|Tess Gerritsen, who has written numerous best-selling medical thrillers, is also the author of the popular mysteries featuring Boston-based detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles. A retired physician, Gerritsen feels a particular kinship with the character of Isles. "We both have backgrounds in science [and] both like to believe that there is a logical explanation to why things happen," she told one interviewer. Gerritsen was born in San Diego and earned her medical degree, in 1979, from the University of California, San Francisco. She subsequently moved to Hawaii and began working as an internist. While on maternity leave with her first child, she wrote a romantic thriller--a genre that she had read for distraction and relaxation during the stressful days of her medical residency. Her first book, CALL AFTER MIDNIGHT, was published in 1987. She later moved to Maine with her family, giving up her medical practice to write full-time. After hearing a rumour one day that Russian orphans were being kidnapped and killed for their organs, Gerritsen switched genres and used the idea as the basis for her first stand-alone medical thriller, HARVEST (1996). Jane Rizzoli made her initial appearance in THE SURGEON (2001), and although the author had not intended to pen a series, she became fascinated with the possibilities posed by the damaged but tough detective. (Isles debuted the following year in THE APPRENTICE, the next novel in the series.) Those books inspired the television drama RIZZOLI & ISLES, which premiered in 2010, starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander. The show has attracted millions of new readers to the books, which now appear regularly on the bestseller list. Gerritsen credits the time she spent in her original career for her current success. "Medical training was a window into the most personal aspects of peoples' lives," she has said. "I've seen the most heartbreaking tragedies, and watched families at their very best--and worst. I think it's the insight into human nature that makes medicine such intense preparation for any writing."