Review: The Surgeon – Tess Gerritsen

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the surgeon tess gerritsen cover

Rizzoli & Isles # 1

SYNOPSIS: 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 them 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 she shot her attacker dead. Now she is being targeted by the new killer who seems to know all about her past, her work, 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… – via Goodreads

GRADE 7Tess Gerritsen is a strange writer – sometimes she’s brilliant, sometimes she’s dull. The Surgeon is one of those that hits the spot. Nothing super amazing, but quite far from dull. The characters are not particularly fleshed out in this debut Rizzoli and Isles novel, aside from Thomas, Catherine, and Rizzoli. I know that Rizzoli is one of the leading characters, and I understand her struggle as a woman in a male-dominated environment, and I can understand how her upbringing also shaped her and how it has messed her up, but I think she is a bit selfish at the best of times, and a little hollow, too, even though I pity her. Moore is a character that I enjoyed and would have liked to have seen more of. The villain in this, though full of potential to be absolutely crazy, was not really given enough explanation when all was said and done. I had a few questions about the partnership, the meeting, the relationship, but they were not answered, and I felt it a cop out. Rizzoli also has a family that irritates me, they are equally as selfish and twisted as she is, and the family dynamic there is enough to just irritate me endlessly. I am sorry, but men are not the be all and end all in this world. Feminist in me coming out here, forgive me. The Surgeon flowed nicely, the writing was solid, but there was a lot of medical work and knowledge permeating the pages. Considering that Gerritsen was a doctor, that is fine, it lends her words credence, but sometimes there are things that are described in excruciating detail in the OR or ER and have no impact on the story or the plot/character development. The romance between Moore and Catherine didn’t jump up out of nowhere, at least, but it was also not the centre of the book (no, I am not a fan of Gerritsen’s pure romance side – so shallow). The Surgeon is a quick read, too, so if you are looking for a filler to pass the time or a new series to start on, I would say that this is a decent place to start.