Do the names Rizzoli and Isles mean anything to you? If you're a fan of Tess Gerritsen's crime books, they should do. The international best-seller author created the detective (Rizzoli) and coroner (Isles) series a decade ago and they are, arguably, the best crime books out there.
Which, as a fan of the books, makes watching Rizzoli and Isles (Alibi, Fridays, 9pm) a dangerous pastime. If films can ruin a good book, what damage can a TV series do? Answer: Not much if it essentially disregards everything about the books other than the scenario.
In the books, Rizolli and Isles are both quite prickly characters. In the TV series, Rizolli is still a spiky Boston detective but also has a strong comedy element, helped in no small part by the regular presence of her mum. Isles is a cold character in the books, in the TV series she is something of a friendly know-it-all.
It's more Cagney and Lacey than Rosemary and Thyme in terms of famous female crime-fighting duos, and has more in common with Scott and Bailey than Silent Witness. But the plots are good and cleverly worked through.
Whereas CSI normally involves a piece of forensic evidence coming to light around 10 minutes from the end, Rizzoli and Isles relies on one of the duo pulling random bits of evidence together.
That's how they convicted the district attorney for shooting a key witness in a trial she was leading against a gang boss.
Isles pieced it together when the tyre track at the scene had a distinct nail outline in it – very similar to the nail she'd found in the DA's tyre when she'd changed it for her at the scene of the crime.
Now, you wouldn't get the old men in New Tricks changing tyres.
Its crime? Only fun. It’s nothing like the book. And all the better for it.
I started reading the books after watching season one of the television series. I would have to agree on the fact that making the characters different in the series makes it easy to love both. They're different entities entirely. Janet Tamaro borrowed the concept from Tess Gerritsen then made the characters her own. Although I will admit, having watched the series first, no matter how Jane and Maura are described in the books, I see Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander. Sorry, Tess! :)
What are your thoughts? Comment below. :)