In Chinese mythology the immortal Monkey King is born from stone, and is skilled in the secrets of Martial Arts. He is also to fight for justice, to avenge a death and to cause havoc while doing so. When monkey hairs are found clinging to the clothing of the corpse of more than one killer-for-hire homicide cop Jane Rizzoli brings in rookie detective Johnnie Tam to help unravel the mysteries, the culture and the language to the legend behind the murders at the Red Phoenix restaurant, in Boston’s China Town, over a decade ago.
On the anniversary of the slayings an unsigned letter arrives at the relatives of the victims of this mass murder. The common belief of most of the families is that the letter is sent my crazy Mrs. Fang, the wife of the murdered restaurant owner, who runs The Dragon and Stars Academy of Martial Arts. The investigation unearths this cold-case and when the forensic lab gets involved hidden footprints are discovered to show that there was a witness to the crime that no-one was ever aware of.
If that was not enough two of the families, the Fang’s included, also had a child go missing in the years surrounding this crime and when the now retired homicide detective, who led the investigation originally, comes up dead after passing on information that there where perhaps more missing girls the detective find themselves chasing an elusive prey that swings through the night as if not human, almost ape-like. Are they chasing a spirit God that is avenging the deaths of the Red Phoenix?
Of course Rizzoli is never alone in her investigations; there is always the presence of Maura Isles, the forensic pathologist Maura Isles – the team up on the TNT television show known as Rizzoli & Isles - who works in the medical examiner’s office. With Isles team backing up all the new discoveries that link up to the past investigation you can bet the two of them find a way through the red-herrings and puzzles thrown their way to unearth the scandal that threatens the families still after all these years.
Gerritsen’s background as an internist greatly enhance the details of the story and help bring to life the reasons of how and why such a mystery could have led the Boston PD astray for so long. This will not be the last Rizzoli & Isles mystery I read. I definitely will have to go back and dig out Gerritson’s past works too.