Excerpt from The Apprentice by Tess Gerritsen, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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The Apprentice

by Tess Gerritsen

The Apprentice
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2002, 344 pages
    Jul 2003, 344 pages

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"Detective Korsak," a man answered.

"This is Rizzoli. Did you page me?"

"You on a cell phone, Detective?"


"Can you get to a landline?"

"Not at the moment, no." She did not know who Detective Korsak was, and she was anxious to cut this call short. "Why don't you tell me what this is about?"

A pause. She heard voices in the background and the crackle of a cop's walkie-talkie. "I'm at a scene out here in Newton," he said. "I think you should come out and see this."

"Are you requesting Boston P.D. assistance? Because I can refer you to someone else in our unit."

"I tried reaching Detective Moore, but they said he's on leave. That's why I'm calling you." Again he paused. And added, with quiet significance: "It's about that case you and Moore headed up last summer. You know the one."

She fell silent. She knew exactly what he was referring to. The memories of that investigation still haunted her, still surfaced in her nightmares.

"Go on," she said softly.

"You want the address?" he asked.

She took out her notepad.

A moment later, she hung up and turned her attention back to Dr. Tierney.

"I've seen similar injuries in sky divers whose parachutes fail to open," he said. "From that height, a falling body would reach terminal velocity. That's nearly two hundred feet per second. It's enough to cause the disintegration we see here."

"It's a hell of a price to pay to get to this country," said Frost.

Another jet roared overhead, its shadow swooping past like an eagle's.

Rizzoli gazed up at the sky. Imagined a body falling, tumbling a thousand feet. Thought of the cold air whistling past. And then warmer air, as the ground spins ever closer.

She looked at the sheet-draped remains of a man who had dared to dream of a new world, a brighter future. Welcome to America.

The Newton patrolman posted in front of the house was just a rookie, and he did not recognize Rizzoli. He stopped her at the perimeter of the police tape and addressed her with a brusque tone that matched his newly minted uniform. His name tag said: RIDGE.

"This is a crime scene, ma'am."

"I'm Detective Rizzoli, Boston P.D. Here to see Detective Korsak."

"I.D., please."

She hadn't expected such a request, and she had to dig in her purse for her badge. In the city of Boston, just about every patrolman knew exactly who she was. One short drive out of her territory, into this well-heeled suburb, and suddenly she was reduced to fumbling for her badge. She held it right up to his nose.

He took one look and flushed. "I'm really sorry, ma'am. See, there was this asshole reporter who talked her way past me just a few minutes ago. I wasn't gonna let that happen again."

"Is Korsak inside?"

"Yes, ma'am."

She eyed the jumble of vehicles parked on the street, among them a white van with COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS,
OFFICE OF THE MEDICAL EXAMINER stenciled on the side.

"How many victims?" she asked.

"One. They're getting ready to move him out now."

The patrolman lifted the tape to let her pass into the front yard. Birds chirped and the air smelled like sweet grass. You're not in South Boston anymore, she thought. The landscaping was immaculate, with clipped boxwood hedges and a lawn that was bright Astro Turf green. She paused on the brick walkway and stared up at the roofline with its Tudor accents. Lord of the fake English manor was what came to mind. This was not a house, nor a neighborhood, that an honest cop could ever afford.

"Some digs, huh?" Patrolman Ridge called out to her.

"What did this guy do for a living?"

Excerpted from The Apprentice by Tess GerritsenCopyright 2002 by Tess Gerritsen. Excerpted by permission of Ballantine Books, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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