Born as Terry Gerritsen to a Chinese immigrant and a Chinese-American seafood chef, Tess grew up in San Diego, California. Gerritsen often dreamt of writing her own Nancy Drew novels.
Although she longed to be a writer, her family had reservations about the sustainability of a writing career, prompting Gerritsen to choose a career in medicine. In 1975, Gerritsen graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in Anthropology, intrigued by the ranges of human behavior. She went on to study medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. She received her medical degree in 1979 and started work as a physician in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Gerritsen is married to Jacob Gerritsen, who is also a physician, and has two sons with him. Now retired from medicine, she writes full-time and lives in Camden, Maine.
While on maternity leave, she began to write fiction. She submitted a short story, "On Choosing the Right Crack Seed," to Honolulu Magazine’s statewide fiction contest which won first prize and received $500 for it. The story focused on a young male reflecting on a difficult relationship with his mother. Gerritsen claimed the story allowed her to deal with her own childhood turmoil, including the repeated suicide attempts of her mother.
Inspired by the romance novels she enjoyed reading while working as a doctor, Gerritsen’s first novels were romantic thrillers. After two unpublished 'practice novels', Call After Midnight was bought by publisher Harlequin Intrigue in 1986 and published a year later. This was followed by eight more romantic suspense thriller novels for Harlequin Intrigue and Harper Paperbacks. Gerritsen also co-wrote a screenplay, "Adrift", which aired as a CBS Movie of the Week in 1993, starring Kate Jackson and Bruce Greenwood.
In 1996, Gerritsen published her first medical thriller novel, Harvest. Having already decided to pursue the medical thriller genre, the plot was inspired by a conversation with a retired homicide detective who had recently been travelling in Russia. He told her that young orphans were vanishing from the streets of Moscow, and police believed the kidnapped children were being shipped abroad as organ donors. Harvest was Gerritsen’s first novel to be published in hardcover, and it marked her debut on the New York Times bestseller list at #13. Following Harvest, Gerritsen wrote three subsequent bestselling medical thrillers, Life Support, Bloodstream, and Gravity.
In 2001, Gerritsen's first crime thriller, The Surgeon, was released; it introduced the character of homicide detective Jane Rizzoli. Although Rizzoli was only a secondary character in The Surgeon, with Detective Thomas Moore as the protagonist, the character has been a central focus of a series of nine novels pairing her with medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles. The books inspired the TNTRizzoli & Isles television series starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander.
- Call After Midnight (1987); part of Murder & Mayhem compilation
- Under the Knife (1990); part of Murder & Mayhem compilation
- Whistleblower (1992)
- Stolen (1992)
- Never Say Die (1992)
- Presumed Guilty (1993)
- Peggy Sue Got Murdered/Girl Missing (1994)
- In Their Footsteps (1994); part of Murder & Mayhem compilation
- Thief of Hearts (1995)
- Keeper of the Bride (1996)
- Harvest (1996)
- Life Support (1997)
- Bloodstream (1998)
- Gravity (1999)
Rizzoli & Isles series
- The Surgeon (2001); without Maura
- The Apprentice (2002)
- The Sinner (2003)
- Body Double (2004)
- Vanish (2005)
- The Mephisto Club (2006)
- The Keepsake / Keeping the Dead (2008)
- Ice Cold / The Killing Place (2010)
- Freaks (2011); short story
- The Silent Girl (2011)
- Last To Die (2012)
(1953 - )
Bestselling author Tess Gerritsen is also a physician, and she brings to her novels her first-hand knowledge of emergency and autopsy rooms. But her interests span far more than medical topics. As an anthropology student at Stanford University, she catalogued centuries-old human remains, and she continues to travel the world driven by her fascination with ancient cultures and bizarre natural phenomena. She started off her writing career with romance novels, now published by Mira. But in 1996 she switched to writing thrillers with her novel Harvest, inspired by the anger she felt about the illegal trade in human organs. It was her first New York Times bestseller. Since then she has become an internationally bestselling author of crime novels, and her thriller series starring Boston detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles is the basis for the hit television series "Rizzoli & isles." She lives with her husband in Maine.
Adventure's Mistress (1985)
Love's Masquerade (1986)
Call After Midnight (1987)
Under the Knife (1990)
Never Say Die (1992)
Presumed Guilty (1993)
Peggy Sue Got Murdered (1994)
aka Girl Missing
Life Support (1997)
The Bone Garden (2007)
No Rest for the Dead (2011) (with Jeff Abbott, Lori Armstrong, David Baldacci, Sandra Brown, Thomas H Cook, Jeffery Deaver, Diana Gabaldon, Andrew F Gulli, Lamia Gulli, Peter James, J A Jance, Faye Kellerman, Raymond Khoury, John Lescroart, Jeff Lindsay, Gayle Lynds, Alexander McCall Smith, Phillip Margolin, Michael Palmer, T Jefferson Parker, Matthew Pearl, Kathy Reichs, Marcus Sakey, Jonathan Santlofer, Lisa Scottoline, R L Stine and Marcia Talley)
Playing with Fire (2015)
Three Complete Novels (1992)
Temperature Rising (1994) (with Jacqueline Diamond and JoAnn Ross)
Heatwave (Omnibus) (1998) (with Barbara Delinsky and Linda Lael Miller)
Something to Hide (1999) (with Lynn Erickson)
Impulse (2000) (with Barbara Delinsky and Linda Howard)
Stolen Memories (2001) (with Stella Cameron and Jayne Ann Krentz)
Perfect Timing (2001) (with Barbara Delinsky and Muriel Jensen)
Take 5, Volume 4 (2001) (with Mary Lynn Baxter and Annette Broadrick)
Family Passions (2002) (with Barbara Delinsky and Jayne Ann Krentz)
Unveiled (2002) (with Stella Cameron and Amanda Stevens)
Double Impact (2003) (with Debra Webb)
Gravity / Bloodstream (2004)
Under the Knife / Whistleblower (2005)
Call After Midnight / Under the Knife (2006)
Murder and Mayhem (2006)
Never Say Die / Whistleblower (2007)
Harvest / Life Support (2007)
Under the Knife / Never Say Die / In Their Footsteps / Call After Midnight (2007)
In Their Footsteps / Thief Of Hearts (2008)
Presumed Guilty / Keeper Of The Bride (2008)
Don't Talk To Strangers (2009)
Keeper of the Bride / Whistleblower (2014)
Never Say Die / Presumed Guilty (2014)
In Their Footsteps / Stolen (2015)
Secrets Uncovered (2016) (with Janie Crouch)
Presumed Guilty / In Their Footsteps (2017)
Thief of Hearts / Keeper of the Bride (2017)
Tess Gerritsen recommends
Bad Blood (1995)
(Victoria Lucci Mystery, book 1)
"Suzanne Proulx offers readers a delightful dose of death in this novel of hospital suspense. I thoroughly enjoyed it!"
(P. J. Gray, book 3)
"In CHAMELEON, Kennett has crafted an utterly chilling villain, cloaked in a child's innocence. A scary, compelling read."
Ghost Dance (1999)
"Mark Sullivan combines poetic writing with eerie elements of mysticism to fashion yet another fascinating thriller."
Landry's Law (1999)
(Landry Brothers, book 2)
"Kelsey Roberts' seamless blend of tender romance and compelling intrigue will keep you turning pages."
The Rival Queens (2001)
(Countess Ashby De La Zouche, book 2)
"A delicious, rollicking romp of a mystery that kept me enthralled. Fidelis Morgan writes just the sort of story I love, full of sensuous details that make history come alive. I can't wait to read her next one."
"Terrifying . . . Not only does Greg Bear keep you guessing, he keeps you thinking. He is a master at turning a scientific concept into a crackling good thriller."
Flesh Tones (2002)
M J Rose
"Intensely erotic and compelling, Flesh Tones explores the disturbing realm that lies between love and obsession."
Gone Too Far (2003)
(Troubleshooters, book 6)
"Sizzling with military intrigue and sexual tension, with characters so vivid they leap right off the page, Gone Too Far is a bold, brassy read with a momentum that just doesn't quit."
(Code Name , book 2)
"Skye expertly weaves sizzling romance and suspense in her lightning-paced tales of intrigue."
"Daniel Kalla expertly weaves real science and medicine into a fast-paced, nightmarish thriller - a thriller all the more frightening because it could really happen."
The Cleaner (2006)
(Jonathan Quinn Thriller, book 1)
"Brett Battles makes a grand entrance into the thriller scene with this unputdownable spy novel. THE CLEANER has it all: exotic locales, James Bondian derring-do, and ingenious plot twists that will keep you sweating all the way till the end."
"Thriller is entertaining, fast-paced, and just plain fun. It will take you to the most terrifying heights of suspense."
Dead Head (2007)
"With its lightning paced excitement and fascinating science Dead Head has everything you could hope for in a medical thriller."
Eat the Dark (2007)
"A harrowing, up-all-night read with delicious scares at every turn. Joe Schreiber knows just what terrifies us, and his masterly skills are on full display."
Evidence of Murder (2009)
(Theresa MacLean, book 2)
"Lisa Black wows us with another tense and unputdownable thriller. She is, quite simply, one of the best storytellers around."
A House to Die for (2010)
(Darby Farr Mystery, book 1)
"[Doudera] expertly weaves a tale of suspense on a Maine island, where murder and real estate are an explosive combination."
Stress Fracture (2010)
(Dub Walker, book 1)
D P Lyle
"Cutting-edge forensics and a whip-cracking pace make Stress Fracture a one-sitting read. If you love CSI, this is the book for you."
Fifth Victim (2011)
(Charlie Fox, book 9)
"Charlie Fox is one of the most vivid and engaging heroines ever to swagger onto the pages of a book."
(Jo Birmingham, book 2)
"Gripping, terrifying. If you like Martina Cole, you'll love this."
The Phoenix Apostles (2011)
(Seneca Hunt, book 1)
Joe Moore and Lynn Sholes
"What do you get when you cross Indiana Jones with Da Vinci Code? The Phoenix Apostles, a rollicking thrill ride with so many twists and turns that you won't have time to catch your breath!"
(Maggie O'Dell, book 9)
"Rip-roaring action that only builds in intensity with every page."
Second Nature (2011)
"Mitchard writes with passion and artistry, weaving a vivid story that both moves and astonishes. From the very first paragraph, you know you are in the hands of a gifted writer."
Available Dark (2012)
(Cass Neary, book 2)
"Fiercely frightening yet hauntingly beautiful, with a startling heroine you'll never forget, Available Dark shimmers with gorgeous writing even as it scares the dickens out of you. I've long been a fan of Elizabeth Hand's amazing books, and once again she proves why she is truly a writer's writer, her prose so glowing it makes all the rest of us jealous."
Full Tilt (2015)
(Kate Page, book 2)
"Rick Morfina's tense, taut writing makes every thriller he writes an adrenaline-packed ride."
Try Not to Breathe (2016)
"A razor-sharp, fast-paced plot and wonderfully complex characters . . . Not since The Girl on the Train have I been so captivated by a work of suspense."
Baby Doll (2016)
"What a compulsive read! A brilliant first novel that kept me transfixed and entertained until the very last page."
The Couple Next Door (2016)
"A twisty, utterly riveting tale that will send readers on a wild rollercoaster ride of emotions. Shocking revelations kept me turning the pages like a madwoman."
Beneath the Wake (2017)
(Dr. Zol Szabo Medical Mystery, book 4)
"Fascinating and fast-paced, a medical thriller with the high-stakes tension of a frightening epidemic."
The Driver (2017)
"The Driver is smart, brash, and funny, with characters who strut right out of an Elmore Leonard novel. For thrills, chills, and plenty of laughs, Hart Hanson is your man."
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