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The Mephisto Club (Rizzoli and Isles Series #6)

The Mephisto Club (Rizzoli and Isles Series #6)

4.1 325
by Tess Gerritsen

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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.


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


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.


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.

Editorial Reviews

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.
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.”

Product Details

Gardners Books
Publication date:
Rizzoli and Isles Series , #6

Read an Excerpt

The Mephisto Club

By Tess Gerritsen

Random House

Tess Gerritsen
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0345476999

Chapter One

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 coltishlyback 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.

Excerpted from The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritsen Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen earned international acclaim for her first novel of suspense, Harvest. She introduced Detective Jane Rizzoli in The Surgeon (2001) and Dr. Maura Isles in The Apprentice (2002) and has gone on to write numerous other titles in the celebrated Rizzoli & Isles series, most recently The Mephisto Club, The Keepsake, Ice Cold, The Silent Girl, Last to Die, and Die Again. Her latest novel is the standalone thriller Playing with Fire. A physician, Tess Gerritsen lives in Maine.

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The Mephisto Club (Rizzoli and Isles Series #6) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 325 reviews.
JessLucy More than 1 year ago
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.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
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!

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.

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!

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.

Believe me, though, THE MEPHISTO CLUB is another winner!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
angeleyesAS More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the first book I ever read by Tess G. & I have been buying her books ever since. The Mephisto Club was very well written, I felt that I knew each of the characters in the book, there was plenty of suspense to keep me reading and making it hard to put down. She has become one of my favorite writers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A MUST read...I just love Tess!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Very fast-paced thriller!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I needed a book to read and the cover caught my eye. Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down! This is my first book by Tess Gerritsen but it will definitely not be my last. I liked how she moved between the different characters and also provided different view points. I have recommended this book to several of my friends!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Incredibly well written, engaging and packed with just the right amount of adventure. Likable characters with plenty of opportunity to allow them to grow. Seat-of-your-pants thrills throughout!
Anonymous 15 days ago
This series about our female dual dyamoes grabs you at the beginning and follows through with a awesome ending. I love her writing style. I stsrted out of order with Ice Cold but it did't matter a bit. I was hooked.
Anonymous 17 days ago
Once again, our aurthor has given us a great book to read. Lots of thrills, easy to read, &easy to read.
Anonymous 12 months ago
I was just browsing and came across this book. Hadn't heard of the author, but thought the plot sounded interesting. It was entertaining.
jm7322 More than 1 year ago
Well done descriptions
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a new author for me and I have enjoyed this book very much and would recommend it. I love the strong female characters, the story line was great, the pace was a page turner. I love a good book that keeps me interested from start to finish and makes me want to keep reading well into the night.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It started out creepy enough, but lost me halfway through it. Maybe it wasn't for me.  Sorry.
AvidmysteryreaderLH More than 1 year ago
It was hard for me because I watch the series on TV and it did not follow the same interaction that the two have on the show. The content of the book was not my type of reading (supernatural/spirit type) but I would have to say it was okay!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
EasyReaderEP More than 1 year ago
I could not put down. I just recently started reading Tess Gerritsen novels and I am loving every one of them. She catches your interest in the beginning and keeps you guessing. Keep it up Tess Gerritsen...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Could not put it down
Tama2toe More than 1 year ago
A book with extremes. With this book you will white knuckle your way through. And, just as the books prior the ending is not predictable. Another enjoyable ride.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago