Author Tess Gerritsen

Tess Gerritsen Photo
Categories: Fiction » Mystery, Fiction
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Tess Gerritsen is a Chinese-American fiction writer. She is renowned for her Rizzoli & Isles crime mystery novels. She has penned a number of medical and romantic thrillers.



Gerritsen was born

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June 12, 1953, to a Chinese-American seafood chef and Chinese immigrant. As a child she was a huge Nancy Drew fan. Living in San Diego, California, she was inspired by the mystery novels so much that she wished to write one of her own. However, due to her family reservation about writing and its outcome in the long run, she was led to choose medicine. Fascinated by the human behavior and its mysteries she received her Bachelors of Arts in anthropology from Stanford University. Later she pursued degree in medical science from the University of California and began her professional career as a physician in Honolulu.

Although, Gerritsen became a physician she couldn’t help herself from returning to her passion for writing. She wrote her first short story titled, On Choosing the Right Crack Seed, during her maternity leave. It was for a magazine, Honolulu, contest for which she earned five hundred dollars. The story illustrates the dynamics of a son and mother’s complex relationship. Gerritsen’s difficult childhood was the basis of the story and writing it helped her come to terms with those issues.

Afterwards, she initiated her writing career with the romantic thrillers as she used to indulge in them while practicing medicine. Her first two novels remained unpublished. Finally in 1986 the publishing rights for her novel, Call After Midnight, was bought by Harlequin Intrigue. She produced eight romantic thrillers consecutively before switching to a different genre. Due to her medical background she turned to medical thriller genre. Her first novel in the genre was named Harvest published in 1995. The novel was inspired by true events which she happened to know from a detective, about missing children’s cases in Moscow which authorities linked with the intention of harvesting their organs. The book instantly became part of the New York Times bestseller list.

Subsequent to the publication of stand-alone novels in the genre, Gerritsen penned the critically acclaimed Rizzoli & Isles series. The first novel in this medical thriller series was The Surgeon which came out in 2001. The novel features the protagonist Jane Rizzoli, a homicide detective, who partners with Thomas Moore, tries to capture a killer with a medical skill set, who tortures and murders his victims. The second novel, The Apprentice (2002) introduces, Dr. Maura Isles, a medical examiner who teams up with Rizzoli to help solve these cases with her expert medical opinion.

The clever plot and strong female lead turned the series into instant success. So far there are eleven novels in the series and it has been adapted into a television series as Rizzoli & Isles. The TV series is based on the first book only and its central characters. Gerritsen also wrote a historical thriller, The Bone Garden (2007), alongside writing the series. The story of the novel is set in 1830’s with a focus on grisly crime wave that took over Boston.

Besides fiction writing she has also written a screenplay for a TV movie, Adrift. She penned a number of essays for International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America for her expert knowledge in thriller writing. Tess Gerritsen’s other notable works include, Never Say Die (1992), Keeper of the Bride (1996), Life Support (1997) and Bloodstream (1998).

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User Reviews:

Donolyn a year ago

Yes

Donolyn a year ago

Yes, great read. Could not put it down

Guest 8 months ago

What a sweet story! It has action, adventure, and yes, romance...

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