Body Double by Tess Gerritsen



Title: Body Double
Author: Tess Gerritsen
Series: Rizzoli & Isles #4
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Crime, Strong women
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Transworld Publishers
Year: 2004
5th sentence, 74th page: ‘What else are you talking about?’

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It’s my body there on the table

Forensic Pathologist Maura Isles has dissected her fair share of corpses. But this time it’s different, because the victim looks exactly like her.

Detective Jane Rizzoli is assigned to investigate, and finds herself tracking a twisted killer across the country. To catch him, Maura is forced to delve into a dark and dangerous family history – her own.

Blood ties are the hardest to escape…


The nature versus nurture debate has fascinated me ever since I first heard of it in my first year of University. Is it our genetics which define who we will be, or is it the way in which we are bought up? Personally, I’ve always believed that it is a mix of the two, but the discussion and the extent to which aspect of ourselves has the most impact is always an interesting one. One which Gerritsen explores beautifully through Maura Isle’s parentage in Body Double.

Maura’s discovery of her previously unknown twin sister is one of the best ways imaginable to investigate the nature versus nurture debate. It has been found that identical twins that are separated at birth do have a tendency to have the same tastes, follow similar career paths and generally have quite similar lives. This was eerily evident in Gerritsen’s writing, Maura’s gradual discovery of this and discomfort at the fact a testimony to how truly unsettling this would be to a person who has always thought themselves different and independent – a virtual stranger walking around, wearing their face, their clothes, living almost the same life.

Gerritsen’s creation of a mother who is as sick and sadistic as Isles’ provides a great counterpoint to the twin connection which Maura feels. Somebody who is embroiled in the midst of many murders and feels no remorse for her actions is so starkly against the character that we know and love. It is a poignant reminder, that regardless of our genetics, our circumstances even, it is the choices we make as humans that turn us into the person we are and choose to be. Something which, eventually, even Maura chooses to acknowledge.

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Image source: Amazon

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