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The Surrogate (Brennan & Esposito #1)

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,475 Ratings  ·  192 Reviews
A shocking double-murder scene greets Detective Inspector Philip Brennan when he is called to a flat in Colchester. Two women are viciously cut open and lying spread-eagled, one tied to the bed, one on the floor. The woman on the bed has had her stomach cut into and her unborn child is missing. But this is the third time Phil and his team have seen such an atrocity. Two ot ...more
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by Pegasus Crime (first published 2009)
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Dec 13, 2015 Christine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book should come with a warning. You must have a strong stomach to cope with the subject matter.

The Surrogate is the first in the Brennan and Esposito series by Tania Carver. The story introduces Phil Brennan, a police officer who suffers from panic attacks and Marina Esposito, psychologist. They have a romantic history together. This is a brutal tale of pregnant women having their lives taken and their babies ripped from their bodies. Why would anyone be that desperate for a child, they wo
Leigh Barry
Mar 06, 2013 Leigh Barry rated it liked it
Shelves: murder-most-foul
While the book is well-written and really reads at a brisk pace, I had some issues with it. Mainly, I did not like the character of Marina Esposito. Wah-wah-wah, bad stuff happens to poor Marina. And her policeman-boyfriend wasn't "there" for her when she needed to be (even though he had a totally legit excuse and tried to call her a million times to let her know. It's his fault, and she'll never forget it. Except she will, because she loves him! Maybe. She needs time, but not the kind of time w ...more
Amanda Allen
Aug 14, 2012 Amanda Allen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'd gotten so used to reading less-than-great thrillers lately, that I'd forgotten what it was like to read a really, really good one. This book was fantastic.

Set in a small town in England, the police are desperately searching for a serial killer who is targeting pregnant women in order to steal their babies to create his own "family." There's a lot of fast paced action and unexpected plot twists -- I literally didn't see the final revelation coming.

I've already put Carver's next book on my "
Dawn G
Oct 19, 2014 Dawn G rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is the first in Tania Carver's (a husband and wife writing team) Brennan and Esposito series. I had read that their books can be very dark and this one did not disappoint. It had all the makings of an incredible psychological thriller; very disturbing crimes, horrific physical and mental abuse, extreme mental illness, and a cop, Detective Inspector Philip Brennan.

The book started out with a bang and could easily have been a 5 star read if not for a couple of character issues. Marina Es
I need to give this book 3 and a half stars, a well deserved 3 and a half it was too.I enjoyed reading it, although this is an odd thing to say bearing in mind that this book really does have a rather gory subject matter.

There is a killer targeting heavily pregnant women and is intent on taking the precious cargo they are carrying by brutal force.
The case falls to Detective Inspector Phil Brennan.He and his team are finding it difficult to make sense of the killings and call in Marina Esposito,
Leslie Lindsay
Feb 24, 2014 Leslie Lindsay rated it really liked it
What sounds like the most grisly and uncouth story is actually, strangely good. Tania Carver is an English writer and THE SURROGATE is her debut crime psychological thriller. When I mentioned the storyline to a member of my book group, she cringed and told me point blank, "I will never read that book." Well, yes--it does have to do with a serial killer who is focused on killing late-term pregnant women and taking their babies for their own. Definitely not a warm and fuzzy read.

Since I am the ty
Sep 01, 2013 Anja rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Was man nicht machen soll, reizt einen ja bekanntlich am meisten :D Mir wurde abgeraten das Buch zu lesen da ich selbst grad schwanger bin, da musste ich es natürlich erst recht anfangen. Es geht sofort spannend, blutig und grausam los und man musste sich auch nicht groß in das Buch reinfitzen. Authentische Protagonisten über die es Spaß gemacht hat mehr zu erfahren und daneben eine unglaublich kranke, spannende Story. Ich konnt nich mehr aufhören zu lesen und hatte oft Gänsehaut. Der Spannungsb ...more
Tracy Fenton
May 06, 2016 Tracy Fenton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not easily freaked out but this rather gruesome and gripping story was right up my alley. Loved the storyline between Phil and Marina so much I've downloaded book.2 and will read it next! If you like sick and twisted storylines then you will enjoy this.
Rick Brindle
Jul 31, 2014 Rick Brindle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This is the first of the Brennan, Esposito series, set in Colchester. The story is about a killer who murders pregnant women and takes their babies. I liked the pace and the overall story, there are lots of Colchester details as well which add to the authenticity. There was lots of tension, and I really didn't see the twist involving the female villain coming. what I didn't like,as has been mentioned before was Marina's seriously unrealistic expectations from Phil, to basically save her no matte ...more
Nov 16, 2015 Roxana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When you see a baby troller you expect tendernes, sweetness, and all the best of being human... but then you see blood on the wall....
Once you start reading this book is just imposible to leave it alone. Once you get lost in their pages, you will probably became deaf to the world around you. Fast and gripping, is almost like watching one of those tv series like Criminal Minds or so. It let you without breath until you reach the end... Just the best and the worst of human nature come to parade i
Apr 23, 2010 Karschtl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Um das Ende vom Buch zu lesen, musste ich doch glatt bis 3 Uhr nachts aufbleiben, was ich am nächsten Morgen prompt mit heftigen Kopfschmerzen bezahlt habe. Aber schließlich waren die letzten 100 Seiten dann doch zu spannend, um das Buch noch einmal aus der Hand zu legen.

Spannend geht es ja auch sofort los mit dem ersten Mord, dem wir als Leser teilhaben. Wie sich später herausstellt ist es aber mindestens der dritte Mord von einem Serienkiller der es anscheinend auf ungeborene Babies abgesehen
Steph Dinning
May 28, 2016 Steph Dinning rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Even though I haven't read this series in order,as I've read two others before this first one..I loved the series so much I wanted to go back to the start.
It's good to be introduced to Phil Brennan properly n find out about him and his team and Marina Esposito too.

They have a good connection and clearly with her pregnant there is a lot of potential for them to have many more adventures and stories together.

A fantastic if not grizzly plot with a lot of sub plots and twisted events to keep you gri
An amazing, gruesome, sickening and mind blowing thriller!!

When Phil Brennan enter this third crime scene, he realizes he's facing a serial killer like no other he ever encountered. This killer targets pregnant women, kills them and rip out their unborn babies.!!!
Phil Brennan knew he entered hell.
As the investigation goes on, he has to work with the criminal profiler Marina Esposito, but there again the story is complicated between them.

I felt completely immersed in this story, felt shocked and
Samara Chamblin
Jan 03, 2015 Samara Chamblin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Phil is a troubled cop in England and is assigned to investigate a string of brutal murders. Someone is killing pregnant woman and stealing their babies. Phil gets help from physiologist Marnia to solve the murders. Phil and Marnia have to work quickly to find the last baby before its to late!!!! Phil and Marnia have a troubled history that seems to get in the way of everything they do together. Phil tries to make things right and Marnia would rather ignore the past. Very interesting read

I found
Oct 28, 2012 Barbi rated it liked it
Unsettling...and not necessarily in a good way. I read a review somewhere that said Tania Carver (what a name for a thrill writer) never resorts to gratuitous violence. I'm not sure I agree with that assessment. This book is very violent, filled with misogyny and bleak to the point of being depressing. The female protagonist is a strong character except when she rather irrationally expects her love interest to swoop in from nowhere to rescue her from a couple of seriously bad guys. Since this is ...more
Jul 15, 2014 Doreen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
good --> fast-paced suspenseful action and gruesome murders.

bad --> i like Phil but seriously, how did he manage to pass police exam with his weakness, i.e. (view spoiler). don't let me start on marina... she really got into my nerves when she (view spoiler).
plot-wise --> predicta
Nov 22, 2009 Shona rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: love, crime
Someone is trying to find themselves a new baby and they will find any means to get it. Finding their prey then capturing it gives them such a buzz, then when eventually claiming their prize, a baby from its mothers womb, it the ultimate goal.

Captivating read which never gives away too many clues leaves you guessing right to the end. Of course like most crim novels there is a token love story added in to keep the book long enough.

Brilliant debut novel and hopefully there will be lots more to com
Feb 23, 2016 Elusive rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review
‘The Surrogate’ is the first installment in the ‘Brennan and Esposito’ series. Someone is killing pregnant women and taking their babies. Despite the incredibly gory and messy crime scenes, the murderer never leaves any trace leading back to himself / herself. Therefore, Phil Brennan and his team have to capture this sick person before the body count increases. When prominent criminal profiler, Marina Esposito is brought in to assist in the investigation, things get complicated between her and P ...more
Nov 23, 2014 Debbie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow when my sister lent me this book she warned me it was creepy & different from the books we normally read & she was spot on this is NOT a book for faint hearted it covers the most depraved serial killer I can imagine, his victims are pregnant women who are close to giving birth.

When I first read the blurb on the back jacket & remembering what my sister had said I wasn't sure if I would read this, as I love a good psychological story but one involving pregnant women hmmm but I star
Nülifer Akdemir
Sep 15, 2014 Nülifer Akdemir rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Şehirde dolaşan, tüyleri diken diken eden bir katil vardır. Bu katil kadınların peşindedir. Amacı ne sadece kan dökmek, ne de cinselliktir. O , bir tek şeyin peşindedir " bebek" . Bu katil hamile kadınların peşindedir. Onları sadece taşıyıcı olarak görür. Onları vahşi bir şekilde avlayıp karınlarından bebekleri alıyor ve anneleri ölüme terk ediyor.

Dedektif Phil ve ekibi cinayet mahalini gördüklerinde şoka uğrarlar. Birçok olay yeri görmüşlerdir, ama böylesini değil. Ekibe psikolog Marina da dah
Jul 19, 2012 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow can these people write a story you can't put down. I have never heard of this author and the book came recommended from goodreads, glad i did, i just purchased the next book in the series, i had this book read in less than 12 hours, lol
Mar 01, 2014 Sabine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ein Blutbad findet die Polizei vor, als sie zum Tatort gerufen werden: Zwei Frauen wurden brutal abgeschlachtet. Doch das ist nicht das Schlimmste. Eine der Beiden war schwanger und das Baby wurde der Toten aus dem Bauch geschnitten. Von ihm fehlt jede Spur.

DI Phil Brennan und sein Team ermitteln fieberhaft, denn es gab bereits vorher ähnliche Morde an Schwangeren die Parallelen aufweisen. Bald schon rückt der Exfreund der toten Schwangeren in den engeren Kreis der Verdächtigen. Doch die Profile
i loved this book! it had me gripped throughout, and the ending OMG, was a twist i wasnt expecting
Sandra Grauschopf
Although this was the author's "debut" book, it managed to do something that really irritates me in the detective genre: refer heavily to another case from a book I haven't read. Which I guess, also hasn't been written. Since it wasn't even an encouragement to read another of the author's books, it was particularly galling.

I also believe it used the phrase, "like carnal telepathy" at one point. WTH?

Overall, I found it to be ok. Not great, not memorable, but entertaining enough not to have regret
1. The mystery - not bad, had some twists. There were a few things I thought I had figured out and were shown to be wrong.
2. The killer(s) - creepy enough, probably the most evolved part of the plot.
3. The MCs - meh. Most aren't bad. I didn't find any of them compelling or overly likable though. Marina annoyed me the most.

What I didn't like:
Marina -
(view spoiler)
Gözde Yeşilsefa
Sep 27, 2015 Gözde Yeşilsefa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Karen San Diego
The Surrogate is a really catchy novel, especially for one that's intended to become a series. The pacing is light but you will feel compelled to read because of the excellent plot execution. The plot of this novel is unequivocally superb.

The character development is not quite as good as the plot development. This is one of the two reasons for the four stars instead of my intended five. Phil, for example, is a good copper and lover. I don't know anything else about him. This, I'm expecting, woul
Wayne Simmons
Nov 04, 2012 Wayne Simmons rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

A shocking double-murder scene greets Detective Inspector Philip Brennan when he is called to a flat in Colchester. Two women are viciously cut open and laying spreadeagled, one tied to the bed, one on the floor. The woman on the bed has had her stomach cut into and her unborn child is missing.

But this is the third time Phil and his team have seen such an atrocity. Two other pregnant women have been killed in this way and their babies taken from them. No-one can imagine what sort of pe
Q. Kelly
Oct 26, 2011 Q. Kelly rated it liked it
I love few things in life more than a good ol’ British detective and mystery story. Give me Ruth Rendell and Elizabeth George (especially her earlier books) any day. So, imagine how thrilled I was when I found a promising book at the library the other day. I colored myself excited with Magic Markers. (Yes, the librarians looked at me weird, but then they usually do.)

The book, “The Surrogate,” by Tania Carver succeeded on many levels. I would buy her future books. But one pervasive issue keeps th
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Tania carver is the pseudonym for the husband and wife writing team of Martyn and Linda Waites.
More about Tania Carver...

Other Books in the Series

Brennan & Esposito (8 books)
  • The Creeper (Brennan & Esposito, #2)
  • Cage of Bones (Brennan & Esposito, #3)
  • Choked (Brennan & Esposito, #4)
  • The Doll's House (Brennan & Esposito, #5)
  • Truth or Dare (Brennan & Esposito, #6)
  • Heartbreaker (Brennan & Esposito #7)
  • The Lost Girl (Brennan & Esposito Series #8)

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