THE SURGEON - Tess Gerritsen

18 July 2021 ☼ notesfrom 20012001 booksmy 2021

serial killer in Boston removes victims’ wombs while they’re still awake - they now show signs of a keen interest in the survivor (ER trauma surgeon Catherine Cordell) of a different (?), supposedly dead serial killer’s attack (with a strikingly similar approach). homicide detective Moore, a widower who soon takes the role of love interest’ investigates alongside jealous, plain-faced, snappish young Jane Rizzoli, the only female on their team.

italicised sections attempt a classical background & motivation for the killer - think Hannibal, but less precise - as we learn about Greek, Viking, and Aztec sacrificial practices. strong scenes in a rape crisis centre tackle the lifelong aftermath of sexual assault. two female protagonists, Rizzoli & Cordell, work in male-dominant professions, which is mostly commented on in thought rather than subtle example. apparently the series gets better but not sure if i’ll tackle it. it’s grim in places, though at no point chilling as was promised - reviews take the obvious line that Gerritsen’s story slides as smooth as a scalpel in a confident surgeon’s hand’ but by the end i was, frankly, bored. it was good writing & made unexpected points on sexism that weren’t too elbowed-in, but an analogy better-suited than the scalpel would be to describe it as an excellent tonsillectomy when what you were scheduled for was a head transplant.

(18 July 2021: 765)