The Mephisto Club (Rizzoli and Isles Series #6)

( 310 )

Overview

Evil exists. Evil walks the streets. And evil has spawned a diabolical new disciple in this white-knuckle thriller from New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen.

PECCAVI
The Latin word is scrawled in blood at the scene of a young woman’s brutal murder: I HAVE SINNED. It’s a chilling Christmas greeting for Boston medical examiner Maura Isles and Detective Jane Rizzoli, who swiftly link the victim to ...

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The Mephisto Club (Rizzoli and Isles Series #6)

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Overview

Evil exists. Evil walks the streets. And evil has spawned a diabolical new disciple in this white-knuckle thriller from New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen.

PECCAVI
The Latin word is scrawled in blood at the scene of a young woman’s brutal murder: I HAVE SINNED. It’s a chilling Christmas greeting for Boston medical examiner Maura Isles and Detective Jane Rizzoli, who swiftly link the victim to controversial celebrity psychiatrist Joyce O’Donnell–Jane’s professional nemesis and member of a sinister cabal called the Mephisto Club.

On top of Beacon Hill, the club’s acolytes devote themselves to the analysis of evil: Can it be explained by science? Does it have a physical presence? Do demons walk the earth? Drawing on a wealth of dark historical data and mysterious religious symbolism, the Mephisto scholars aim to prove a startling theory: that Satan himself exists among us.

With the grisly appearance of a corpse on their doorstep, it’s clear that someone–or something–is indeed prowling the city. The members of the club begin to fear the very subject of their study. Could this maniacal killer be one of their own–or have they inadvertently summoned an evil entity from the darkness?

Delving deep into the most baffling and unusual case of their careers, Maura and Jane embark on a terrifying journey to the very heart of evil, where they encounter a malevolent foe more dangerous than any they have ever faced . . . one whose work is only just beginning.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for Vanish

“Action-packed, entertaining, and compulsively readable.”
–Chicago Sun-Times

“A powerful story that will haunt you long after the last page is turned.”
–Orlando Sentinel

“A tense, taut thriller that grabs readers from the get-go and never lets up.”
–Booklist

Publishers Weekly
In this brisk, deftly plotted thriller from bestseller Gerritsen (Vanish), Boston medical examiner Maura Isles and police detective Jane Rizzoli look into the murder of 28-year-old Lori-Ann Tucker, whose body is found Christmas morning in her apartment amid an unholy mess of severed limbs, black candles and satanic symbols rendered in blood. "Peccavi," reads one word scrawled across Tucker's wall Latin for "I have sinned." Isles and Rizzoli must sort sinner from innocent among suspects who can be found on several continents and include a group of sophisticates scholars, an anthropologist, a psychiatrist who are either cult members or crusaders against evil straight from the pages of Revelation. Other murders follow, all gruesome, all involving apocalyptic messages. On occasion, the action shifts to Europe, to a young woman running from a man she's convinced is descended from a race of fallen angels. Gerritsen has a knack for stretching believability just short of the breaking point and for amassing details that produce an atmosphere in which the most terrible possibilities can and, indeed, should occur. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Boston homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles return in this taut mystery, the sixth in Gerritsen's (Vanish) Rizzoli series. Both women are appealing, flawed heroines dealing with various personal issues, along with a new case. A gruesome murder scene with elements of a Satanic ritual leads Rizzoli to Joyce O'Donnell, the psychologist who visits and studies the man who nearly killed Rizzoli earlier in the series (The Surgeon), and to the Mephisto Club, a Vidocq Society-type elite group interested in the more metaphysical aspects of crime, namely tracking down evil. The club members believe in Nephilim, or Watchers-evil creatures (with fallen angels and human women as parents) discussed in apocryphal biblical texts, including the book of Enoch and the book of Jubilees. Rizzoli and Isles, both with demons haunting their pasts, are drawn into the group, whose members are tracking the same killer the pair seeks. Edgy suspense, well-drawn characters, and plot twists will keep readers turning pages. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/06.]-Beth Lindsay, Washington State Univ. Libs., Pullman Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Demons-'R-Us in this formulaic entry by one of the queens of the romance/thriller hybrid (Body Double, 2004, etc.). It's a very un-merry Christmas Eve for both Boston Medical Examiner Dr. Maura Isles and her friend and colleague Detective Jane Rizzoli, who find themselves called to Beacon Hill on business-an exceptionally brutal business. A young woman has been murdered, decapitated, dismembered, and on her bedroom wall, drawn in blood, there's a gnomic message left by her killer: three upside-down crosses and some symbols that at the moment defy interpretation. Enter the Mephisto Club, a kind of international think tank (read: symbol-unravellers) dedicated to the pursuit of unhappiness for all infernal creatures. Convinced that demons walk among us-on the surface indistinguishable from ordinary folk-Mephisto members make their expertise available to law-enforcement organizations such as Interpol, Scotland Yard and now the Boston PD. Skeptical Jane isn't all that impressed. Maura is sort of on the fence as to Satan-real or Satan-metaphor, but is less than focused on the issue. Actually, neither lady is quite her single-minded self these days. Jane is distracted by the flare-up in her parents' home. Her father may be philandering; her mother has retaliated with short skirts, push-up bras and come-hither looks. As for Maura, so smitten is she with handsome priest Father Daniel Brophy ("If I could sell my soul to Satan for your love, I think I would") that she is, in effect, benched. Nevertheless, the investigation does progress, and finally the suspects are all collected, Agatha Christie-like, in a remote mountain lodge, for the denouement. Some sizable plot holes, some purplish prose("Friendships are broken all the time, so are hearts"), but the Gerritsen fan base will survive intact.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345477002
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/28/2007
  • Series: Rizzoli and Isles Series , #6
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 103,054
  • Product dimensions: 4.15 (w) x 6.87 (h) x 1.23 (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 Surgeon, The Apprentice, The Sinner, Body Double, Vanish, Life Support, Bloodstream, and Gravity. Tess Gerritsen lives in Maine. Visit her website at www.tessgerritsen.com.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

They looked like the perfect family.

This was what the boy thought as he stood beside his father’s open grave, as he listened to the hired minister read platitudes from the Bible. Only a small group had gathered on that warm and buggy June day to mourn the passing of Montague Saul, no more than a dozen people, many of whom the boy had just met. For the past six months, he had been away at boarding school, and today he was seeing some of these people for the very first time. Most of them did not interest him in the least.

But his uncle’s family—they interested him very much. They were worth studying.

Dr. Peter Saul looked very much like his dead brother Montague, slender and cerebral in owlish glasses, brown hair thinning toward inevitable baldness. His wife, Amy, had a round, sweet face, and she kept darting anxious looks at her fifteen-year-old nephew, as though aching to wrap her arms around him and smother him with a hug. Their son, Teddy, was ten years old, all skinny arms and legs. A little clone of Peter Saul, right down to the same owlish glasses.

Finally, there was the daughter, Lily. Sixteen years old.

Tendrils of her hair had come loose from the ponytail and now clung to her face in the heat. She looked uncomfortable in her black dress, and she kept shifting coltishly back and forth, as though preparing to bolt. As though she’d rather be anywhere than in this cemetery, waving away buzzing insects.

They look so normal, so average, the boy thought. So different from me. Then Lily’s gaze suddenly met his, and he felt a tremor of surprise. Of mutual recognition. In that instant, he could almost feel her gaze penetrating the darkest fissures of his brain, examining all the secret places that no one else had ever seen. That he’d never allowed them to see.

Disquieted, he looked away. Focused, instead, on the other people standing around the grave: His father’s housekeeper. The attorney. The two next-door neighbors. Mere acquaintances who were here out of a sense of propriety, not affection. They knew Montague Saul only as the quiet scholar who’d recently returned from Cyprus, who spent his days fussing over books and maps and little pieces of pottery. They did not really know the man. Just as they did not really know his son.

At last the service ended, and the gathering moved toward the boy, like an amoeba preparing to engulf him in sympathy, to tell him how sorry they were that he’d lost his father. And so soon after moving to the United States.

“At least you have family here to help you,” said the minister.

Family? Yes, I suppose these people are my family, the boy thought, as little Teddy shyly approached, urged forward by his mother.

“You’re going to be my brother now,” said Teddy.

“Am I?”

“Mom has your room all ready for you. It’s right next to mine.”

“But I’m staying here. In my father’s house.”

Bewildered, Teddy looked at his mother. “Isn’t he coming home with us?”

Amy Saul quickly said, “You really can’t live all by yourself, dear. You’re only fifteen. Maybe you’ll like it so much in Purity, you’ll want to stay with us.”

“My school’s in Connecticut.”

“Yes, but the school year’s over now. In September, if you want to return to your boarding school, of course you can. But for the summer, you’ll come home with us.”

“I won’t be alone here. My mother will come for me.”

There was a long silence. Amy and Peter looked at each other, and the boy could guess what they were thinking. His mother abandoned him ages ago.

“She is coming for me,” he insisted.

Uncle Peter said, gently, “We’ll talk about it later, son.”

In the night, the boy laid awake in his bed, in his father’s town house, listening to the voices of his aunt and uncle murmuring downstairs in the study. The same study where Montague Saul had labored these past months to translate his fragile little scraps of papyrus. The same study where, five days ago, he’d had a stroke and collapsed at his desk. Those people should not be in there, among his father’s precious things. They were invaders in his house.

“He’s still just a boy, Peter. He needs a family.”

“We can’t exactly drag him back to Purity if he doesn’t want to come with us.”

“When you’re only fifteen, you have no choice in the matter. Adults have to make the decisions.”

The boy rose from bed and slipped out of his room. He crept halfway down the stairs to listen in to the conversation.

“And really, how many adults has he known? Your brother didn’t exactly qualify. He was so wrapped up in his old mummy linens, he probably never noticed there was a child underfoot.”

“That’s not fair, Amy. My brother was a good man.”

“Good, but clueless. I can’t imagine what kind of woman would dream of having a child with him. And then she leaves the boy behind for Monty to raise? I don’t understand any woman who’d do that.”

“Monty didn’t do such a bad job raising him. The boy’s getting top marks in school.”

“That’s your measurement for what makes a good father? The fact that the boy gets top marks?”

“He’s also a poised young man. Look how well he held up at the service.”

“He’s numb, Peter. Did you see a single emotion on his face today?”

“Monty was like that, too.”

“Cold-blooded, you mean?”

“No, intellectual. Logical.”

“But underneath it all, you know that boy has got to be hurting. It makes me want to cry, how much he needs his mother right now. How he keeps insisting she’ll come back for him, when we know she won’t.”

“We don’t know that.”

“We’ve never even met the woman! Monty just writes us from Cairo one day, to tell us he has a brand-new son. For all we know, he plucked him up from the reeds, like baby Moses.”

The boy heard the floor creak above him, and he glanced toward the top of the stairs. He was startled to see his cousin Lily staring down at him over the banister. She was watching him, studying him, as if he were some exotic creature she’d never before encountered and she was trying to decide if he was dangerous.

“Oh!” said Aunt Amy. “You’re up!”

His aunt and uncle had just come out of the study, and they were standing at the bottom of the stairs, looking up at him. Looking a little dismayed, too, at the possibility that he had overheard their entire conversation.

“Are you feeling all right, dear?” said Amy.

“Yes, Auntie.”

“It’s so late. Maybe you should go back to bed now?”

But he didn’t move. He paused on the stairs for a moment, wondering what it would be like to live with these people. What he might learn from them. It would make the summer interesting, until his mother came for him.

He said, “Aunt Amy, I’ve made up my mind.”

“About what?”

“About my summer, and where I’d like to spend it.”

She instantly assumed the worst. “Please don’t be too hasty! We have a really nice house, right on the lake, and you’d have your own room. At least come for a visit before you decide.”

“But I’ve decided to come stay with you.”

His aunt paused, temporarily stunned. Then her face lit up in a smile, and she hurried up the steps to give him a hug. She smelled like Dove soap and Breck shampoo. So average, so ordinary. Then a grinning Uncle Peter gave him an affectionate clap on the shoulder, his way of welcoming a new son. Their happiness was like a web of spun sugar, drawing him into their universe, where all was love and light and laughter.

“The kids will be so glad you’re coming back with us!” said Amy.

He glanced toward the top of the stairs, but Lily was no longer there. She had slipped away, unnoticed. I will have to keep my eye on her, he thought. Because already, she’s keeping her eye on me.

“You’re part of our family now,” said Amy.

As they walked up the stairs together, she was already telling him her plans for the summer. All the places they’d take him, all the special meals they’d cook for him when they got back home. She sounded happy, even giddy, like a mother with her brand-new baby.

Amy Saul had no idea what they were about to bring home with them.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 310 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(142)

4 Star

(99)

3 Star

(48)

2 Star

(11)

1 Star

(10)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 311 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 15, 2010

    Scary!

    Check the locks on all the doors and windows! Another thrilling and terrifying novel by Tess Gerritsen! This was a highly engrossing book; interesting topic and characters. I've enjoyed all of Gerritsen's books; you can't go wrong with one of her novels! Gerritsen has a very clean, clear writing style and a vivid imagination. The author puts forth some very unusual and fascinating ideas; this book was very entertaining and I would definately recommend it. I've enjoyed all the books in the Jane Rizzoli/Maura Isles series as well as Gerritsen's non-series medical mysteries. You may also like: Patricia Cornwell, Philip Margolin, Robin Cook, Tami Hoag, Linda Howard, Lee Child and Lisa Gardner.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 4, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Jennifer Wardrip - Personal Read

    It amazes me that Tess Gerritsen is able to write such awesome thrillers, time after time. And yet she does, proving that she is, quite simply, at the top of her game--and at the top of the psychological thriller/mystery genre! <BR/><BR/>Many others have outlined the plot of THE MEPHISTO CLUB, so let me just say a few things: this is a great storyline, original, and handled deftly. The action-adventure is non-stop throughout the book, and although you know, basically from the beginning of the story, who the bad guy is, it doesn't stop the book from being interesting and intriguing. <BR/><BR/>I loved that Father Brophy and Dr. Maura Isles finally "got together," but I need this relationship to go beyond THE THORN BIRDS!! There has got to be a resolution to this plot line, and soon! <BR/><BR/>My only complaint with the story is Jane Rizzoli, who I actually love. However, her hard-a**, morally superior attitude in this book ticked me off. I want to see the softer side of Jane, the nurturing mother side, the love of Gabriel's life side--as well as the the tough-as-nails, ball-buster homicide detective. <BR/><BR/>Believe me, though, THE MEPHISTO CLUB is another winner!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 2, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Stunning, incredible psychlogocal thriller...

    This is a another stunning, incredible psychological thriller to enjoy! Tough-as-nails, homicide detective, Jane Rizzoli, begins investigation after the gruesome scene where strewn body parts were gathered. The lab discovers a hand that was not apart of the other body parts so therefore, there is another victim somewhere and thus begins another non-put-downable story to get caught up in.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2013

    Its great

    I love this series

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2013

    Favorite Rizzoli & Isles book so far!

    Very intriguing read! The story, the details & descriptions, the history- all of it is so great! I found myself gasping and saying, "Nooo!" at times and jaw dropped open other times! GREAT book! My favorite of this series so far!! Now, on to #7!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2012

    Must Read

    Love the TV program so thought I'd try the books. I'm hooked. I'm already on book #7. Great read if you're a mystery fan.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2012

    Highly Recommend

    I loved reading this book as it was fast moving and I had to limit my time reading or I would never had put it down. Of course nothing would have gotten ready for Thanksgiving nor Christmas.Recommend this book!!

    222Abey

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2012

    Another Great One!

    Loved the mythology and dark themes in this one!! Did not see the twist coming AT ALL!! Also liked getting more personal with Jane and Maura's lives....GREAT book!!! I will be so sad when I finish this series!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2014

    Highly recommended if you like murder mystery.

    I like Tess Gerritsen books. Some are a little more scary than others. The closer I got to the end, I could not put it down.

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  • Posted February 28, 2014

    Great reading, as usual

    I have read each of the books in the series. Find each one interesting and fast reading. This one was hard to put down. You needed to know who were the bad people and how they were going to be caught and punished.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2013

    Highly recommended

    I couldn't put it down!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2013

    Incredible read! I did not, actually COULD not, put the book dow

    Incredible read! I did not, actually COULD not, put the book down the second I started reading and ended up finishing the book on the spot. A spine-chlling plot with an amazing ending! 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2013

    Interesting

    I like Rizzoli and Isles!

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  • Posted August 18, 2012

    This book focuses on the darker side of Religious mythology - mo

    This book focuses on the darker side of Religious mythology - mostly
    concerning demons and the Nephilim (the hybrid offspring of fallen
    angels and humans). It could be very disturbing for some people. It had
    all of the same thrilling riveting mystery of all her other books in
    this series. I was totally in the dark when it came to who were the good
    guys and bad guys in the end. Because I was listening to the audio
    version, I sometimes got lost in the flashbacks. As with her other
    books, it is loaded with details in the homicide investigation and the
    forensics involved in finding the killer. I would recommend this for
    adult readers only.

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  • Posted March 9, 2012

    This was an average, everyday, serial killer novel. Enjoyable wh

    This was an average, everyday, serial killer novel. Enjoyable while it lasted but not overly memorable after the event. I was able to pick that there was a traiter in the club, but not exactly who it was. Worth reading if you like this sort of thing, skip over it if you don't.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2012

    Twisted but still a good read.

    Good story line & character development. Some parts are a little tough to deal with for me.

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  • Posted February 5, 2012

    I love Rizzoli and Isles!

    Great book series! Love the characters!

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  • Posted June 8, 2011

    Loved it!

    Awesome storyline, well written. Keeps you hooked until the shocking end! LOVED the development of Dr. Isles' story with Brophy! I have read the first 6 books by Gerritsen and I am HOOKED. Exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. Brilliant!

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  • Posted February 23, 2011

    Wow!

    Finished this book in just a day and a half. Gripping page turner. I got so caught up in the suspense that I just did not see the end coming.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2011

    Good read, recommended if you enjoy a quick read.

    Great story line with fair character development. My only issue was with such a good story line many more twists could have taken place.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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