Terry Gerritsen’s Favorite Maine Place

The author of the hugely popular Rizzoli & Isles series on Piscataquis County’s Lobster Lake.

Lobster Lake, Terry Gerritsen's favorite Maine place
Photograph by A. G. Evans
Terry Gerritsen, also known as Tess Gerritsen
Gerritsen and her husband hike Camden’s Mount Battie every morning — to feel less guilty, she says, about sitting at desks the rest of the day.
After writing the 2018 horror flick Island Zero, which her son directed, Gerritsen shared directing duties with him on Magnificent Beasts, inspired by her curiosity about pork taboos.
In 2016, Gerritsen guest-starred as herself, attending a writer’s conference, in the seventh and final season of TNT’s Rizzoli & Isles adaptation.
By Bridget M. Burns
From our September 2022 issue

When she first visited Maine, 32 years ago, Terry Gerritsen was living in Hawaii, where she’d been a medical internist before starting to publish fiction. But she’d grown tired of island living, and her husband, Jacob, was on board with the cross-iest of cross-country moves. Their first winter in an uninsulated New England farmhouse, Gerritsen admits, was “a revelation,” but her family came around, the kids embraced snow sports, and now, she loves the colder months. Still, it was Maine’s fleeting summer that first sold her on the place.

“It was one of those beautiful summer weeks where you come to Maine and everything is gorgeous and everybody’s friendly,” says Gerritsen, who now lives in Camden. “Plus, every town seemed to have a bookstore or a library. It felt like a place for a writer.”

As of this summer, Gerritsen has written more than 30 novels, which she publishes as Tess Gerritsen. Thirteen are medical crime thrillers in her hugely popular Rizzoli & Isles series, including a best-selling new one, Listen to Me, which she published this summer after an uncharacteristic five-year break from the franchise. Gerritsen spent some of that time on other projects, which included making a documentary with her son, filmmaker Josh Gerritsen, called Magnificent Beast, a deep dive into mankind’s relationship with pigs, now airing and streaming on PBS stations.

She and her husband also sunk more time into exploring Maine’s outdoors than they had before the pandemic. “We’ve found cottages to rent in northern Maine, we went to Tumbledown Mountain for the first time,” she says. “We realized there’s a lot more to the state than our little corner.”

One favorite new discovery: Lobster Lake. After a friend raved about a camping trip there two summers back — secluded lakeside campsites, good hiking, no bugs in August — Terry and Jacob checked a map. The lake, named for its claw-like shape, is part of the state’s Penobscot River Corridor public reserved land. They booked a site, borrowed a canoe, and headed north to the Golden Road. It was an easy paddle in, Gerritsen says (“I mean, my husband and I are not spring chickens, but we managed”), and they spotted beavers, moose, plenty of birds, even bear tracks on a nearby beach. Camping in the Maine backcountry sure beat isolating at home. “That’s the place I wanna go back to,” she says. “It was such a magical couple of nights.”

Headshot by Jacqueline de Haas