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The Surgeon

by Tess Gerritsen

Library Journal In this frighteningly suspenseful tale, Detective Tom Moore and his partner Jane Rizzoli try to discover who is playing "surgeon" in Boston, and why. A serial killer strikes, butchering his female victims with a precision that indicates he has expert medical knowledge. Some years ago in Savannah, GA, a serial killer murdered women in exactly the same way, until his last victim, Dr. Catherine Cordell, who now works in Boston, shot and killed him. As the investigation progresses, Cordell is brought in to help. The Surgeon is a fascinating medical story with a gripping plot and rich, complex characters. Christine Marshall's clear and thoughtful reading adds to the depth and level of suspense. Highly recommended. Denise A. Garofalo, Astor Learning Ctr., Rhinebeck, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Library Journal Physician-turned-author Gerritsen returns with her fourth medical thriller (after Gravity), which has all of the usual components: the serial killer who targets women in Boston (dubbed The Surgeon because he removes their wombs before slitting their throats); the attractive, gutsy survivor (surgeon Catherine Cordell) who manages to kill her attacker; the principled, sympathetic detective (Thomas Moore); and the female cop trying to prove herself (the somewhat strident Jane Rizzoli). The kicker? Dr. Cordell survived and killed her attacker in Savannah two years agoso who is killing women in Boston today, and who is now stalking and threatening Catherine? Will she be able to escape the killer's gruesome knife a second time? Gerritsen's novels are briskly plotted thrillers filled with realistic medical detail, and this latest is no exception. While the characters here are somewhat wooden and stereotypical and the action predictable, it will find a place on leisure reading lists, perhaps along with something by Alex Kava. Recommended for public library fiction collections.Rebecca House Stankowski, Purdue Univ. Calumet Lib., Hammond, IN (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list After an almost brutal confrontation with trauma surgeon Catherine Cordell, detective Jane Rizzoli, the only woman in the Boston Police's homicide unit, observes that "there's cool, and then there's ice." Before moving to Boston, Cordell was raped in her Savannah, Georgia, home and would have had her uterus cut out if she hadn't freed herself and shot her assailant before he completed his surgical procedures. Later in Boston, three other women weren't as plucky. Since Andrew Capra, the surgeon who almost killed Cordell, was himself killed, who is playing "surgeon" in Boston, and why? The answers to those questions come out bit by bit. In the process, detective Tom Moore and Cordell fall in love, and the head of the homicide unit sends him off to Savannah, ostensibly to investigate the Capra murder scene but in reality to get him away from Cordell. While perusing Capra's class picture in an Emory Medical School yearbook, Moore finds the key to both the "surgeon" and his motivation. Back in Boston, Rizzoli mistakenly kills an unarmed assailant, gets dismissed to the Boston equivalent of Coventry, but ultimately saves Cordell from the "surgeon," though she almost loses her own life. Gerritsen fans know by now what to expect from her: a fascinating story with a gripping plot and believably human characters. Such is The Surgeon, and, in places, then some. Let new readers learn what the fans delight in. --William Beatty

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly A creepy cerebral serial killer vaguely reminiscent of Hannibal Lecter pursues a charismatic female doctor in this thoroughly satisfying if somewhat derivative thriller. Skillfully drawn surgical backdrops sizzling with ER intensity balance out the obligatory romantic intrigue and familiar plucky police professionals, attesting to Gerritsen's authentic medical expertise as a former physician. Dr. Catherine Cordell, the main character in this chilling tale, thought she had shot and killed her rapist and would-be murderer two years earlier in steamy Savannah, where he was a surgery intern at her hospital. Now, in Boston, as another hot summer begins, he appears to have miraculously returned and embarked once again on his grisly mission: he rapes women, then surgically removes their wombs. As two intrepid detectives Thomas Moore and Jane Rizzoli investigate, Cordell begins to doubt her own memories (or lack of) and discovers that not even her OR is safe. Gliding as smoothly as a scalpel in a confident surgeon's hand, this tale proves that Gerritsen (Harvest; Life Support; Bloodstream; Gravity), originally a romance writer, has morphed into a dependable suspense novelist whose growing popularity is keeping pace with her ever-finer writing skills. (Sept.) Forecast: National print advertising in People, the New York Times and USA Today, plus a major promotion campaign, will ratchet Gerritsen's sales up yet another notch. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Kirkus Top-grade thriller-diller from Gerritsen (the jaw-chattering Gravity, 1999, etc.), a former internist who gave up the stethoscope to raise kids and chills. Blistering ER trauma-work spells the main melodrama: a gruesome serial killer who collects his victims' wombs has over the years become quite skilled with his blade. The really awful part: he removes the womb while the naked woman lies awake and can see his power over her. ER trauma surgeon Catherine Cordell first met the killer, called "The Surgeon" by Boston newspapers, down in Savannah, where she was his last victim. Luckily for Catherine, after being raped she got a hand free from the cord binding her to the bed, cut herself loose with a scalpel, reached under her bed, grabbed a pistol, and seemingly killed Andrew Capra, the inept medical student about to pluck out her womb. Unable to bear Savannah, where everyone seemed to know she'd been raped, Catherine transferred to Boston, holed up for nearly two years, then took a job as a trauma surgeon without disclosing her past. Good grief! more wombless bodies start showing up in Boston. Did she really kill Andrew? Well, yes. Homicide detective Thomas Moore, a widower soon romancing sexually zapped Catherine, determines that she is on the killer's list. Jealous, plainfaced, snappish young Jane Rizzoli, the only female on Boston Homicide, leads his investigation. Gerritsen goes to great pains working up a classical background for the killer, filling us in on Greek, Viking, and Aztec sacrificial practices while also getting strong pages out of scenes in a rape crisis center, where incidents vividly illustrate the lifelong black aftermath of a rape. Then The Surgeon leaves one victim alive as an ER birthday present for Catherine, so that she can sew up spilled bowels while working through her own rape trauma. Sharp characters stitch your eye to the page. An all-nighter.

Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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