List of Tess Gerritsen Books in Chronological Order

Inspiration Starters

The plot for Tess Gerritsen’s medical thriller, Harvest, was inspired by a conversation with a retired detective, who had recently been to Russia. She learned from him that young orphans were disappearing from the streets of Moscow, and the police suspected that they were being transported abroad as organ donors.

Tess Gerritsen is a Chinese-American and retired physician turned novelist. Her first name originally was Terry; however, she feminized it when she started writing romance novels. Despite having debuted as a writer of romance novels, she has established herself firmly in the genre of medical thriller books. Her most recent claim to fame is the “Rizzoli and Isles” series that has been adapted into a TV series.

Her success in writing has been endorsed by the writing community in the form of awards. She received a RITA award in 2002 for the best suspense novel (The Surgeon). In 2006, her book “Vanish” was granted the Nero Award for best mystery novel. It was also nominated for the Edgar and Macavity Awards.

Novels by Tess Gerritsen

Romantic Suspense

Call After Midnight (1987)

Newlywed Sarah Fontaine is startled by the phone ringing in the middle of the night. Her husband, Geoffrey, has perished in a hotel fire in Berlin. Unconvinced of his demise, she gainsays special agent Nick O’Hara to prove her wrong as they search desperately across Europe, trying in every way to stay one step ahead of a dangerous murderer. They risk everything for answers that may prove fatal, as they walk straight into a nest of spies, counterspies, and cold-blooded assassins.

Under the Knife (1990)

Dr. Kate Chesne’s profession is threatened when a colleague and friend passes away on the operating table while undergoing a routine extraction of the gallbladder. A suit of malpractice turns her life into a living nightmare, as no one believes she is innocent. Not the hospital administrator and definitely not the prosecuting attorney, David Ransom. For him, it seems like an open-and-shut case, and he is determined to punish the negligent doctor. But when another body is discovered, David begins to believe her. He finds himself chasing after the same questions that Dr. Chesne wants answered. Why was she framed? And who is next?

Never Say Die (1992)

Willy Jane Maitland is revisiting her father’s steps, just before his plane crashed, twenty years ago, in the jungles of Southeast Asia. She enlists the help of ex-army officer Guy Barnard, who knows the jungles like the back of his hand and how this mystical nation worked. But in a place where the truth has many faces, she suspects that even Guy may have a hidden agenda. As she finds out shocking secrets and undeniable attractions, Vietnam proves to be a dangerous place to fall in love.

Whistle Blower (1992)

When Victor Holland is hit by Catherine Weaver’s car, she rushes his broken body to the hospital, hoping and praying for his survival. She doesn’t realize that she has not only just walked into a living nightmare, but also has put herself in mortal danger. This is because Victor has uncovered a terrifying secret, which leads to Washington, where powerful men will leave no stone unturned to silence him. To Catherine, his story sounds nonsensical, but the look in his eyes and the bullet wound in his shoulder tell a different tale. Each hour that goes by brings the pursuers closer and closer, while she debates who and what to trust.

Presumed Guilty (1993)

Miranda is the obvious suspect, when ex-lover Richard Tremain is found dead in her bedroom, stabbed with her knife. After being arrested, she looks even guiltier when an anonymous donor posts her bail. Is someone trying to help? Or is someone trying to make her look guilty? No one is ready to believe her innocence; least of all, the deceased’s brother, Chase Tremain. So the nightmare ensues, with all the evidence pointing directly to Miranda’s guilt. But when Chase witnesses several attempts on her life, he begins to wonder whether she was an innocent girl he could fall in love with or if she was a consummate cold-blooded killer.

Peggy Sue Got Murdered (1994) (re-released as Girl Missing in 2009)

A young woman’s corpse is found dumped in a garbage-strewn alley with no identifiable clues except for a matchbook clutched in one stiff hand, with seven numbers scrawled inside. When a second victim is appears, the medical examiner on the case, Kat Novak, begins to suspect the emergence of a serial killer. The police doubt it, and the mayor has turned a deaf ear. Kat’s chief suspect is one of the town’s elite citizens, with a missing daughter of his own. As the victims pile up, Kat races to reveal a deadly predator in their midst.

In Their Footsteps (1994)

The scandal enveloping her parents’ death has stalked Beryl Tavistock every day, for the past twenty years. She decides to exorcise the demons of the past by going out in search for the truth. Her questions prove dangerous and trap her in a cat-and-mouse chase from the rain-slick streets of Paris to the sun-drenched isles of Greece. The deeper she probes for answers, the more she gets pulled into a world of espionage. To navigate through all the lies and tricks, she enlists the help of Richard Wolf, an ex-CIA agent. But in a world where trust is a double-edged sword, friends become enemies, and enemies become killers.

Thief of Hearts (1995) (re-released as Stolen)

While fulfilling a request by a friend to steal back some risque love letters from her ex-lover’s estate, Jordan Tavistock is caught. What takes him by surprise is that he gets caught by another thief, a wanted woman. He is sure that nothing about her is real, and ponders whether she is an innocent fortune hunter or a criminal with a price on her head. As their attraction grows, so does the danger.

Keeper of the Bride (1996)

Being stood up at the altar was bad enough, but when a bomb explodes at the exact moment Nina Cormier would have said ‘I do’, she discovers the target on her back. She hopes the Portland detective, Sam Navarro, can help her find out who wants her dead. With the madness surrounding them, they try and decipher the truth.

Medical Thrillers

Harvest (1996)

Dr. Abby DiMatteo is jubilant when Boston’s Bayside Hospital’s elite cardiac transplant team approaches her as a potential recruit. But soon, a life-and-death decision puts her entire career in jeopardy. Abby and her chief resident, Vivian Chao, direct an accident victim’s harvested heart to a dying teenage boy instead of the immensely rich forty-six-year-old woman who was supposed to receive it. The consequences cost Dr. Chao her job, and leave Abby jolted and beset by self-doubt. All of a sudden, the woman’s heart transplant is accomplished by the emergence of a new heart, but Abby discovers that the donor records have been forged and that the new heart hasn’t come through the right channels. Resisting the hospital’s call for silence, she initiates her own investigation that leads her to an unthinkable conspiracy. Every move Abby makes leads to brutal repercussions … and on a ship anchored in the Boston harbor, the grim truth awaits.

Life Support (1997)

No one could have foreseen the man that Dr. Toby Harper admits one night to the Springer Hospital. The man, delirious and in critical condition, scarcely responds to the medication, and later vanishes into thin air. Before the man can be found, Dr. Toby is presented with a second case with the same infection. The case presents an unsettling twist―the infection only spreads through direct tissue exchange. On the path of death that winds from a pregnant teenage prostitute to her own home, Toby discovers the unimaginable: the epidemic wasn’t a chance occurrence, it was premeditated!

Bloodstream (1998)

The resort town of Tranquility, Maine, seemed like the best place for Dr. Claire Elliot to protect her teenage son, Noah, from the distractions that the city offered and the traumatic memory of his father’s death. But all her plans go awry when a series of teenage violence erupts in the local school. As the rash of disturbing behavior grows, she tries to find a medical explanation and stumbles upon an insidious evil, which has blighted the town’s past and threatens its future. Fearing for the sake of her son, she races to prove her theories and to bring the conspiracies to light.

Gravity (1999)

Dr. Emma Watson has been preparing for the opportunity of a lifetime: to study microorganisms in space. But her mission turns into a living hell when a culture of the organisms begin to rapidly multiply out of control, and infect the space station crew with agonizing and deadly results. She struggles to arrest the outbreak, while NASA and her estranged husband try their best to retrieve her. But when the contagion threatens the Earth as well, all rescue attempts are stopped, and the astronauts are left stranded, quarantined aboard the space station, where they are dying one by one.

The Bone Garden (2007)

Julia Hamill makes an alarming discovery on the yard of her new house in Massachusetts. She finds a human skull buried in the soil, and according to the Boston medical examiner Maura Isles, it belongs to a female and has been marred with the evident signs of murder. But whoever this unidentified woman was, and whatever happened to her, is knowledge lost in the past. Unidentified bones, mysterious secrets, and puzzling crimes from the distant past cast sinister shadows on the present.

Rizzoli/Isles Series

The Surgeon (2001)

A killer’s loose in Boston. He targets solitary women, breaks into their houses, and carries out terrorizing ritualistic acts of torture on them before killing them off. His meticulous surgical skills lead the police to suspect that he is a physician who, in lieu of saving lives, takes them. As homicide detective Thomas Moore and his partner Jane Rizzoli investigate, they discover that Catherine Cordell, a medic with a cryptic past, is linked to both these killings. Two years ago, she was raped and almost killed, but she shot her attacker dead. Now there is a new killer in town who is targeting her and knows all about her past.

The Apprentice (2002)

The summer brings with it a series of shocking crimes, in which wealthy men are made to witness their wives being brutalized. A sadistic act ending in abduction and death. The pattern points to serial killer Warren Hoyt, who has recently been arrested. The police are left to assume that the crimes are being carried out by an acolyte, basing his attacks on the twisted medical techniques of Warren. As Jane Rizzoli is forced to confront the killer who scarred her, she is determined to get to the bottom of this case. However, she doesn’t anticipate the U.S. government’s abrupt interest, or on encountering special agent Gabriel Dean, who knows more than he lets on. Least of all, that she herself would turn into a target once Hoyt is suddenly on the loose.

The Sinner (2003)

Within the walls of a convent lie two nuns―one dead, one gravely injured, victims of an unwarranted and savage attack. Medical examiner Maura Isles’s autopsy reveals a spine-chilling surprise, while the case takes a horrifying new direction. The body of another woman has been found with signs indicating someone has meticulously removed her face, hands, and feet. As the case progresses, Dr. Isles and detective Rizzoli are embroiled in an investigation leading to a dreadful realization of the killer’s true identity.

Body Double (2004)

Dr. Maura Isles and detective Jane Rizzoli are plunged into a mind-blowing mystery as they investigate their most chilling case to date. Dr. Isles’s doppelganger, who is in fact her twin sister, has been found murdered. The already bizarre and bone-chilling murder investigation transforms into a disturbing trip down memory lane into a past full of dark secrets.

Vanish (2005)

It starts out like just any other day at the morgue, a nameless female corpse lying on the gurney, awaiting the scalpel of medical examiner Maura Isles; until the corpse open its eyes. The Jane Doe is rushed to the hospital, where with calm precision, she kills a security guard and seizes hostages, one of them being a pregnant patient, Jane Rizzoli. Maura teams up with Jane’s husband, FBI agent Gabriel Dean, to hunt down the killer. But, when all of a sudden federal agents arrive on the scene, they realize that the case goes deeper than just an hostage situation, and Jane is the only one holding the key to the mystery.

The Mephisto Club (2006)

PECCAVI, the Latin word, is written in blood at the murder scene of a young woman. Dr. Maura Isles and detective Jane Rizzoli link the victim to celebrity psychiatrist Joyce O’Donnell, Jane’s nemesis and the member of a sinister cabal called the Mephisto Club. Based on a wealth of historical data and mysterious symbolism, the Mephisto scholars aim to prove that Satan lives in our midst. With the appearance of a corpse on their doorstep, they begin to fear the very thing they are trying to prove. Maura and Jane venture out on a terrorizing path where they run into a malicious foe, far more dangerous than any they have ever encountered.

The Keepsake/Keeping the Dead (US/UK, 2008)

Maura Isles discovers a grim message concealed in an ancient Egyptian mummy dubbed “Madam X”―proof that this relic is in fact a modern-day murder victim. To Dr. Isles and detective Rizzoli, the evidence is unmistakable, and when yet another corpse is found, it becomes crystal clear that a maniac is on the prowl. A chill runs down archaeologist Josephine Pulcillo’s spine, when the mummified corpse of a third victim is left in her car. Now Maura must draw upon her own rusty knowledge of ancient death rituals to uncover the maniac’s identity. And when Josephine disappears, Maura and Jane race against time to identify the Archaeology Killer.

Ice Cold/The Killing Place (US/UK, 2010)

In Wyoming for a medical conference, Maura Isles and a group of friends are stranded with no recourse when their SUV stalls on a snow-congested mountain road. As night falls, they seek refuge in the remote village of Kingdom Come, where identical houses stand lifeless, meals sit untasted on tables, cars are still parked in garages, and the residents seem to have vanished into thin air. But footprints in the snow suggest the presence of someone lurking in the shadows. Few days later, detective Rizzoli receives news of Maura’s charred body being found in a mountain ravine. The investigation immerses Jane into the seamy past of Kingdom Come, where a macabre discovery lies buried. As Jane closes in on an enemy both potent and without mercy, the truth about Maura’s fate dawns on her.

Freaks (2011)

When the corpse of the emaciated seventeen-year-old girl, Kimberley Rayner, is discovered next to an empty coffin in an abandoned church, cryptic bruises around the throat suggest foul play. The victim’s closest friend, Lucas Henry, is caught trying to flee the scene. He claims he and Kimberly shared a taste for blood. But the victim’s father doesn’t believe in vampires, only retribution. Until Rizzoli and Isles uncover the truth, people’s lives are in danger.

The Silent Girl (US/UK, 2011)

In the dark alley lies a severed female hand, while on the rooftop above is the corpse of the owner of the hand, a red-headed woman clad in black, nearly headless. Rizzoli’s only clues are: two strands of silver hair―not human―clinging to the body, but they’re enough for her and Isles to surmise that this death had a prequel.

Nineteen years ago, a murder-suicide in a Chinatown restaurant resulted in the death of five people, but one woman connected to it is still alive. She knows of a secret that lives and breathes in the shadows of Chinatown, and one shes scared to divulge. Solving the case, Rizzoli and Isles must outfox an unseen enemy.

John Doe (2012)

Maura is approached by a handsome, charming, and sophisticated man at a party. She flirts and drinks champagne. And then nothing. Complete blackness. It should have been a night to remember, but she can’t seem to recall a thing. Nothing apart from the facts that a man is dead and her address is found in his pocket.

Last To Die (UK/US, 2012)

Jane and Maura discover that the recent multiple homicide in Boston, with Teddy Clock as the only survivor, is far from an ordinary breaking and entering gone wrong. Teddy and two other teens are being targeted, but there doesn’t seem to be a connection. The teens end up at Evensong boarding school, which offers asylum to traumatized teens, and promises to be a safe haven for them, but evil can be a persistent antagonist.

Die Again (2014)

A game hunter is found dead in his apartment with the corpse of a white snow leopard which he had been recently asked to procure and stuff for a high-profile museum. Isles connects it to a number of cases where the victims were found hanging upside down, the distinctive telltale sign of a leopard’s kill. Rizzoli follows the trail of clues all the way to Botswana, where she unveils the mystery surrounding a camping safari that took place four years ago. As she realizes that the two cases are connected, she must track down the sole survivor of the tragic trip to identify the culprit behind these grisly deaths.

Tess Gerritsen, from her first book to her latest, engages the reader till the very last word. Her official website offers details of upcoming releases, free preview chapters, book tours, and links to her interviews. Check it out to know your favorite author even better.

“Aside from the Rizzoli & Isles books, there are many other stories I want to write. The question is whether I’ll live long enough to write them all!” ― T.G.

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