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The Surgeon

by Tess Gerritsen

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. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list After an almost brutal confrontation with trauma surgeon Catherine Cordell, detective Jane Rizzoli, the only woman in the Boston Police's homicide unit, observes that "there's cool, and then there's ice." Before moving to Boston, Cordell was raped in her Savannah, Georgia, home and would have had her uterus cut out if she hadn't freed herself and shot her assailant before he completed his surgical procedures. Later in Boston, three other women weren't as plucky. Since Andrew Capra, the surgeon who almost killed Cordell, was himself killed, who is playing "surgeon" in Boston, and why? The answers to those questions come out bit by bit. In the process, detective Tom Moore and Cordell fall in love, and the head of the homicide unit sends him off to Savannah, ostensibly to investigate the Capra murder scene but in reality to get him away from Cordell. While perusing Capra's class picture in an Emory Medical School yearbook, Moore finds the key to both the "surgeon" and his motivation. Back in Boston, Rizzoli mistakenly kills an unarmed assailant, gets dismissed to the Boston equivalent of Coventry, but ultimately saves Cordell from the "surgeon," though she almost loses her own life. Gerritsen fans know by now what to expect from her: a fascinating story with a gripping plot and believably human characters. Such is The Surgeon, and, in places, then some. Let new readers learn what the fans delight in. --William Beatty

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

Library Journal Physician-turned-author Gerritsen returns with her fourth medical thriller (after Gravity), which has all of the usual components: the serial killer who targets women in Boston (dubbed The Surgeon because he removes their wombs before slitting their throats); the attractive, gutsy survivor (surgeon Catherine Cordell) who manages to kill her attacker; the principled, sympathetic detective (Thomas Moore); and the female cop trying to prove herself (the somewhat strident Jane Rizzoli). The kicker? Dr. Cordell survived and killed her attacker in Savannah two years agoso who is killing women in Boston today, and who is now stalking and threatening Catherine? Will she be able to escape the killer's gruesome knife a second time? Gerritsen's novels are briskly plotted thrillers filled with realistic medical detail, and this latest is no exception. While the characters here are somewhat wooden and stereotypical and the action predictable, it will find a place on leisure reading lists, perhaps along with something by Alex Kava. Recommended for public library fiction collections.Rebecca House Stankowski, Purdue Univ. Calumet Lib., Hammond, IN (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.