Body Double Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Body Double

Medical Examiner Maura Isles returns home from a Paris vacation to find police examining a dead woman. She was shot in her car right outside Maura's Boston apartment. What's more, the dead woman looks exactly like Maura.
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Does she have a secret twin sister? Was the bullet meant for Maura? Before we have time to sort things out, Maura is pulled into another case involving the murders of heavily pregnant women. Clues lead to a mysterious woman in an insane asylum who may be Maura's long lost mother (Maura was adopted.)

Meanwhile a parallel story presents a young pregnant woman trapped in a coffin with an air hole and a short supply of food and water. Her curiously detached captor wants to know only one thing: how do you feel today?

Maura and her police detective friend finally get to the bottom of an unusually grisly and ruthless series of murders for profit.
The review of this Book prepared by Karen Boyd

Ballantine Aug 2004, 24.95, 352 pp.
ISBN 0345458931

After spending a week in Paris attending a medical conference, Boston medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles returns home to see police outside her apartment. Her neighbors and coworkers look at her as if they see a ghost. Eight months pregnant, Detective Jane Rizzoli lets her see the victim in the car so that she understands why. Sitting in the vehicle with a bullet in her head is Maura's exact double; DNA testing shows that Anna Jessup is her identical twin sister. Both of them were given away at birth to different adoptive parents.

Maura finds out that her biological mother is in prison found guilty for killing two women, one of them eight months pregnant. Her mother's psychologist believes that she had a partner who helped her kill the two women. Maura and the police seek this other monster because with the new evidence they have, it is discovered that Maura's mother and her partner have been kidnapping and killing pregnant mothers for decades.

This exciting police procedural is a fascinating reading experience because there is much more going on in the storyline than meets the eye. Through misdirection and red herrings, readers are directed down a path that leads them away from the truth and it is only towards the end when Maura's life is threatened, that the whole picture becomes clear.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Body Double

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   70% Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, American Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   feelings of fear/loss/inadequacy Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   scientist    -   doctor Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment    -   very gorey descriptions deaths/dead bodies Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   mostly dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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Tess Gerritsen Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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