boys and girls are different

I know you’re all thinking: “Well, duh.”  But I’m not talking about anatomy; I’m talking about our taste in entertainment.  This profound difference poses a challenge to writers.

I was reminded about the differences between men’s and women’s entertainment choices last night, when my extended family got together on New Year’s Eve to watch the DVD of the latest version of “Pride and Prejudice”, starring Keira Knightly.  We women hung on every meaningful glance between Lizzie and Mr. Darcy, delighted in every tart exchange, every romantic revelation.  When the movie ended, the women sighed, “wasn’t that wonderful?”

My husband shrugged and said, “Not my kind of movie.” 

“Pride and Prejudice” seems to be the defining line in what separates men and women.  (By this I mean heterosexual men; I know a number of gay men who love Jane Austen.)  All my women friends have seen this movie several times, but they can only go with their girlfriends. 

Their husbands refuse to go.  I mean absolutely, positively, refuse to go.

Just as they absolutely, positively refuse to read a romance novel.

As a thriller writer, I want my books to appeal to both sexes, but I find that sometimes it’s impossible.  Men will hate a book that women love, and vice versa.  And they’ll let me know it.

When I wrote VANISH, I wanted to show how motherhood changes Jane.  She’s more than just a stereotypical tough woman cop; she’s a human being who’s spent the past two books in a state of pregnancy, and now something’s about to happen that will change her life.  That’s how it was for me, when I had my first son.  It was the most momentous thing to happen to me — to ever happen to me.  It wasn’t a piece of cake, that motherhood bit.  I was a doctor.  Damn it, I knew how to save lives.  Yet when they handed me my baby, I felt like a klutz.  In VANISH, Jane finally gives birth, and of course I knew I had to write about how it affects her.  If it didn’t affect her, if she wasn’t changed by the experience, then she’d be nothing but a piece of heartless cardboard. 

Many of my male readers just didn’t connect with that book.  The most scathing review I got, in the Washington Post, was from a man who hated the “girly stuff.”   Men don’t want to know about newborns; they want to get back to the crimes.  They don’t want boring stuff about Jane’s life.  It’s just not important to them, they tell me.

But the women who write tell me how much they loved reading about Jane’s struggles.  “I identify with her!  I remember my problems as a new mother, and the fact she has no idea how to breast feed makes her so real to me!”

In THE MEPHISTO CLUB, there’s a subplot about Maura’s romantic entanglement with Father Brophy.  Of all the reader mail I received in the past few years, the number one subject from my women readers was about that romance.  They wanted to see the characters fall in love.  Would I please think about letting Maura and Daniel get together? they begged me.

No man asked me for that.

Then there was GRAVITY.  Almost all my fan mail about that book was from men, because they loved the technical details about spaceflight.  Most women didn’t pick up the book. 

I have to plead guilty myself, to being something of a girly reader.  For the longest time I didn’t pick up Harlan Coben’s early books because they were about a sports agent, and I don’t give a hoot about sports.  The first thing I do when I buy a newspaper is throw out the sports section.  Only after I met Harlan did I finally read a Myron Bolitar book and discovered it wasn’t really about sports at all, and I loved it.  I suspect this is why Harlan didn’t really break out as a bestselling writer until he left the sports agent character behind.  Most women, like me, just aren’t big sports fans.

So what’s a writer to do?  How do we make both sexes happy?

Sometimes we just can’t.  Every book will get criticized for one thing or another.  I know I’ll continue to get letters from men who don’t care about romance elements.  And I’ll get letters from women who complain about the gore. 

My experience with GRAVITY taught me an important lesson about sales, though.  Men loved that book, women didn’t.  Of all my thrillers, GRAVITY sold the fewest copies.  That book, as much as I loved it, was a career set-back for me.  I discovered that when you lose your women readers, you’re in big, big trouble.  When it comes to overall book sales, it’s women readers who buy most of the novels. 

You can’t afford to lose the ladies. 

 

41 replies
  1. Patricia Wood
    Patricia Wood says:

    Thank you Tess.
    I write for readers like myself. 50+ women who want to read a great story.
    (BTW I met you a couple years ago at Maui and was disappointed to hear you would not be back this coming year!)
    Your blog has been really useful to me.
    My agent just sold my first book and it will be out in Aug of 07!
    The blog you wrote before on “one book wonders” was another good one.
    Mahalo!
    Pat
    http://pkwood.blogspot.com

  2. Robert
    Robert says:

    I think “The Surgeon” is a book for both women and men. My wife had read “The Surgeon” before I read it. She told me about it, and I was so fascinated that I had to read it for myself. I don’t yet have the right words, however, there’s something in the story that fits both genders.

    Thanks for the tip with GRAVITY. Have not read it so far, but will do it.

    Robert

  3. MattScudder
    MattScudder says:

    Well, I am a married heterosexual male who happens to love Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.” I also enjoyed reading VANISH very much. I also loved GRAVITY. I’m not sure what this says about me. I’m easy to please? In touch with my feminine side? An alien?

    I should add that my wife also enjoyed GRAVITY a great deal. Maybe SHE is the alien?

    In any case, I look for a good story, period. Sometimes that demands “girly stuff” to make the story work. VANISH wouldn’t be the great story it is if not for the real emotion behind Jane’s introduction to motherhood. Those kinds of emotional wrinkles draw me to a story because they raise the stakes.

  4. struggler
    struggler says:

    Personally I think the Rizzoli series is very well balanced in what I call a ‘gender neutral’ style, in that the gender of the author is rarely apparent. I have to admit (sorry) that it tipped towards the better sex in The Sinner, which lacked a strong male leading character (where was Dean??) but before and since then I think you’ve done a great job of trying to please all of the people all of the time!

    There’s no doubt about it, IMHO, female writers are leagues ahead of their inferior counterparts when it comes to talking about love, relationships and heartbreak. I’ve got all the Harlan Coben novels but I like his style despite his relative weakness in that area – although his latest, PROMISE ME, was his best effort yet. Having said that, most of the mega-writers seems to be male (e.g. Grisham, Crichton, King, Patterson, Deaver etc) yet when I think of the books I have read of theirs, I can’t remember a romantic strand of any significance, probably because there weren’t any. OK there’s Lincoln Rhyme & Amelia Sachs but he can barely wiggle a finger…..

    I assume the biggest selling writer of the past couple of years has been Dan Brown, and his attempts at romance were, ahem, less than convincing. But when I think of the most memorable fictional male/female relationships in crime thrillers of recent years, apart from your own creations I think of those provided by Val McDermid, Mo Hayder, Karin Slaughter, Jilliane Hoffman, PJ Tracy and I suppose Martina Cole, the latter being very much aimed at a female audience. One of the better male writers of romance (albeit in a different genre) is Paulo Coelho, and in a way I guess I should include Thomas Harris, whose creation of the ‘relationship’ between Hannibal Lecter and Clarice Starling has to be one of the most successful of the past 20 years, twisted though it is. But I am very aware of the importance of catering to a female market, which might represent more than 75% of potential sales, so this is already at the front of my mind in character and story development. Fortunately the central character of my novel-to-be is a woman, and it is based on the extraordinary life of a woman I met who inspired the story in the first place, so I’m not short of romantic fodder!

  5. Mikal
    Mikal says:

    I am very surprised to hear that GRAVITY was a career set-back for you.. I loved all of the spaceflight technicalities and I especially loved the love story between Emma and Jack.

    Regardless, I feel that any story needs to have a love something in it for me to be interested. (I guess this just reinforces the fact that I’m a girl, lol).

    And I think that the majority of the book buyers ARE the females (hence the popularity of the romance genre..?), so catering to the ladies wouldn’t be a bad idea. =]]

  6. l.c.mccabe
    l.c.mccabe says:

    Tess,

    I think it also has to do with men not being able to truly identify with what women go through. There is no way that a man will truly understand how hormonal changes in a woman’s body have an impact on them. And so the rush of hormones that happens before, during and after childbirth is something inherently alien to them. Some will feel uncomfortable reading about it in a novel because the topic is something they simply cannot relate. Even men who undergo sexual reassignment surgery will never truly understand what it is to be a woman because they will never experience menstrual cramps. It just is different. Similarly, I’ll never know what it is like to be flaccid.

    Then there is the idea that men and women are wired differently as to how they respond to sexual stimuli. Men are much more attuned to visual medium such as “Girls Gone Wild” videos and Playboy mags, while women would rather read a novel and dream of a romance with someone who cares for her mind and body.

    On a somewhat related tangent, there are a lot of women and teenaged girls who enjoy reading and writing slash fiction (slang fandom term for gay relationships), which is something I cannot relate. Being a heterosexual woman, I don’t see where I fit into the equation. Due to some online discussions about this subject, I was challenged to read a fic with the romantic pairing of Sirius Black and Remus Lupin when they were teenagers. The writing of that story was so surreal to me because of the flowery language used by the fanfic author. I simply could not buy the idea of teenaged guys obsessing over another guy’s hazel eyes or eyelashes.

    Instead I think guys are much more gutteral in their thoughts in regards to body parts. And I don’t want to get inside the mind of a hormonally charged teenaged male who wants to rut. Ewww. No.

    It’s funny because that online discussion veered into an area I really didn’t expect. One grown woman proclaimed that she enjoyed those romantic scenes because she had a “phantom penis” and could insert herself into the scene with both romantic partners.

    Being confused by that statement, I consulted my Taber’s Medical Dictionary and found listings for things such as “phantom limbs” and “phantom pain” but no phantom penis….;-)

    To each his or her own I guess. Which means that you should write what you would want to read. Make sure that your muse is being followed, so that she will continue to visit you with glorious, productive creativity.

    May you have a wonderful and prosperous New Year.

    Linda

  7. JMH
    JMH says:

    So far I’ve managed to make my books appeal to both sexes. The pace moves fast, in the reins of Denver homicide detective Bryson Coventry, which appeals to the guys. He also beds a lot of women. But there is also an equally engaging and central female character in each book. She usually has a mysterious past.

    At booksignings, I find that 80-90% of buyers are female, so no author (at least in the thriller genre) can afford to lose that readership.

    In my second book, Shadow Laws, the central female is a solo practitioner attorney who has a definite free spirit (ok, she’s a slut. I knew I was taking a chance when I let her create herself. Sure enough, some female readers swear they won’t read another Laws book if she comes back. Most however, thought she was a hoot. So you never know.

  8. spyscribbler
    spyscribbler says:

    Congratulations, Patricia!

    My man must be different. He definitely prefers ‘guy’ movies, BUT he won’t go see them unless there’s a girl in it. He demands some sort of romance.

    I used to read the Harlequin Intrigues (would still, but … time! I need more!), and he LOVES them. When he first moved in with me, he owned ONE book. I was terrified. Who had I married? Now he reads at least one book a day, and it’s always a romance.

    And he’s a big cowboy/football/Marine-type, too!

  9. Joshua James
    Joshua James says:

    Hmm,

    Interesting post.

    What do you think the appeal of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher is? They’re definitely GUY books, in a sense, and yet are best-sellers.

  10. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Vanish was a wonderful book. Oddly enough, I didn’t see the “girly” stuff as girly stuff. I worked with so many female officers during my days as a cop that Jane’s changes seemed normal to me. I thought the book was very well-written.

    As usual Tess, great job!

  11. WJS
    WJS says:

    Tess,

    A very interesting point you put out that allowed me to brainstorm the gender perspectives. It’s funny that Gravity was my ticket into your world, Tess. From bottom of some bargain book stack, I found Gravity and pick it up, then went home to read it. It had took me less than 16 hours to finish that book, according to my brother who was with me through that time.

    Anyway, back to the topic, yes boys and girls are different, and it is extremely hard to keep the table balanced. What’s need ed to take into consideration is that it all comes down to perspective. Not everything has to be rendered by gender-wise. Since I went on reading more of your books, as a guy, you have provided me some valuable experience of what it is like to be a girl through your female characters and their development like Jane Rizzoli.

    As an author, I can understand you have written the books in the past, flicking its pages for the audience in order to keep them happy or satisfied with the inputs from their background.

    I simply wish people would be more open-minded to more books where they can be inspired and better informed by them through the author’s desire to express his/her message.

    I thank you for providing some encouraging and great concepts to brainstorm about an issue or idea based on your experience or affiliation with your writings and research.

    Thanks for everything, Tess. ^_^

    -William “Josh” Simpson

  12. Rhonda Lane
    Rhonda Lane says:

    I thought the childbirth and post-partum scenes added to VANISH, even though I usually cringe like a guy when my friends launch off into their childbirth “war stories.”

  13. april
    april says:

    I love the grittier scenes in the books. I love a high body count. I’m not sure why. I primarily read romance novels, but I have my own opinions on the parallel between romance and horror/thriller books. I’ve made my husband read a few romance novels over the years because turnabout is fair play. If I have to watch sports, he had to give my hobby a shot.

    He actually liked the lighter books with the alpha male and the feminine heroine. I liked the stronger, sassier heroines. He likes romantic comedy. I liked the complicated or even women’s fiction books.

    He hasn’t seen Pride & Prejudice, but it’s one of the few romantic movies I’ve liked in a long time. I generally get him to see movies like that by appealing to his male side. I tell him he can imagine Keira Knightley nekkid for 2 hours. It usually works. I do think he’d like P&P though if he had a chance to watch. He’s more sentimental than I in general.

  14. Therese Fowler
    Therese Fowler says:

    My husband loves P&P so much he made sure we bought a copy. But then he IS a rare man, in touch with his feminine side and all that. Does the laundry AND the dishes AND loves to cook…

    My B.A. is in Sociology, and one of the eye-opening things I learned while studying was that men are by far more emotional than women in terms of personal relationships–but are highly influenced by their culture. It isn’t considered “manly” to read romantic or relationship-based fiction, so few men will buy such books even if they could admit they’d enjoy the stories.

    I write “women’s fiction,” but am mindful to give potential male readers a satisfying read as well–in case someone wants to do as April did and get their guy involved! Or, *gasp*, a guy bucks convention and buys the novel on his own. (You never know…)

    I agree with Tess, it’s ladies first if you want a real shot at strong sales. My first novel will be out in July in the UK, in early ’08 in the US–so time will tell if I’ve done my job well!

    http://www.theresefowler.com

  15. joules74
    joules74 says:

    I guess I’m a bit different, because I’m a woman that loves all different types of books. Pride and Prejudice and Gravity are both included on my list of my favorite books I hand out to friends who ask for a recommendation. Gravity is more technical, but I greatly enjoyed that aspect. The highlight of my year spent in residency in Iowa was a day off in the park reading Gravity. My friends have enjoyed it as well, maybe because we are women with advanced degrees we enjoy the technical aspects more?

    The thing I like best is a book that will make me think. I’ve enjoyed all of your books, keep up the great work!

  16. SassyDevil
    SassyDevil says:

    I read mostly romance and horror, but I do read thrillers from time to time. I have a huge TBR pile, but you’re in it!

    Lee Goldberg has referred to your blog several times in his MySpace one, so I’m finally checking it out and bookmarked it to check daily. You have a lot of great observations and advice.

    As a female who loves romance, I will agree, I tend to be drawn to more emotional stories than technical ones. I just don’t get into the technical aspects of sci-fi, for instance. However, I do enjoy good medical thrillers, but I tend to prefer ones about obsession-with-youth/beauty-gone-wrong, messing with nature or genetics with horrible consequences, etc. And in thrillers in general, I like stalkers, “sickos,” freaks, and obsession. Then there’s TV tie-ins, like Lee’s Monk series (I love that show!), with humor. I don’t mind gore, but I want gore to be there for a reason. I want to see into the mind of the killer/monster/psycho.

    I should probably try out some of the new thrillers and mysteries (and I don’t even read mysteries) with witches and paranormal elements, often humorous. I love humor. But my TBR pile is already huge! LOL!

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  17. joe bernstein
    joe bernstein says:

    when you get to read good tales like tess writes i think gender specificity goes out the window
    lee-i was on the job over 20 years and i agree 100%

  18. Lorra Laven
    Lorra Laven says:

    Tess, I’ve only had a chance to read two of your books, but I liked Gravity more than Vanish BECAUSE of the technical stuff. (I think it’s because of my background: I majored in chemistry because I really liked the subject. Yes, I know: very odd.)

    And although I’m the mother of three children, they’re all boys, which is a blessing since I didn’t inherit the “shopping gene.” I love wearing pretty clothes, but I hate shopping for them.

    I adore movies like “Shakespear in Love,” but I’ve never read a romance novel and I have no interest in reading one.

    So, as you say, Tess, we are all so varied, there is no way you can please everyone every time.

  19. GerritsenFever10
    GerritsenFever10 says:

    Well, generally I like the more fast-paced novels, but I do enjoy Nicholas Sparks’ novels. I don’t read any more romance than him though, I just can’t get into it, I think it’s trashy and involves little talent to spit out a love tale (don’t shoot me, I’m just voicing MY opinion, not bashing anybody else’s). I enjoy Dr. G’s novels (‘Club’ is FANTASTIC!) and most thriller/murder/mystery/horror/suspense, etc novels. But then again, I’m in that typical male category I guess, one in which I like to see what the killer is going to do next instead of who is gonna have sex with whom in what sleezy hotel room, etc. But that isn’t to say that I wouldn’t pick up a romance novel written by, say Stephen King or Dean Koontz. It would be weird to read a romance novel by those two writers, but I would read it.

  20. wordworker
    wordworker says:

    Tess, don’t forget about people like me. I guess I’m a ‘cross-reader’. I don’t like chic-lit and I find overly mushy movies to be very boring or even putrid, but I don’t like the extreme of war flicks or espionage (unless it’s corporate). I avoid Danielle Steel and Tom Clancy equally. The stuff in the middle, on both sides of the gender gap, is all fair game. I think this is just what tomboy-girls become when they grow up.

  21. Jude Hardin
    Jude Hardin says:

    When I open a book, I want to know who the main character is, and I want to know the central problem s/he is facing. If both of those elements intrigue me, I’m into it regardless of category.

    At the heart of every good book is a mystery, at its soul a romance. The proper combination of the two, with compelling characters and a strong plot, will evoke that fictional dream readers long for. IMO.

  22. the insect
    the insect says:

    After spending several hours across three days working on my new blog, I’ve realized that I haven’t written a single word of new fiction during that time. And the fiction is what counts.

    I just came here from JA Konrath’s blog, and reading his latest entry and then your entry immediately preceding this one have jazzed me up again about my current novel-in-progress and reminded me that it is what’s important. Thank you.

  23. Daniel Hatadi
    Daniel Hatadi says:

    I must be a woman, because I love Pride & Prejudice (the modern BBC version being the best) and it’s more likely that the women I know wouldn’t be interested in seeing it at the cinema or otherwise.

    I also have the first two Myron Bolitar novels waiting patiently on my bookshelf, gathering dust. That dust is only disturbed by the fingerprints I leave behind when I pick the books up to think about reading them … and put them back down because they’re about sports.

    But you know, it doesn’t matter whether a story is about crime or romance. What draws me to it is how it affects the people in it.

    That should do it for this self-confessional. Time to get back to some manly entertainment. I might watch Lord Of War.

  24. Tess
    Tess says:

    I love hearing the variety of tastes that readers have, and finding out that, yes, there ARE men who enjoyed P&P. (They just don’t happen to be in my own family!)

    G.Fever, about romance: Trust me. A good romance is every bit as hard to write as a good thriller. The same storytelling skills are needed. Having written in both genres, I have the greatest respect for anyone who can write a convincing love story.

  25. NewMexicanAnn
    NewMexicanAnn says:

    I’m laughing here because I got Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley for myself for Christmas (while I was ordering DVDs for my dad and bro) and I ended up watching it alone on New Year’s Day, wishing I had a girlfriend to watch it with!!!!

  26. Alexia Pons
    Alexia Pons says:

    Tess, as much as I enjoy books like Pride and Prejudice and all kind of romantic novels, I much rather prefer your suspenses and thrillers with Rizoli (with new baby and all) and Maura in it, and of course their sexy romances (specially the one with Maura and father Brophy). I love every one of them, and let me tell you, at the end of The Aprentice?, I would have killed the sucker righ there…unless the creeper is going to show up later in another wonderfull book(you made a reference about him in The Mefisto Club), and that “not knowing what or who is coming next”, is what make your books so unique!!!.

  27. DeaconPip
    DeaconPip says:

    I thoroughly enjoy reading your books. I bought The Mephisto Club for my Wife, because she was hooked on on your series. At a whim, I picked The Sinner off of our shelf a couple of weeks ago, and devoured it. You hooked me as a loyal reader. I finished The Sinner in a single day, and then moved on to Body Double, Vanish and The Mephisto Club, reading all within the two weeks. Going back to read The Surgeon and The Apprentice after I finish a couple of other books I got for Christmas. Vanish did take me the longest to make it through, but it was less about the ‘woman-y’ things and more on the disjointed pace, I think. It was still very good, but for some reason, I could walk away from it, where as the others I could not.
    I greatly look forward to the next book!

  28. Allison Brennan
    Allison Brennan says:

    I remember when that POST commentary came out. VANISH is probably my favorite of all your books, and it was not just because of Jane but the parallel stories. Everything worked together so beautifully. The characters, as always, were three dimensional and real to me, and the story itself was truly compelling.

    Women are the backbone of book customers. Appealing to both genders can be hugely difficult. I know men read my books–I get letters and emails from them (and no, there’s not just in prison!)–but my base is the female audience, which I think is the base of even the biggest male crime fiction writers–they just tend to bring in a bigger male audience.

  29. GerritsenFever10
    GerritsenFever10 says:

    Well sure, I mean if you can weave a convincing tale then I’m all for it. But I just don’t like the typical stories like “George falls for Susan, Susan can’t make up her mind, George loses interest/finds Suzanne, Susan is crushed, etc.” Those kinds of stories are kind of old and done with.

    To me a story isn’t different if you just add another character and change the circumstances. But anyway, I’m sure your romance novels are fantastic, they are just difficult to find!

    Oh! Almost forgot, JUST finished reading The Mephisto Club, and that is very interesting about the Nephilim and the like…kind of Da Vinci Code like, but not as controversial. I thought it was a nice edition to the Isles/Rizzoli series and I enjoyed how you didn’t so much make it into a novel about religion, but used just enough religious talk to keep me intrigued as to how it was relevant to the story. Great job, looking forward to more!

  30. laykuan
    laykuan says:

    When I first looked at the title “Gravity”, I was a bit put off as I expected the book to be too technical for my taste. Having finished the book, I thought it was your best book so far.(I’ve only read “Gravity”, “Vanish” and “Body Double”) The book has both technical and emotional sides which are very well blended. I’m a 30+ woman in case you are wondering.

  31. Ekiushi
    Ekiushi says:

    I must be the paradox then. I despised Pride and Prejudice. I got so bored I turned it off, and have been rather annoyed with Keira Knightley ever since. Jane Austen makes me shudder. I love books/movies like Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal etc. I’m a 17 year old female. I receive some strange looks whenever people view my book or DVD collection. Even stranger looks when I ask DVD stores if they have Hannibal. Then, I go and watch Ice Age, Cars and other little kids shows. Oh, and I don’t have a younger brother/sister as an “excuse”.

    My brothers 17 & 18 refuse to watch the movies I pick out. They say they are too “scary” while I wonder what is so scary about Silence of the Lambs. Of course, one of my brothers has refused to watch “Roman movies” from the age of eight. He’s connected Lord of the Rings with Rome. Not entirely sure why. He can class just about anything as Roman.

    I read Retribution, by Jilliane Hoffman and told my Mum & Dad to read it. Mum loved it. Dad said it was good, but he thought the main character went on too much. As I recall, the main character was a female who was raped. He also read a John Grisham he really enjoyed it, yet Mum got really bored with it and didn’t finish it. I think I liked it, well, I must have thought it was okay I read more of his book afterwards.

    I actually picked “Body Double” out at random from a catalogue. It was like $2, so I picked six of them and joined the book club offering the deal. Actually, I found some really good books what way. After reading Body Double I was wandering through a second-hand book store (I love them) and became very excited when I found other books, like the Surgeon. I was a little disappointed though, I ended up reading the books the wrong way around. Somehow I completely missed The Sinner.

  32. DanaKaye
    DanaKaye says:

    Personally, GRAVITY was my favorite out of all your novels (although I have yet to read VANISH) and I can’t stand Jane Austen.

    I think as far as the “girly stuff” goes, I enjoy it when it acts as a complication to the overall plot as opposed to just being fluff. After all, being in love or having a child certainly raises the stakes.

  33. vividexpression
    vividexpression says:

    I know this isn’t related to your post but I wanted to say I finished Mephisto Club and thought it was GREAT. My boyfriend called me when I was reading the last fifty pages or so and I practically hung up on him I was so excited. I’m going to have to read it again to understand all the biblical/historical references. Then make my bf read it. lol Speaking of men vs women, my boyfriend only reads Stephen King and comics. I still haven’t figured him out!

  34. jhbrugger
    jhbrugger says:

    The first I read was Body Double early last year and I loved it. I recently read The Mephisto Club and cannot wait until the next sequel. In fact, I have started the series from the beginning and am almost through all of them….hurry, hurry with the next episode!!! I am a fan for life!!!!

  35. negative creep
    negative creep says:

    Hello Mrs. Gerritsen! I´m Ana from Croatia. I have to say that I´m very happy that I can leave you a comment here. At the moment I am reading your book The Surgeon and I have to say it´s fantastic!!! And I´ll keep reading your books! keep up the god work! kisses, Ana.

  36. Moonchild
    Moonchild says:

    I had to log on for the first time since I just finished The Mephisto Club and had to applaud you! Excellent! I received about 7 books for Xmas and yours was on my wish list, I have read all but 2 and TMC was the best so far. I stayed in on the couch on my day off and finished it, sadly! The twist was fantastic since I enjoy Egyptian history and mythology. To hear people say that it is going against Christianity, I say PLEASE! it is a book! The same was done about The Davinci Code. I look at it this way, people with closed minds cannot enjoy a book like THC. If it makes me look up something like Nephilim it made me curious to learn about it. Maybe they are afraid that there is truth to some of man’s history that they are not willing to believe in? I have also read your other thrillers and they were all great and Jane and Maura. Won’t say too much about THC because I know of people who are still reading it right now, don’t want to spoil it. Can’t wait for the next one! Thanks

  37. Sharks
    Sharks says:

    I must say – your books are great. A book with “Tess Gerritsen” on its cover is like a brand to me which I would buy without any hesitation. Your work is fantastic. I am from Germany and I own nearly every title in English. Especially the Maura-Jane stories are page turners for its own.
    As to the sexes – yes of course women need romantic stories, but you match them with thrilling suspenseful crime – a perfect mix. I am a “fast” reader and I nearly “eat” books – and when I am looking out for new books I really search for books with FEMALE authors because I know in advance that these give me what I want. So you’re nearly right. I would recommend one great MALE author: KEN FOLLETT. Yes, indeed – he really can include romance in his stories. And for a man – he’s not bad at this: he also combines romance, humble glances, murder, rape, thrilling stories, cleverness and even well described sex activities. Sometimes cruel – but it is like it is…
    As to GRAVITY: I also own this book and I don’t regret reading it. It was really fascinating and once more I was surprised how much expertise was shown by Tess Gerritsen…
    Well done!
    And yes, I am a woman and I am constant buyer of your books… 😉

  38. ndp
    ndp says:

    I think I am married to one of the few heterosexual males that truly enjoyed prde and prejudice. I managed to get him to sit through the BBC series. That’s right six hours of Jane Austen (he’s also started to read the book). I told him that Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy didn’t get together so he watched it to prove me wrong. He enjoys all those period drama, romances even more than I do now. Scary thought. I’m probably the one more likely to choose the action / thriller than the girly movies. But still love the romance in there somewhere. Your books usually manage to blend those two genres perfectly.
    Keep up the great work.

  39. Vanessa F
    Vanessa F says:

    Apparently, I’m in the minority. Because I *loved* Gravity. I love your books for the medical mysteries and the romance but I alsoreally enjoyed the techncal details in Gravity. Perhaps because I once wanted to be an astronaut, like most young children do. The Sinner was the first book by you that I read. I’ve since read every one of your medical thrillers and I no longer bother to read the back before buying it because I know I’ll love it 🙂

  40. Clover
    Clover says:

    Tess,
    I just wanted to say that Gravity was the first of your books I had ever read and since then I’ve been reading any book by you I can get my hands on. I’ve read almost everything you have published and out of all of them, In their footsteps was the only book that didn’t completely pull me in. I loved the detail in Gravity and thought it was terrifying. I think that a simple mistake like that is a lot scarier than a murderer on the loose because it is possible and the effects would be devastating. So I don’t see how females don’t like the book. It even had a steamy romance in it for the girls to enjoy. Other than you’re more medically orientated books sometimes being too graphic for me to take in one sitting (I keep putting it down just to pick it up a minute later, cursing my weak stomach lol) I love everything about your books. I just got done sharing some of your creepy facts info with a few of my friends today. So thank you for writing! I hope that you have a good day.
    Brightest blessings,
    Clover

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