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The Keepsake (Rizzoli and Isles Series #7)

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"For untold years, the perfectly preserved mummy had lain forgotten in the dusty basement of Boston's Crispin Museum. Now its sudden rediscovery by museum staff is both a major coup and an attention-grabbing mystery. Dubbed "Madam X," the mummy - to all appearances, an ancient Egyptian artifact - seems a ghoulish godsend for the financially struggling institution. But medical examiner Maura Isles soon discovers a macabre message hidden within the corpse - horrifying proof that this "centuries-old" relic is instead a modern-day murder victim." "To ...
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The Keepsake (Rizzoli and Isles Series #7)

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Overview

"For untold years, the perfectly preserved mummy had lain forgotten in the dusty basement of Boston's Crispin Museum. Now its sudden rediscovery by museum staff is both a major coup and an attention-grabbing mystery. Dubbed "Madam X," the mummy - to all appearances, an ancient Egyptian artifact - seems a ghoulish godsend for the financially struggling institution. But medical examiner Maura Isles soon discovers a macabre message hidden within the corpse - horrifying proof that this "centuries-old" relic is instead a modern-day murder victim." "To Maura and Boston homicide detective Jane Rizzoli, the forensic evidence is unmistakable, its implications terrifying. And when the grisly remains of yet another woman are found in the hidden recesses of the museum, it becomes chillingly clear that a maniac is at large - and is now taunting them." "Archaeologist Josephine Pulcillo's blood runs cold when the killer's cryptic missives are discovered, and her darkest dread becomes real when the carefully preserved corpse of yet a third victim is left in her car like a gruesome offering - or perhaps a ghastly promise of what's to come." "The twisted killer's familiarity with post-mortem rituals suggests to Maura and Jane that he may have scientific expertise in common with Josephine. But only Josephine knows that her stalker shares a knowledge even more personally terrifying: details of a dark secret she had thought forever buried." Now Maura must summon her own dusty knowledge of ancient death traditions to unravel a murderer's twisted endgame. And when Josephine vanishes, Maura and Jane have precious little time to derail the Archaeology Killer before he adds another chilling artifact tohis monstrous collection.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Bestseller Gerritsen's at times lackluster series heroines prove they can shine in her solid seventh thriller to feature Det. Jane Rizzoli and Dr. Maura Isles (after The Mephisto Club). When medical examiner Isles studies an X-ray scan of Madame X, which everyone assumes is a newly discovered Egyptian mummy, at Boston's Crispin Museum, she realizes the mummy isn't a priceless artifact but a recent murder victim, gruesomely preserved. Rizzoli focuses the police investigation on Dr. Josephine Pulcillo, a young archeologist recently hired by the museum who may have something to hide. More victims soon turn up, including a tsantsa(shrunken head) in a hidden museum chamber and a corpse resembling a well-preserved bog body in Pulcillo's car. After Pulcillo disappears, Rizzoli and Isles must scramble to find her before she becomes another trophy in the killer's growing collection. As usual, Gerritsen delivers an intricate plot that will keep readers guessing. (Sept.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From the Publisher
“A frighteningly effective stunner from one of the most versatile voices in thriller fiction today.”—Providence Journal

“Disturbing and intensely mesmerizing . . . It’s shudder inducing!”—Romantic Times

“An intricate plot that will keep readers guessing.”—Publishers Weekly

“Wraps readers in a web of evil that is hard to shake . . . Once you pick up this novel, there’s a good chance you won’t be good for much else till you’ve reached its satisfying conclusion.”—Nashville Scene

The Keepsake reads at a reckless pace, drawing the reader into a twisted world of well-preserved vengeance.”—Madison County Times

“Dark, creepy and a great read.”—Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star

The Keepsake is a superb suspense novel, with twists galore . . . a beautifully constructed suspense novel with a great story.”—Toronto Globe and Mail
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739343289
  • Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/9/2008
  • Series: Rizzoli and Isles Series , #7
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Tess Gerritsen
Tess Gerritsen is a physician and an internationally bestselling author. She gained nationwide acclaim for her first novel of medical suspense, the New York Times bestseller Harvest. She is also the author of the bestsellers The Keepsake, The Bone Garden, The Mephisto Club, Vanish, Body Double, The Apprentice, The Surgeon, Life Support, Bloodstream, and Gravity. Tess Gerritsen lives in Maine.
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

He is coming for me.

 I feel it in my bones. I sniff it in the air, as recognizable as the scent of hot sand and savory spices and the sweat of a hundred men toiling in the sun. These are the smells of Egypt’s western desert, and they are still vivid to me, although that country is nearly half a globe away from the dark bedroom where I now lie. Fifteen years have passed since I walked that desert, but when I close my eyes, in an instant I am there again, standing at the edge of the tent camp, looking toward the Libyan border and the sunset. The wind moaned like a woman when it swept down the wadi. I still hear the thuds of pickaxes and the scrape of shovels, can picture the army of Egyptian diggers, busy as ants as they swarmed the excavation site, hauling their gufa baskets filled with soil. It seemed to me then, when I stood in that desert fifteen years ago, as if I were an actress in a film about someone else’s adventure. Not mine. Certainly it was not an adventure that a quiet girl from Indio, California, ever expected to live. 

The lights of a passing car glimmer through my closed eyelids. When I open my eyes, Egypt vanishes. No longer am I standing in the desert gazing at a sky smeared by sunset the color of bruises. Instead I am once again half a world away, lying in my dark San Diego bedroom. 

I climb out of bed and walk barefoot to the window to look out at the street. It is a tired neighborhood of stucco tract homes built in the 1950s, before the American dream meant mini-mansions and three- car garages. There is honesty in the modest but sturdy houses, built not to impress but to shelter, and I feel safely anonymous here. Just another single mother struggling to raise a recalcitrant teenage daughter. 

Peeking through the curtains at the street, I see a dark- colored sedan slow down half a block away. It pulls over to the curb, and the headlights turn off. I watch, waiting for the driver to step out, but no one does. For a long time the driver sits there. Perhaps he’s listening to the radio, or maybe he’s had a fight with his wife and is afraid to face her. Perhaps there are lovers in that car with nowhere else to go. I can formulate so many explanations, none of them alarming, yet my skin is prickling with hot dread. 

A moment later the sedan’s taillights come back on, and the car pulls away and continues down the street. 

Even after it vanishes around the corner, I am still jittery, clutching the curtains in my damp hand. I return to bed and lie sweating on top of the covers, but I cannot sleep. Although it’s a warm July night, I keep my bedroom window latched, and insist that my daughter, Tari, keeps hers latched as well. But Tari does not always listen to me. 

Every day, she listens to me less.

 I close my eyes and, as always, the visions of Egypt come back. It’s always to Egypt that my thoughts return. Even before I stood on its soil, I’d dreamed about it. At six years old, I spotted a photograph of the Valley of the Kings on the cover of National Geographic, feeling instant recognition, as though I were looking at a familiar, much- beloved face that I had almost forgotten. That was what the land meant to me, a beloved face I longed to see again. And as the years progressed, I laid the foundations for my return. I worked and studied. A full scholarship brought me to Stanford, and to the attention of a professor who enthusiastically recommended me for a summer job at an excavation in Egypt’s western desert. 

In June, at the end of my ju nior year, I boarded a flight to Cairo. Even now, in the darkness of my California bedroom, I remember how my eyes ached from the sunlight glaring on white- hot sand. I smell the sunscreen on my skin and feel the sting of the wind peppering my face with desert grit. These memories make me happy. With a trowel in my hand and the sun on my shoulders, this was the culmination of a young girl’s dreams. 

How quickly dreams become nightmares. I’d boarded the plane to Cairo as a happy college student. Three months later, I returned home a changed woman. 

I did not come back from the desert alone. A monster followed me. 

In the dark, my eyelids spring open. Was that a footfall? A door creaking open? I lie on damp sheets, heart battering itself against my chest. I am afraid to get out of bed, and afraid not to. 

Something is not right in this house. 

After years of hiding, I know better than to ignore the warning whispers in my head. Those urgent whispers are the only reason I am still alive. I’ve learned to pay heed to every anomaly, every tremor of disquiet. I notice unfamiliar cars driving up my street. I snap to attention if a co- worker mentions that someone was asking about me. I make elaborate escape plans long before I ever need them. My next move is already planned out. In two hours, my daughter and I can be over the border and in Mexico with new identities. Our passports, with new names, are already tucked away in my suitcase. We should have left by now. We should not have waited this long. 

But how do you convince a fourteen- year- old girl to move away from her friends? Tari is the problem; she does not understand the danger we’re in. I pull open the nightstand drawer and take out the gun. It is not legally registered, and it makes me ner vous, keeping a firearm under the same roof with my daughter. But after six weekends at the shooting range, I know how to use it. 

My bare feet are silent as I step out of my room and move down the hall, past my daughter’s closed door. I conduct the same inspection that I have made a thousand times before, always in the dark. Like any prey, I feel safest in the dark. 

In the kitchen, I check the windows and the door. In the living room, I do the same. Everything is secure. I come back up the hall and pause outside my daughter’s bedroom. Tari has become fanatical about her privacy, but there is no lock on her door, and I will never allow there to be one. I need to be able to look in, to confirm that she is safe. 

The door gives a loud squeak as I open it, but it won’t wake her. As with most teenagers, her sleep is akin to a coma. The first thing I notice is the breeze, and I give a sigh. Once again, Tari has ignored my wishes and left her window wide open, as she has so many times before. 

It feels like sacrilege, bringing the gun into my daughter’s bedroom, but I need to close that window. I step inside and pause beside the bed, watching her sleep, listening to the steady rhythm of her breathing. I remember the first time I laid eyes on her, red- faced and crying in the obstetrician’s hands. I had been in labor eigh teen hours, and was so exhausted I could barely lift my head from the pillow. But after one glimpse of my baby, I would have risen from bed and fought a legion of attackers to protect her. That was the moment I knew what her name would be. I thought of the words carved into the great temple at Abu Simbel, words chosen by Ramses the Great to proclaim his love for his wife. 

Nefertari, for whom the sun doth shine 

My daughter, Nefertari, is the one and only trea - sure that I brought back with me from Egypt. And I am terrified of losing her. 

Tari is so much like me. It’s as if I am watching myself sleeping. When she was ten years old, she could already read hieroglyphs. At twelve, she could recite all the dynasties down to the Ptolemys. She spends her weekends haunting the Museum of Man. She is a clone of me in every way, and as the years pass there is no obvious trace of her father in her face or her voice or, most important of all, her soul. She is my daughter, mine alone, untainted by the evil that fathered her. 

But she is also a normal fourteen- year- old girl, and this has been a source of frustration these past weeks as I’ve felt darkness closing in around us, as I lie awake every night, listening for a monster’s footsteps. My daughter is oblivious to the danger because I have hidden the truth from her. I want her to grow up strong and fearless, a warrior woman who is unafraid of shadows. She does not understand why I pace the house late at night, why I latch the windows and double- check the doors. She thinks I am a worrywart, and it’s true: I do all the worrying for both of us, to preserve the illusion that all is right with the world. 

That is what Tari believes. She likes San Diego and she looks forward to her first year in high school. She’s managed to make friends here, and heaven help the parent who tries to come between a teenager and her friends. She is as strong- willed as I am, and were it not for her re sis tance, we would have left town weeks ago. 

A breeze blows in the window, chilling the sweat on my skin. 

I set the gun down on the nightstand and cross to the window to close it. For a moment I linger, breathing in cool air. Outside, the night has fallen silent, except for a mosquito’s whine. A prick stings my cheek. The significance of that mosquito bite does not strike me until I reach up to slide the window shut. I feel the icy breath of panic rush up my spine. 

There is no screen over the window. Where is the screen? 

Only then do I sense the malevolent presence. While I stood lovingly watching my daughter, it was watching me. It has always been watching, biding its time, waiting for its chance to spring. Now it has found us. 

I turn and face the evil.  

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 341 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 344 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2012

    I love to read all of rizzoli and isles.

    good, but not as good as others.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Great Read!

    Tess Gerritsen is an excellent writer and this book does not disappoint. The plot revolves around an archeologist and there is a fair amount of information dispersed throughout the book on various aspects of archeology. If you have no interest in this subject, you may not find Keepsake quite as engaging. I am probably not a good judge of that, since I am fascinated by the subject!

    The story moves at a good pace and the mystery keeps you guessing until the end. Gerritsen is a master with characters, giving them those all too human traits that make them feel like real people. The plot is intricate without being overly complicated. Gerritsen took me into her world and held me there throughout the story. I couldn't ask for anything more!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Resounding and Impactful Murder Mystery!

    This book is the most amazing so far. I really do love all of Gerritsen's titles, but this one has stuck in my head for months. I catch myself thinking about it practically every day, and the smallest things will trigger thoughts about this resounding tale. I would recommend this to anyone who likes mystery novels. If you are on the fence, this book will tip you into fandome.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2008

    A superb thriller

    Boston-based medical examiner Maura Isles has examined a lot of corpses while on the job, but this one is special. The Crispin Museum invited the ME to attend a CAT scan of Madame X the perfectly preserved mummy found in their basement who the curator believes will save their financially troubled facility.------------- However, instead of an ancient Egyptian royal, the modern medical test proves the mummy is a recent homicide victim. They also find a cryptic note inside. Boston Police Department Detectives Jane Rizzoli and Barry Frost lead the investigation. The message leads the cops to archeologist Josephine Pulcillo, who along with her mom has been on the run from an obsessed serial killer. Soon more modern day mummies are found, but the culprit remains elusively hidden in spite of Egyptian embalming knowledge.-------------- The latest Rizzoli-Isles police procedural is a superb thriller that needs a graphic warning label not to read on a full stomach. The story line is fast-paced from the moment the mummy goes from ancient historical to contemporary and never slows down as obsession keeps a mother and daughter in fear of revealing secrets to the cops. Tess Gerritsen is at her best with this gruesome horrific murder mystery.----------- Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 19, 2013

    Top notch

    Excellent....loved the museum and archeology background

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 2, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Taking stalking to new heights

    Jane Rizzoli is one of the strongest female detective characters in the genre, and, after having her baby girl, she's back in action. Jane shines in this serial killer/stalker/confused identity thriller, as she struggles to unkink the many tangled lines in these crimes. Gerritsen appears to be attempting to show Jane as a whole person - mother, partner, cop, friend - and it's refreshing to see her uncertain at times, empathizing with other parents at others, trying to be supportive of her soon to be divorced detective partner. And the crimes in this installment are ingenious. While it's possible to make good guesses as to what "went down", there are some gratifying zigs and zags along the way, and at the conclusion, to keep the reader absorbed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2008

    Great thriller!!

    Tess Gerritsen¿s The Keepsake is a fast moving, well-paced whodunit. Medical Examiner Maura Isles is called in to observe the CT scanning of a mummy for a museum. The observers are shocked to find the mummy isn¿t ancient at all, but the well-preserved body of a modern murder victim. Solving the murder falls to Jane Rizzoli, a Boston police detective. Soon Rizzoli discovers other women who have been murdered and preserved using disturbing and macabre methods. Knowing the killer has chosen his next victim it becomes a race against the clock to stop this murderer. I really enjoyed this novel. I haven¿t read every one of the books in this series, but I like the authors writing style and the way she moves her stories along, so I¿m going to have to put the one¿s I¿ve missed on my list. I¿ll admit to feeling pretty darn smug when about halfway through the novel, I figured out ¿whodunit¿. And I¿ll admit to feeling more than a little sheepish, when in the last two chapters, I found out that I was wrong, Wrong, WRONG! I really love it when a book surprises me. It¿s nice to figure out the end before it ends, but its soooo much better to be wrong!! Tess Gerritsen has that uncanny knack of adding personal information in just the right amount. She never deviates from the actual story, instead just adds enough tidbits about Isles and Rizzoli to make the reader want to see where their stories will ultimately lead. In fact, having not read all of these series, the bits added and the bits alluded to will be just enough to send me to the bookstore to pick up those earlier novels. Don¿t get me wrong the reader certainly doesn¿t have to do that to enjoy this novel. The author manages extremely well to give us enough information, and yet I imagine a faithful reader wouldn¿t feel like they¿ve just re-read the previous novels while reading this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2012

    Tess Does it Again

    Tess, you have wowed me. I am in fifth grade and watch Rizzoli and Isles after I do homework. If I thought there was nothing better than that, I was wrong. You are right up there with James Patterson and Kathy Reichs. Maybe even higher. You have a talent in writing I have never seen before. I worship you; you are my idol!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2012

    Great Read!!

    Loved, loved, LOVED, this one!!! Had a great twist!!! Liked the fact it was set in a museum.....definately a must read!! I will be so bummed when I finish this series!! I do not think anything I read will live up to Tess Gerritsen's amazing books!!!

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  • Posted February 3, 2012

    A thrilling read

    Wow, this one grabbed me from the very start. It has a lot of forensics of how mummification, shrunken heads etc. takes place that really adds to the appeal. I was taken with the neat web spun by the mystery and thoroughly enjoyed this, my first of Tess Gerritsen's books. I will read more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2012

    Fabulous Read!!

    Yet another one of her incredible books!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    Awesome Book

    As always another great book by Tess Gerrison!

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  • Posted October 23, 2011

    Thrilling

    Tess Gerritsen does it again. She personalizes the storyline plus keeps you on the edge of your seat with thrilling information..little bit of truth tossed in with lots of great fiction. Keep the books coming!

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  • Posted August 20, 2011

    Rrrfc

    Ddff

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2011

    Great book

    I love all of her books an this one does not dissapoint.

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  • Posted June 4, 2011

    Good read! TESS never lets me down!

    Excellent!

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  • Posted April 28, 2011

    OK, but not as good as others in the series

    This is #7 in a series that begins with the Surgeon. The plot was good, but I didn't find it as complex as in her other books. I also felt that she left a couple of loose ends, for example identifying the last victim they found. And the process of finding the victim and the killer/kidnapper usually is drawn out a little more. I would also have liked her to include more writing on the personal lives of Maura Isles and Jane Rizzoli, which she typically does. I will continue reading her books, but for anyone interested in checking out her writing, I would recommend starting with the Surgeon instead.

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  • Posted January 31, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    What a thriller is meant to be

    My first time reading this authors work and I can't wait to read more. Action packed thriller with a hint of a possible romance. She weaves everything together with a style that makes for a fun and easy read. I didn't want to put it down.

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  • Posted January 15, 2011

    Really Good Read

    I am presently reading through the Rizzoli and Isles series and have read other Gerritsen books. I enjoy her riding style and her charactors are two tough smart ladies. This book is as good as the rest of the series. I highly reccommend reading them all in order.

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  • Posted October 16, 2010

    Good read

    I'm usually a fan of the more 'scientific' thrillers like Kathy Reichs and the early Patricia Cornwell novels, but I really enjoyed this book. It's the first Gerritsen book I read and while predictable in some ways, the story was fast paced and intriguing. I'll definitely get more and hope the earlier ones are as good as this one.

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