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The Surrogate (Brennan & Esposito #1)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  2,081 Ratings  ·  243 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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Rating details
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Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am still asking myself how I got through this book, I had to keep putting it down & going back to it at a later date due to the subject matter I just shuddered every time I was at this particular dialogue I just kept going Oh No OMG etc I wouldn't say I enjoyed it but I had to find out who the perp was.

Tania Carver wrote a very dark serial killer thriller that chilled me at every moment I kept saying to myself WHY AM I READING THIS!! & even though I finished it am still wondering why?

Nov 24, 2015 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 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
The fly leaf of The Surrogate guarantees that you will be up all night once you start. I concur! One of the best pot boilers that I have read in a long time and I'm delighted to see that there is a series to continue with. Marvellously fully fleshed out characters, a fast moving, serpentine and satisfying plot and a bit of dark crime needing a psychological profiler make this a darn good detective mystery.
Amanda Allen
Aug 12, 2012 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 "
Absolutely one of the best books I have read in quite awhile! Full of suspense, twists and turns, and great characters. I will absolutely be continuing this series! Highly recommended! 5 stars!
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
The Surrogate is the first in a series introducing Detective Inspector Brennan and psychologist Esposito. I bought this novel as it received great reviews on Goodreads and I truly enjoy police procedurals, especially those set outside the U.S. Also, I was going to the beach and I thought it would be a fun, quick read. Well, not so much. Perhaps it was the subject matter -- pregnant women getting murdered for their fetuses but I think it was more the uneven pace and clunky dialogue that had me si ...more
Dawn G
Oct 17, 2014 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
Maureen DeLuca
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A hard subject to read about ,--- Enjoyed Brennan & Esposito- and looking forward to reading the second in this series !
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 05, 2014 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 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
Jun 20, 2014 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.
*** 3.75 ***

This is a psychological thriller mystery, not so much of a super-action detective murder investigation book... if you're expecting and hoping for super-action like I initially did, this is not the book for you...

on the contrary, you may need some patience and that's to say it lightly, as I for one, I need it quite a lot of patience to allow myself to pass the first chapters without a lot of action happening...

it's written in a very British style, so not so much in the Amercian moti
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Tania Carver
512 Seiten

"Dreimal hat der Killer zugeschlagen und jedesmal ist das Opfer eine schwangere Frau. Doch diesmal fehlt von dem Kind jede Spur und ein Wettlauf gegen die Zeit beginnt... "

Der Einstieg in die Geschichte ist blutig und verstörend und ich, als Thriller-Leserin, musste erstmal schlucken und durchatmen.
Fast bildlich stellt die Autorin die Tat vor und reißt den Leser mit allen Emotionen mitten ins Geschehen. Die Charaktere sind mit allen ihren Empfindungen klar g
Oct 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book took me sooooo long to read. It was very expositional, trying to set up too many characters and storylines at once. It didn't move very quickly until the end 100 or so pages, or part three, where I actually started to get invested in the characters. In general the crime thriller plot was pretty good and the murders of pregnant women were savage; I just wasn't 100% about the main characters. All in all, I think the book suffers from being the first in the series.
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OMG! I'm totally up for this series. I was hooked from the start.

I'm impress by how the authors manage to think out of the box. The series of killing and the motive behind it was unpredictable.

Glad that i took the time to read this book and BAM! Its done.

Waiting for my order for the subsequent series. Highly recommended!
June Jones
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WOW! great storyline, short chapters kept your attention from slipping from this gripping read, the end was full of suspense, and am looking for another of her books, would recommend, if you are not squeamish.
Lady Delacour
The author of this twisted book is a husband and wife team.
They have to be twisted to have wrote this story.
Guess that makes me twisted for listening!
Skipped over embarrassing parts.
Narrator Mark Meadows, was so so.
Not clean. Lots of Crude and Foul language. Violence.
Lori Sears Maxwell

Definitely not for the squeamish people out there!
Book Addict Shaun
The Surrogate is a book I have wanted to read for ages as it is the first book in a series that I have waited too long to read. I have previously read Truth or Dare by Tania Carver and loved it. The Surrogate deals with a very dark and uncomfortable storyline, and this is from someone who loves their crime fiction as brutal as possible. One of my favourite authors is Chris Carter for that very reason. However the storyline in The Surrogate will possibly put off potential readers and interestingl ...more
Mar 24, 2010 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
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
Rick Brindle
Jul 15, 2014 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 05, 2015 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
Sep 15, 2012 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 14, 2014 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
Sam Chamblin
Dec 20, 2014 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
Nov 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, love
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
May 15, 2016 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
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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

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Brennan & Esposito (8 books)
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