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The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen (2001)



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"A top-grade thriller...Sharp characters stitch your eye to the page. An all-nighter." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review) The first Rizzoli & Isles novel
  mcmlsbookbutler | Jan 31, 2017 |
Detective Thomas Moore has the reputation of being the most gifted and respected detective working in the Boston police department. Moore is still recovering from the sudden death of his beloved wife two years ago. A brain aneurysm took her right out of his life without warning. As we meet Thomas, he’s packed and ready for a long overdue vacation. Vacation is not in the cards. The police department believe he’s the best at tracking the monsters that prey on people and they need him now for this newest serial killing.

Rizzoli another detective comes across as more bitter yet somewhat fragile. Rizzoli is the only woman working on the homicide squad and she’s the object of ridicule and scorn by some of the other detectives or at least it feels that way to her. You decide, reader. Rizzoli is smart and clever. She’s the officer who first starts putting the case together and finds the trail that gives the homicide team more to work with.

The murders are brutal, as well as the descriptions of them -– even though they’re described in complicated medical terms. The search for the serial killer quickly turns into a cat-and-mouse, which the Killer seems to enjoy even though it makes getting caught riskiest. Reader you, get enough glimpses of the killer’s thought processes to be thoroughly spooked – especially since it seems that the killer is someone who works at the hospital with Dr. Catherine Cordell, who is the Surgeon’s ultimate prey. Catherine has survived so much horror in her young life, yet has made a successful career for herself as a respected doctor. Now there is no where she can feel or be safe from the man who wishes to rape, torture and try to kill her once again.

Two years before the story started, Dr. Cordell was attacked by an intern she’d flagged for failure. The young man had bound her with duct tape, then raped her and cut her up, intending to let her slowly die. Cordell had freed herself, found her gun and blasted her tormenter to death. That should have ended the killing, but it didn't. It especially did not end her demons that haunted her every day. Is this a copycat killer? But how can he know information that had never been released by the police?

Rizzoli is the one who noticed the two recent murders, a year apart, are a lot like the attack on Dr. Cordell. She suspects there’s more to the situation than what meets the eye. Of course, she’s right. She the one who realizes the killer was giving the women he killed a piece of jewelry he stole from the woman he killed previously.

Fast paced and characters you will come to know well. ( )
  jothebookgirl | Jan 3, 2017 |
The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen
Book #1 in the Rizzoli & Isles series
5 Stars

A sadistic killer, who enjoys immobilizing and removing his victims’ organs, is on the loose in Boston, and the police have only one significant lead: his apparent obsession with Dr. Catherine Cordell, a prominent surgeon and the only survivor of a different killer with a similar modus operandi. Can the police make the necessary connections and find the killer before it is too late?

As someone who enjoys serial murder books, I am always on the hunt for well-crafted and gripping tales, and The Surgeon certainly fits the bill.
The author’s background in medicine adds credible detail to the plot, and the characters are gritty and believable with very human desires and flaws. I particularly enjoyed Jane Rizzoli’s character and I was not surprised to learn that subsequent books in the series focus on her rather than the male lead, Detective Thomas Moore. As the only female homicide detective in her unit, Jane must cope with the prejudices against women in her profession. At times she comes off as overly aggressive and belligerent but it becomes clear that this conceals a profound vulnerability and need to prove herself. I found her to be a realistic and engaging character and look forward to seeing the direction in which her character develops.
The plot is intelligent and it is possible to work through clues and follow the investigation with the fictional detectives. It is necessary to warn readers that some scenes are particularly disturbing with vivid and gruesome descriptions.
Recommendation: This is a brilliant read and I can definitely recommend it for lovers of thrillers and mysteries. ( )
  Lauren2013 | Nov 19, 2016 |
I've been putting off reading this series due to the Rizzoli & Isles television series, but it wasn't necessary. Like Longmire, the producers use the authors' works as springboards to new storylines, so both books and television series can be enjoyed.

I think the detail that threw me the most was the absence of Dr. Maura Isles, who isn't introduced until the next entry, The Apprentice. I had already been informed of the differences between literary Rizzoli and her TV counterpart-- and that's enough comparisons between the two mediums!

I have to admit that the serial killer part of The Surgeon was a tad old hat, but this was written in 2001 when he would've been much fresher. Watching the investigation unfold was fascinating; it took a lot of basic police work, dotting the i's and crossing the t's. Going back over the same ground until some small detail stood out and begged to be followed up on.

Due to Gerritsen's medical background, readers get an excellent feel for the protocol in hospitals and the split-second decisions that must be made in the emergency room. But the overarching theme of The Surgeon is women competing in what has always been considered a "man's world." Jane Rizzoli and Catherine Cordell both have cores of steel; they have to because of their occupations. Too many times women have been treated as victims, as a sex not worthy of being heard, only of being ignored, protected as something "lesser," or... of being disposed of. Tess Gerritsen makes readers feel every second, every ounce, of this injustice. It's this passion of hers, along with her fast-paced story, her fascinating characters, and her eye for detail that will keep me reading her books. ( )
  cathyskye | Oct 16, 2016 |
At first I was a little sceptical about this book; I knew that book is about crime /which I adore) and includes medical subject (I don't like that very much). But I gave it a try and I don't regret it at all. The book is so exciting and the tension is increasing. The best part is when "the killer" is writing and although "the killer" is unknown, the reader can get to know what is going through his mind. I would recommed this book to anyone who likes books which have excellent story and are also very tense. ( )
  bookwormalien | Aug 4, 2016 |
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Tess Gerritsenprimary authorall editionscalculated
Biel, ScottCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Today they will find her body.
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Book description
Today, they will find her body. I know how it will happen. I can picture, quite vividly, the sequence of events that will lead to the discovery...In Boston, there's a killer on the loose: a killer who targets lone women, who breaks into their apartments and performs terrifying ritualistic acts of torture on his victims before finishing them off. His surgical skills lead police to suspect he is a physician - a physician who, instead of saving lives, takes them. But as homicide detective, Thomas Moore and his partner Jane Rizzoli begin their investigation, they make a startling discovery. Closely linked to these killings is Catherine Cordell, a beautiful medic with a mysterious past. Two years ago, she was subjected to a horrifying rape and attempted murder but shot her attacker dead. Now, she is being targeted by this new killer who seems to know all about her past, her work at the Pilgrim Medical Center, and where she lives. The man she believes she killed seems to be stalking her once again, and this time he knows exactly where to find her...
Haiku summary
Serial rapist
Tracks a prior rape victim.
Close call, all ends well!

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345447840, Mass Market Paperback)

Penzler Pick, August 2001: Tess Gerritsen left a very successful career as an internist to raise her children and devote more time to writing. After several books that have had moderate success, Gerritsen has now written a gruesome and frightening story that should put her among the top women thriller writers working today.

A serial killer is on the loose in Boston. The victims are killed in a particularly nasty way: cut with a scalpel on the stomach, the intestines and uterus removed, and then the throat slashed. The killer obviously has medical knowledge and has been dubbed "the Surgeon" by the media. Detective Thomas Moore and his partner Rizzoli of the Boston Homicide Unit have discovered something that makes this case even more chilling. Years ago in Savannah a serial killer murdered in exactly the same way. He was finally stopped by his last victim, who shot him as he tried to cut her. That last victim is Dr. Catherine Cordell, who now works as a cardiac surgeon at one of Boston's prestigious hospitals. As the murders continue, it becomes obvious that the killer is drawing closer and closer to Dr. Cordell, who is becoming so frightened that she is virtually unable to function. But she is the only person who can help the police catch this copycat killer. Or is it a copycat? To complicate matters even further, Detective Moore, often referred to as Saint Thomas as he continues to mourn the loss of his wife, is getting emotionally involved with the doctor.

The suspense in The Surgeon is almost unbearable. The writing is superb and the stunning twists and turns make it almost impossible to put down. -- Otto Penzler

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:44 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

A female heart surgeon, terrorized by a serial killer in Boston using the same MO as a killer who attacked her during her internship years in Savannah, works with a detective to solve the crime while trying to stay alive.

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