Clearly the violence that stalked Teddy, Claire, and Will in the outside world has followed them to Evensong.  But the three children didn't know each other prior to Evensong and their families have no obvious connects.  So why have they been targeted and for what purpose and how does it connect to a mysterious mission gone awry in an Italian city?

The story runs head long into a terrifying confrontation on the grounds of Evensong where one last twist turns everything on its head.  In the aftermath of this case, when the casualties have been counted, and the dust settles, Dr. Isles is left considering a career change that would alter her life and her friendship with Jane.

This is a pulse pounding, terrifying thriller that will keep you turning the pages until the very end.

This is a must read for fans of the Rizzoli and Isles series.

--Reviewed by Miss Angie


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