Review: ‘I Know a Secret’ slowly unfolds in unexpected ways

“I Know a Secret” (Ballantine Books), by Tess Gerritsen

Tess Gerritsen brings back Boston homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles to tackle another baffling mystery in “I Know a Secret: a Rizzoli & Isles Novel,” weaving a thriller that slowly unfolds in unexpected ways.

Rizzoli and Isles feel like real people, and readers who are fans of either the book series or the former TV show know there’s an emotional angle to the proceedings and care about everything that happens to the duo.

In “I Know a Secret,” a woman in her early twenties who worked on independent and low-budget horror films is murdered in her bed. When another body shows up — a man around the same age — Isles realizes there must be a connection. The evidence suggests otherwise, but Rizzoli knows to trust Isles’ instincts. They soon learn that the two victims knew each other when they were children and went to the same after-school daycare. The three people who ran it were prosecuted and imprisoned for doing horrible things to the children in their care. Rizzoli and Isles realize that one of them has recently been released from jail.

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“I Know a Secret” becomes a race to protect the remaining children who testified all those years ago from suffering a similar fate. And how do the crimes tie into the gruesome death of martyred saints? Gerritsen writes effortlessly, and this is another stellar entry in the series.