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The Surgeon: A Novel

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Tess Gerritsen

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 … see full wiki

Author: Tess Gerritsen
Genre: Literature & Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers
Publisher: Ballantine Books
1 review about The Surgeon: A Novel

Police procedural and medical thriller wrapped up in a bow!

  • Nov 15, 2010
Boston is trembling under the shadow of a serial murderer with a notably gruesome method of dispatching his victims - brutal, savage rape, an obviously knowledgeable, skillful removal of the uterus while the victim still lives with the coup de grace coming as a slashed throat and severing of the carotid artery! Little wonder the media has awarded him the moniker "The Surgeon". In the course of their investigations, detectives Thomas Moore and Jane Rizzoli discover an earlier case with a virtually identical MO in Savannah in which the murderer, Andrew Capra, was ultimately killed by a stalwart would-be victim who fought back and shot him before he could finish the job! They are startled to discover that the surviving victim, Dr Catherine Cordell, is a noted cardiac surgeon currently practicing in a major Boston hospital, and beyond all belief in the possibility of coincidences, she appears to be the target of the now active killer!

Once again, Gerritsen has unerringly brought her intimate knowledge of medicine and the hospital milieu to the table. But, contrary to what one might fairly expect from Gerritsen's past work, has successfully served up a compelling investigative police procedural which lovingly details the forensics, the pathology, the profiling and the gut-wrenching detail in the relentless task force style search for a psychopathic serial murderer! Several superbly paced sub-plots are inextricably woven into one another as the story unfolds - Cordell's slow recovery from the assault she endured two years ago and her halting re-integration into life and the hospital work force; Jane Rizzoli's bristly temperament as the lone Boston female homicide detective and her work-life struggles against the "old boy" attitude of the police force; Thomas Moore's extended grieving period over the untimely loss of his dearly loved wife and the difficulties he faces as he recognizes his entirely inappropriate blossoming romantic feelings for Catherine Cordell; the task force style investigation of "The Surgeon" and his relationship with the long dead Georgia killer; and, Cordell's daily life in the cardiac ward and the emergency room of the hospital and the brilliantly described relationship she maintains with her working partner, Dr Peter Falco.

Not only does Gerritsen handle all of this with skill and aplomb but, with every passing page and each successful murder, she ratchets up the suspense as we realize the killer is taunting the police, honing his skills and reaching for Catherine Cordell as his ultimate target. Yet he constantly remains one step ahead of the investigation.

A great addition to the library if, like me, you love your easy reading page-flipping thrillers!

Paul Weiss

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