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Tess Gerritsen is the pen name for Terry Gerritsen, an American international bestselling author of romance and medical thriller novels.

Born in San Diego, California, Tess graduated from Stanford University with a BA in Anthropology, before getting her MD at the University of California.

Her writing journey began when she decided to write a fiction book while on maternity leave, with Call After Midnight eventually getting published in 1987.

A retired physician, Tess now works as a full-time writer.

She currently lives in Maine with her family.

More about Tess Gerritsen

Genres: Romance, Suspense, Thriller

Born: 1953

United States

Pseudonym: Tess Gerritsen

Website: https://www.tessgerritsen.com/

Non Series

  • Call After Midnight (1987)
  • Under the Knife (1990)
  • Presumed Guilty (1993)
  • Girl Missing (1994)
  • Harvest (1996)
  • Life Support (1997)
  • Bloodstream (1998)
  • Gravity (1999)
  • The Bone Garden (2007)
  • Stolen (2011)
  • Playing with Fire (2015)
  • The Shape of Night (2019)

Anthologies

  1. Whistleblower & Never Say Die (2007)
  2. Presumed Guilty & Keeper of the Bride (2008)
  3. In Their Footsteps & Thief of Hearts (2008)

Rizzoli & Isles Series

  1. The Surgeon (2001)
  2. The Apprentice (2002)
  3. The Sinner (2003)
  4. Body Double (2004)
  5. Vanish (2005)
  6. The Mephisto Club (2006)
  7. The Keepsake (2008)
  8. Ice Cold (2010)
  9. The Silent Girl (2011)
  10. Last to Die (2012)
  11. Die Again (2014)
  12. I Know a Secret (2017)

Short Stories

  1. Freaks: A Rizzoli & Isles Short Story (2011)
  2. John Doe: A Rizzoli & Isles Short Story (2012)

Detailed book overview

Non Series

Call After Midnight

When Sarah Fontaine receives a phone call in the dead of night, she expects it to be from her newly-wed husband who is in London.

Instead, the voice on the other end of the line is that of Nick O’Hara from the US State Department, who shockingly informs her that Geoffrey Fontaine died during a hotel fire in Berlin.

How could Sarah have lost her husband of just two months?

Refusing to accept that her husband is dead, Sarah confronts Nick in an act that sees the two travel across Europe in a desperate and dangerous search for Geoffrey.

Author: Tess Gerritsen
First Release: 1987
Ebook: B00AHPICMG
Publisher: Severn House Publishers
Under the Knife

For attorney David Ransom, the matter in front of him is a simple case of negligence.

The lawyer of a family still struggling to come to terms with the loss of its member, David is convinced that the case will end as soon as it begins.

All that however changes when Dr. Kate Chesne storms into his office, insisting that she is being falsely accuses of a crime that she didn’t commit.

Although Kate’s career is on the line, David starts believing her after another corpse is found.

A ruthless killer secretly lives among the patients and workers at Honolulu hospital.

What is the killer’s motive? And most importantly, who will be the next victim?

Author: Tess Gerritsen
First Release: 1990
ISBN: 978-0778300670
Publisher: Gardners Books
Presumed Guilty

“Surviving? Or proving your innocence?”

Miranda Wood believes that she will never lay eyes on Richard Tremain, her wealthy and married ex-lover again—until she finds him lying in a pool of blood on her bed.

There’s no doubt that Miranda is the main suspect, given how the victim was knifed to death with her blade.

Things move from bad to worse for her when someone anonymously posts her bail.

Was this a simple act of kindness meant to buy her time to exonerate herself? Or is it part of well crafted scheme meant to lure her into the shadowy world of an executed man where everyone is presumed guilty?

Author: Tess Gerritsen
First Release: 1993
ISBN: 978-0778304722
Publisher: MIRA
Girl Missing

The first body is discovered lying in the office of Kat Novak, a medical examiner based in Boston.

Other than the matchbook containing several scribbled numbers which was discovered in one of her hands, the case is too much of a mystery.

When the lifeless remains of a second victim are however discovered, Kat begins suspecting that a deranged serial killer is on the loose.

Worse off, neither the police nor the mayor is willing to assist her, as Kat's main suspect is one of the most renowned people in the town.

As the bodies begin piling up, Kat endeavors to catch the vicious killer before she becomes the next victim.

NB: This book is also known as Peggy Sue Got Murdered.

Author: Tess Gerritsen
First Release: 1994
ISBN: 978-0345549624
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Harvest

Abby DiMatteo defied the odds to become a doctor at the Bayside Hospital in Boston.

She however puts her entire career on the line after using a donor heart to spare the life of a dying seventeen-year-old boy, at the expense of the rich middle-aged woman whom it had been reserved for.

When a new heart however surfaces, the mayhem subsides as the initial patient undergoes a successful transplant.

The real mayhem however begins after Abby shockingly learns that the heart was acquired through unscrupulous means.

Against the wishes of the hospital, Abby launches her own investigation, unearthing a terrible murderous conspiracy.

Author: Tess Gerritsen
First Release: 1996
ISBN: 978-1501188800
Publisher: Gallery Books
Life Support

While on one of her overnight shifts at Springer Hospital ER, Dr. Toby Harper admits a critically ill man who seems to be suffering from a potential viral infection of the brain—only for the patient to mysteriously vanish.

Before Toby locates the patient, another similar case occurs, which in turn proves that the virus can be transmitted through direct tissue exchange.

From an expectant sixteen-year-old sex worker, to an unforeseen misfortune in her own home, Toby’s investigation leads her to a shocking discovery.

This isn’t just an unfortunate epidemic. Someone actually released it…

Author: Tess Gerritsen
First Release: 1997
ISBN: 978-0553824520
Publisher: Bantam
Bloodstream

Dr. Claire Elliott moves with her teenage son to the peaceful and picturesque town of Tranquility, Maine, in an effort to help him cope with the loss of his father.

But with winter comes the terrifying revelation of a brutal act of violence by an adolescent boy under her care. And this is just the beginning of a frightening series of explosive and deadly behavior.

Determined to get to the bottom of things, Claire launches an investigation which leads her to the conclusion that the violent behavior among the town’s teens is the result of a biological epidemic.

Will she manage to save her son and the town from the impending danger?

Author: Tess Gerritsen
First Release: 1998
ISBN: 978-0671016760
Publisher: Pocket Books
Gravity

NASA doctor Emma Watson is presented with the opportunity of a lifetime when she is offered the chance to study living beings in space.

Things however go terribly wrong during her mission aboard the International Space Station when a culture of single-celled organisms, meant to be studied in space, start infecting the crew.

Matters escalate when the NASA shuttle crashes, diminishing their hopes of getting rescued.

With the astronauts now left helpless in space, the infection is killing them one after the other.

But that’s not the worst part. The contagion is now threatening the ravage the Earth’s population.

Author: Tess Gerritsen
First Release: 1999
ISBN: 978-0007804955
Publisher: Harper Collins
The Bone Garden

Present day: Julia Hamill shockingly discovers a skull in the compound of her new home in the Massachusetts countryside; one which apparently belongs to a female murder victim according to medical examiner Maura Isles.

Boston, 1830: Desperate to finance his studies at Boston Medical College, Norris Marshall becomes a local “resurrectionist”, harvesting organs from dead bodies for sale on the black market.

When a nurse and a renowned doctor are however viciously murdered, Norris finds himself on a desperate mission to prove his innocence.

This is an enthralling tale about how cold cases from a distant past can still haunt the present.

Author: Tess Gerritsen
First Release: 2007
ISBN: 978-1101885291
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Stolen

A sinking cargo ship. A vicious blood bath.

The perpetrators of this ghastly act of violence seem to have gotten away with it.

Former cat burglar however knows the truth, and she won’t rest until the killers are exposed.

Asked to steal the secret letters of a friend, wealthy Englishman Jordan Tavistock hesitantly accepts.

He however ends up meeting another burglar in the process; one who is looking for something completely different.

As the chemistry and intrigue intensifies, Clea and Jordan endeavor to uncover mysteries about the cargo ship.

Sinister figures will however do anything to ensure the secrets stay buried forever.

NB: This book is also known as Thief of Hearts.

Author: Tess Gerritsen
First Release: 2011
ISBN: 978-0778304890
Publisher: MIRA
Playing with Fire

What would you do if you were viciously attacked by your own daughter—your three-year-old daughter?

Julia has no idea what is happening to her daughter.

She however has a rough idea of what could be triggering her violent outbursts.

Julia is worried about her lovely daughter Lily, and scared for her own safety.

The worst part about it all is that nobody believes her.

Desperate for answers, she launches a determined investigation that leads her all the way to Venice.

What she uncovers is a secret that those responsible will do whatever it takes to protect it.

Author: Tess Gerritsen
First Release: 2015
ISBN: 978-1101884362
Publisher: Ballantine Books
The Shape of Night

Desperate for some tranquility in her life following the unfortunate events in Boston, Ava Collette relocates to a distant village in Maine where she rents an old mansion by the seaside.

It seems like the perfect place for her, until she sees what looks like the sea captain who died years ago.

According to the residents of the town, Captain Jeremiah Brodie has haunted the mansion for over a hundred years.

When Ava confronts the ghost, who looks too real, she finds herself doubting her own rationality.

The house however has a secret. Every woman who has ever lived there has died.

Is the place haunted by a ghost, or a ruthless human killer?

Author: Tess Gerritsen
First Release: 2019
ISBN: 978-1984820976
Publisher: Ballantine Books

Anthologies

Whistleblower & Never Say Die

WHISTLEBLOWER
While running for his life, Victor Holland crosses paths with Catherine Weaver. Dangerous men are after him, having uncovered a deadly secret that trails back to Washington.

Though he sounds like someone who has lost his marbles, the fear in his eyes tell another story.

Is he truly in danger? Or is Catherine bestowing her trust on a dangerous man?

NEVER SAY DIE
Twenty decades after her father’s plane descended into the jungles of Southeast Asia, Willy Jane Maitland journeys there to follow his last moves.

Though aware of the dangers ahead, her desperation for the truth is worth the risk.

Is she prepared for the terrible discoveries and intense attraction that she’ll face?

Author: Tess Gerritsen
First Release: 2007
Ebook: B07RTL797Z
Publisher: MIRA
Presumed Guilty & Keeper of the Bride

PRESUMED GUILTY
Miranda Wood believes that she will never lay eyes on Richard Tremain, her wealthy and married ex-lover again—until she finds him lying in a pool of blood on her bed.

There’s no doubt that Miranda is the main suspect, given how the victim was knifed to death with her blade.

She’ll however have to decide what's more important between surviving and proving her innocence.

KEEPER OF THE BRIDE
From an explosion on an empty church on what was supposed to be her big day, to a near accident on the road, it soon becomes evident that somebody is trying to kill Nina Cormier.

And it’s up to Detective Sam Navarro to stop them before Nina ends up in a body bag.

Author: Tess Gerritsen
First Release: 2008
ISBN: 978-0778327066
Publisher: MIRA
In Their Footsteps & Thief of Hearts

IN THEIR FOOTSTEPS
Troubled by the suspicious death of her parents, Beryl Tavistock seeks to uncover the truth.
Asking too many questions could however prove to be a dangerous affair.
With the help of former CIA agent Richard Wolf, will Beryl find what she’s looking for?

THIEF OF HEARTS
A sinking cargo ship. A vicious blood bath.
The perpetrators of this ghastly act of violence seem to have gotten away with it.
Former cat burglar however knows the truth, and she won’t rest until the killers are exposed.
With the help of wealthy Englishman Jordan Tavistock, she embarks on a deadly truth-seeking mission.
NB: This book is also known as Stolen.

Author: Tess Gerritsen
First Release: 2008
Ebook: B07R94VMST
Publisher: MIRA

Rizzoli & Isles Series

The Surgeon

He sneaks into homes in the dead of night before viciously killing his victims.

Going by the unerring accuracy of his killing technique, the killer is dubbed “The Surgeon”.

In order to solve the mystery, Detectives Thomas Moore and Jane Rizzoli must seek the help of Dr. Catherine Cordell, who survived a similar crime two year ago.

Although she managed to kill the attack in the process of defending herself, this new copycat killer seems to be accurately recreating Cordell’s nightmare experience, mocking her with every new killing.

Will Moore and Rizzoli be able to protect the trauma surgeon from a deranged killer who is chillingly aware of the most deeply held fears of every woman he kills?

Author: Tess Gerritsen
First Release: 2001
ISBN: 978-1101887424
Publisher: Ballantine Books
The Apprentice

A series of devastating crimes have been rocking Boston amid the sweltering summer sun.

Although the killings mirror the work of serial killer Warren Hoyt, who was just recently imprisoned for his twisted crimes, the police have every reason to believe that a copycat killer is on the loose; mimicking the medical skills of the deranged butcher that he looks up to.

In order to bring an end to the brutality, Detective Jane Rizzoli must face the same killer who gave her nightmares, without becoming a victim herself.

Will she manage to deliver justice once a free Hoyt joins his fellow barbarian in unleashing vengeance?

Author: Tess Gerritsen
First Release: 2002
ISBN: 978-1101887400
Publisher: Ballantine Books
The Sinner

It’s winter in New England.

Two nuns are discovered at a chapel in the morning, one of whom is dead while the other is seriously injured.

Although there initially seems to be no motive behind the attack, medical examiner Maura Isles soon discovers that one of the nuns, 24-year-old Sister Camille, had given birth right before she was killed.

When the body of another woman is discovered in a deserted building viciously disfigured beyond recognition, Isles and detective Jane Rizzoli proceed with speed to look for clues that could link the murders.

When a long-hidden secret is uncovered, Isles draws closer to unmasking the identity of a killer that is too shocking to stomach.

Author: Tess Gerritsen
First Release: 2003
ISBN: 978-1101887394
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Body Double

As a medical examiner based in Boston, Dr. Maura Isles has seen her fair share of dead bodies. None of those experiences have however been as terrifying as seeing her very dead body on the medical examiner’s table.

A woman who was murdered right outside Maura’s home not only looks exactly like Maura, but also shares the same blood type and date of birth.

Despite being an only child, Maura’s worst fears are confirmed when DNA test proves that the victim is indeed Maura’s twin sister.

To find the answers that she seeks, Maura must find the woman who gave birth to her, and uncover the mysteries before it’s too late.

Author: Tess Gerritsen
First Release: 2004
ISBN: 978-0553824506
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Vanish

The body of a gorgeous, unknown woman who took her own life lies in the morgue, waiting to be examined by pathologist Dr. Maura Isles. But just as Maura opens the body bag, she is bewildered by the sight of a woman who is everything but dead.

Rushed to the hospital, the unknown woman surprisingly kills a security guard before taking everyone hostage. Among the hostages is the pregnant Jane Rizzoli.

Joining forces with Jane’s husband, FBI agent Gabriel Dean, Maura endeavors to uncover the identity of the violent woman.

Jane however holds the key to solving the mystery. Will she survive long enough to end the insanity?

Author: Tess Gerritsen
First Release: 2005
ISBN: 978-1101885277
Publisher: Ballantine Books
The Mephisto Club

Christmas in Boston begins in the worst of ways following the discovery of a viciously murdered young woman, with the word “PECCAVI” scribbled in blood.

It doesn’t take long for Dr. Maura Isles and Detective Jane Rizzoli to link the victim to Joyce O’Donnell, Maura’s professional rival and member of the secret society “The Mephisto Club”.

Do demons walk among us? The Mephisto scholars have devoted themselves to answering this.

When a brutally murdered victim is however delivered at the club’s doorstep, its members fear the worst.

In a bid to bring an end to the mystery, Maura and Jane finds themselves confronting the deadliest enemy they have ever faced.

Author: Tess Gerritsen
First Release: 2006
ISBN: 978-1101885284
Publisher: Ballantine Books
The Keepsake

The well preserved mummy of a woman had for years been neglected in the dirty basement of the Crispin Museum in Boston.

Nicknamed “Madam X”, there is every reason to believe that the recently rediscovered mummy is a relic from ancient Egypt.

When pathologist Maura Isles however examines it, she shockingly learns that the corpse isn’t an artifact from ancient Egypt, but rather the outcome of a modern-day murder.

When the lifeless remains of two more women are discovered, Maura and homicide detective Jane Rizzoli know that they have to act fast before more innocent lives are lost.

NB: This book is also known as Keeping The Dead.

Author: Tess Gerritsen
First Release: 2008
ISBN: 978-1101887417
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Ice Cold

While attending a medical conference in Wyoming, Dr. Maura Isles and a group of friends decide to go on a ski trip.

When their SUV however gets stranded in the thick snow, they decide to seek shelter from the snowstorm in the remote village of Kingdom Come, where they are shocked to learn that all the residents have mysteriously vanished.

Someone is however secretly spying on Maura and her colleagues.

Days later, Detective Jane Rizzoli is shockingly informed that Maura’s lifeless remains were discovered.

Desperate to uncover the truth about what really happened to her friend, Jane finds herself going toe-to-toe with a brutal and powerful foe.

NB: This book is also known as The Killing Place.

Author: Tess Gerritsen
First Release: 2010
ISBN: 978-1101887387
Publisher: Ballantine Books
The Silent Girl

The butchered hand of a woman lies in an alley, as the rest of the nearly beheaded body lies on the rooftop above.

Red-haired and dressed in black, the only clues are two strands of non-human hair found on the victim's body. There's however more to the story.

Nearly two decades earlier, a vicious murder-suicide took place in a Chinatown restaurant, leaving five people dead.

One woman linked to the murder is however still alive, on the run after uncovering what she shouldn’t have.

Now a target of unspeakable evil, Dr. Maura Isles and Detective Jane Rizzoli must outsmart an invisible foe if they are to get to the bottom of the mystery.

Author: Tess Gerritsen
First Release: 2011
ISBN: 978-0553820942
Publisher: Bantam
Last to Die

Fourteen-year-old Teddy Clock has just narrowly survived a mass killing for the second time in his short life.

Left an orphan yet again after his foster family is viciously murdered, the scared teen loses all hope, until Homicide Detective Jane Rizzoli comes to his rescue.

Desperate to protect him, Jane sends Teddy to an exclusive boarding school where young traumatized victim are equipped with survival skills.

But when Jane finds out about two other students who share a similar traumatic past, it becomes clear that Teddy isn’t the only victim.

Will Jane and Dr. Maura Isles stop the deranged killer before the lives of more children are ruined?

Author: Tess Gerritsen
First Release: 2012
ISBN: 978-0553820522
Publisher: Bantam
Die Again

When Detective Jane Rizzoli and pathologist Maura Isles report to a crime scene, they find one of the most gruesome scenes they have ever seen.

Although it looks as though hunter-taxidermist Leon Gott was mercilessly killed by one of the beasts that he once displayed, the positioning of his body could only have been done using human hands—not claws.

Six years ago, tourists on a safari in Botswana had a killer amongst them.

Although they were mercilessly killed, one of them survived.

Now that the killer has made Boston his new hunting ground, will Jane and Maura lure him with bait that he simply can’t resist?

Author: Tess Gerritsen
First Release: 2014
ISBN: 978-0345543875
Publisher: Ballantine Books
I Know a Secret

 “Two different murders. Two different locations. Two unrelated victims. Plenty in common.”

Investigating the cases are Homicide Detective Jane Rizzoli and pathologist Maura Isles who are distracted by problems of their own.

Jane is struggling to save her mother from a dying marriage while Maura’s mother, notorious serial killer Amalthea Lank, is dying of cancer.

Though on her death bed, Amalthea gives Maura and Jane a mysterious lead that could help solve the two cases.

Her clue is however just the first of a series of puzzles as Maura and Jane will find out.

Will they catch the killer, or will they become the next victims?

Author: Tess Gerritsen
First Release: 2017
ISBN: 978-0345543905
Publisher: Ballantine Books

Short Stories

Freaks: A Rizzoli & Isles Short Story

Jane Rizzoli and Dr. Maura Isles, Boston PD Homicide Detective and pathologist respectively, have seen a number of corpses in their illustrious careers.

None of them have however ever been as gruesome and terrifying as the death of seventeen-year-old Kimberly Rayner.

Brutally killed, her thin remains are left next to an empty casket in a deserted church.

Caught running away from the scene is a similarly emaciated Lucas Henry, who is the victim’s closest friend.

Although Lucas claims that his only craving was blood, something Kimberly liked too, the victim’s devastated father doesn’t believe in vampires. He does however believe in retaliation.

Will Jane and Maura act swiftly before another life is lost?

Author: Tess Gerritsen
First Release: 2011
Ebook: B0051AOIT8
Publisher: Ballantine Books
John Doe: A Rizzoli & Isles Short Story

It was meant to be an unforgettable night, yet medical examiner Maura Isles has no recollection of anything.

It all happened while she was at a party.

Approached by a gorgeous, delightful and worldly man, the last thing she remembers is flirting and sipping champagne. The rest is total blackness.

There is however one more other thing. The dead body of a man was discovered, with her address found inside the victim’s pocket.

Author: Tess Gerritsen
First Release: 2012
Ebook: B008NA5U3Q
Publisher: Transworld Digital