I have to admit right up front that up until recently, I’ve not been what you might call a “fan” of mysteries and serial killer books. However, in the past few years I’ve also found that I can enjoy a fast-paced, well-written mystery (so long as it is not obvious who killed the victim within the first three chapters). My chief complaint with the mysteries that I seemed to pick up was that they were always formulaic, written poorly, lacked character development, and were so easy to figure out that I knew “who did it” within the first 50 pages. Well that’s just no fun for me as a reader!
Then, last summer, I read Stieg Larsson’s “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” and my interest in the genre of mystery was renewed. I plowed through those books, finishing the series in January after my beloved bought me the third copy from Ireland…..and was left wanting more. Well, Larsson’s dead and I had yet to find anything else to replace him, so I started asking around and taking suggestions in my hunt for another good thriller.
My mother, Patrick’s mother, my BFF Carolyne and her mother all suggested I check out Tess Gerritsen, whose series featuring police detective Jane Rizzoli has just been made into a television series starring Angie Harmon. I was skeptical, as I thought that any thriller made into a television series (starring Angie Harmon, no less) would only end up disappointing me…..but I decided to give her first book, “The Surgeon,” a whirl anyway.
Well, let me just say that I was wrong about the book series being disappointing. The Surgeon tells the story of a serial killer that targets women in Boston and revolves around Catherine Cordell, the victim of another serial killer with a similar MO from Savannah two years earlier, this killer’s fixation with her, and the police who search for the killer. I won’t spoil any of the details, but I can say that I was thoroughly impressed with Gerritsen’s character development, how well I felt that I knew everyone, and the fact that I did not guess the killer at the beginning — FINALLY! This was a book that I read in about 2 days and could not put down, wanting to just sit and read and read and read until I knew who was the killer and why he wanted Cordell.
I also feel comfortably freely admitting that I was so entranced by Gerritsen’s writing that I ran out and bought the second book in the series,”The Apprentice,” which I started reading immediately after finishing the first….and which I am off to read now. If you’re looking for a good thriller, I highly suggest you give Gerritsen a shot. I’d be surprised if you ended up disappointed.