Monday, May 23, 2011

Book 41: The Surgeon

I heard about this author when I saw that TNT was making a show based on the series that started with this novel.  I don't watch procedurals all too often, but I like the occasional Law and Order: SVU, and figured I might as well check out if this series was any different (I also think I saw a book that was later in the series that sounded like it had an interesting premise for a killer, but I obviously couldn't start in the middle).  Having said that, it was an entirely enjoyable book given the genre it represents.  I wouldn't call it ground-breaking in any way but it had a few nice ideas.
I was actually surprised by one thing about the novel: given that the rest of the series is the Rizzoli/Isles series, I was expecting one or both of them to be the main character in this novel.  In fact, the novel is told from three perspectives (well, four when you include the pages in italics in the killer's voice), and Rizzoli is the one that receives the least attention.  She wasn't even that likable, and while she had some good insights in the novel, she also made a huge mistake and didn't want to own up to it.  The main characters are Thomas Moore, one of the other detectives on the case who is part of it because he investigated a murder with the same profile a year before, and Catherine Cordell, a surgeon and victim of a serial killer two years before.  Cordell had escaped and shot her assailant, but even though the man that attacked her is dead, these current crimes are incredibly similar, and the new killer begins to focus on her.
The novel begins with a scene from the killer's perspective as he plots a murder, and then starts with a detective over a year later when a second body is discovered killed in the same manner: in both cases, the killer broke into the victims' apartments, incapacitated them with choloroform, tied them to their beds and immobilized them before cutting their uterii from their bodies while they were alive and conscious only to finally slit their throats.  It ties to a case in Savannah that was closed two years before although in that particular case, the women had been raped prior to the other violence.  Rizzoli and Moore are two of five detectives on the case, and they slowly find connections between the victims with some assistance from Cordell, who it soon becomes obvious is a target herself.
Since one of the main characters was a surgeon and worked at a hospital, there were a few scenes that read like a scene from E.R.  I have to say medical talk like that is much more fun to watch than to read, but other than that, it was a good enough novel for what it was.  It's entirely forgettable, although I liked the side trip to Savannah (I live/am going to live there).  I don't think I'd really necessarily spend money on more from the series but considering that the MWR's book room is half full of these types of novels, I wouldn't be surprised if I could find the rest of the series there - this series would work pretty well on the stair master.

1 comment:

The Caustic Critic said...

I've read all the books in this series, and I have to say that for the most part, they're all perfectly serviceable mystery novels. The focus does move onto Rizzoli and Isles in later books, though there are always a lot of side characters involved. I'd recommend the rest of these if you liked this one and don't expect too much. Good review!