Skip to main content

Body Double


Body Double

BODY DOUBLE scared the heck out of me. Do you really need to know
anything else? It might well be the most frightening novel I have
read thus far. If THE COLOR PURPLE can demonstrate the triumphs
that the human spirit can attain, then BODY DOUBLE illustrates the
depths that can be plumbed by the quiet demon within.

Before I go any further, let me assure you that Tess Gerritsen is
not treading into Stephen King territory here. It begins with an
interesting, tantalizing mystery. Dr. Maura Isles returns from a
Forensic Pathology conference in Paris to discover that her front
yard is a crime scene. The murder victim is a woman who is the
mirror image of Isles. It turns out that the women share not only
the same features, but also the same birthrates and blood types ---
and, as is later determined by DNA, the same parentage. The murder
victim is Isles's twin sister, the sibling she never knew she had.
Isles begins to retrace her sister's path, attempting to discover
what brought her to such an untimely end and to resolve the
question of their unknown heritage.

Meanwhile, Boston Police Detective Jane Rizzoli, dealing with the
late stages of her pregnancy, attempts to determine who murdered
Isles's sister, and why. Rizzoli's and Isles's respective
investigations slowly converge and reveal a heretofore unknown
cross-country killing spree that has lasted for decades and that is
irrevocably linked to Isles's past and present. As Isles gets
closer to establishing her own identity, it appears that the
unknown killer is reaching out yet again --- and targeting

Gerritsen's craftsmanship in BODY DOUBLE is outstanding in every
way. The plotting is first rate --- I thought I had cleverly
figured everything out, and am proud to say that I was completely
wrong. Gerritsen's descriptive powers have never been stronger.
There is one passage that describes the use of Luminol on a
suspected crime scene. It is so quietly and subtlety effective that
you will want to stop your forward movement through the book just
to read it three or four times. Then there are the villains of the
piece, as cold-bloodedly calculating as any you will find. They
wouldn't be so bad if they were insane. They're not. Gerritsen
quietly and effectively demonstrates that they are much, much

Gerritsen's many long-time fans will be recommending BODY DOUBLE to
their literary-minded friends who, for whatever reason, don't read
Gerritsen regularly. They won't be sorry, but they will keep the
lights on long after they've finished reading. Very highly

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on January 7, 2011

Body Double
by Tess Gerritsen

  • Publication Date: July 26, 2005
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books
  • ISBN-10: 034545894X
  • ISBN-13: 9780345458940