Sunday, 6 March 2011

The Surgeon

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 clich├ęd 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!


DesLily said...

so glad you enjoyed the book enough to want to read more by the same author.. that always helps. (well it helps add to our tbr pile LOL)

I realized I never answered a question you asked me some time ago and I'm sorry! was about Simon Louvish and the biographies he wrote.. the answer is: yes, Stan and Ollie is by far my most favorite of his books. it helps if you like to learn something about the beginnings of the movie industry.. but this one I found especially interesting as Laurel and Chaplin continually come over by ship since airplanes were not around then!

fiction-books said...

Hello Cath,

'Same Old, Same Old', I have loads of Tess Gerritsen books, back-logged in my TBR mountain somewhere!!!

I did read a couple of her earlier books, but that was some years ago and I really can't remember which ones now. The gorier, the better, as far as I'm concerned!

She is a very prolific author and the ninth 'Jane Rizzoli' book, is due out in the summer.

If you don't already know about it, check out:

It's a brilliant site, gives you all the author bio, new releases and a full bibliography of all an author's books, in order and with publishing dates.

Only deals with fiction authors, but they are nearly all there and it's kept well up to date.


Margaret @ BooksPlease said...

I have Life Support by Gerritsen in my tbr piles. I don't like blood and gore and have been fighting shy of reading it. It's not a Rizzoli book but is about a deadly epidemic. You've encouraged me to move it up the pile by your enthusiasm for her writing. I do like medical dramas, by the way, but I can't watch real operations on TV.

Cath said...

Pat: I'm really hoping to get this series from the library as Yvonne says there are eight out at the moment with a ninth on the way!

No worries about not answering, I'd forgotten anyway... one of the blessings of middle-age. heheh. I really fancy the Stan and Ollie book so will nab that when I see it in the library. I just checked the library catalogue (it covers all of Devon) and it has 7 books altogether by Simon Louvish... Chaplin, Mae West, Cecil B DeMille and so on. Not a bad choice.

Yvonne: You like gory books? I thought I *didn't* but now I can't claim that any more. Mind you, I wouldn't go out of my way to find them.

Fantastic Fiction is a wonderful resource I agree. I use it all the time.

Margaret: If you fancy a fast paced, quick read then Tess Gerritsen is your woman. I read it in a couple of days and, like I said, never expected to enjoy it like I did. I didn't know she had stand-alone books too, will check out the one you have in a moment.

Kailana said...

This is an author that I have heard a lot about, but I am not entirely sure if her books are for me...

zetor said...

I agre about the gory descriptions , I read this book a few years ago and I was sat on the edge of my seat till the last page. A brilliant read!

Cath said...

Kailana: yep... I can quite understand why you might think that and will agree that these books would not be for everyone.

zetor: LOL! Me too... towards the end I was actually holding my breath as well sitting on the edge of my seat. I just picked up the next one from the library, The Apprentice, I can look forward to more roller-coaster stuff I expect.

LizF said...

Oh you have a treat in store - Tess Gerritsen just gets better and better.
Yes there is a certain amount of gore but she doesn't dwell on it in a sadistic manner and it does add to the plot rather than being there for the sake of it.
I would suggest that you read the books in order as Jane Rizzoli's character does develop as the series goes on and I am sure that you will continue to enjoy the books. I usually have to wait until I have some uninterrupted reading time before I pick up her latest as there has been more than one occasion when I have had to read the book in one sitting because I couldn't put it down!

Cath said...

LizF: So many people like the Rizzoli and Isle (when does she appear?) books that I had to try them and I'm pleased I did. I now have the second book, The Apprentice, on my library pile and will probably read that next. I have a quietish week coming up so noted what you said about not being able to put the books down. lol.