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The Surgeon: Rizzoli & Isles series 1 [Paperback]

Tess Gerritsen
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (254 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Jan 2010 Rizzoli & Isles (Book 1)


'This is crime-writing at its nerve-tingling best'

Harlan Coben

A killer is targeting lone women, torturing and murdering them. The precision of his methods leads Detective Jane Rizzoli to suspect he is medically trained.

Then Jane makes a terrifying discovery. Years ago a young woman was assaulted in a similar way. She escaped by shooting her attacker dead.

So why does it feel like he's stalking her again?


Frequently Bought Together

The Surgeon: Rizzoli & Isles series 1 + The Apprentice: Rizzoli & Isles series 2 + The Sinner: Rizzoli & Isles series 3
Price For All Three: 16.77

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (1 Jan 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553824554
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553824551
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (254 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,547 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bestselling author Tess Gerritsen is also a physician, and she brings to her novels her first-hand knowledge of emergency and autopsy rooms. But her interests span far more than medical topics. As an anthropology student at Stanford University, she catalogued centuries-old human remains, and she continues to travel the world driven by her fascination with ancient cultures and bizarre natural phenomena. She started off her writing career with romance novels, now published by Mira. But in 1996 she switched to writing thrillers with her novel HARVEST, inspired by the anger she felt about the illegal trade in human organs. It was her first New York Times bestseller. Since then she has become an internationally bestselling author of crime novels, and her thriller series starring Boston detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles is the basis for the hit television series "Rizzoli & isles." She lives with her husband in Maine. For more information on Tess Gerritsen and her novels, visit her website:

Product Description

Amazon Review

Tess Gerritsen left a very successful career as an internist to raise her children and devote more time to writing. The Surgeon, following several books that met with moderate success, is a gruesome and frightening story that should put Gerritsen 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, --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Grabbed me by the throat and didn't let go until its hair-raising finish. Deep, dark and very disturbing" (Tami Hoag)

"If you've never read Gerritsen, figure in the price of electricity when you buy your first novel by her, cause baby, you are going to be up all night" (Stephen King)

"If you're home alone, do not risk even the first sentence. Once you've started reading this book, putting it down and saving it 'til later is not an option" (Mo Hayder, author of "Birdman")

"This book is going to make you squirm... a taut, well-placed and throughly realistic thriller" (The List)

"Superior to Patricia Cornwell and as good as James Patterson... Macabre and gruesome but absolutely riveting" (Bookseller)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
This was my introduction to Tess Gerritsen and it has left a very positive impression, such that I have quickly ordered half-a-dozen more from her portfolio to add to the three I already own. As a background, I enjoy the works of Val Mcdermid, Karin Slaughter, Mark Billingham, PJ Tracy, Jeffrey Deaver, Simon Kernick and Jilliane Hoffman, all of whom have produced their own particular take on serial murder and who have at times also developed stories whose central theme is sexual assault, as is the case in The Surgeon.

There is never any doubt as to the authenticity and credibility of the events in and around the operating room, for this is a thriller with heavy emphasis on the anatomical aspects of assault and murder rather than a display of violence for its own sake. In this way the imagery created is altogether more convincing because the impression is always that the author is completely confident in describing the medical, physical and forensic details of events leading up to, and all police investigations after, a horrific sexually oriented murder.

In this, the first of what has become a series involving Boston-based homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and her partner in crime Detective Thomas Moore, three women have been assaulted (two fatally) and in a particularly gruesome fashion. It emerges that the very attractive surgeon Catherine Cordell is being hunted down by the killer, for she was once assaulted by a friend of his two years earlier when she lived further south in Savannah, Georgia. It seems that the killer has followed her to Boston and has a uniquely intimate understanding and knowledge of her body and movements, even though she has no recollection of ever having met him.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars absorbing 4 Dec 2006
Tess Gerritsen certainly likes to dwell on the gory details of the stories she creates, so this is not for the faint hearted, nor for those who do not want to be reminded of the depths of human depravity.

The story of a copycat serial killer and the increasingly frantic attempts to find him will involve you, and the ways he avoids detection, while continuing his gruesome quest, stay on the right side of believable. The characters are sufficiently well drawn to make you care about their fate and easily the most interesting of these is the female cop - there is much more material to come from this direction

This story continues the rise of Tess Gerritsen as an author worth reading and also the great tradition of "serial killer thrillers" a la Thomas Harris. If you are a fan of the genre then this will be right up your street, it's well written, the plot unfolds in a satisfying way without the "end of chapter cliffhanger" approach and there is plenty to keep you turning the page - recommended
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easily a Cover to Cover Read 24 April 2003
This book was absolutely brilliant - I am a fan of Patricia Cornwall , but she has not had anything out lately and I was missing that type of novel. Tried some other authors, but came across nothing sensational, then picked up The Surgeon - could not put it down and the last few chapters I actually had to stay up half the night until early hours of the morning to finish it, I honestly could not put it down even though my eyes were begging me to sleep.........
Now, I have to start The Apprentice......
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bone-Chilling! 5 Sep 2006
Tess Gerritsen is fast becoming one of my favourite crime writers. Not only for her good character development, and not only for the depth of the storyline itself, but mainly due to the bone-chilling suspense she's able to conjure.

In 'The Surgeon' we follow Detectives Thomas Moore and Jane Rizzoli who are on the track of someone who is seemingly copying a previous murderer. The only woman who survived the previous killer is once again a target, but this time is being targeted by the copycat killer. And 'The Surgeon' is torturing and killing his victims exactly as is predecessor did. But what is the link between the two? And what has Dr. Catherine Cordell, the survivor from the first killer, have to do with it?

The story is fascinating, and the suspense is thick. The imagery that Gerritsen is able to muster up in her description of the crime scenes makes you feel as if you can see it yourself...which is chilling, disturbing and intriguing all at the same time. It certainly makes for a great read, so this book is highly recommended to all seeking a thrilling read. But beware...easy sleep after a night of reading this is not guaranteed!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars chilling to the core 11 Mar 2006
A killer is on the loose in Boston and there are chilling similarities to cases in a different city two years previously. It looks like a killer has come out of hiding but there's just one problem - he was killed by his last victim. She survived and is now a Dr in Boston...As you can expect the cops get her involved and suddenly the case seems to revolve around her with the killer tightening the noose....
I'll leave you to find out the rest.
The only reasons i gave it 4 stars is the use of a lot of technical medical and scientific terms when they arent really necessary. I'm a medical student and even i found reading some bits somewhat tedious as i tried to make sense of it all(maybe that was the problem?!?). Im not sure how others would react to all the jargon....
Secondly, i just have to admit that the beginning of the book didnt hold my attention and i was doing about 4pages at a time. At some point i hit gold...and stayed up till 4am cos i just couldnt get enough! 3hrs of sleep before ward rounds was unbelievably worth it...what a read!
i am now reading my second Gerritsen book (as it turns out The Surgeon is the first book of a series....) and i've only stopped cos i desperately needed to buy something off amazon and felt i had to spread the word!! :)
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