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The Surgeon [Mass Market Paperback]

Tess Gerritsen
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 29 2004
He slips into homes at night and walks silently into bedrooms where women lie sleeping, about to awaken to a living nightmare. The precision of the killer’s methods suggests that he is a deranged man of medicine, propelling the Boston newspapers to dub him “The Surgeon.” The cops’ only clue rests with the victim of a nearly identical crime: Two years ago, Dr. Catherine Cordell fought back and killed an attacker before he could complete his assault. Now this new killer is re-creating, with chilling accuracy, the details of Cordell’s own ordeal. With every new murder he seems to be taunting her, cutting ever closer, from her hospital to her home. Her only comfort comes from Thomas Moore, the detective assigned to the case. But even Moore cannot protect Cordell from a brilliant hunter who somehow understands—and savors—the secret fears of every woman he kills. . . .

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From Amazon

Tess Gerritsen left a very successful career as an internist to raise her children and devote more time to writing. The Surgeon, following several books that met with moderate success, is a gruesome and frightening story that should put Gerritsen among the top women thriller writers working today.

A serial killer is on the loose in Boston. The victims are killed in a particularly nasty way: cut with a scalpel on the stomach, the intestines and uterus removed, and then the throat slashed. The killer obviously has medical knowledge and has been dubbed "the Surgeon" by the media. Detective Thomas Moore and his partner Rizzoli of the Boston Homicide Unit have discovered something that makes this case even more chilling. Years ago in Savannah a serial killer murdered in exactly the same way. He was finally stopped by his last victim who shot him as he tried to cut her. That last victim is Dr Catherine Cordell, who now works as a cardiac surgeon at one of Boston's prestigious hospitals. As the murders continue, it becomes obvious that the killer is drawing closer and closer to Dr Cordell, who is becoming so frightened that she is virtually unable to function. But she is the only person who can help the police catch this copycat killer. Or is it a copycat? To complicate matters even further, Detective Moore, often referred to as Saint Thomas as he continues to mourn the loss of his wife, is getting emotionally involved with the doctor.

The suspense in The Surgeon is almost unbearable. The writing is superb and the stunning twists and turns make it almost impossible to put down. --Otto Penzler, Amazon.com --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From 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.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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First Sentence
Detective Thomas Moore disliked the smell of latex, and as he snapped on the gloves, releasing a puff of talcum, he felt the usual twinge of anticipatory nausea. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars THE KILLING OF CATHERINE CORDELL Feb. 1 2014
By Buggy TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Surgeon has been dubbed Rizzoli and Isles book #1 and even though it was a very good read I think anyone coming here as a fan of the TV series will be disappointed as the only similarities between the two is the name of one of the characters. Maura Isles is not in this story and Rizzoli is no Angie Harmon, (and probably one of the most dislikable heroines I’ve ever read- more on that later) If you’re at all sensitive to blood and vivid medical details (or rape) then this probably won’t work for you either as the surgical element here is graphic, bordering on overdeveloped –it’s pretty obvious that author Tess Gerritsen is a physician.

Having said all that, this was still a fantastic read. The writing is excellent, the story fast paced, and all the characters are well developed. The plot is suspenseful, gritty and terrifying concluding with one hell of a bad guy. In fact I would say this was hard to put down except for the fact that I was so creeped out I dreaded picking it up (does that make sense?) Anyways, I definitely felt the need for a change of pace after this, like chick-lit or something fluffy with puppies.

The Surgeon centers around a series of murders taking place in Boston. The young women are all found at home, in their bedrooms and the crime scenes are a bloody mess, the bodies sliced up and missing…an internal body part. The precision of the killer’s methods suggests a medical background and the media dub him “the surgeon”.

Investigating the murders are detectives Thomas Moore and his partner Jane Rizzoli -described as homely, self-loathing, jealous (and just downright bitchy) Through their investigation the police soon discover almost identical killings several years back in Georgia.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Dec 10 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I could not put it down. This book grabs you from the start and doesn't let go. I have read several books by this author and have yet to be disappointed. Now that this one is finished it's time to start the next one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chillingly Realistic Suspenseful Thriller Aug. 27 2001
Format: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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3.0 out of 5 stars Gruesome Serial Killer Book Nov. 7 2007
By Nicola Manning-Mansfield HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A serial killer is brutally raping then removing body parts from his victims. The trail leads the police to a victim who escaped from her assailant two years ago. The crimes are identical, only the previous victim managed to kill her rapist before he killed her. Are the police dealing with a copycat killer?

This was a gruesome, bloody serial killer book. I enjoyed the hard, edgy story. My main problem with the book was that I didn't enjoy the main female character, Jane Rizzoli. She is a bitter, man-hating type of woman which, personally, I found tedious and annoying. She shared equal page time with the main male character though, who I did like. This is also not the type of mystery where you can guess the killer, the killer is an unknown and the story is more about how the police track him/her down than who he/she is. I do prefer the thrill of trying to guess the killer. But overall, the story was compelling and scary and I'm enough interested to want to read the next in the series. I'm interested in seeing if Rizzoli grows as a character, as there were indications in this novel that she might.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Worthwhile Read-Exciting Book! July 5 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This was the first I have read of Gerritsen's books, and it was a good one!
Catherine Cordell is a surgeon who is highly skilled in repairing broken people's bodies.
There have been some horrendous murders taking place in the city of Boston. This killer would tear women apart by carving out their female organs, stabbing them with a scalpel, and leaving some dead, and others barely alive at the scene.
With each repeated act of great violence, the monster comes closer and closer to capturing Cordell, and hurting her. The thing one, he did hurt Catherine once, and she managed to escape. But this time, she may not be so lucky. She's in this monster's obsessions all the time.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars an intelligently written medical thriller/police procedural
The person who wrote this book is actually a real life MD (specializing in Internal Medicine) who gave up her career to write full time. Read more
Published on March 28 2004 by Haseeb
4.0 out of 5 stars The Surgeon - lock your doors
A great read. Kept me up reading long after everyone else was asleep. The ending could have been a little more exciting but was a book that made me lock my doors.
Published on March 23 2004 by Sara Rose
4.0 out of 5 stars Ends very well, but 1st half drags
I am glad I stuck it out and finished this book. The second half is far better and far faster than the first. Read more
Published on March 14 2004 by "ake465"
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Story
I really enjoyed this story. It is a murder mystery, but also a contemporary romance. Dr. Catherine Cordell was almost killed by an attacker years ago. Read more
Published on March 10 2004 by Elizabeth
5.0 out of 5 stars Gerritsen is in a Class by Herself
This was the first book I read by Ms. Gerritsen, and I quickly became a fan. She is absolutely the best at medical thrillers. Read more
Published on Jan. 6 2004 by A. E. Emerson
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and intense
I liked this book but feel compelled to say that many avid mystery and thriller readers will find it not to their taste-it features graphic scenes of sexual violence towards women... Read more
Published on Dec 17 2003 by F. J. Harvey
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Bestseller!
Dr. Catherine Cordell, a trauma surgeon at Pilgrim Hospital in Boston, is trying to get her life back. Read more
Published on Dec 16 2003 by A. Vegan
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book!
This is an awesome book-fast pace, good characters, good plot, good ending. This is a very talented writer, one who knows how to keep the pages turning.
Published on Dec 8 2003 by "livetoreadreadtolive"
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Stunning!
I loved this book for all the right reasons. It gave me the chills, kept me interested and above all, made me eager to know what would happen next. Read more
Published on Nov. 8 2003 by C.E.
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