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133 of 136 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Today They Will Know We Are Back
"The Surgeon" is not a novel that has any intention of giving the reader an easy moment. From the beginning of the story, as first we pay a visit to the cold mind of a serial killer, are swept into the autopsy of his latest victim, only to find ourselves in the middle of an operating room emergency, the reader is granted no respite. The killer tortures the...
Published on December 23, 2001 by Marc Ruby™

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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars At a surgeon's pace...
This is my first venture into Tess Gerritson. The Surgeon is the typical fare of the slasher/cop genre. And typical is my reaction to most of the book. It falls in line with the James Patterson, Jonathan Kellerman style of novels. The villian is unkown, and the author throws a curve every now and again to keep you guessing. The surviving victim of a brutal attack...
Published on March 2, 2003 by Mark Wagenschutz


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133 of 136 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Today They Will Know We Are Back, December 23, 2001
This review is from: The Surgeon (Hardcover)
"The Surgeon" is not a novel that has any intention of giving the reader an easy moment. From the beginning of the story, as first we pay a visit to the cold mind of a serial killer, are swept into the autopsy of his latest victim, only to find ourselves in the middle of an operating room emergency, the reader is granted no respite. The killer tortures the victims, first binding them, performing a waking hysterectomy, and then, after keeping them alive for a time, slashing their throats. Now Boston detectives Thomas Moore and Jane Rizzoli are unwilling partners in a grizzly murder case.
Rizzoli discovers that the killer's modus operandi has occurred once before in Savannah, Georgia. While the crimes are nearly identical there is one hitch. The last victim of the Savannah killer not only survived, but killed her tormentor. Survived to heal, leave Savannah and move to Boston where she practices as a surgeon and member of an emergency team. Dr. Catherine Cordell finds herself dealing again with a horror from her past she thought was over.
It is not long before it is clear that Catherine Cordell is the real objective of the killer, now known as the Surgeon. The killer's trail of victims defies all police efforts to identify a murderer, who seems to have risen from the dead. The increasing menace to Dr. Cordell plays against her halting relationship with Moore and Rizzoli's almost compulsive antagonism. Compared to the all too human character if his opponents, the Surgeon always appears supremely cold and efficient. As apt to dwell on Greek myth as he his to exult over his victims.
Few characters come across as completely healthy in this tale. Moore is recovering from the tragic loss of his wife, Rizzoli believes she is pitted against the entire male police establishment and Cordell struggles to free herself from the darkness that seized her in Savannah. Gerritsen deserves the credit for deploying a cast like this, and then managing to avoid giving in completely to the bleakness that haunts noir fiction. She does this with some flare, mixing in procedural, forensic and emergency room medicine in counterpoint to the primary plot.
I do feel it necessary to mention that the tale is not at all simply a grim tale of slaughter. It deals with some very serious issues. Gerritsen confronts the aftereffects of rape directly, and in very uncomfortable fashion. Those of us who have been taught to belittle or deny how devastating this kind of personal invasion really is may have a tough time dealing with these passages. I found Gerritsen's frankness illuminating but unsettling, as I think most readers will.
In retrospect I believe this may be the best suspense/serial killer novel of the 2001 crop. Although there have been some close competitors. I do not normally follow medical suspense, so I don't know how well it compares in that genre. But I can't imagine it being far from the top on most reviewers lists. While I am not normally a reader of medical thrillers, I intend to investigate more of Gerritsen's work.
Marc Ruby for The Mystery Reader
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST read!, August 23, 2001
This review is from: The Surgeon (Hardcover)
He stalks his prey in the darkness. He enters their houses and walks into their bedrooms. The precision of his brutal killings suggests he is a man of medicine. The police are baffled and their only clues are the facts that he rapes his victims, removes their uterus, and THEN kills them. Luckily for the police one of the potential victims fights back and kills her attacker.
Dr. Catherine Cordell is trying to forget the attack that almost killed her two years ago. And although she has moved from Savannah to Boston the nightmares that plague her are about to become a reality.
Within a few weeks of each other a series of killings have locked the people of Boston in a state of fear. The police, having nothing to go on, begin to look into the recent murders only to discover they are very similar to the murders that happened in Savannah. Detectives Thomas Moore and Jane Rizzoli examine the close similarities between the years apart crimes and are shocked to realize they can't be copy cat crimes, for the details of the original killings were kept out of the papers, but how can this be the work of the original killer, he was killed by Catherine Cordell?
Moore and Rizzoli do the only thing they can, bring Cordell into the middle of their investigation because any information she supplies them can bring them closer to catching the killer. Unknown to anyone is the fact that the killer is staying one step ahead of them, and Catherine Cordell has now been targeted as the next victim on the killer's list, a deranged madman that knows the fears of the women he kills.
`The Surgeon' sucked me in from the first page, and kept me riveted from one shock to the next. With a plot as sharp as a scalpel, and a villain as nasty as Hannibal Lector, `The Surgeon' succeeds at being a terrifying read all the way up to it's explosive climax.
Tess Gerritsen proves to be nothing less than SUPERB at creating tension filled medical thrillers. With four previous bestsellers, Ms. Gerritsen has created her most exciting novel to date, and that is no small accomplishment, considering her earlier novels were excellent.
Dark, twisted, and disturbing `The Surgeon' is a MUST read!
Nick Gonnella
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grabs You and Never Lets Go....., September 27, 2001
This review is from: The Surgeon (Hardcover)
There's a serial killer loose in Boston, first torturing and mutilating women in a very methodical way and then viciously killing them. The press have dubbed him "the surgeon". His crimes are grisly and he's very clever. As the body count rises, homicide detectives Thomas Moore and Jane Rizzoli are working the case round the clock and getting nowhere fast. That is, until they discover that two years ago an almost identical crime spree occurred in Savanah, Georgia. There, the killings stopped when the last victim, Dr Catherine Cordell, was able to fight back and shoot her attacker. Now she's living and working in Boston and though it's impossible, "the surgeon" seems to have followed her there..... Turn off the phone and lock the door because The Surgeon is about to keep you up reading, all night. This is an intricate medical thriller that has it all: a tight, tense, well-paced plot, full of intense and riveting scenes, crisp, suspenseful writing, terrific well-drawn and engaging characters and a diabolical villian who makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Tess Gerritsen has really honed her craft and her indepth medical knowledge and great attention to detail add real credibility to the story. Add to that a stunning climax and satisfying ending and you have the makings of a superb read that shouldn't be missed.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars At a surgeon's pace..., March 2, 2003
By 
Mark Wagenschutz (Battle Creek, MI USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Surgeon (with Bonus Content): A Rizzoli & Isles Novel (Mass Market Paperback)
This is my first venture into Tess Gerritson. The Surgeon is the typical fare of the slasher/cop genre. And typical is my reaction to most of the book. It falls in line with the James Patterson, Jonathan Kellerman style of novels. The villian is unkown, and the author throws a curve every now and again to keep you guessing. The surviving victim of a brutal attack two years ago in Savannah, Dr. Catherine Cordell establishes a new life in Boston. But the past is following her as new female victims are being killed in Boston in the same fashion as before. Enter Detective Thomas Moore, a widower and perceived saint among the Boston PD, and his chip-on-the-shoulder partner Jane Rizzoli. Of course, Moore and Cordell fall in love, Rizzoli is not happy, the killer is getting closer to his ultimate prize - finishing what was not accomplished two years ago.
Overall, the book was a fun read. If there was a 3 1/2 star choice, I'd rate it there. I'm not to the point that I'll immediately purchase another Gerritson novel...I'm not totally sold yet. But I will go to the library to check one out.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chillingly Realistic Suspenseful Thriller, August 27, 2001
By 
Sheri Melnick (Enola, PA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Surgeon (Hardcover)
Internist Tess Gerritsen's medical knowledge adds an eerie realism to this novel of mystery and suspense. As the lone survivor of serial killer Andrew Capra, Dr. Catherine Cordell escapes the horror she lived in Savannah to go to Boston and starts to put her life back together again. Though she rarely goes anywhere besides the hospital and lives in a very secure apartment, she is able to function very adequately in her position as a surgeon at Pilgrim Medical Center. But her sense of relative security is short-lived as a new serial killer emerges in Boston, and the killings are uncannily similar to those, which occurred in Savannah two years ago. Okay-Andrew Capra is dead, shot by Dr. Cordell, his almost-victim. Thus begins the quest for the new culprit. The endless possibilities add to the allure of this novel: Dr. Cordell, perhaps, a copycat killer, someone avenging Capra's death? Enter Boston's finest, "St. Thomas Moore", the detective who still brandishes a wedding band two years after the death of his wife, Jane Rizzoli, lone female detective out to prove her worth, Darren Crowe, resident male chauvinist. Moore and Rizzoli are a fine addition to this cast of characters-Moore struggles with his attraction to Catherine while Rizzoli struggles to succeed in a male -dominated profession while trying to understand her jealousy of Catherine. THE SURGEON plays like a finely tuned piano, each chord blending in harmony leading to the final resolution. The skillful use of medical terminology as well as the knowledge of anatomy, while somewhat gruesome, adds a chilling sense of reality to the murders. And, as the clues unfold, leading to the identity of the killer, the reader experiences a sense of dread as to who the next victim will be. Lights will stay on all night for this novel that is impossible to put down, and once finished, you won't want to sleep in the dark.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TESS IS TOPS AT THRILLERS, August 30, 2001
This review is from: The Surgeon (Hardcover)
While serial killer villains may abound few are as excruciatingly terrifying as the menace introduced in Tess Gerritsen's latest thriller, "The Surgeon."
An outstanding young cardiologist, Dr. Catherine Cordell, can never forget that she is the only surviving target of a crazed serial killer. Although the murderer was shot and killed in Savannah, Georgia, Catherine has found it impossible to leave that nightmarish time behind. She shares this information with no one.
In an effort to blot out past horrors she moves to Boston. Soon, the unthinkable occurs - three women are slain in Boston by someone with the same modus operandi as the person who hunted Catherine in Georgia. His methods lead authorities to believe he has been trained in medicine, and they dub him "The Surgeon."
Catherine had fought back once and saved her life, but now she is about to crumble as with each new murder the sadistic stalker seems to be getting closer to her, to the hospital, to her home, as action hurtles from the Emergency Room to the morgue.
She has only one ally, Detective Thomas Moore, and he, too, is stymied.
Gerritsen, an M.D. herself, brings chilling accuracy in detail and characterization to her tale of those who destroy and those who heal.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good thriller, September 8, 2001
By 
Konrad Kern (OFallon, MO United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Surgeon (Hardcover)
Tess Gerritsen�s latest is a pleaser.
2 years ago, while living in Savannah, Dr. Catherine Cordell barely survived a brutal rape. The serial rapist/murderer known as Andrew Capra, aka �The Surgeon�, had previously raped and killed three other women. His last victim, Dr. Cordell, fought back and killed him.
Now living in Boston and working as a trauma center doctor, Catherine Cordell soon finds out about some recent rapes and murders happening in the Boston area that are very similar to the one�s committed by Andrew Capra, the man she killed 2 years ago. This killer starts sending her clues, which causes her to recapture all those hideous moments of the past. She soon finds out that she may be the final target.
Detective Thomas Moore is a rather easygoing guy (with a growing attachment to Cordell) assigned to these recent killings, along with lead detective Rizzoli, who happens to be a women struggling to prove herself to a mostly male police force.
Filled with well-choreographed emergency room action and engrossing scenes of life and death, this novel does not disappoint. It seemed very emotional and personal due to the often-brought up issue of rape. A well-rounded medical thriller.
�Where we go depends on what we know, and what we know depends on where we go�
Recommended
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Move over Robin Cook!, February 4, 2002
By 
C W Breaux (Fruita, CO USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Surgeon (Hardcover)
Published in 1996, Tess Gerritsen's first medical/criminal suspense/thriller novel, Harvest, showed that she was going to give Robin Cook a run for his money in that particular writing genre. With the 2001 publication of The Surgeon, her 5th novel, she has pushed him aside to become the more exciting writer.
Dr. Catherine Cordell is a young, attractive, trauma surgeon who harbors a dark secret from her past in Savannah, Georgia - her rape and near mutilation and murder and then her successful killing of her attacker. Two years later, similar attacks/murders occur around her in Boston, Massachusetts. She is asked to assist the police in their investigation and then finds that she is the real object of the killer's obsession.
As a surgeon myself, I especially enjoy the detail and accuracy of the medical stuff about which Dr. Gerritsen, a former internist, writes. Her writing skills have developed with each novel, and her character development is now quite good, especially with Dr. Cordell, her surgical partner Peter Falco, the two lead detectives Thomas Moore and Jane Rizzoli, and the killer. She knows how to build to a climax, and I could not put the book down after I got halfway through. Finally, she can just flat out write a very chilling scary thriller!
A final caution - this book is not for the sqeamish or younger audience due to the graphic descriptions of female mutilation.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Gruesome., June 24, 2010
By 
Baizan "Baizan" (Jemez Springs, NM USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
It's always a shame to see a good writer use bad material. This author describes the vivisection of a woman in great detail four times before moving on to the next victim, who dies the same way and gets the same detailed descriptions. If you enjoy thoughts of hurting women, this is your thing. It isn't mine.
Two stars instead of one because the author has talent. Two stars instead of five because she cops out with very cheap material.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Startling and satisfying!, January 11, 2003
By 
Michelle Lee (Bloomfield, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Surgeon (with Bonus Content): A Rizzoli & Isles Novel (Mass Market Paperback)
This was the first book by Tess Gerritsen that I had ever read, and it hooked me into her novels immediately. She is a medical suspense author like no other, and "The Surgeon" is a thoughtfully-woven tale that reveals her artistic skill in creating tension and unrelenting anxiety within the reader.
Dr. Catherine Cordell is the cool-headed surgeon, but she is also a former rape victim. As a string of rapes remarkably similar to her own begin to occur, she is startled. They are happening closeby, and detective Thomas Moore singles her out as the only possible connection. The only difference between Cordell and these new rape victims...she is the only one surviving.
As the story continues, we realize that the killer is now stalking Cordell's movements. Moore becomes her guardian, and later in the story, something more. However, until the killer is found, neither can rest...
The climactic ending leaves you gripping your seat and holding your breath. I salute Ms. Gerritsen for knowing how to formulate the medical thriller with such dexterity, wit, and sincerity.
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The Surgeon (with Bonus Content): A Rizzoli & Isles Novel
The Surgeon (with Bonus Content): A Rizzoli & Isles Novel by Tess Gerritsen (Mass Market Paperback - July 2002)
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