A dark side of Boston

With many thanks to J. Sydney Jones, author of the Viennese mystery series, set in Vienna 1900!

A Dark Side of Boston: Tess Gerritsen’s Rizzoli & Isles Series
April 17, 2011 by Scene of the Crime
This week’s guest at Scene of the Crime needs little introduction to crime and mystery fans. Tess Gerritsen, former physician, is the author of eight books in the popular Rizzoli & Isles series featuring homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles, books that inspired the TNT television series. She has also written bestselling stand-alone medical thrillers such as The Bone Garden and Harvest, as well as a number of romantic suspense novels that she began her writing career with.

Of her most recent Rizzoli & Isles series installment, Ice Cold, the Chicago Tribune noted that Gerritsen “has an imagination that allows her to conjure up depths of human behavior do dark and frightening that she makes Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft seem like goody-two-shoes.” Salon.com noted that the pacing of that novel was done with “surgical precision,” while the Cleveland Plain-Dealer declared it “Amazing . . . another winner.”

Tess, thanks much for stopping by Scene of the Crime. It’s an honor to have you with us. How about we cut to the chase and talk about the setting for your Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles books?

My Rizzoli & Isles series is set primarily in Boston, which is a four-hour drive from where I actually live in Maine. Here in Maine, we have one of the lowest murder rates in the nation, so it’s not a very believable place for multiple murder plots. If I were to place a thriller series here, it would start to feel about as realistic as “Murder, She Wrote,” where eventually you’d have to kill off the entire population. When I wrote the first book in the series, The Surgeon (about a serial killer), I decided to set it in the closest metropolitan area where you might actually find multiple murders. I drive down to Boston quite often, and have developed a few contacts there within Boston PD.

What things about Boston make it unique and a good physical setting in your books?

Not only does Boston have fascinating history and landmarks, it also has a great mix of wealthy neighborhoods and gritty neighborhoods. Geographically it’s a compact city, yet it has distinct neighborhoods, some of the world’s best hospitals and universities, a harbor, a financial district, and a Chinatown. So there are any number of settings that work for thrillers…

Read the rest of the interview here:

1 reply
  1. DebPiccurelli
    DebPiccurelli says:

    Tess ~ Catching up on reading your blog posts. Went over to read the remainder of the interview and really enjoyed it. As you already know, I enjoy everything you write. Anticipating your next (which sounds exciting and mysterious) book with difficulty containing my joy. And also the same for the upcoming return of the Rizzoli & Isles series on TNT.

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