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The Sinner

(Rizzoli & Isles #3)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  51,115 ratings  ·  1,975 reviews
Not even the icy temperatures of a typical New England winter can match the bone-chilling scene of carnage discovered at the chapel of Our Lady of Divine Light. Within the cloistered convent lie two nuns–one dead, one critically injured–victims of an unspeakably savage attacker. The brutal crime appears to be without motive, but medical examiner Maura Isles’s autopsy of th ...more
Paperback, 419 pages
Published January 17th 2005 by Bantem Press (first published August 19th 2003)
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Fred Yes, especially shown in the last chapter in the church
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Average rating 4.13  · 
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 ·  51,115 ratings  ·  1,975 reviews

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Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, ebook, z2018
3.5 Stars. (Review contains slight spoilers for books 1 and 2 of the series).

Honestly, I didn't enjoy this as much as book 1 & 2. It was different to the others because instead of heavily relying on the surgeon (and the apprentice), it focused on Rizzoli & Isles solving a few cases and dealing with personal issues. I did find it weird that Rizzoli didn't really think of the Surgeon at all. He went from dominating the first two books, to disappearing and I know it might be because she doesn't se
It all starts with the murder of a nun within her abbey along with the assault on another. As Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles investigate, it leads them toward some highly surprising and divergent paths, including connections to other circumstances.

This is the book where we learn more about Maura Isles, finally. Her voice is the strongest though Jane gets considerable space. Nicknamed the Queen of the Dead because of what she does and her gothic look, Maura had to be more complex than a caricature
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.” No one comes out and says those words in Tess Gerritsen’s The Sinner. This is the third suspense novel in her Rizzoli and Isles series, and I confess, it’s a practically a sin that I haven’t gotten around to reading this book until now. It’s been three years since I read The Apprentice, and as many avid thriller mystery readers know, there are so many amazing books out there just waiting to be read that it’s hard to get to even a small percentage of them. N ...more
May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another well-written entry in Gerritsen’s Rizzoli and Isles series... even though this is really the first time we get a chance to meet the ultra professional ME Maura Isles, I finally understand what folks like about their match up.

And even if the mystery was actually a bit cliched (I won’t give it away but you’ll know what I mean when you read it), it was still an interesting mix of characters — victims and villains alike.

I especially liked that Jane Rizzoli’s life is changing as Maura Isles
The third book in the Rizzoli & Isles series and we get to know the characters better. Especially Maura Isles who until this book seemed to have more of a supporting role. The story opens with Isles performing an autopsy when she receives a call from detective Jane Rizzoli asking her to come to a crime scene.

The scene is the chapel of Our Lady of Divine Light, a cloistered convent. There two nuns were savagely attacked. 20 year old Sister Camille is dead. The other is critically injured. Who wou
Dec 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Even though I have already read and reviewed The Surgeon and The Apprentice, Tess' previous books in the series, I still feel that it's such a perkiness of mine to review any book written by this genious (I emphasize: genious!). Gerritsen, one more time, now through The Sinner, made me hook into her writing until the end, NOT letting me to put it down, despite a few flaws I found that I dare myself to point again.

A crime envolving two nuns, in the circuntances presented by Jane and Maura therewi
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you haven't noticed, I'm obsessed with this series. Despite how different the books are from the tv show, reading them really makes me want to binge watch the show ( I need to see if its streaming anywhere).

The Sinner is about the death of a 20 year old nun and the nearly fatal assault of an elderly nun. While investigating Rizzoli and Isles discover the dead nun had recently given birth(not a spoiler, that's on the back cover).

I was happy to finally get more Maura Isles. The first two book
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2017, crime
A complex case for Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles with some red herrings thrown in. The case kicks off in with the violent assault of two nuns in a convent, leaving one dead and one grievously injured. One has recently returned from India and one is new to the order and has a shameful secret - but is that the reason they were attacked? The gruesome find of a hideously mutilated body in an abandoned building also keeps Rizzoli and Isles busy. Both must also deal with their love lives as Maura's ex ...more
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, re-read
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shaikha Alahmad
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

First there was Detective Jane Rizzoli, then you were introduced to Maura Isles. Now you get to know her more as Tess Gerritsen tells you a part of the story through her point of view. You get to see where she lives and how she works beyond the operating table in the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
Two nuns were attacked in a Convent, one a young runaway from a family of skeptics and the other is an old-aged humanitarian. Each had a deep dark secret, but who was the reason for the atta
The Sinner is a macabre thriller. If you have a vivid imagination, this book will probably gross you out in parts. Besides, "the case" Rizzoli and Isles have some personal dilemmas to face. This is perhaps the best book of this series I have read so far.

This is a well written murder mystery featuring Rizzoli, the tough female detective, and her colleague and friend, Isles. Maura Isles is the Medical Examiner (ME) who "processes" the dead involved in violent crimes. In this story, a brutal murder
Sep 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
Good, solid story with some interesting threads and twists.

Like many other people, I watched the Rizzoli and Isles TV show and quite liked it. Although it wasn't the TV show that made me start reading these books. I knew about this series before and read other books by this author. And even though I was aware that the show is very, very loosely based on the book series, it still surprised me a lot when I read The Surgeon how many differences there are. This is my second book in this series and t
Nov 30, 2007 rated it really liked it
Rare is the thriller that can scare me enough to leave the lights on at night, while bringing me to tears. The Sinner did both. Filled with more twists and turns than a labyrinth, The Sinner throws a curve at both Jane Rizzoli and ME Maura Isles. Jane must deal with a huge obstacle in her life as well as her relationship with Gabriel Dean, and Maura must face her own ghosts in the form of her ex-husband.

This book serves as a pivotal point in the character development of both women, and is a mus
Kris - My Novelesque Life
Nov 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
(Review Not on Blog)

I really enjoyed the third book in the series - it continues to deliver on the gritty suspense! This novel has a new case and we get to know more about the elusive Maura Isles. This series is more case driven than about the characters but never fear as the books progress we do learn more about them. I am a fan of Jane's mom.
Melissa Griffith
I've read Tess Gerritsen's first two Rizzoli and Isles books before this one. I really love the way that the case progresses and keeps you hooked in those two. This one, while still very interesting, is a very abrupt change from the first two books. And while I read both of the first two in five days, this one took me almost six weeks because when I set it down, I didn't feel all that strong of a need to pick it back up.

Between book two and this one, the setting moves from a blistering summer to
Aug 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-read
When Dr Maura Isles was called to the chapel of Our Lady of Divine Light by Detective Jane Rizzoli, she wasn’t sure what to expect. But it certainly wasn’t the horrific, savage attack on two nuns, one of whom is dead, the other clinging to life. And medical examiner Maura was further shocked when doing the autopsy, to discover that the young novice, 20 year old Sister Camille, had very recently given birth.

The race is on to find the child, and to find the father...obviously he is a suspect! But
CD {Boulder Blvd}
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked this book a lot better than the 2nd book in the series. The plot was really engaging and I had a hard time putting my e-reader down and getting anything else done. I'm definitely continuing reading this series.

(My husband did talk me into going to the movies and we watched 3 Billboards. I'm a fan of Frances McDormand!)
Mark Harrison
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Possibly the pick of the series so far. Someone has killed a nun and left another corpse with no face, hands or feet. Pathologist Isles has a series of difficult autopsies to piece the puzzle together whilst her cheating ex-husband unexpectedly shows up. Detective Rizzoli tries to piece what turns into a major investigation together but is distracted by the return of FBI beau Gabriel. Very clever story of corporate greed and corruption with nice red herrings to throw you off the scent and a good ...more
4.5 Stars for The Sinner: Rizzoli & Isles, Book 3 (audiobook) by Tess Gerritsen read by Anna Fields.

This murder mystery ends up stretching across the globe. It also really opens the personal lives of Rizzoli & Isles. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.
May 28, 2020 rated it liked it
After thoroughly enjoying book 1 and 2 in TG's 'Rizzoli and Isles' series, I decided to set myself on a mission - to read all of these books within the year, and in the right chronological order. So what did I make of 'The Sinner'? Well, unfortunately I am disappointed to have to report that I found it much weaker and far less appealing than the previous novels as it felt like going 'one step forward, two steps back'. Like the other books, the opening was very strong, interesting and original, s ...more
Marla (Not Maria)
Feb 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
The more I get into this series the more I like it. This time someone has killed a couple nuns at an abbey and a faceless leper woman. How are they connected? Are they connected? And what happened in India? And why is Isles' ex-husband Victor in town? This book takes you on several twists and turns and I had no clue who the murderer was until the very end. Tess does a great job keeping you guessing and not making it obvious what has happened. I like that this one was more about Dr. Isles. I'm en ...more
I loved this book so much. It was a fast paced mystery, and I could not put it down. I loved this book because Rizzoli and Isles each had equal time in the book. I wish they were good friends like on the show, but in the books they are more like regular colleagues. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a wonderful mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat! 5 Big Fat Stars!
Nida Kazi
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen made me cry, this book was amazing nonetheless. I was definitely not expecting the killer. On one page the person I thought to be the killer was entirely another person on turning the page. (different person)

Dr Isles reminds me of Dr Sara Linton but I love the latter more.
Feb 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
This book was good but not great. The author went to great lengths to develop her characters, but there is a limit to how much you can accomplish in one novel. Granted, there is a payoff for this type of character development in later novels when the reader is attached to them. This novel has a great story that is forced into the background by the information dump of the personal lives of the characters.
Even the mystery itself seems to be created to develop the characters. I plan to continue rea
Dec 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
The 3rd book in the Rizzoli and Isles by Tess Gerritsen.
I really love the chemistry between the two main characters since made into the television series which doesn't do the books justice.
Bhavik (Semi Hiatus)
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved the plot and my favourite lady characters and their development and then also the gore and the thrill.
Scott A. Miller
Jul 09, 2022 rated it really liked it
Solid, well thought out mystery. It’s always enjoyable NOT having things figured out until the end. Gerritesen did a wonderful job.

Rizzoli and Isles are excellent characters, both similar and different from the tv series, which is good. The crime in this one was fresh and original. Looking forward to the next one.
Oct 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
The third Rizzoli and Isles book and another brilliant read.

If you have read the first two Rizzoli and Isles books then you should know that Gerritsen knows how to weave a great story, keeping things interesting throughout, carrying the story on. In this book we get a deeper insight into the life of Isles – something that will please many people as she has been a bit of an enigma up until this book. Due to this there are, once again, the signs of Gerritsen’s past romance books to be found yet it
Paige  Bookdragon
Apr 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Talk about ickyness.

The Sinner is the third book of the Rizzoli and Isles series so it would be better if you read the first two books before reading this one.

The Sinner is gruesome and I loved it. I only hope that Gerritsen would settle down a bit with all the medical terms in her book. It's a bit too much and if I wasn't hooked with the story, I would have given up with this one.

There are some things in this book that'll either make you raise your eyebrows or it'll make the hair at your neck
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the 2nd book I have read this month by this author and I loved this one just like the last one. I have only watched a couple of the shows on TV, but I do believe they cast the actors properly. This had some religious aspects to it, so if you don't like reading about religion in a mystery, this might not be the book for you. In this case it was not a indoctrination, it was just had to do with the death of a couple of nuns and where they lived.

This is a non stop book and I wished I would
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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

Other books in the series

Rizzoli & Isles (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • The Surgeon (Rizzoli & Isles, #1)
  • The Apprentice (Rizzoli & Isles, #2)
  • 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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