A Book Spy Review: ‘I Know a Secret’ by Tess Gerritsen


Detective Jane Rizzoli and Medical Examiner Maura Isles are called to a disturbing crime scene. A woman is found dead in her bed, her eyes gouged out and laid in her hand. Beyond that, there is no obvious cause of death. 

A short while later, another body is discovered. This time a man is found dead with three arrows stuck in his heart. Ironically, though, the arrows don’t appear to be what killed him. Like the woman before him, the cause of death remains a mystery. Rizzoli is sure both murders are linked to one killer but struggles to connect the victims, believing at first that the horror movie-like staged killings might have been done at random.

While Rizzoli searches for a link between the victims and tries to figure out how to find the killer, Isles struggles to figure out what, exactly, killed them.

The first breakthrough comes when Rizzoli discovers that the first victim, Cassandra Coyle, a filmmaker, was working on a slasher flick that featured similar types of deaths–which can be traced back to those of early Christian saints. The likeness is uncanny, and it gives Rizzoli something to work with. Eventually, she finds the link between victims, realizing both are tied to a sexual abuse case from twenty years ago. The abuse took place at Apple Tree Daycare and was well publicized at the time.

Working backward looking for more victims, Rizzoli discovers that several other cases may be tied to the killer–who may or may not be the man who went to prison, who happens to have been recently released, following the Apple Tree Daycare scandal.

But could the case really be that easy? Don’t count on it…

Another woman emerges who Rizzoli is convinced could be the next target. She has insight into the past case, but she also has a secret that she’s not willing to tell, no matter what–even with her own life on the line.

If you haven’t read any of Gerritsen’s books before, the author does a fine job getting newcomers up to speed. She packs in enough character backstory and development to enrich the story, but without slowing the plot down. The gruesome murder scenes aren’t for the faint of heart, and the story itself gets pretty dark at times. Gerritsen’s colorful characters brighten things significantly, and after a three-year hiatus (since 2014’s Die Again), it’s just great to have Rizzoli and Isles back in action. 

Tess Gerritsen ramps up the suspense with this one–I Know a Secret is a gritty, nail-biting page-turner, and a whole lot of fun to read! 

Book Details

Author: Tess Gerritsen
Pages: 368 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 0345543882
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: August 15, 2017
Book Spy Rating: 6.0/10
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