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4.3 out of 5 stars
The Sinner (Jane Rizzoli, Book 3)
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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2003
Format: Hardcover
After reading the Surgeon and the Apprentice any author would be hard pressed to come up with something as good, but, Tess Gerritsen has almost done it with this book. It's a real page turner. I hope she keeps these characters for awhile.
I have to admit I read the book in a day and a half. The only reason I didn't give it a 5 is because I just finished reading the Surgeon and the Apprentice and just couldn't put it up to those two.
Great book am awaiting her next work.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Although I was loath to put this book down until the final page, it still was not as gripping as her last two books. Still if you like medical thrillers you can't go wrong with Ms. Gerritsen.
Without giving too much of the plot away the opening takes us to India and a massacred village. Then we are back in Boston at a brutal murder of a young novice and the injury of an older nun. The violence is unbelievable and there seems to be no indication of motive. But when the investigation moves forward ties between the murder of the young novice and the murder of an unidentified women in an abandon building are linked by bizzare circumstances. Detective Jane Rizzoli and Dr. Maura Isle work together to bring a killer to justice.
I enjoyed reading about Jane and I actually liked that Ms. Gerritsen was willing to portray this strong woman with normal human feelings of not thinking that she can do it all. I don't feel that romance was a huge part of the book. I'm a huge romance genre fan and the romance between Jane and Agent Gaberial Dean was way far back on the back burner and since I have been reading all the books involving Jane I was happy to see this relationship was continued and developed. As for the romance issue with Dr. Isle I feel that it played a part in the storyline and again this was not a priority in the plot. Yes, this book is not as griping as her last two...but then it is dealing with a different type of killer.
This book is worth picking up just keep and open mind and don't expect it to be like her others. Suspense is at a premium and favorite characters from previous book are included. If you have not read the last few books by Ms. Gerritsen don't worry, this book is still a stand alone story and by no means relys on previous titles. This is a fast paced read and a good way to spend a weekend.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Medical Examiner Maura Isles is called to a cloistered convent where one novitiate lies bludgeoned to death by a hammer and an older nun lies near death. The autopsy of the young nun reveals a shocking surprise, she had recently given birth. Dr. Isles and Detective Jane Rizzoli investigate for the answers to the many questions this case raises. Why would two nuns with no contact with the outside world be attacked? Before too long a gruesome third killing is tied to the nuns attack and the FBI become involved. In addition to the investigation, Isles and Rizzoli must confront unresolved issues from their pasts that interweave with a crime that goes far beyond the murder of nuns and an unidentified woman.
Jane Rizzoli has appeared in THE SURGEON and THE APPRENTICE. It is not necessary to read the former stories to enjoy THE SINNER, but it helps with character development. Also, both earlier books are excellent. This is not a book for the faint-hearted. The crime scenes and autopsies are very graphic. The book is well plotted with some really good twists, and it really keeps you reading. I liked the characters, but both women seem to be a little more intelligent in their careers than in their private lives. The ending was a bit to pat and was a little bit of a letdown after the promise of the strong beginning and middle of the book. Overall, it was not quite as good as the previous Rizzoli books, but still far superior to most medical/forensic thrillers.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I have been highly impressed by Tess Gerritsen's style of writing in her previous novels: Gravity, The Surgeon, Harvest, The Apprentice. Unfortunately, The Sinner does not carry with it the same level of suspense and excitement that has made her other titles absolute page-turners. In fact, there is nearly no suspense involved for the first 3/4 of the book, as the mystery tying together 3 seemingly unrelated crime scenes is unraveled at a painfully prolonged pace. Yes, this is more of an average quality murder mystery novel than the characteristically excellent medical thriller that has made Gerritsen a multiple-time New York Times bestselling author. Although The Sinner certainly is readable, I would recommend spending your time on one of Gerritsen's more acclaimed titles instead.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2003
Format: Hardcover
It's Labor Day weekend. Lots of outside plans. Lots of unexpected rain...and...
...that's a very good thing. Instead of walking the craft fair and barbequing...I got to stay in and read...the whole book.
I have read both other books in this series, The Surgeon and The Apprentice...and The Sinner...is definitely my favorite to date. Very interesting plot, intermingling of characters, alot of twists and turns.
I'm not an avid fad of reviews that tell you alot about a book so I won't.
It's a great mystery/thriller.
Just enjoy. I know I did.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book was way below Gerritsen's usual standards. She couldn't seem to decide if the book was a romance or medical thriller. The plot was engaging at first, but then got silly. Some of the "dramatic" events came out of nowhere and didn't seem to have a point. And what was up with Maura's lust for the priest?? This is one of those books that you finish and think, "THAT was a stupid book and waste of time."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've got to admit this is a fairly interesting read. But as a Tess Gerritsen fan who has been with her since her first medical mystery, HARVEST, I find the trend of her latest three books disturbing, particularly this one. This is the third time we have Detective Jane Rizzoli and the second time Medical Examiner Maura Isles; and the teaser plus the "Look Inside" for Gerritsen's next book, BODY DOUBLE, show me we're going to have this same pair together again. Gerritsen seems to be turning into a typical series author; and I, for one, think that would be a great shame for a writer of her talents.

Having Rizzoli in both THE SURGEON and THE APPRENTICE made sense since THE APPRENTICE is an excellent sequel to THE SURGEON with the same baddie hooked up with a new one. But with THE SINNER she uses the same pair of heroines to try and solve a crime done by baddies that are totally unrelated to those two stories. What I enjoyed about a Gerritsen medical mystery in the past was that with each new book she would take us to totally different settings peopled with totally different characters. That's a lot harder for a writer to do, but it makes for a far more interesting read for me than those dealing with heroes and settings I've already experienced umpteen times. So, as I was reading THE SINNER, I found myself getting increasingly bored with the character and problems of Jane Rizzoli.

I'm sure I'll read BODY DOUBLE when it comes out in mass paperback, too. But after reading THE SINNER, I'm not looking forward to reading it with anywhere near the anticipation I had with Gerritsen's earlier medical thrillers.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This was disappointing is so many ways: the plot started out nicely then took a huge wrong turn -especially when the ultimate villain was someone who would never have been allowed to be in the position he/she was in (I don't want to spoil the end for those who may want to read the book); both lead female characters were too "pat": strong women who excelled at that work, but were unlucky in love. A fast read, but in the end, a dissapointing one.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I'll keep it short and to the point. The story itself would be OK, but this book is so incredibly wordy, I found myself saying "shut up and get on with it" too often. The author details everything, and what's worse, is redundant. I don't need to hear that the priest has strikingly blue eyes every time he's injected into the story. The story is further damaged by the reading of Dennis Boutsikaris. Any sentence that started with "yes" or "no" was articulated ridiculously. Nobody talks like that and it gets very irritating very quickly listening to someone read like this. I only finished these CD's because I invested too much time listening to the first 3 while giving it a chance. Strip away all of the nonsense and tell the story with a little more precision and it would be a pretty good book. But with the extreme excessive wordiness, I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Maura Isles sees a lot of death--the cops even called her Queen of the Dead. Still, the two nuns, one murdered, the other near death, are a little much to take. When she discovers that the younger nun had recently given birth, the mystery seems largely solved. But deeper currents run through the mystery and soon the feds bring in evidence connecting this and other murders to a massacre that took place in distant India. Isles pushes herself to continue the investigation, to find the possible connection. What she finds is more damaging than she could have imagined. In a strange way, even Isles becomes a victim.
Detective Jane Rizzoli suspects that she may be pregnant as a result of a brief affair with a fed. The autopsy on the dead nun's baby pushes her to the limit. But she swears she'll find out the truth. The truths she finds, however, are about something deeper than simply crime.
Author Tess Gerritsen writes an emotionally compelling and exciting adventure. Both Isles and Rizzoli are sympathetic characters caught up in the aftereffects of terrible crimes and in their own emotional nightmares. Each has built a protective shell, but the mystery that they uncover together shreds those shells, leaving them exposed to a world more terrible than even they had wanted to believe. Gerritsen's highly professional writing and her obvious technical understanding of the medical procedures adds to the reader's enjoyment of this exciting story.
A prologue gives the reader more information than the protagonists enjoy about the motives behind the mystery, I'm not sure this was necessary or helpful, but it does add a different type of suspense to the story as we wonder how Isles and Rizzoli will be able to trace the murders back to their cause. THE SINNER is an interesting and emotionally satisfying story. Once I started it, I found I couldn't do anything else until I'd finished it.
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