The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen is a crime book I've been trying to read for several months. For one reason or another my attempts were unsuccessful but, at long last, I've managed it. So many people have told me how good her books are that I was quite anxious to try them; now I've read one for myself I understand the enthusiasm!
A&E surgeon Catherine Cordell has moved from Savannah to Boston to work in the hospital there. She's trying to forget an appalling sexual assault and near murder where she only survived by shooting and killing her assailant. He is dead, she should be able to rebuild her life, but two years later it's quite clear she has someone else on her trail.
In Boston two women have been murdered and another badly assaulted in exactly the same manner as the Savannah murders and assaults. But the perpetrator is dead so what's going on? Detective Moore, known as 'Saint' Moore', and Jane Rizzoli, a rookie detective not popular because of her prickliness, begin to investigate. It becomes clear that the centre of this investigation is Catherine Cordell but she can hardly remember the events of that fateful night. To Rizzoli's disgust her temporary partner, Moore, for whom she had huge respect, becomes personally involved with the surgeon. Rizzoli makes a bad mistake whilst chasing a supsect and is sidelined in the investigation, but she can't leave it alone, partly because her treatment in the police department mirrors her family life... often ignored in favour of the men. It makes her even more determined to rise above it all and solve this mystery before someone else is brutally murdered.
Well now, the first thing to say about this is how how gory it is. There's blood and guts and vivid descriptions of what goes on in the A&E departments of any large hospital. Plus, graphic descriptions of really nasty bodily assaults on women. This book should so *not* be my thing. I mean *really*. I cannot understand for the life of me why I liked it so much, I really really can't.
On the plus side I really liked Jane Rizzoli. She's describes as 'plain', is abrasive and prickly, but that is understandable. Women are constantly being sidelined in favour of men and an incident where she got back to her desk and found some moron had put a tampon in her bottle of water made me really feel for her. I can actually remember reading of a real life incident like this, otherwise I would think it far-fetched, no man would do this surely? Well yes, as matter of fact, a minority of men *would* do such a degrading thing. So she had my sympathy right from the start and I wanted to see her solve this one and prove she was every bit as good, if not better, than the men.
The story itself is also rather gripping. It's a bit clichéd but a 'roller-coaster ride' describes it very accurately. There's a lot of suspense, plot twists, even a bit of romantic suspense! I really liked it... and I am someone who never watches operations on TV and am definitely not into medical dramas or anything like that. I want to know more about Jane Rizzoli now, not sure how many books there are in this series but book two is The Apprentice and may be connected to book one as far as I can tell. It's just been returned to my local library so I will be on the doorstep first thing tomorrow morning to grab it before anyone else!