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American crime writer Tess Gerritsen explores the dark side

American crime writer Tess Gerritsen explores the dark side

Renowned author Tess Gerritsen ends her winning streak © APA / ROBERT JAEGER

With millions of copies, Tess Gerstein is a superstar among crime writers. The TV version of her feature series about detective Jane Rizzoli and pathologist Maura Ailes managed seven seasons totaling 107 episodes. “Mother’s Heart” is the name of the current and certainly last volume in the series, which the 69-year-old is now showing in Vienna. “I’m exploring the dark side, but it doesn’t affect my mood,” she said in an interview with APA. “I sleep well.”

The American writer emphasized that it was “completely normal” for her to imagine the worst that could happen to you and to keep thinking about such situations. “I think I’ve been used to it since I was a kid.” Gerritsen recently revealed to “Stern Crime” magazine that she had to learn in her youth that her beloved uncle was a murderer. Whether people appear to be people has become a central theme in her work. “What interests us in a good story? It’s not the crime per se, but what the people involved think and feel. The emotional level of the characters captivates us.”

Of the fascination of the genre, Gretzen said, “Women only want to read crime novels whose victims are women. I found out a long time ago. They don’t get close to male victims. So I think when we read these books, we empathize with the victims. We Practically we practice how to get out of the situation in which fictional characters find themselves. This makes the story interesting. Crime stories help us deal with our fears. And last but not least, crime fiction makes it possible to feel fear in an entertaining way – like riding a roller coaster.”

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Gerritsen reveals that she never thinks of big plots when she starts writing a novel. “Mother’s Heart,” for example, was not planned at all. “In the twelfth book I thought, I’m done with the series, I’ve had enough of these characters,” she laughed. “But then I started hearing Jane’s mother’s voice. She thought, What if she saw something disturbing from the window.” Detective Rizzoli at first didn’t take her mother’s notes seriously. “As we get older, people stop listening to us. We become invisible,” says Gerritsen. “Ignoring the voice of wisdom can have dire consequences.” Read about it in A Mother’s Heart.

Tess Gerritson is a master of suspense, subtly building the atmosphere, compelling readers to read with page-turns and surprises to the grand finale — seemingly including herself. “I don’t know at first how the story will end,” she smiled. “Most of the time I write a third of the story as a first draft, only then do I realize where it’s going. As I write, I learn and experience more about the characters. My first drafts are like skeletons, they don’t have meat. Once I know more about the characters, I can go back to the beginning and add the flesh” . It takes ‘six or seven drafts’ to complete the book.

Inevitably, the question arises of how Gerritsen feels about the TV series “Rizzoli & Isles”: “As a writer, you always want to see your own vision on screen or on the silver screen. That’s not how Hollywood works. The success of the series depends in large part on it. It’s on the actresses. Rizzoli and Isles are so beautiful on the show—not in my books.”

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On Twitter, Gerritsen sometimes retweeted artists who had clear political views. But she was “too cautious”: “If I tweet my opinion publicly, I will surely lose a part of my readers. But I will admit that I am very frustrated with politics in America. My fictional characters have their own views. I try to describe them accurately, even if I despise them myself. Always thinking: Am I writing about myself or about my characters? That can be misunderstood sometimes.”

Fans can look forward to the upcoming start of a new series of novels. Gerritsen said she was only allowed to reveal a lot for now: “I live in a small town in Maine. After moving, my husband opened a medical clinic there. When he asked his patients about their profession, he was repeatedly told they were retired government officials, and that was all he was allowed to do.” them by saying. Our mediator told us we were surrounded by CIA agents. Then it occurred to me: What are retired CIA agents doing? Do they meet and have cocktail parties? What if one of them comes back from retirement because something terrible happened locally.”

Tess Gerritsen: “Mother’s Heart”, German by Andreas Jäger, Heyne Verlag, hardcover, 384 pages, €22.70