In my profession, I see a fair amount of blood. Blood isn’t something that bothers me, neither do organs or bodily tissues covered in the stuff. That was until I started reading this book. I’ve no idea why but the descriptions of the mutilations carried out by The Surgeon, the book’s antagonist, made my stomach turn. I had to stop after the first description and have a glass of water. I did overcome my squeamishness and finish the book but I issue a warning right now: this book is not for the faint-hearted.
Tess Gerritsen tells a wonderfully gripping tale filled with all the gory details you would expect from a doctor turned novelist. Set in the city of Boston, detectives from the homicide unit are trying to track down a killer dubbed “The Surgeon” after a series of murders where victims have been horrifically mutilated. These crimes match similar ones committed a few years before where there is a surviving victim. Working with the victim the police face a thrilling race against time before more women are murdered.
Between the blood-filled descriptions, there sits brilliant plot and character development. The two detective central in the plot, Jane Rizzoli and Thomas Moore are fully fleshed out and believable. They have flaws, desires, history and are believable. Even the backup characters are described well and with enough panache that no one feel two dimensional and boring.
This book is no delicate Miss Marple story or stoic and smart Sherlock Holmes adventure. It’s a delightfully brutal and in-your-face American crime thriller and I thoroughly enjoyed it (in between bouts of nausea). For anyone who enjoys CSI or similar: this is the book for you.