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The Surgeon

(Rizzoli & Isles #1)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  149,058 ratings  ·  4,878 reviews

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 Riz
Paperback, 416 pages
Published 2005 by Bantam Books (first published October 2nd 2001)
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Charity Yoder they are so completely different! I happen to love them both on different levels. I like the plot of the books better. However, I prefer how the chara…morethey are so completely different! I happen to love them both on different levels. I like the plot of the books better. However, I prefer how the characters come accross for the TV show. (less)
Katie I'd definitely say so. I mean, if you want to read "The Surgeon" it doesn't matter anyway since it is the first book in the series, but I think that t…moreI'd definitely say so. I mean, if you want to read "The Surgeon" it doesn't matter anyway since it is the first book in the series, but I think that the same goes for other Rizzoli & Isles books. The first one I read was the tenth book and I did not have any problems with it at all. :)(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  149,058 ratings  ·  4,878 reviews

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May 04, 2011 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
May 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 25, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2022, book-club, thriller
“The most intimate emotion two people can share is neither love nor desire but pain.”

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 the victim of a nearly identical crime: Two years ago, Dr. Catherine Cordell f
Feb 29, 2012 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
Detective Thomas Moore recognizes a pattern when a young woman is found gruesomely murdered in her home. The details of the crime are identical to that of another young woman he investigated a year ago. Even more troubling is the link to another assault over two years ago. However, the victim, Dr. Catherine Cordell, not only survived the attack but killed the man responsible. Are they dealing with a copycat or something else.

Those looking to see Jane Rizzoli & Maura Isles featured at the forefr
Ahmad Sharabiani
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Thriller A Thon: Book on your TBR the longest
Jar of Death Pick #9 (6th Finished)
50 States Thriller Challenge: Massachusetts

I'm going to start this review with a disclaimer. The Surgeon is listed as Book 1 in The Rizzoli & Isles series but Jane Rizzoli is only a side character in this book and Maura Isles isn't in it at all. So if you were a fan of the show and wanted to read this book because of that just be warned its not like the show.

The Surgeon was a lot darker and much more gory than I tho
Aug 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those who like a murder mystery that's out of the ordinary
Shelves: it-takes-2
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
May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
“Did you ever stop to think what a medical lab knows about you?” he said. “All the personal information you give them when you open your arm and let them stick a needle in your vein? Your blood reveals your most intimate secrets. Are you dying of leukemia or AIDS? Did you smoke a cigarette or drink a glass of wine in the last few hours? Are you taking Prozac because you’re depressed, or Viagra because you can’t get it up? He was holding the very essence of those women. He could study their blood ...more
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, mystery
The Surgeon is book one of the Rizzoli and Isles Series by Tess Gerritsen. Detective Thomas Moore and Detective Jan Rizzoli caught murder of a woman whose uterus is missing. Both Detective Thomas Moore and Detective Jan Rizzoli started to think is there a serial killer on the loose in their city. The readers of The Surgeon will follow the twist and turns of Detective Thomas Moore and Detective Jan Rizzoli investigation into the murders.

Tess Gerritsen has provided the readers of The Surgeon a new
“Hell, no one ever knows who the monsters are.”

Detective Thomas Moore was heading to Maine on his vacation when he is called back to Boston. There has been a murder. The lead detective is Jane Rizzoli. The reason Moore is called back is that the latest murder bears striking resemblances to another murder a year ago where he was the lead detective. Thomas Moore and Jane Rizzoli are to work together on this case and she is not happy. She is the only female detective in the homicide unit and it is
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
Apr 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, thriller

I did not enjoy this book. Starting with one of the most horrifying things people can experience - yes, people - which I expected because it is implied in the blurb, to the annoying stuff I didn't expect (like Rizzoli's behaviour, among other things).

I haven't seen the TV show yet and I hope Rizzoli there is not like this. (view spoiler)
Sandra Hoover
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!
Wendy Darling
May 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Dec 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Crime by the Book
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
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
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, re-read
Tess Gerritsen Fans Group Link - **my 2nd read**

The first book in series. Tess has medical school education at University of California. With that she writes with "extensive Medical terminology" easily understood. Her knowledge of Boston is nice.

Boston Homicide Unit's Jane Rizzoli & Thomas Moore lead a murder investigation in the South End with Elena Ortiz(22) raped, tied with duct tape, "catgut" stitches & a missing Uterus (female organ). They find Diana Sterling(30) was murdered last year
Aug 18, 2014 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
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This one grabbed me from the first chapter and kept the pages flying. Not since "The Silence of the Lambs" have I felt so compelled to finish a book. This one creeped me out! I found myself hearing noises in my house late at night. ...more
Sep 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-book
review and rating to be revealed soon
Aug 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
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 took...now 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
Kylie H
Aug 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
This the first in the Rizzoli & Isles series. I have read a few others but never this one. Certainly grippng right from the start - there is a serial killer, either one who has risen from the dead or a copycat. He has surgeon Catherine Cordell firmly in his sights. Catherine being the 'one who got away' in the first series of macabre killings.
Rizzoli is almost a background figure in this book and it surprised me that she was so unlikeable. Described as plain and quite bitter about being overlook
Nov 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
The 1st book in the Rizzoli and Isles books by Tess Gerritsen. I was hooked by this series from the very start and quickly read the the subsequent books. Well written and the characters are well developed.
Jul 18, 2011 rated it it was ok
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.
Anna Avian
Dec 13, 2020 rated it did not like it
The majority of the book sounds like a clinical police report of a horrible crime. Extreme level of detailed violence to the point that it just becomes disgusting and irritating. Too much medical terms.
I liked the TV show and that’s why I decided to give it a chance, but the two have pretty much nothing in common.
Aug 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Tess Gerritsen/thriller lovers
Detective Jane Rizzoli has only been in the Homicide division for six months, and has been getting a lot of flak from the male detectives. They couldn't handle a woman in their midst, and never let her get close to a case.

So when women are being murdered, with the same MO, they know they have a serial killer to find. He slips into homes in the dead of night, always in the heat of summer, when people are vulnerable...leaving their windows open at night, to catch some breeze. He then subjects them
Zuky the BookBum
Apr 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, 3-stars
Trigger warning: this book is heavily focused on sexual assault and rape.

This novel is certainly very captivating. I found it difficult to put it down once I had picked it up! I loved the crime and mysterious criminal and I loved the pace of it all. Sometimes, these crime novels can burst with excitement for one second, and then fizzle out until the last few pages, or, completely the opposite of that, be total non-stop action, but feel really over the top and unrealistic. This, on the other hand
Jun 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: z2015, faves, fiction
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
Marty Fried
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I kind of had mixed feelings about this book for much of the story. I found Jane Rizzoli hard to like most of the way, but toward the end, I started to understand her better, and to see why she is the way she is. Being a woman in a man's world is not easy, I think, and she constantly felt the need to prove herself. I can understand that, but she seemed to have a chip on her shoulder, so she's hard to like, especially when she's around people who don't deserve her scorn.

It seems like her feelings
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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 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)

Articles featuring this book

With clever detectives, missing jewels, murderous women, daring spies, and more, mysteries and thrillers deliver page-turning delight with...
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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.” 92 likes
“Where we go depends on what we know, and what we know depends on where we go.” 53 likes
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