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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > January 2018 > Murder in mind

Murder in mind

Rizzoli and Isles creator Tess Gerritsen talks murder, medicine, movie making and memory with Tina Jackson

The woman sitting opposite me is exactly what you’d hope for in a medical professional: alert, intelligent and precise, but also warm and engaged. Her neat, elegant appearance inspires confidence. Her curiosity about human nature is boundless and her knowledge deep and wide-ranging. But although this woman is a doctor, she’s not a practising one. She’s American crime novelist Tess Gerritsen, the creator of Rizzoli and Isles and the author of some of the most gripping, edgy crime fiction on the shelves. Tess’s first-hand medical knowledge means that her books are grounded in clinical, scientific detail of medicine and autopsies that gives absolute credibility to the scenarios she creates, not to mention skincrawling tension.

Tess’s new book, I Know A Secret, is the twelfth Rizzoli and Isles title, and without giving too much of the game away, there’s some no-holdsbarred horrible stuff in there in a case that involves homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles in the world of indie horror film making, ritual abuse, and the iconography associated with the gruesome deaths of Catholic martyrs. Tess is in the UK on a book tour but, she’s also been making a film with her son, Josh Gerritsen, about pigs, and why in some cultures, they’re considered unclean, and not eaten. ‘As an Asian, we see it as the most delicious meat, so what are the reasons? The idea of pigs intrigued me. They’re so put down, and yet so intelligent and so much like us in certain ways.’ A jumping off point for Tess, who used to watch horror films with her mother, was being involved in making another film with Josh: the indie horror Island Zero.

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About Writing Magazine

In this month's issue, we show you ten ways to improve your writing right now, and look at how to impress an editor and get your feature articles accepted. This month's star interview is crime bestseller and Rizzoli and Isles creator Tess Gerritsen, who opens her casebook to discuss murder, medicine and false memory. When you've polished your work and got it ready to submit, check out the Writers' News pages – packed with opportunities to get into print and competitions to enter, with £54,762 in writing prizes to be won.

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