This is the second novel of what becomes the Rizzoli/Isles series. The book introduces medical examiner Maura Isles, and is told almost entirely from the perspective of Rizzoli (in the first of the series, she was more of a supporting cast member). The last novel ended with the apprehension of "The Surgeon," the serial killer that gave the book its title. Imprisoned in a high security facility, the novel still contains scenes in italics as seen from his perspective.
While investigating a case, Rizzoli receives a call from a detective outside the Boston district, because the detective on the case feels there are similarities to Warren Hoyt. Since Hoyt is in prison, it is not him, of course, but there are a few things about the scene that remind Rizzoli of him: the home invasion, the slit throat, the folded night clothes. There are big differences, though; this killer is going after couples, killing the husbands and abducting the wives before disposing of their bodies at a later time.
An FBI agent joins the case unrequested, and he is obviously hiding something from the Boston PD since he knows things about the case before Rizzoli and her team do. In the midst of this investigation, Hoyt breaks out of prison. adding to the stress level and intensity of the investigation, especially once it becomes clear that Rizzoli may have had a point in noting the similarities between the two killers.
Rizzoli isn't the most likable heroine but I liked reading about the investigation, and was eager to see the big picture and how the FBI fit into the case. The love story was the weakest part of the novel, but somehow people always end up coupled off in these things. My biggest complaint was the ending which seemed rushed and had a bit of a deus ex machina feel to it - I guess I would have just preferred more actual detectiving than there was at the end to discover the killers. Still, it was free and I wasn't in the mood for something super-reflective so this was a good read for that. I can't say I really like Rizzoli at this point, but the novels are keeping me entertained.