At a Glance
The Tess Gerritsen books in order include above all the author’s popular Rizzoli & Isles series. It is probably the one series that everyone immediately thinks of when hearing the author’s name.
Tess Gerritsen is one of the most impressive medical thriller authors of today. Her acclaimed Rizzoli & Isles series is well known all over the world, and its publicity has led to the creation of the popular TV series produced by TNT in the US. The latest book in the series is called Die Again, published in 2014. Her latest standalone thriller is titled Playing With Fire, published in 2015.
Tess Gerritsen Biography
Born in San Diego, California, to Chinese American parents, she studied anthropology at the Stanford University where she got her Bachelor’s degree in 1975. Next, she went to the University of California, San Francisco where she earned her medical degree in 1979.
From early on, Tess Gerritsen wanted to be a writer, however, her parents dissuaded her, being worried about the lack of good earnings from writing books.
So after getting her medical degree, Tess moved to Honolulu where she started practicing medicine. She worked as a medical practitioner (often in a part-time capacity) for about 10 years before she fully dedicated her time to writing.
Her love of writing remained with her, however, so while on maternity leave, she started writing short stories. When submitted her short story to the Honolulu Magazine’s, she earned a $500 award and first place in the contest. This is when she decided that that writing should mean something more to her than just a side hobby.
Her first books were romances because these were the type of books she liked to read. For a while romantic thriller was the genre she mostly focused on, starting with Call After Midnight, the first book that was published by Harlequin.
In 1996 Tess Gerritsen changed genres from romantic thrillers to full-blown crime and medical thrillers.
Her first medical thriller was sparked by a conversation she had with an ex-cop who told her a story about kids disappearing from the Moscow streets. The authorities speculated that the kids were kidnapped by the Russsian mafia and were sent abroad for organ donation, a highly illegal activity anywhere.
As she could never forget that horrific story, Tess Gerritsen started soon to work on her first novel, Harvest, which soon after publishing in 1996 jumped up to become #13 in the New York Times bestseller list. This gave her the confidence to push forward and establish herself as a medical thriller author with a huge following.
Before starting the Rizzoli & Isles series, she wrote several standalone thriller novels including Life Support, Bloodstream, and Gravity, with all the books becoming popular with critics and readers.
The first Rizzoli & Isles book, The Surgeon, was published in 2001. The series focuses on homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles, a strong duo who solves case after case in each book.
The stories and details in the books draw from the author’s medical experience along with knowledge of police procedure.
In 2009 the Tess Gerritsen books for the Rizzoli & Isles series have been picked up by TNT to spark the production of a television series. While the author was already well known in the various reading circles, the TV show gave her the additional exposure and skyrocketed the sales of her books. I for one am hooked on the series and never miss the latest book as soon as it comes out.
If you’ve caught up to all the Tess Gerritsen books in order, why not check out the very lively Rizzoli and Isles fanfiction community?
Currently, there are close to 10,000 stories written by fans all around the web. Some are based on the Rizzoli and Isles books, others on the Rizzoli and Isles TV series. Most of the fanfiction stories are written in English but some are written in other languages as well, including French and German.
I have even read a fanfic story set in an alternate universe with alternate history. These stories are well-worth checking out while waiting for the next books.
The Tess Gerritsen books have been so far translated into over 35 languages. Because in the UK the publisher is different from that in the US, some of the book titles differ in the two countries. the author, a former doctor, is now completely retired from medical work and is dedicating all her time to writing full-time her Rizzoli and Isles series. She currently lives in Maine with her family.
Here are the Tess Gerritsen books in order for her Rizzoli & Isles series and her standalone medical thrillers and romantic suspense novels. The series are listed in order of publication and reading order.
Rizzoli & Isles Series In Order
- The Surgeon (Rizzoli & Isles #1), 2001
- The Apprentice (Rizzoli & Isles #2), 2002
- The Sinner (Rizzoli & Isles #3), 2003
- Body Double (Rizzoli & Isles #4), 2004
- Vanish (Rizzoli & Isles #5), 2005
- The Mephisto Club (Rizzoli & Isles #6), 2006
- The Keepsake (Rizzoli & Isles #7), 2008 (alternate title: Keeping The Dead)
- Ice Cold (Rizzoli & Isles #8), 2010 (alternate title: The Killing Place)
- Freaks (Rizzoli & Isles #8.5), 2011
- The Silent Girl (Rizzoli & Isles #9), 2011
- John Doe (Rizzoli & Isles #9.5), 2011
- Last to Die (Rizzoli & Isles #10), 2012
- Die Again (Rizzoli & Isles #11), 2014
- I Know a Secret (Rizzoli & Isles #12), 2017
Standalone Tess Gerritsen Medical Thrillers
- Harvest, 1996
- Life Support, 1997
- Bloodstream, 1998
- Gravity, 1999
- The Bone Garden, 2007
- Playing with Fire, 2015
Tess Gerritsen Romantic Suspense Novels
- Call After Midnight, 1987
- Under the Knife, 1990
- Never Say Die, 1992
- Whistleblower, 1992
- Presumed Guilty, 1993
- In Their Footsteps, 1994
- Girl Missing, 1994 (also under title Peggy Sue Got Murdered)
- Thief of Hearts, 1995
- Keeper of the Bride, 1996