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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat disappointing
This is my third Tess Gerritsen novel after reading The Surgeon and The Apprentice. While The Surgeon had me hooked from the get-go I was a little disappointed with the last two books.

This story starts with the discovery of a dead nun in a convent in Boston. Found beside her is another nun.....badly injured but still alive. Meanwhile, further across town...
Published on 9 July 2007 by O. Doyle

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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Plot and Characters but Something Missing
The Sinner is a decent medical thriller which I enjoyed, although not as much as the past two books by the author, The Surgeon and The Apprentice. The strength for me was the plot which had me guessing and the style of writing which was lyrical and descriptive.
The characters Jane Rizzoli (a detective) and Dr.Maura Isles (a forensic examiner) were interesting but it...
Published on 1 Nov 2003 by Veronica


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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat disappointing, 9 July 2007
By 
O. Doyle "celticshedevil" (Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Sinner (Mass Market Paperback)
This is my third Tess Gerritsen novel after reading The Surgeon and The Apprentice. While The Surgeon had me hooked from the get-go I was a little disappointed with the last two books.

This story starts with the discovery of a dead nun in a convent in Boston. Found beside her is another nun.....badly injured but still alive. Meanwhile, further across town the corpse of another victim is found in an abandoned building. Dr Maura Isles is the Medical Examiner on both cases and while she tries to figure out the why's surrounding each case she also finds herself having to handle the reemergence of somebody from her past.

Detectives Jane Rizzoli and Barry Frost are the investigating officers on both cases, bringing back the characters from The Surgeon and The Apprentice.

What I liked about The Surgeon was the page-turning drama involved in the search for a serial killer and the fact that the story wasn't focused on just one character. Ms Gerritsen has changed tact for The Sinner and I don't think it worked. The Sinner was disappointing because it didn't have that drama and instead the story seemed to focus more on the love-lives of Dr. Isles and Det. Rizzoli with the cases going on around them acting as mere background.

As for the ending.....it was obvious who the baddie was in the last few chapters but there was no build-up and we still know virtually nothing about our baddie and that in itself was disappointing.

I know this review seems negative and that's not my intention. The Sinner is still a very good book but it lacked the punch I expected after reading The Surgeon. I've now started reading Body Double so we'll see how that turns out before I abandon all hope!
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Series that has reached 'critical popular mass', 25 Mar 2005
By 
Kentspur (Er...Kent) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Sinner (Mass Market Paperback)
Tess Gerritsen was a doctor and it shows in her writing.
The scenes in hospitals, morgues and the the descriptions of medical 'stuff' ooze authenticity, but, I feel, with this book she has 'cracked it' as a detective novelist. I don't suppose she will be too worried about this validation from me, sitting as she will be on the millions of dollars made from the earlier books in the series, but here, with Detective Jane Rizzoli and Dr Maura Isles, she has created characters that you really care about, which is the trick in making people buy not just one of your books, but all of them.
Let's be honest, this book is pants. The crime is ludicrous, the exposition silly, the coincidences amatuerish and the killer was a total 'well, who the Hell is he?' followed by frantic thumbing back. It doesn't matter.
I wanted to know how things were going to turn out for Jane and Maura. I like them (particularly Maura - foxy lady). They are real people. All that tosh about shooting people pales next to the thrill of their personal lives.
I don't feel this gooey about all detective fiction and that these characters do that to me means Ms Gerritsen has done it. Books that can be enjoyed whatever the shortcomings of the plot because the characters are involving. The Holy Grail. Nice one.
No five stars though. Write a decent plot and I'll relent
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Plot and Characters but Something Missing, 1 Nov 2003
By 
Veronica (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Sinner (Hardcover)
The Sinner is a decent medical thriller which I enjoyed, although not as much as the past two books by the author, The Surgeon and The Apprentice. The strength for me was the plot which had me guessing and the style of writing which was lyrical and descriptive.
The characters Jane Rizzoli (a detective) and Dr.Maura Isles (a forensic examiner) were interesting but it seemed strange that they both were successful professionally and yet hopeless with men and relationships in general. The book was written in a
way that made it seem as though only cold, extremely tough and blunt women can succeed in a professional arena. In the Surgeon I liked reading about a controversial, edgy female (Jane Rizzoli) and that still stands. However, I found some of Rizzoli's needless rudeness and nastiness towards anyone who shows her concern to be wearying this time around because it was so unnecessary in many cases and she came across as petty rather than angry about sexism in the police force.
I also found the dealing of the Catholic Church to be very heavy handed and biased. All the nuns were described many times as old and detached - not a single one of them was given any personality, depth or kindness. The only young nun was written about in an equally negative way. Secondly, both Maura and Jane were lapsed Catholics and were highly cynical about religion of any kind. Of course, this is fine, but there was simply no balance to the book as no religious characters were allowed to speak. In the end I found the constant sniping about faith and belief to be jarring.
Overall the Sinner is a competent thriller and the medical details were excellent. There were surprises and shocks along the way and the characters were believable if not always likeable.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars PECCAVI.....I didn't give it 5 stars, 12 Sep 2006
By 
OEJ - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Sinner (Mass Market Paperback)
Anyone who has read THE SURGEON or THE APPRENTICE will know why my expectations were sky-high for this, the third in the Jane Rizzoli series. Those two novels were excellent, full of tension, suspense and pace. But here, Tess has gone way off the boil and has somehow turned what should have been a crime thriller into something of a romantic piece of ho-hum that borders on chick-lit. Borders, I stress, without quite entering. Tess claims that The Sinner was a fresh new challenge for her - and I quote from the great lady herself :-

"I actually found THE SINNER one of my most challenging and satisfying books to write, because it was not a simple serial killer book, and I couldn't rely on that automatic internal drumbeat of tension that a stalking/serial killer novel has. Serial killers are actually easy villains to create and I always feel like I'm taking the easy way out when I do one of those. But taking an overseas corporate horror and turning it into a homicide case in Boston was a lot harder"

Well, if it was a lot harder, it shows. The corporate horror she refers to is, I suppose, at the core of the plot here but it really hardly ever shows its face. I am actually intrigued by corporate crime, fraud or corruption so if anything I would have welcomed it with open arms had I known this in advance. But while there are some gruesome murders early on, followed by the always excellent forensic and medical analysis, in truth the meat and bones of this story is represented by the continuing dilemmas in the private life of Detective Rizzoli, alongside those of her associate in the morgue Dr Maura Isles. In Rizzoli's case her focus of attention is enigmatic FBI agent Gabriele Dean (carried over from The Apprentice) but, very disappointingly, Dean has only a bit part to play in this third novel. Meanwhile Dr Isles, who seems to have replaced Dr Ashford Tierney as Medical Examiner (without any explanation that I remember) tussles with the advances of her ex-husband Victor, a man who I kind of assumed to be about 60 years old judging by his name and could never quite remove that image from my vision. He's about 40 as it turns out.

The turmoils in these two women's love lives take centre stage ahead of the plot and storyline, that of the murder and serious assault of two nuns in a Boston convent. The investigation into these crimes, along with one or two other connected killings, never advances beyond background interest, and despite a reasonable allocation of pages to the crimes I have to say that no thrills are generated in doing so. One of the victims, a young nun, seems to have little involvement in the corporate corruption that is claimed to be this novel's mainstay, yet considerable time is spent investigating this story strand which, while interesting on its own, bears little relevance to the main point and direction of the tale itself. If anything, it only serves to contribute towards the unlikely discovery of maternal instincts suppressed within the very single and workaholic Rizzoli. I found Rizzoli to be a superbly drawn character in The Apprentice and could hardly wait for more of the same in The Sinner, but if anything it was an anti-climax due in part to the emergence of the somewhat less interesting `joint central character' of Dr Maura Isles. By having two female leads, as opposed to male/female in The Apprentice (Rizzoli & Dean) Tess has created something of an imbalance with few, if any, strong male characters at all. Gabriele Dean could have filled that role but once again, he hardly features at all even if what he actually does is highly influential.

We also lost the concept of a powerful, evil enemy in any character sense, unlike the `Surgeon' and the `Dominator' (the pseudonym used in The Apprentice). Tess says this was a very deliberate ploy but fans of the two earlier books - of whom there are many thousands if not millions - will be disappointed by the complete change of flavour and style of The Sinner. It was an attractive-sounding title that failed to deliver the expected goods, but I am optimistic that normal service will be resumed in BODY DOUBLE, VANISH and THE MEPHISTO CLUB.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great, 10 Nov 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Sinner (Hardcover)
This is the third book by Tess Gerritsen involving Jane Rizzoli.
The Surgeon and The Apprentice are much better.
At the end of The Apprentice we are just getting to see the real Jane Rizzoli. Tess Gerritsen has started to give us a broader insight into this character. Then The Sinner throws that all away.
The Sinner is more about Dr Maura Isles than about Jane and its a bit of a let down.
We get fed snippets of info about Jane through the book but its as if we are expected to drop one heroine for another. We may as well be reading a complete different series.
Apart from that The Sinner is not a bad book, is just not a fantastically good book.
Someone has horrifically killed two nuns, a young girl and an old bloke. What is the connection?
The religious undertones started to get a bit too much by the end of the book and i was glad when i got to the end.
There is no wow factor with this one as there was with The Surgeon and The Apprentice. It just trundles along and then finishes.
A bit of a let down.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars u ever read a book where a nun was murdered??, 18 Mar 2006
By 
RD - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Sinner (Mass Market Paperback)
what i like about Ms Gerritsen's series is that she has developed great characters by not being afraid to write a lot about their personal lives... and she still finds time to fit in a game of good guy - bad guy..
The third Isles/Rizzoli begins with an investigation into the murder of a nun and the assault of another. Who would want to harm nuns?
The case becomes even more eyebrow raising when it turns out one of them recently gave birth....Where is the child? Who was the father?
These questions must be answered but its never straight forward...and so begins a case which crosses borders and shakes bonds...
At the same time both women are facing troubles in their personal lives. Det Rizzoli finds out she is pregnant and on the road to being a single mum while Dr Isles has to face the return of her ex-husband into her life.
If you're already into this series then buy this book you will not be dissapointed. If you aren't then i suggest you begin at the beginning with 'the surgeon'...onto 'the apprentice' and then come back to this one...
Happy reading..
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars an excellent 3rd, 11 May 2004
By 
Claire, Lulu "Lulu" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Sinner (Hardcover)
This is the 3rd in the surgeon series and i have to say it is the third book of gerritsens i have thoroughly enjoyed! as a crime/medi thriller writer gerritsen really gets down to the knitty gritty! everything about this set is gripping and really entices you leaving you wanting more! this one is probably the least scarey of the three with more emphasis on the actual characters rather than the crimes and the brutal killings! there is more romance in this book than the other two with previous "mentions" coming out the woodwork but all in all an excellent read. looking forward to another.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the greatest Gerritsen..., 4 Sep 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Sinner (Hardcover)
It was with great anticipation and hope that I waitied for this the third installment of the Detective Jane Rizzoli thrillers.

Great! Here comes another clever, spine chilling, highly addicitive thriller, to follow The Surgeon and The Apprentice... or so I thought...
Sadly, for me this book just didn't make the grade and I finished it feeling dissapointed.
For although it makes a fairly entertaining read, with two strong women as key characters chasing a brutal killer, weaving the threads of different murders together whilst still allowing them enough time to worry about their love lives, the depth of plot just isn't there. And don't even get me started on the ending!!!
If you are new to the Rizzoli books - I's strongly recommend reading the Surgeon and the Apprentice before this one.
For Rizzoli fans like me, you have to read The Sinner through loyalty, but don't expect the quality of plot and excitment that was in the first two books.
For a real treat, to cheer yourself up after the sadness of this book not living up to expectations (and if you haven't discovered them already) - try the Hannibal Lecter Trilogy - Clarice Starling makes Rizzoli look like Snow White and the quality of these novels WILL leave you breathless.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cant believe negative reviews!!, 20 Aug 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Checked out the reviews for this book before down-loading it. I nearly didnt get it as some of the reviews were so negative! However, i wanted to follow the series through in order, so i got it & iv just finished reading it; i have to say it is just brilliant! I couldnt put it down, every available minute reading another couple of pages! I loved the mix of the personal lives in with the plot, it was as interesting in the 1st half as the 2nd half, i could not believe it when i saw i had reached 80% it had just wizzed past! i thoroughly enjoyed it and would definately recommend anyone to ignore the negative reviews on this book and give it a read!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book as an introduction.., 1 Jan 2004
By 
Mrs. Nicola C. Richards "nrfab" (South Wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Sinner (Hardcover)
This is the first Gerritsen book I have read and I enjoyed it but agree that the end is quite sudden-as if she wanted to finish it in time for tea!! I didn't guess who the killer was which was good but there was very little info about the killer provided in the story. It has made me want to read some of her others though and will read the reviews given before I chose!
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The Sinner: Rizzoli & Isles series 3
The Sinner: Rizzoli & Isles series 3 by Tess Gerritsen (Paperback - 1 Jan 2010)
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