Book Review – The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen

Book review

The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen

This is the book that introduces the character of Detective Jane Rizzoli to the world. If you are expecting a story of comfortable, gore free crime solving, such as in the Rizzoli and Isles Television series, then this is not the book for you.

Instead, what we get is a serious Crime procedural, based around the unlikable character of Rizzoli, and her partner Thomas Moore. They are looking for The Surgeon, a serial killer who has been preying on single women in Boston. His victims are alive as he slowly kills them. He has knowledge of how to inflict pain, to cause the most distress to all of his victims, with particularly nasty forms of death, and torture, and is in these scenes that Gerritsen shows that her years of practice and training as a medical doctor were not wasted.

The work of the surgeon has a lot in common with the M.O of another predatory killer, but he was shot and killed by his last victim, or was he? As the body count mounts up, they reach out to the last victim, Catherine Cordell, who knows more than she is letting on.

As well as the third person perspective of the story, we also things from the viewpoints of Rizzoli, Moore, and their teams, the victims, and The Surgeon himself, as he is used as a narrative device, as much as the rest of the characters. Although we learn something about him, it would have been good to have had some of his backstory.

So, although this book is not for everyone, with horrific scenes that would give writers such as Val Mcdermid, Stephen King, and James Herbert a run for their money, this is a well paced, well thought out police thriller that would appeal to most fans of the genre, in all of its multifaceted forms.

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