Tess Gerritsen Books in Order: A Complete Guide

Tess Gerritsen, a renowned author with a background in medicine, has captured the attention of millions with her gripping novels. Known for her skillful storytelling and meticulous research, she delves into the worlds of crime, suspense, and medicine.

In this blog post, we’ll explore Gerritsen’s works in chronological order, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in her thrilling narratives. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or a newcomer to her literary universe, this guide is your roadmap to navigating the twists and turns of Tess Gerritsen’s must-read novels.

Tess Gerritsen Books In Order

Who is Tess Gerritsen?

Who is Tess Gerritsen?
Who is Tess Gerritsen?

Tess Gerritsen is an accomplished American author, who was born on June 12, 1953, in San Diego, California. With a medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco, she practiced as a physician before transitioning to a full-time writing career.

Gerritsen is best known for her medical and crime thriller novels, particularly the Rizzoli & Isles series, which inspired a popular television adaptation. Her captivating writing style, engaging plots, and well-researched medical details have earned her numerous awards and a loyal fan base.

Tess Gerritsen Books in Order:

Tess Gerritsen Books in Order
Tess Gerritsen Books in Order

Rizzoli & Isles Series:

  1. The Surgeon (2001)
  2. The Apprentice (2002)
  3. The Sinner (2003)
  4. Body Double (2004)
  5. Vanish (2005)
  6. The Mephisto Club (2006)
  7. The Keepsake (2008) (also known as Keeping the Dead)
  8. Ice Cold (2010) (also known as The Killing Place)
  9. The Silent Girl (2011)
  10. Last to Die (2012)
  11. Die Again (2014)
  12. I Know a Secret (2017)

Tess Gerritsen Standalone Books in Order:

  1. Call After Midnight (1987)
  2. Under the Knife (1990)
  3. Never Say Die (1992)
  4. Presumed Guilty (1993)
  5. Peggy Sue Got Murdered (1994) (also known as Girl Missing)
  6. Harvest (1996)
  7. Life Support (1997)
  8. Bloodstream (1998)
  9. Gravity (1999)
  10. In Their Footsteps (1999) (part of the Tavistock Family series)
  11. Thief of Hearts (2000) (also known as Stolen) (part of the Tavistock Family series)
  12. The Bone Garden (2007)
  13. Playing with Fire (2015)
  14. The Shape of Night (2019)
  15. On The Edge (2021)
  16. Choose Me (2021)
  17. No Reason to Trust (2021)

Expert Tip: As you explore Tess Gerritsen’s gripping novels, you’ll discover her unique ability to weave intricate stories that keep readers on the edge of their seats. Whether you choose to follow the Rizzoli & Isles series or delve into her standalone works, this comprehensive guide will ensure you don’t miss a single thrilling moment.

summary of every book

The Surgeon (2001)

The Surgeon (2001)
The Surgeon (2001)

A serial killer known as “The Surgeon” terrorizes Boston, targeting women and leaving them brutally murdered. Detective Thomas Moore and his partner, Jane Rizzoli, team up with trauma surgeon Dr. Catherine Cordell to solve the case. The stakes are raised when they realize the killer is replicating Cordell’s near-fatal encounter with another predator years ago.

The Apprentice (2002)

A year after capturing the notorious Surgeon, Jane Rizzoli is called to investigate a new case with striking similarities. As the body count rises, Rizzoli discovers the Surgeon’s protégé is at large, and he is intent on finishing what his mentor started.

The Sinner (2003)

Detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles are called to a grisly crime scene at a convent. As they unravel the complex case involving murder, dark secrets, and a past that won’t stay buried, they’re drawn into a twisted and dangerous web.

Body Double (2004)

Body Double (2004)
Body Double (2004)

Dr. Maura Isles is confronted with a chilling mystery when a murdered woman is discovered bearing an uncanny resemblance to her. As she and Jane Rizzoli investigate, they uncover a horrifying secret that links Maura’s past to the killer.

Vanish (2005)

When a nameless and seemingly innocent woman is found unconscious and nearly dead, she becomes a key witness in a case that involves a twisted conspiracy of sex trafficking and political intrigue, putting Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles in grave danger.

The Mephisto Club (2006)

A series of gruesome murders leads Rizzoli and Isles to the Mephisto Club, a secret society obsessed with evil. As they delve into ancient history, theology, and satanic rituals, they must confront the existence of unimaginable evil.

The Keepsake (2008)

The Keepsake (2008)
The Keepsake (2008)

A mummy discovered in a hidden chamber turns out to be a recent murder victim. Rizzoli and Isles are plunged into the world of archaeology, secrets, and ancient curses as they race against time to catch a killer who leaves a trail of bodies.

Ice Cold (2010)

Dr. Maura Isles finds herself stranded in the desolate, snowy Wyoming wilderness after a fatal car accident. She stumbles upon a seemingly abandoned village where she uncovers a horrifying conspiracy. With time running out, Jane Rizzoli must rescue her friend and stop a deadly foe.

The Silent Girl (2011)

Rizzoli and Isles investigate the murder of a woman found in Boston’s Chinatown with her hand severed. As they search for the truth, they enter a world of martial arts, mysterious legends, and a deadly assassin who haunts the shadows.

Last to Die (2012)

Last to Die (2012)
Last to Die (2012)

When three children, who had survived family massacres, are targeted again, Rizzoli and Isles must uncover the link between these tragedies and protect the young survivors from an elusive and dangerous killer.

Die Again (2014)

Investigating a series of brutal murders, Rizzoli and Isles uncover a connection to a group of doomed safari tourists in Botswana. As they delve into the case, they unravel a horrifying predator lurking in the shadows, stalking its victims.

I Know a Secret (2017)

Rizzoli and Isles are faced with a chilling new case involving two seemingly unrelated murders with one common thread: a twisted secret that could shatter the lives of those involved and force them to confront their darkest fears.

Call After Midnight (1987)

Call After Midnight (1987)
Call After Midnight (1987)

When Sarah Fontaine’s husband dies in a mysterious accident, she uncovers a web of deceit, espionage, and murder. Teaming up with ex-CIA agent Nick O’Hara, they embark on a dangerous journey through Europe to find answers.

As they get closer to the truth, they must navigate a world of double agents, betrayals, and deadly secrets, all while evading relentless pursuers who will stop at nothing to keep the truth hidden.

Under the Knife (1990)

Dr. Kate Chesne is accused of malpractice when a patient dies under mysterious circumstances. As she desperately tries to clear her name, she discovers a sinister conspiracy of medical malpractice and murder. With the help of David Ransom, an investigator, Kate must unravel the mystery and expose the killer before becoming their next victim.

Never Say Die (1992)

When Joanna Sutton’s brother is killed in a plane crash, she refuses to believe it was an accident. She teams up with pilot Jake Grafton and embarks on a dangerous mission to uncover the truth. As they delve deeper into the mystery, they discover a deadly conspiracy that could cost them their lives and expose a sinister plot that threatens international security.

Presumed Guilty (1993)

Presumed Guilty (1993)
Presumed Guilty (1993)

Defense attorney Miranda Wood’s life is shattered when she finds her ex-lover dead in her bed. Falsely accused of murder, Miranda must rely on a former lover-turned-PI, Richard Weston, to prove her innocence. As they work together, they uncover a web of deception, blackmail, and murder that will force them to confront the limits of trust and loyalty.

Peggy Sue Got Murdered (1994)

Medical examiner Dr. Toby Harper finds herself in the center of a terrifying mystery when she links a series of unexplained deaths to a powerful biotechnology company. As she races against time to uncover the truth, she finds herself pitted against a ruthless adversary who will stop at nothing to protect their dark secrets.

Harvest (1996)

Dr. Abby DiMatteo, a young surgical resident at Boston’s Bayside Hospital, stumbles upon an illegal organ transplant ring that targets the most vulnerable patients. As she tries to expose the corruption, she finds herself caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse, where the stakes are not only her career but her life.

Life Support (1997)

Life Support (1997)
Life Support (1997)

Dr. Toby Harper’s life is thrown into turmoil when a patient under her care dies mysteriously. As she searches for answers, she discovers a deadly conspiracy involving a revolutionary new treatment that could change the face of medicine. With the help of a dedicated detective, she must race against time to expose the truth and save countless lives.

Bloodstream (1998)

Dr. Claire Elliot moves to a small town in Maine to escape her tragic past, but when a series of inexplicable, violent incidents occur, she must find the cause before it’s too late. As she uncovers a terrifying medical mystery that has spanned generations, she realizes that the key to stopping the violence lies in the darkest corners of the town’s history.

Gravity (1999)

Dr. Emma Watson is selected to join a team of astronauts on a groundbreaking mission to study living organisms in space. When a mysterious and deadly microorganism infects the crew, Emma must race against time to find a cure and save the lives of her fellow astronauts, all while grappling with her feelings for a fellow crew member.

In Their Footsteps (1999)

In Their Footsteps (1999)
In Their Footsteps (1999)

Beryl Tavistock discovers that her parents, who were believed to have died in an accident, were actually murdered by their trusted friends. As she seeks the truth, she must navigate a dangerous world

In Their Footsteps (1999)

Beryl Tavistock discovers that her parents, who were believed to have died in an accident, were actually murdered by their trusted friends. As she seeks the truth, she must navigate a dangerous world of espionage, secrets, and deception.

Teaming up with Richard Wolf, a former intelligence agent, Beryl uncovers a far-reaching conspiracy that threatens to upend her life and shatter her beliefs about her family’s past.

Thief of Hearts (2000)

Reformed cat burglar Clea Rice must team up with her former lover, Jordan Tavistock, to recover a priceless artifact and clear her name after being framed for a heist she didn’t commit. As they race against time and danger, they uncover a web of intrigue, betrayal, and passion that will test their loyalties and force them to confront their pasts.

The Bone Garden (2007)

The Bone Garden (2007)
The Bone Garden (2007)

In this dual timeline narrative, present-day Julia Hamill discovers a hidden garden containing the remains of a long-dead woman. As she delves into the history of the house, she uncovers the story of medical student Norris Marshall and his involvement in a series of gruesome murders in 1830s Boston.

As the past and present collide, Julia must unravel the mystery that has haunted the property for centuries.

Playing with Fire (2015)

Julia Ansdell, a violinist, finds a mysterious and haunting waltz in an antique music store in Rome. As she becomes obsessed with the music, she starts to experience inexplicable events and finds her life and family in danger.

Her quest to uncover the origins of the music leads her to the dark history of WWII Italy, where a composer’s tragic love story unfolds amidst the atrocities of war.

The Shape of Night (2019)

Struggling to finish her latest cookbook, food writer Ava Collette rents a remote mansion on the coast of Maine. As she becomes drawn to the house’s dark past and its enigmatic ghost, she must confront her own secrets and face the consequences of her actions. Caught between desire and fear, Ava is forced to make a choice that will change her life forever.

These summaries provide an overview of Tess Gerritsen’s captivating novels, from her renowned Rizzoli & Isles series to her intriguing standalone works. Each book offers a thrilling and suspenseful journey, immersing readers in a world of mystery, danger, and intrigue.

Which Tess Gerritsen book should I start with if I’m new to her work?

If you’re new to Tess Gerritsen’s work, you may want to begin with “The Surgeon,” the first novel in her popular Rizzoli & Isles series. This will introduce you to her signature characters and writing style.

Expert Tip: Alternatively, you could pick up one of her standalone novels, such as “Harvest” or “Gravity,” which also showcase her talent for blending medical expertise with thrilling narratives.

Are the Rizzoli & Isles books the same as the TV series?

While the Rizzoli & Isles TV series is based on Gerritsen’s book series, there are differences between the two. The TV adaptation takes some creative liberties with characters and storylines, but the essence of the book remains intact. It is common for fans to enjoy the books and the TV series, as they each offer a unique experience.

Can I read Tess Gerritsen’s standalone novels in any order?

You can read Gerritsen’s standalone novels in any order, as each book tells a complete, self-contained story. However, if you’re interested in her Tavistock Family series, you may want to read “In Their Footsteps” followed by “Thief of Hearts” to follow the characters’ journeys chronologically.

What inspired Tess Gerritsen to become a writer?

While Gerritsen had a successful career as a physician, she started writing after the birth of her first child. Initially, she wrote romantic suspense novels, but her medical background soon led her to create gripping medical thrillers. Her passion for storytelling, combined with her expertise in medicine, has made her a best-selling author with a dedicated fan base.

How does Tess Gerritsen’s medical background influence her writing?

Gerritsen’s medical background provides her with a wealth of knowledge, allowing her to create realistic and accurate portrayals of medical procedures, terminologies, and environments. This lends credibility to her stories, making them even more engaging and immersive for readers.

Her medical expertise also helps her develop unique and compelling plotlines that blend suspense, crime, and medicine.


Tess Gerritsen’s impressive body of work has captivated readers around the world with her ability to combine medicine, crime, and suspense in gripping narratives. Whether you’re a fan of her Rizzoli & Isles series or interested in her standalone novels, her books offer thrilling and immersive experiences that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

By exploring her novels in order and diving into her standalone works, you’ll uncover the depth and intricacy of Gerritsen’s storytelling. Discover the fascinating worlds she creates and join the ranks of her loyal fans who eagerly await each new release.

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