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The Keepsake: A Novel, by Tess Gerritsen (Read by Deirdre Lovejoy)

Museums are supposed to have vast stores of treasures waiting to be studied, cataloged and displayed, but they don't typically have mummies in the basement. When a mummy is discovered in the basement of the Crispin Museum in Boston, Dr. Maura Isles, a Boston medical examiner, is invited to examine it. In the course of the examination it becomes obvious that the mummy, Madame X, is not an ancient artifact, but rather a modern murder victim. Dr. Isles, Detective Jane Rizzoli and Barry Frost collaborate to track down the serial killer who's now stalking prey familiar to the investigating team. Dr. Josephine Pulcillo, an Egyptologist and one of the archeologists studying Madame X appears to be hiding secrets from a past that is intimately well-known by the killer. When she disappears, Isles, Rizzoli and Frost are convinced that Josephine is destined to be the next Madame X.

Tess Gerritsen's team of crime fighters is at it again with a macabre twist as they wend their way through musty, dusty museum storerooms and mossy, moldy bogs. Spine-tingling suspense is the norm as Jane Rizzoli and Barry Frost trace Josephine Pulcillo's journey from respected museum employee to possible future museum relic. Tess Gerritsen skillfully ties all the plot lines together to create a believable and acceptable, though not predictable conclusion. Deirdre Lovejoy's narration, charged with terror and suspense, allows all the characters to play their roles convincingly. Josephine's fear-induced flight is countered by Rizzoli's and Isles' cool, professional attention to protocol, and each of these emotions is echoed in Lovejoy's reading.

The Keepsake is a thoroughly entertaining thriller. There are enough details about museum acquisition, storage and display of curiosities included to satisfy readers who want information with their thrills and chills when they listen to a mystery. The real appeal of this book, though, is the pleasure of seeing Gerritsen's popular recurring characters rise again to the challenge of defeating another diabolical villain in his quest to create mayhem. Although gruesome at times, this is an audio book that will be enjoyed by a wide range of readers.

Ruth Mormon

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