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The Mephisto Club

Tess Gerritsen

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (2 Reviews)
Book Details

Publisher : Bantam Press

Published : 2007

Copyright : Tess Gerritsen 2007

ISBN-10 : HB 0-59305-592-6
ISBN-13 : HB 978-0-59305-592-2

Publisher's Write-Up

Christmas Eve in Boston is no holy night for medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles.

In a rundown house a woman has been dismembered in an act of carnage that leaves veteran cops in shock. The last person called from the dead girl's phone is Dr. Joyce O'Donnell, a celebrity psychiatrist who's made her name defending serial murderers.

But there are other clues that make the police wonder if this slaying was part of a Satanic ritual. Drawn on the wall, in blood, are ancient symbols, and a mirror-image word in Latin that, translated, says: "I have sinned."

Then a second woman is found butchered on Beacon Hill, just outside the grand residence of Anthony Sansone, a reclusive historian. He is the leader of the Mephisto Club, an old and secret society dedicated to the study of evil, and to confronting it in its purest form. On the door to Sansone's house have been scrawled yet more ancient symbols. Are they clues? Or threats?

When the same symbols appear on Maura Isles' door, Maura and Jane must call on the Mephisto Club for assistance. Because this is a form of evil Boston PD has never encountered before. And the only way they can defeat it is by turning to the people who understand the devil himself.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Jessica (010607) Rating (9/10)
Review by Chrissi (190407) Rating (8/10)

Review by Jessica
Rating 9/10
Christmas should be holy, happy and peaceful but not for medical examiner Dr Maura Isles. She is called to a crime scene in East Boston to find a woman has been massacred and her remains are strewn around the house. The young woman’s severed head is in a circle of burnt out candles and her left hand served up on a plate. Then, just when things can’t get any worse, Dr Maura and her colleagues are called to yet another crime scene where a woman has fallen victim to the ritual act of this killer. There are also some puzzling ancient symbols at both of the scenes but what do these mean? Surely they have some bearing on the killer’s motives.

Anthony Sansone is a historian, he also happens to be the leader of the Mephisto Club, where members gather to learn more about Satan and historical symbols from the years before the Old Testament. They are skilled in their line of work, conjuring up proof that sprits such as the devil and Satan may exist.

One day Sansone’s work comes a little too close for comfort, when these strange symbols appear on his door. Also Dr Maura gets the fright of her life when they also mark the entrance to her house.

Co-working with Dr Maura is detective Jane Rizzoli, who is intent on finding out who this murderer is especially when some of the symbols are read and translated into ‘I have sinned’.

Woven into the main storyline, is Lily Saul, who has retreated for sunny Italy to escape a ghost that haunts her every waking moment. She’s convinced it’s hell-bent on killing her but this ghost is more personal and very alive.

Will Dr Maura and her followers be able to decode all these symbols and what’s with the ever-watching eye of Horus that seems to appear close to the latest murder victims?

Gerritsen won’t fail to disappoint her readers with this chilling and goose-bumping creepy tale. This novel is similar to The Da Vinci Code but far more gruesome, making this book a must-have. It is fair to say this is Tess Gerritsen on top form!

In my opinion Tess has made this book one of her very best. She’s such a skilled writer and I think her talent shines throughout the whole book.
Jessica (1st June 2007)

Review by Chrissi
Rating 8/10
How fine is the line between human and inhuman, or between myth and reality? If you believe, then that line can be very fine indeed. In this novel, Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles investigate the death of a young woman whose body and home have been defiled. There are symbols at the crime scene which may or may not indicate that they are hunting a devil worshipper.

Their investigation attracts the attention of Anthony Sansone, a mysterious man who is a member of a group of individuals tasked with identifying evil. It appears at first that Sansone’s group are on the sidelines of the case, but as events become more tangled, links between the dead and the living become more complicated.

I enjoyed this book, it is an interesting development of the relationships between Maura and Jane, and I have to say that Sansone is a character who just has to appear again. An enigmatic expert on stuff, listened to by the powers that be? He would be a main character in a book by another author, and it speaks volumes that Tess Gerritsen did not allow him to take over this novel.

It would be easy, as a thriller reader to dismiss a book with possible supernatural themes as being a departure for the writer, dipping a toe into a new genre, but I think that would be unfair in this case, as Tess Gerritsen is only exploring the line between mad and bad in people. The existence of evil is something which each person has an opinion upon, whether you believe that it exists alone or as a part of some or all people, it makes The Mephisto Club an interesting read, because she explores all options with her characters, and long may she do so.
Chrissi (19th April 2007)

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