Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen

The Surgeon
Tess Gerritsen
4/5 stars

I had previously read Ms. Gerritsen's most recent novel, Ice Cold, and liking it very much was looking forward to starting the series from the beginning. As a lucky happenstance, a friend gave me The Surgeon as my first-ever gifted Kindle book!

In the Surgeon, the reader first meets Jane Rizzoli, who becomes one of the main characters for Ms. Gerittsen's series. As the only female in the detective unit of the Boston PD, she feels she has much to prove, has to stay tough, and work harder than anyone else. When a gruesome set of murders begin appearing around Boston, Jane stakes claim on the case. As the case develops, she and fellow Detective Moore find connections to this serial killer and one killed two years ago. Before it is all resolved, Jane finds herself fighting for more than just an equal place on the team, as she faces down the killer.

This is certainly more thriller than mystery, as the mystery conclusion is rather secondary to the thrills (as is standard in most thrillers); I was rather disappointed with the anonymity of the killer until I realized that fact. The action is fast paced, but not unrealistically so, and the mind of "unsub" is revealing in small, chilling doses. Ms. Gerritsen's uses her medical knowledge to describe hospital scenes in detail, adding another edge to the thrill. I have read complaints about her description of police detective work, but having no knowledge myself on which to base it, I did not see it an unbelievable.

Despite not being completely satisfied with the mystery aspect (as I noted, it was a learning moment for me, to realize the most definite difference between mystery and mystery/thriller), I enjoyed the thrills and chills of the novel. I read it in one sitting, listening for strange sounds the whole time. I look forward to reading more my Ms. Gerritsen.

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