Cassandra had her eyeballs removed postmortem and the eyeballs placed in her open palm. She was found dead by her father in her apartment. The father suffers a heart attack and still in a coma in the hospital. Maura couldn't find the victim's cause of death.
The next victim, Timothy, was found dead on a pier on Christmas Eve. Maura needs to find the cause of his death. Timothy was shot with three arrows but already dead when one of the arrows pierced his chest. They find out both victims have a common denominator, which is alcohol. They drank alcoholic drinks before they died.
Maura finds there is symbolism for each death, but she needs confirmation, and this leads her to contact Daniel for help. It seems each murder bears resemblance with several martyr saints. When one of the saints on the glass windows in the church is Saint Maura, does this indicates Maura will be the next target?
Oh, man! I feel annoyed and strongly dislike Maura's relationship with Daniel. It was a perfect closure on the previous book. Why brings it back again? I really hate that part of the story, and the worst part is Maura seems proud of her courage to choose this path although she seems tortured with the decision before this.
I'm happy for Angela finally able to stand up for herself. I guess I can understand her Catholic guilt, but at the same time, I feel bad when she was under-appreciated and Frank gives her the same old treatment. I'm alright with the development for most of everyone's relationship in this story except Maura. I know some readers feel this is a romantic relationship and support her courage to strive for her happiness, but I really can't surpass my guilt. It's a bit difficult for me to accept it. Why not someone else or remains single? Why thrust the readers to have someone to be with her? Someone that is not supposed to.
I wonder whether the author's feeling is reflected in her story. I don't know why I feel everyone seems grumpy in the story. Jane seems angry with Frost's reuniting with his ex-wife and Maura's relationship with her mother. She was angry with her mother, Angela, when her mother chose to go back to her father. I wonder whether this will be the last book in this series because of the existence of clarities in several relationships and I don't know why I feel the author seems "grumpy" and wants to end this series. Maybe she is not; it's just me feeling that although I don't know why. Also, I sense some changes of style the way the author told the story.
However, I can't deny the author's brilliance with the idea of saints and murders matching birthdates. Miscarriage of justice is always an interesting reading to me but is something which I hate and painful to hear in the real world.
SPOILER WARNING!Daniel works together with Jane and finds out that the mutilations are matching the victims' birth dates and the injuries also matching with the saint that celebrated on their birth date. Besides of Cassandra and Timothy, they found another victim named Sarah who died in a fire which matches the celebration of Saint Joan.
When Jane and Frost try to investigate about Sarah's death and whether there is a connection between Sarah with Cassandra and Timothy, Jane finds out that they were the victims of ritual abuse which ran by Stanek family. Martin Stanek, who was a twenty-two-year-old guy at that time is still alive and just been released from prison three months ago. They track him down and question him for the details, especially on the dates that the victims died. Martin denies his wrongdoing and telling them that false accusations had sent him to the prison. They proceed to search his house and finds a photo of his mother in a prisoner suit with Maura's mother.
Maura has to face her mother again, hoping that she will tell her what she knows from Martin's mother. Her mother's question to her is whether the police has found the remaining victim. Billy, one of the victims, has been missing and they believe Billy probably has been buried alive (based on the saint's date and his birth date). The only victim left is Holly Devine. They promise to protect her because she will probably be the next target of Martin Stanek.
Jane is convinced that Martin is the killer for the four victims of the childcare abuse, whereas Maura and their psychologist have doubts about it. What if the Staneks family is innocent? What if Holly was taught in giving her statement against the Staneks family?
When Holly's father Earl knew Martin is staying with the author who is writing his book, Earl goes to the author's house to kill Martin. Earl initiates a suicide by cop and shot by Detective Crowe after that.
Susan (Billy's mother) and Elaine (Cassandra's mother) attend Earl's funeral. They thank Holly for her father's bravery in killing Martin. After all the guests leave, she and Everett (Holly's boyfriend) have a drink, but the drink contains ketamine. Susan and her son Billy who is still alive plan to stage Holly's and Earl's death as a young couple that dies in a fire. When Billy is trying to kill Holly, she able to trigger the gun and shoot Susan on her chest. Rizzoli and the team arrive just in time and shoot Bill.
Although Everett was under the influence with ketamine, he still remembers the conversation between Billy and Holly about Lizzie's death. After several months, Rizzoli and the team found Lizzie's body at the woods near Billy's old house.
At the final chapter of the story, Holly reveals the truth of Lizzie's death to the readers. It was started with Billy with his slingshot targeting birds, and when he saw Lizzie, he changed his target to Lizzie, and they fought. Holly was jealous of Lizzie and always wanted her hat which she had from her recent trip to Paris. When Holly had Lizzie's hat on her head, Lizzie already looked dead to her. Billy threatened her to give Lizzie a final hit with the rock if she wants to keep the hat and stays as Billy's friend. On Monday, everyone knows Lizzie is already missing. When they were on the bus, Holly's bag was dropped on the floor, and the hat spilled out from the bag as well. Cassandra recognised the hat and Holly made up a story that she found the hat at one of the seats in the bus. And the case was built and the guilty spread to the Staneks family. The tales spread and grew. Lizzie is the sole survivor who knew how Lizzie died.
More reviews can be found on Goodreads: I Know a Secret (Rizzoli & Isles #12) by Tess Gerritsen.