The Mephisto Club (Rizzoli and Isles Series #6)

The Mephisto Club (Rizzoli and Isles Series #6)

by Tess Gerritsen

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Evil exists. Evil walks the streets. And evil has spawned a diabolical new disciple in this white-knuckle thriller from New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen.


The Latin word is scrawled in blood at the scene of a young woman’s brutal murder: I HAVE SINNED. It’s a chilling Christmas greeting for Boston medical examiner Maura Isles and Detective Jane Rizzoli, who swiftly link the victim to controversial celebrity psychiatrist Joyce O’Donnell–Jane’s professional nemesis and member of a sinister cabal called the Mephisto Club.

On top of Beacon Hill, the club’s acolytes devote themselves to the analysis of evil: Can it be explained by science? Does it have a physical presence? Do demons walk the earth? Drawing on a wealth of dark historical data and mysterious religious symbolism, the Mephisto scholars aim to prove a startling theory: that Satan himself exists among us.

With the grisly appearance of a corpse on their doorstep, it’s clear that someone–or something–is indeed prowling the city. The members of the club begin to fear the very subject of their study. Could this maniacal killer be one of their own–or have they inadvertently summoned an evil entity from the darkness?

Delving deep into the most baffling and unusual case of their careers, Maura and Jane embark on a terrifying journey to the very heart of evil, where they encounter a malevolent foe more dangerous than any they have ever faced . . . one whose work is only just beginning.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345477002
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/28/2007
Series: Rizzoli and Isles Series , #6
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 464
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen earned international acclaim for her first novel of suspense, Harvest. She introduced Detective Jane Rizzoli in The Surgeon (2001) and Dr. Maura Isles in The Apprentice (2002) and has gone on to write numerous other titles in the celebrated Rizzoli & Isles series, most recently The Mephisto Club, The Keepsake, Ice Cold, The Silent Girl, Last to Die, and Die Again. Her latest novel is the standalone thriller Playing with Fire. A physician, Tess Gerritsen lives in Maine.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

They looked like the perfect family.

This was what the boy thought as he stood beside his father’s open grave, as he listened to the hired minister read platitudes from the Bible. Only a small group had gathered on that warm and buggy June day to mourn the passing of Montague Saul, no more than a dozen people, many of whom the boy had just met. For the past six months, he had been away at boarding school, and today he was seeing some of these people for the very first time. Most of them did not interest him in the least.

But his uncle’s family—they interested him very much. They were worth studying.

Dr. Peter Saul looked very much like his dead brother Montague, slender and cerebral in owlish glasses, brown hair thinning toward inevitable baldness. His wife, Amy, had a round, sweet face, and she kept darting anxious looks at her fifteen-year-old nephew, as though aching to wrap her arms around him and smother him with a hug. Their son, Teddy, was ten years old, all skinny arms and legs. A little clone of Peter Saul, right down to the same owlish glasses.

Finally, there was the daughter, Lily. Sixteen years old.

Tendrils of her hair had come loose from the ponytail and now clung to her face in the heat. She looked uncomfortable in her black dress, and she kept shifting coltishly back and forth, as though preparing to bolt. As though she’d rather be anywhere than in this cemetery, waving away buzzing insects.

They look so normal, so average, the boy thought. So different from me. Then Lily’s gaze suddenly met his, and he felt a tremor of surprise. Of mutual recognition. In that instant, he could almost feel her gaze penetrating the darkest fissures of his brain, examining all the secret places that no one else had ever seen. That he’d never allowed them to see.

Disquieted, he looked away. Focused, instead, on the other people standing around the grave: His father’s housekeeper. The attorney. The two next-door neighbors. Mere acquaintances who were here out of a sense of propriety, not affection. They knew Montague Saul only as the quiet scholar who’d recently returned from Cyprus, who spent his days fussing over books and maps and little pieces of pottery. They did not really know the man. Just as they did not really know his son.

At last the service ended, and the gathering moved toward the boy, like an amoeba preparing to engulf him in sympathy, to tell him how sorry they were that he’d lost his father. And so soon after moving to the United States.

“At least you have family here to help you,” said the minister.

Family? Yes, I suppose these people are my family, the boy thought, as little Teddy shyly approached, urged forward by his mother.

“You’re going to be my brother now,” said Teddy.

“Am I?”

“Mom has your room all ready for you. It’s right next to mine.”

“But I’m staying here. In my father’s house.”

Bewildered, Teddy looked at his mother. “Isn’t he coming home with us?”

Amy Saul quickly said, “You really can’t live all by yourself, dear. You’re only fifteen. Maybe you’ll like it so much in Purity, you’ll want to stay with us.”

“My school’s in Connecticut.”

“Yes, but the school year’s over now. In September, if you want to return to your boarding school, of course you can. But for the summer, you’ll come home with us.”

“I won’t be alone here. My mother will come for me.”

There was a long silence. Amy and Peter looked at each other, and the boy could guess what they were thinking. His mother abandoned him ages ago.

“She is coming for me,” he insisted.

Uncle Peter said, gently, “We’ll talk about it later, son.”

In the night, the boy laid awake in his bed, in his father’s town house, listening to the voices of his aunt and uncle murmuring downstairs in the study. The same study where Montague Saul had labored these past months to translate his fragile little scraps of papyrus. The same study where, five days ago, he’d had a stroke and collapsed at his desk. Those people should not be in there, among his father’s precious things. They were invaders in his house.

“He’s still just a boy, Peter. He needs a family.”

“We can’t exactly drag him back to Purity if he doesn’t want to come with us.”

“When you’re only fifteen, you have no choice in the matter. Adults have to make the decisions.”

The boy rose from bed and slipped out of his room. He crept halfway down the stairs to listen in to the conversation.

“And really, how many adults has he known? Your brother didn’t exactly qualify. He was so wrapped up in his old mummy linens, he probably never noticed there was a child underfoot.”

“That’s not fair, Amy. My brother was a good man.”

“Good, but clueless. I can’t imagine what kind of woman would dream of having a child with him. And then she leaves the boy behind for Monty to raise? I don’t understand any woman who’d do that.”

“Monty didn’t do such a bad job raising him. The boy’s getting top marks in school.”

“That’s your measurement for what makes a good father? The fact that the boy gets top marks?”

“He’s also a poised young man. Look how well he held up at the service.”

“He’s numb, Peter. Did you see a single emotion on his face today?”

“Monty was like that, too.”

“Cold-blooded, you mean?”

“No, intellectual. Logical.”

“But underneath it all, you know that boy has got to be hurting. It makes me want to cry, how much he needs his mother right now. How he keeps insisting she’ll come back for him, when we know she won’t.”

“We don’t know that.”

“We’ve never even met the woman! Monty just writes us from Cairo one day, to tell us he has a brand-new son. For all we know, he plucked him up from the reeds, like baby Moses.”

The boy heard the floor creak above him, and he glanced toward the top of the stairs. He was startled to see his cousin Lily staring down at him over the banister. She was watching him, studying him, as if he were some exotic creature she’d never before encountered and she was trying to decide if he was dangerous.

“Oh!” said Aunt Amy. “You’re up!”

His aunt and uncle had just come out of the study, and they were standing at the bottom of the stairs, looking up at him. Looking a little dismayed, too, at the possibility that he had overheard their entire conversation.

“Are you feeling all right, dear?” said Amy.

“Yes, Auntie.”

“It’s so late. Maybe you should go back to bed now?”

But he didn’t move. He paused on the stairs for a moment, wondering what it would be like to live with these people. What he might learn from them. It would make the summer interesting, until his mother came for him.

He said, “Aunt Amy, I’ve made up my mind.”

“About what?”

“About my summer, and where I’d like to spend it.”

She instantly assumed the worst. “Please don’t be too hasty! We have a really nice house, right on the lake, and you’d have your own room. At least come for a visit before you decide.”

“But I’ve decided to come stay with you.”

His aunt paused, temporarily stunned. Then her face lit up in a smile, and she hurried up the steps to give him a hug. She smelled like Dove soap and Breck shampoo. So average, so ordinary. Then a grinning Uncle Peter gave him an affectionate clap on the shoulder, his way of welcoming a new son. Their happiness was like a web of spun sugar, drawing him into their universe, where all was love and light and laughter.

“The kids will be so glad you’re coming back with us!” said Amy.

He glanced toward the top of the stairs, but Lily was no longer there. She had slipped away, unnoticed. I will have to keep my eye on her, he thought. Because already, she’s keeping her eye on me.

“You’re part of our family now,” said Amy.

As they walked up the stairs together, she was already telling him her plans for the summer. All the places they’d take him, all the special meals they’d cook for him when they got back home. She sounded happy, even giddy, like a mother with her brand-new baby.

Amy Saul had no idea what they were about to bring home with them.

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The Mephisto Club (Rizzoli and Isles Series #6) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 352 reviews.
JessLucy More than 1 year ago
Check the locks on all the doors and windows! Another thrilling and terrifying novel by Tess Gerritsen! This was a highly engrossing book; interesting topic and characters. I've enjoyed all of Gerritsen's books; you can't go wrong with one of her novels! Gerritsen has a very clean, clear writing style and a vivid imagination. The author puts forth some very unusual and fascinating ideas; this book was very entertaining and I would definately recommend it. I've enjoyed all the books in the Jane Rizzoli/Maura Isles series as well as Gerritsen's non-series medical mysteries. You may also like: Patricia Cornwell, Philip Margolin, Robin Cook, Tami Hoag, Linda Howard, Lee Child and Lisa Gardner.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
It amazes me that Tess Gerritsen is able to write such awesome thrillers, time after time. And yet she does, proving that she is, quite simply, at the top of her game--and at the top of the psychological thriller/mystery genre!

Many others have outlined the plot of THE MEPHISTO CLUB, so let me just say a few things: this is a great storyline, original, and handled deftly. The action-adventure is non-stop throughout the book, and although you know, basically from the beginning of the story, who the bad guy is, it doesn't stop the book from being interesting and intriguing.

I loved that Father Brophy and Dr. Maura Isles finally "got together," but I need this relationship to go beyond THE THORN BIRDS!! There has got to be a resolution to this plot line, and soon!

My only complaint with the story is Jane Rizzoli, who I actually love. However, her hard-a**, morally superior attitude in this book ticked me off. I want to see the softer side of Jane, the nurturing mother side, the love of Gabriel's life side--as well as the the tough-as-nails, ball-buster homicide detective.

Believe me, though, THE MEPHISTO CLUB is another winner!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very intriguing read! The story, the details & descriptions, the history- all of it is so great! I found myself gasping and saying, "Nooo!" at times and jaw dropped open other times! GREAT book! My favorite of this series so far!! Now, on to #7!
angeleyesAS More than 1 year ago
This is a another stunning, incredible psychological thriller to enjoy! Tough-as-nails, homicide detective, Jane Rizzoli, begins investigation after the gruesome scene where strewn body parts were gathered. The lab discovers a hand that was not apart of the other body parts so therefore, there is another victim somewhere and thus begins another non-put-downable story to get caught up in.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the mythology and dark themes in this one!! Did not see the twist coming AT ALL!! Also liked getting more personal with Jane and Maura's lives....GREAT book!!! I will be so sad when I finish this series!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the TV program so thought I'd try the books. I'm hooked. I'm already on book #7. Great read if you're a mystery fan.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved reading this book as it was fast moving and I had to limit my time reading or I would never had put it down. Of course nothing would have gotten ready for Thanksgiving nor Christmas.Recommend this book!! 222Abey
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the first book I ever read by Tess G. & I have been buying her books ever since. The Mephisto Club was very well written, I felt that I knew each of the characters in the book, there was plenty of suspense to keep me reading and making it hard to put down. She has become one of my favorite writers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A MUST read...I just love Tess!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Very fast-paced thriller!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I needed a book to read and the cover caught my eye. Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down! This is my first book by Tess Gerritsen but it will definitely not be my last. I liked how she moved between the different characters and also provided different view points. I have recommended this book to several of my friends!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Incredibly well written, engaging and packed with just the right amount of adventure. Likable characters with plenty of opportunity to allow them to grow. Seat-of-your-pants thrills throughout!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
cedargrove on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Then her gaze halted, riveted on something she had almost missed among all the splatters. Something that made the hairs on the back of her neck suddenly stand up. On the wall, drawn in blood, were three upside-down crossesThus begins the investigation that threads it's way through the book as the primary plot. This wasn't quite the book I expected it to be, none the less and given that I read it in four days, it was somewhat compelling. I wouldn't say it's the best written of books, nor is it not, in places, predictable, but it's entertaining, and weaves enough different threads together to keep you second guessing yourself. Who are the members of the mysterious Mephisto club and what is so sinster about them? Who is it that is committing the murders, and how does he, or she, find her way our of a locked room with locked windows without leaving evidence?The down side that could have been a major failing is the difficulty, at times, to connect with, or care about the main character. She has flaws, don't they all, but hers seem... sometimes offputting. If you can see past that, or maybe just, as we did, accept that she's got her heart in the right place, but isn't quite all she's cracked up to be, you can follow the unfolding story in spite of this.A nice light bit of fluff among the 'crime writing' genre - if you like your fluff bloodied, and with occult overtones.
Carl_Alves on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This novel succeeded in many areas, not the least of which was maintaining a high level of tension and suspense through the entire novel. The villain in this novel, Dominick was well developed, something I rarely see in fiction novels these days. My favorite aspect of the book is how the author skillfully teetered on whether or not there was a supernatural element to this novel. By the end of the book, I still couldn't say one way or the other. I also liked how the author weaved in backstory throughout the novel. It was very cleverly done. The ending did not disappoint as well.Carl Alves - author of Two For Eternity
CloggieDownunder on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Mephisto Club is the 6th of Tess Gerritsen¿s Rizzoli/Isles series. On Christmas Eve, Rizzoli and Isles are called to a horrific murder scene where the female victim has been decapitated and dismembered. During the autopsy, however, they realise there must be more than one victim as the left hand does not match the arm. And a call has been made from the victim¿s phone to Dr Joyce O¿Donnell, the neuropsychiatrist who has made a career of defending serial killers. Before they can discover to whom the hand belongs, one of their own, a female police detective, is murdered in the backyard of a house where Joyce O¿Donnell is dining. Symbols and words at both crime scenes, made with an unusual ochre clay, point to a Satanic element; or do they? When events in Isles¿ personal life coincide with the same symbols on her own front door, the action really starts to heat up. And Rizzoli has problems of her own with the way her parents are behaving. Gerritsen gives us two back stories which will have the reader convinced they know who the culprit is, although everyone but Rizzoli starts to wonder if their perp is, in fact, human. Gerristen touches on celibacy in the Church, secret societies, Satanic possession, mid-life crisis, and whether evil can have a physical form. Once again, Rizzoli provides some humour; the story is full of suspense and has plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader engrossed. Another Gerritsen winner.
KKG on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A Da Vinci code wannabe. Very silly book. Not sure why I even finished. Hated the characters. The plot was silly.
Darrol on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
By far my favorite Gerritsen. It seems that several are interested in the Book of Enoch. I am not sure who started this trend, but this is a very good installment.
EnriqueFreeque on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Pleasant surprise. Patricia Cornwell, darn her, continues her spiral into mediocrity & self-plagiarism with the recent release of her latest, The Front, on the disappointing heels of her last four or five Scarpettas going back to the turn of the century, so I desperately needed another CSI crime thriller option, another writer/former doctor/medical examiner/coroner/detective type to infuse some freshness & excitement into the genre since I needed a break from the tedium of reading Gravity's Rainbow start to almost finish, and wouldn't'cha know it, Tess Gerritsen, bless her heart, was there to see me through.The Mephisto Club, sixth in the Jane Rizzoli detective series (though my virgin Rizzoli read) incorporates several favorite interests of mine: mysterious, though not-at-all-like-Da-Vinci-Code, secret societies, apocryphal literature (i.e., The Book of Enoch & The Book of Jubilees), symbiology and, dare I admit it (please don't strike me down dead Lord, please!) demon, uh, demonology. Now, I'm no aspiring warlock or wiccan, and The Mephisto Club would probably bore a fun loving Aleister Crowley type occultist (might as well try interesting a Navy Seal in an exciting game of Battleship), but for a Luciferish lightweight like me possessing merely an unhealthy interest in stories satanic, The Mephisto Club, with its ritualistic skin carvings & dismemberments, demon & Devil hunting, priestly affairs, & crowded cobblestone chases through the dark & dank back alleys of Rome, beautifully fits the fun, page-turning, Beelzebub bill.
ElizaJane on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ritualistic killings and satanic messages lead Rizzoli and Isles down a twisted path as they search for the killer. Things hit too close to home when Dr. Isles wakes up to find a satanic message on her door. Lots of twists and turns take us deeper into this eerie plot with supernatural undertones. I always enjoy books in this series but this is probably my least favourite to date. There was a supernatural element dealing with the true nature of evil, which was left hanging and it just felt out of place in this series. I found the topic more than interesting but Gerritsen would have been better to have written a standalone with this demon-hunter plot rather than subjecting it to Rizzoli.
mtnbiker1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was the first book I had read by Tess Gerritsen, and I really enjoyed it. The story moved along at a nice pace. The plot was convoluted enough to keep you guessing.
ctfrench on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Boston Medical Examiner Maura Isles is called to a gruesome scene early on Christmas morning, where a young woman has been brutally killed and dismembered, with satanic symbols all around her body and the Latin word "Peccavi" (I have sinned) scrawled backwards across her bedroom wall. Detective Jane Rizzoli, back on the job after maternity leave, suspects a serial killer is on the loose when Maura's nemesis, psychiatrist Joyce O'Donnell, is murdered in the same manner. Dr. O'Donnell was part of a group of scholars from around the world calling themselves the Mephisto Club that track demons. When members of this group are murdered and Maura's life is threatened, the action moves to Europe in search of a young woman whom the Mephisto Club is certain will draw the demon to them. This captivating thriller touches on a fascinating subject: demonology, its origins and presence in the world today. Gerritsen's outstanding characterization is once more on display along with a thrilling, fast-paced plot. Jane Rizzoli remains a strong character, a jaded woman whose marriage and baby have become a calming force. Maura is a lonely woman intrigued by a priest, and this relationship is a painful one for Maura as well as the reader, who longs for Maura's happiness. Gerritsen offers a galvanizing look at Rizzoli's parents, the two people who shaped her, which helps the reader understand her cynicism and insecurities. An electrifying read.
oxlena on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A good read, not something I'd usually seek out, but it was lent to me by a friend. 2.5 out of 5 typical crazy people that could probably benefit from some Paxil and a great deal of Jack Daniel's.
bashert on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
excellent plot & writing with good character development