A new novel of historical suspense by New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen

A Ballantine Hardcover to be published on October 27, 2015

Stellar advance praise for PLAYING WITH FIRE

“This stand-alone novel has no bearing on the author’s Rizzoli & Isles series, but the crafting is equally masterful. For example, the musical descriptions are perfect: “The melody twists and turns, jarred by accidentals…I feel as if my bow takes off on its own, that it’s moving as if bewitched and I’m just struggling to hang on to it.” Clear your schedule for this one–you won’t want to put it down until you’re finished.” – starred review, Kirkus Reviews

“Gerritsen movingly depicts Julia’s search, which has some surprising repercussions and builds to a satisfying crescendo.” – Publishers Weekly

“This intriguing literary thriller seesaws between the past and present in a world very different from that inhabited by Gerritsen’s usual characters…The pages fly by as the fates of Julia and Lorenzo are revealed. This might appeal to readers who enjoyed Geraldine Brooks’s People of the Book.” – Library Journal

“Tess Gerritsen has long been on my list of top mystery writers. With PLAYING WITH FIRE she has catapulted in a whole new direction. I defy you to read the first chapter and not singe your fingers reading all the rest. It’s that compelling. It’s that good.” – New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci

New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen has won widespread acclaim for the detailed character portraits, emotional explorations, and tight plotting and pacing found in her suspense novels, both in her popular Rizzoli & Isles series and stand-alone novels alike. In her new novel of historical suspense, PLAYING WITH FIRE (A Ballantine Hardcover to be published October 27, 2015) Gerritsen delivers a novel full of the emotional and psychological suspense that has become her hallmark, combined with a haunting musical leitmotif throughout its pages.

PLAYING WITH FIRE centers on accomplished violinist Julia Ansdell and a mysterious piece of music that forever changes her life. Julia discovers the “Incendio Waltz” in a darkened antique shop in Rome, and immediately she knows it is a strikingly unusual composition. The minor key and complex feverish arpeggios have an almost uncontrollable life of their own. Every time she plays the piece, it seems to inspire her small daughter to commit acts of violence. To save her family – and perhaps her own sanity – Julia must uncover the origin of “Incendio.” Her journey will take her into the heart of Venice, where she uncovers a dark and tragic secret that dates back to the horrors of World War II and involves a dangerously powerful family who will stop at nothing to keep Julia from bringing the truth to light.

PLAYING WITH FIRE is a powerful portrait of one woman’s quest for justice fueled by the haunting, transformative power of music and showcases Tess Gerritsen as an imaginative and versatile storyteller.

TESS GERRITSEN is a former physician and the internationally bestselling author of the Rizzoli & Isles series including Last to Die, The Silent Girl, Ice Cold, The Keepsake, The Bone Garden, The Mephisto Club, Vanish, Body Double, The Sinner, The Apprentice, The Surgeon, Life Support, Bloodstream, and Gravity. TNT’s original series Rizzoli & Isles starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander is based on Tess Gerritsen’s bestselling novels.


By Tess Gerritsen

A Ballantine Hardcover to be published on October 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-101-88434-8 / Pages: 250 / Price: $28.00