Synopsis: 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. Only Josephine knows thather 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 his twisted endgame. And when Josephine vanishes, Maura and Jane have precious little time to derail the Archaeology Killer before he adds another chilling piece to his monstrous collection.
Quotes from the book: "She became aware of other sounds now. The chirping of insects. The skittering of some unseen creature moving across the floor. And through it all, that relentless dripping of water."
"Today, though, it wasn't Frank but retired detective Vince Korsak who'd assumed the role of barbecue chef, in carnivore nirvana as he flipped steaks, splashing grease on the extra-large apron draped over his generous belly." (This quote has very little to do with the story, but I thought it was funny)
My Thoughts: This is the second Gerritsen book I've head and I thought it was great. Thanks to Jo for recommending this author to me. I felt like the mummy angle was a unique twist to this serial killer story. I liked the archeology and science angles that were incorporated and I appreciated that they weren't overly technical. These angles were interesting adding to the story, not detracting from it. All in all I found this to be a good, fast paced, entertaining read.
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Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (August 25, 2009)