Top positive review
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If you like serial killer thrillers, here's a goodie
on 31 July 2006
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. Love blooms between Catherine and Moore, much to the disgust and possible jealousy of the less than stunning Rizzoli. Suspects in the form of red herrings are dangled here and there, and in fairness this is a thriller that could be said to thrill right to the very end - it could not be accused of being clichéd or formulaic, and the conclusion was, for a pleasant change, constructed and executed with skill and finesse. This is a story which cried out for a good ending and did not disappoint in this regard.
Welcome to the serial killer club, Tess - I hope the follow-ups to this introduction to the series are at least as good as this one. Definitely recommended.