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The Sinner Hardcover – 1 Sep 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 211 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press; First Edition UK edition (1 Sept. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593050479
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593050477
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (211 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 176,933 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'Another captivating, horrific thriller in her extremely popular cannon.' -- Booklist

Book Description

A Rizzoli & Isles bestseller. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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 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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Format: 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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Format: 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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Format: 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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