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The Surgeon (Rizzoli & Isles #1)

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  93,997 Ratings  ·  3,074 Reviews
Alternate-cover edition can be found here

He slips into homes at night and walks silently into bedrooms where women lie sleeping, about to awaken to a living nightmare. The precision of his methods suggests that he is a deranged man of medicine, prompting the Boston newspapers to dub him “The Surgeon.” Led by Detectives Thomas Moore and Jane Rizzoli, the cops must consult
Mass Market Paperback, 350 pages
Published July 30th 2002 by Ballantine Books (first published 2001)
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Emma Whilst the first episode of Rizzoli and Isles is based on the first two books (The Surgeon and The Apprentice) the books and the series are two…moreWhilst the first episode of Rizzoli and Isles is based on the first two books (The Surgeon and The Apprentice) the books and the series are two completely different entities, which is actually pretty great. It means that there is no confusion between the two as the stories don't intertwine. Definitely give the books a go, they're some of the best out there. (less)

Community Reviews

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May 04, 2011 Punk rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Thriller. Trigger Warning for discussion of rape.

Let's review:
1. "He identifies and removes only the organ he wants. Nothing more. And what he wants is the womb." [...] "He hates women," she said. "He cuts out the one thing that makes them women." (p.60)

2. Ignoring the water bottle and the disgusting object it contained... (p.67)

3. "'She thought: "It's my fault. I shouldn't have been so careless." But that's how it is with women.' She looked directly at Moore. 'We blame ourselves for everythin
Feb 29, 2012 Old_airman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Maura Isles is totally missing. Jane Rizzoli is so much different than the TV show. I am a fan of the TV show so I decided to start with book #1. I was not disappointed in the book, but it was a bit of a shock to see Rizzoli as a homely, outsider fighting for her what was due her. The development of the characters was outstanding. The focus upon the impact on the lives of victims was fleshed out more than in any other crime novel that I have read. The surgical element was a bit overdeveloped for ...more
May 13, 2014 Sue rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Surgeon is a brilliantly written medical thriller, that will have you gripped and terrified from page one until you finish the novel. As a avid reader of mystery, suspense thrillers, this novel delivered so much more.

It was all a game. The Surgeon fed on terror. He attacked women who were victims. He was always in control. The victims had been tied down, raped and gutted.

Three women had been raped but only one victim had reported her rape to the police. All three had sought medical attenti
Aug 19, 2007 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who like a murder mystery that's out of the ordinary
Shelves: it-takes-two
The Surgeon is a brilliantly-crafted tale of horror that's just so terrifying that you can't bear not to look. Seriously.

The story begins with a successful physician named Catherine Cordell who was nearly murdered a few years back in Savannah but lived to tell the tale because she blew her attacker away before he could finish the job. With her attacker's death, the string of grotesque torture-murders ends in Savannah, but then resurfaces in Boston. Which is just where Cordell now resides. The n
Opening Line:"Today they will find her body."

The Surgeon has been dubbed as Rizzoli and Isles book #1 and even though this was a very good read I think anyone coming here as a fan of the TV series will be disappointed as the only similarities between the two is the name of one of the characters. Maura Isles is not in this story and Rizzoli is no Angie Harmon, (and probably one of the most dislikable heroines I’ve ever read- more on that later) If you’re at all sensitive to blood and vivid medica
Raíla Soares
Dec 07, 2009 Raíla Soares rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Surgeon is a remarkable, wonderfully well-written thriller. I had never read such an amazing story like this in my whole life. I am serious. The killer's speech feels so real! While reading, I had the feeling that someone was watching me, like... It's scary.

So many mysteries behind every little thing of the investigation... There's a moment when they induce hypnosis in the main victim, Catherine Cordell, so she can remember things from the crime scene, which is also minutely described. It's
Jul 18, 2011 Nikki rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, crime
Trigger warnings: rape, mutilation, medical details (both descriptions of stuff like cancer and descriptions of accidents/operations).

That had to come first, because I spent much of this book wishing I had something firm and indestructible to crawl into, to keep me safe. The details are just horrifying -- it reminds me very much of my experience with Val McDermid's work. And, as with that, I had to read to the end to find out who the killer/torturer was, before I could begin to feel okay again.
Aug 17, 2015 Rosie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been wanting to start reading this series for a while, and I was very lucky to find this book at a book swap library thing at the Botanic Gardens (I can't remember exactly what it's called, but basically you can take a book when you put a book there, or return the book you I am confusing myself...).
Anyway, it was a great read! It took me a while to really get into it, but after about a quarter of the way through I found it difficult to put down. I have watched a couple of episod
Wendy Darling
If you're just coming into the Rizzoli and Isles books, be aware that these are very different from the AMC series. Dark, gruesome, and complicated, the series follows the strong Detective Jane Rizzoli through several fascinating cases. (Maura Isles plays a bigger role in the later books, though I'm not as big a fan of those that focus on her.) The writing is excellent, the stories are mostly consistently good, and they're terrific thrillers for fans of Chelsea Cain or Karin Slaughter.
I really didn't need to start another series, I’ve way too many series going on at the moment but I had this book on my kindle for so long, it was time to give it a go, what’s another series! I've never seen the television programme based on these books so I really didn't know what to expect and perhaps the television programme isn't totally reflective of the books, I’m not sure. I’ll get to catch up with it at some stage and see for myself.

I realise this is both a popular series and popular aut
Abby (Crime by the Book)
Picked this one up on a whim and WOW did I enjoy it. I'd never read a Tess Gerritsen book before and I was hooked!! I can absolutely see why a TV show was made from her books - THE SURGEON reads like it's made for the screen. This book was fast-paced, totally addictive, and also totally chilling. It's a cop-vs-serial killer story with a twist: Gerritsen applies her own background in medicine to add a whole extra dimension to her crime novel. I loved the hospital setting, the medical details, and ...more
Oct 05, 2011 Vanessa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
Although this book is labeled as Rizzoli and Isles #1, only Jane Rizzoli appears in it. If you found your way here from the TV show, you'll find the Rizzoli in the source material quite different from the one on the show. For starters, not only is she a short woman but several characters (including Rizzoli herself) mention how plain she is. In other words, the book Rizzoli is no Angie Harmon. She also has a much less affectionate relationship with her family and male co-workers.

I needed some re
Jun 02, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars. Wow, this book definitely surpassed all of my expectations! I'm always hesitant to read crime thrillers because I usually end up losing interest and putting them down but this book was just wow! I like crime thrillers to be dark, disturbing, gruesome, creepy and well-written and this book ticked all of those boxes. I am really really impressed and I would love to read more books like this!

Tess Gerritsen's writing is phenomenal. Everything felt very authentic and realistic and I think
Aug 18, 2014 Carolyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
This is a pretty creepy, fast paced medical thriller. Three years previously Catherine Cordell, an emergency trauma surgeon survived a viscous rape and attack by a depraved junior doctor who had raped, butchered and killed three other young women in Savanna. Living now in Boston, Catherine is slowly regaining her confidence and starting to feel safe when the police call to inform her that a similar series of murders have been occurring in Boston. At first Catherine doesn't believe there could be ...more
Freda Malone
Catherine Cordell has moved from Savannah, Georgia to Boston after a hospital resident rapes and attempts to kill her, brutally. She has shot and killed him but the terror is not over. The same thing is happening in Boston that happened to several other women in Savannah. Her predator is dead. How is this happening?

The Boston Homicide Unit, Rizzoli, Moore and Frost are on the case and have noticed the similarities in these rapes and gruesome murders. Women are being butchered and their uterus r
Daniel Smith
Nov 30, 2016 Daniel Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent, loved this book.
Tess Gerritsen é um nome bastante conhecido dentro do género policial e vinha muito bem referenciado, pelo que me pareceu uma escolha sensata quando percebi que me apetecia ler um policial. O Cirurgião é o primeiro da série “Rizzoli & Isles”, que conta até ao presente com 11 volumes publicados (em Portugal, existem traduções até ao 9.º, entre edições 11×17, Círculo dos Leitores e Ulisseia). Esta série de livros foi também adaptada ao pequeno ecrã, com a série televisiva homónima de 7 tempora ...more
Nov 29, 2011 Rebecca rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
If you like mysteries where you can try to put the clues together yourself, this book is not for you. You aren't getting the clues much before most of the characters, and you're not going to be able to guess the murderer early on. On the plus side, this means you don't spend much time frustrated at the characters for being idiots. But it was disappointing to discover that most of my theories were pretty much invalid and there was no way I would have been able to work it all out on my own.

But if
I read up a little on the author Tess Gerritsen and found out that she is a medical doctor who, by the way, writes detective/thriller novels. It came to no surprise that The Surgeon is a "medical suspense" kind of detective story. The prime suspect is nicknamed "the surgeon" because he likes to do surgery on his victims. He's a real sicko.

Boston Detective Thomas Moore and his partner Jane Rizzoli are put on the case to solve a series of murders. There are other members on the team that create te
Jun 10, 2016 bookaddict rated it it was amazing
4,5/5 Okuduğum en manyak,en rahatsız edici kitaptı.Beklentilerimi fazlasıyla karşıladı.Tam bir polisiye/gerilim kitabıydı.
Başlarda kitabın dünyasına girmekte biraz zorlandım.Çünkü bana göre kolay okunan bir kitap değildi.İçerdiği konu sebebiyle ağır bir kitap olduğunu düşünüyorum.Bu yüzden kitabı biraz yavaş okuduğumu itiraf edebilirim.Ama bugün elime aldım ve koltuktan nihayet kalktığımda kitap bitmişti.
Ciddi anlamda tüyler ürpertici bir kitaptı.Okurken fazlasıyla gerildim.Kitaptaki karakterin
Jan 10, 2009 Dan rated it really liked it
This is a book that I probably would've never picked up on my own but, Amazon offered it briefly as a free download so, I decided to check it out. It is a fairly standard serial killer thriller but, don't let that dissuade you from reading it. "The Surgeon" is gripping suspense and Gerritsen is a gifted story teller.

The story centers around a serial killer in Boston who performs living dissections on his female victims. At times, the story is extremely grizzly but the juxtaposition of descriptio
Oct 31, 2015 Loyda marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Loyda by: Ebru
Shelves: rec
In Boston, there's a killer on the loose. A killer who targets lone women, who breaks into their apartments and performs terrifying ritualistic acts of torture on them before finishing them off. His surgical skills lead police to suspect he is a physician - a physician who, instead of saving lives, takes them.

But as homicide detective Thomas Moore and his partner Jane Rizzoli begin their investigation, they make a startling discovery. Closely linked to these killings is Catherine
Jan 29, 2014 Gary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, crime
I began with book six in this series which prompted me to read this, the first. This author has shifted genres from romance to medical thriller to crime novel. The previous genres have left their fingerprints. It almost seems like the author comes into her own in this genre as the novel progresses weaving events together with increasingly focused tension.
As the novel nears the end, specific scenes become edgy and tense as she demonstrates her ability to deftly introduce new characters and settin
Kirsten *Make Margaret Atwood Fiction Again!"
An excellent thriller set in Boston, the first Rizzoli & Ises thriller. Not the first I've read though, that would be The Mephisto Club.

I really enjoyed it. It was smart and well-paced. I wasn't too fond of the character of Rizzoli in this one, but I'm sure she changes in the series.
Mashiyat Binte
Sep 08, 2016 Mashiyat Binte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
অনেকটা হলিউডের হরর মুভির মত।আমি জানি কখন ভূত আসবে ,কিনতু তাও আমি অধীর আগরহে ভূত দেখার অপেকষা করব এবং ভূত আসলে ভয় পাবো। :D
ভাল লেগেছে। (সপেশালি ২৮৭ নং পৃষঠা )
//পড়তে গিয়ে অনেকবার "আরকন" এর শীতলদার কথা মনে পরেছে।//
Sandra ~ ♥ Cross My Heart ♥
Heart stopping read that kept me on the edge of my seat, biting my nails while reading as fast as I could turn the pages. Intense suspense at its best! I will return to write a full review.
Paige  Bookdragon

I may not watch the Rizzoli and Isles TV series, but I do watch CSI: Las Vegas.And one thing that stays into my mind while reading the Surgeon is that, this is like Crime Scene Investigation paperback style without any hot lab technician!

Aw man.

What we have is an insecure female Detective, a surgeon who is haunted by a fuckward killer, a male detective who I still don't know how to categorize and a brilliant psycho who has by far, the most interesting narration in the whole book.

Not trying to b
Jun 19, 2012 Cata rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biblioteca, 2012
4,5 estrelas

O Cirurgião foi a minha estreia com a autora Tess Gerritsen. Decidi lê-lo não só devido às óptimas críticas que ouvi, mas também porque estava disponível na “minha” biblioteca e ainda bem que o fiz!

Este livro é o primeiro de uma série que já foi adaptada para a televisão e que provavelmente alguns de vocês já conhecem/viram - Rizzoli & Isles. Eu nunca vi, por isso comecei o livro às cegas.

A acção decorre em Boston, na qual um homem anda a assassinar mulheres. Estes crimes são pe
Meine Entdeckungsreise zu neuen Krimi-Autoren, die ich noch nicht kenne, hat folgende "chirurgische" Ergebnisse zu Tage gefördert:

Ein grossartiger Plot, ausgezeichnet aufgebaut, durchdacht und gut recherchiert, rasant und bis zum Schluss spannend, viele Verdächtige und eine nicht an den Haaren herbeigezogene schlüssige Auflösung des Falls. Außerdem detailgetreue, liebevoll entwickelte Figuren, die sich gut in die Dramaturgie einfügen und sich fast immer konsistent gemäß ihres gezeichneten Charak
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Internationally bestselling author Tess Gerritsen took an unusual route to a writing career. A graduate of Stanford University, Tess went on to medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, where she was awarded her M.D.

While on maternity leave from her work as a physician, she began to write fiction. In 1987, her first novel was published. Call After Midnight, a romantic thriller
More about Tess Gerritsen...

Other Books in the Series

Rizzoli & Isles (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • The Apprentice (Rizzoli & Isles, #2)
  • The Sinner (Rizzoli & Isles, #3)
  • Body Double (Rizzoli & Isles, #4)
  • Vanish (Rizzoli & Isles, #5)
  • The Mephisto Club (Rizzoli & Isles, #6)
  • The Keepsake (Rizzoli & Isles, #7)
  • Ice Cold (Rizzoli & Isles, #8)
  • The Silent Girl (Rizzoli & Isles, #9)
  • Last to Die (Rizzoli & Isles, #10)
  • Die Again (Rizzoli & Isles, #11)

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“Evil doesn't die. It never dies. It just takes on a new face, a new name. Just because we've been touched by it once, it doesn't mean we're immune to ever being hurt again. Lightning can strike twice.” 83 likes
“Where we go depends on what we know, and what we know depends on where we go.” 45 likes
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