Girl Missing by Tess Gerritsen

Girl Missing by Tess Gerritsen

July 30, 2016 Book Reviews 2


A beautiful young woman’s corpse is found dumped in a garbage-strewn alley. Now laid out in the office of medical examiner Kat Novak is an unidentified body that betrays no secrets—except for a matchbook clutched in one stiff hand, seven numbers scrawled inside. When a second victim is discovered, Kat begins to fear that a serial killer is stalking the streets, using a deadly drug to do his dirty work. The police are skeptical. The mayor won’t listen. One of the town’s most prominent citizens, with a missing daughter of his own, is also Kat’s chief suspect. As the death toll rises, Kat races to expose a deadly predator who is close enough to touch her.





Book Title: Girl Missing (Previously published as Peggy Sue Got Murdered)
Author: Tess Gerritsen
Genre: Romantic Thriller/Suspense

Amazon rating: 4.1

Reviewer: Nancy Miller


There is a big difference between a good writer and a true master. Many of us may eventually become masters the same way our mentors achieved their goal: by practicing each and every day.

I was moved by the introduction to Girl Missing, a book previously published as Peggy Sue Got Murdered back in 1994 and republished in 2014. Ms. Gerritsen tells us that, prior to her career as a thriller/suspense writer (her books are the basis of the television show, Rizzoli and Isles) she wrote romantic suspense novels, nine of them to be exact.

Gerritsen found that she was drawn more to the thriller/suspense aspect than the romance. Romance novels have quite a few rules to follow and it can get in the way of the suspense if you aren’t careful. I write, or have written, two romantic suspense novels (Crystal Unicorns and Shark Bait).  My third, Desperate Overtures, has left me stalled for months. I realized after reading Gerritsen’s words what the problem was…I was trying to make a romantic suspense out of a suspense story. Thank you, Tess Gerritsen. I may go back and outline the book just as a learning opportunity.

Girl Missing is her transitional work from romantic suspense to thriller/suspense. So good I finished it in two days. How she took all the different plot points and pulled them together astounds me. I can see the threads now that I’ve read it but, even though you think you know what is happening, you don’t. The protagonist, Kat Novak, is a complicated character with serious trust issues. The antagonist is a shadowy figure in the background but not apparent until, you guessed it, the end. Adam Quantrell is a man with his own issues but his eyes are on Kat Novak, the woman from the other side of the tracks.

Reviewing Girl Missing leaves me feeling a bit daunted. I fear my stories are simplistic in comparison. But, as an author, I need to understand Gerritsen wrote this as her ninth book. So she’s had a bit of practice. 

I highly recommend reading Girl Missing for its ability to catch and keep you questioning all the way through. Her characters are multi-layered, interesting, and are able to bring out emotions in the reader.

Tess Gerritsen has long been one of my favorite suspense authors. It was interesting to read how she bridged the gap between romantic suspense and the thriller/suspense genre. Writers grow and change just like everyone else. It’s nice to have someone you look up to let you know change is okay.

So good I finished it in two days. #amreading #bookreview #suspense Click To Tweet


2 Responses

  1. Ohita Afeisume says:

    Thanks, Nancy for the review. You rightly said that, “Writers grow and change just like everyone else. I am writing short stories now. I am drawn to romance now. However, I wish to write in the thriller/suspense genre some day.

    I really marvel at the way and manner authors are able to create this effect rather than having a simplistic story. Any ideas?

  2. Nancy Miller says:

    Thank you for your comments. I suggest you read romantic suspense novels which would incorporate both of your interests. There are expectations rules to each genre but I think blending the two takes practice. An example: when you are running for your life, the romance takes a back seat. Look up Maslow ‘ s Hierarchy and his way of defining the priority of human needs. Good luck.

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