Throwback Thursday: The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen

throwbackthursday

Throwback Thursday is a meme created by Renee at It’s Book Talk to share old favourite books rather than just the new shiny ones. This is a great idea to bring back to life some much-loved books. Please feel free to join in.

This week’s choice is The Surgeon by  Tess Gerritsen. Taken from my earlier review:

surgeonWhat I Thought:

One of my favorite things about reading is when I discover a new author and realise that they have written a ton of books that I now have sprawling in front of me! Good times! Being a massive crime fiction fan I was delighted when I discoveredTess Gerritsen a few years ago. She is BRILLIANT!!! Rarely do I read a book and then have to move straight on to the next in the series (which is exactly what I did) because I just couldn’t get enough.

The Surgeon is the name that has been given to a serial killer on the loose in Boston one stiflingly hot summer. He is targeting young women and his calling card is surgery so precise that the investigating team can only assume that he is a trained professional. The thing that puzzles Detectives Jane Rizzoli and Thomas Moore the most though is that the attacks are identical to ones that took place in Georgia two years ago but ended when one of the intended victims, Dr. Catherine Cordell shot the perpetrator dead. Either he has come back to life or there is a copycat at work who knows details of the case that nobody else could know. And even worse, the new attacks are taking place in Boston which is exactly where Catherine Cordell moved to start a new life…

What I enjoyed about this book as well as the fact that it was so gripping was the fact that there is a lot of forensic science involved – I love being privvy to what the postmortem tells us about the victims last hours, or the fibres and hairs that can tell us more about a perpetrator that you would ever imagine. I found it really interesting as well as being a gripping read.

Verdict: 

Fast-paced, gritty, authentic, chilling. READ IT!!!

Have you read this or any of Tess Gerritsen’s other books? What do you think?

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The Thrill Week Blog Hop

Thrill Week is here! Mwahahahahahaaaa!!!

It’s finally here – Thrill Week – where myself and 6 other blogs will be celebrating all things crime fiction (one of my favourite genres). Pop on over to host Marce’s blog (Tea Time with Marce) to see her answers to the following questions and then have a peek at these lovely bloggers too – you’re bound to get some ideas and inspiration about which books you should be reading:

Best O’Books

Cafe of Dreams Book Reviews

Mental Foodie – A Book and Food Lover

 
 
 

  So to kick off the week, here are my answers to the questionnaire:

 

1) What is your favourite genre out of Thriller, Mystery, Suspense and Horror? Why?

I think I would have to say mystery. I love a good whodunnit and especially love trying to work out the perpetrator as early on as I can (what I especially love is, despite being a seasoned crime fic reader, the author can still fool me).

2) Who are your top 3 authors in those genres?

Tess Gerritsen, Val McDermid, Mary Higgins Clark.

Both Gerritesen and McDermid I love because of their ability to pull me in from page one with promises of high body counts, red herrings and clever psychological and forensic detail. I like intelligent crime fiction and these two are among the best for me. Mary Higgins Clark, on the other hand, is my Queen of Comfort in the crime genre. Her books are pretty formulaic but that’s what I love as I know what I’m going to get and she has never failed to deliver. I think MHC is a fantastic author who gets overlooked a lot but, for me, if I ever need a comfort read then she is at the top of my pile (and despite her books being formulaic, I hardly ever guess whodunnit until the end).

I am really excited to have have interviewed Mary Higgins Clark last year and I also have interviews with both Tess Gerritsen and Val McDermid coming up shortly so keep an eye out for those 🙂

3)Tell us who your favourite male and female authors are in the genre?

Female: Tess Gerritsen, Val McDermid, Mary Higgins Clark, Agatha Christie, Elly Griffiths, S J Bolton, Karen Rose, Tana French, Lisa Gardner

Male: Linwood Barclay, Harlan Coben, Jo Nesbo, Steig Larsson, Peter Robinson, James Patterson, Robert Goddard

Interestingly enough, I was able to immediately write down all the names of my favourite female authors, but with the exception of the first two males I had to go off and check what books I had read (which was accompanied by many “oh yeah”‘s) Wonder why that is?

4) What book do you remember loving but don’t remember the details?

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. I read this when I was in my early teens and again in my twenties but I don’t remember a thing about it other than there are 10 people who are called to an island and one by one they are killed off and the reader has to try to work out who is doing it. I could read it again today and still have no idea until the end. In fact, I really must read it again – it’s a fantastic book and I highly recommend it!

5) What has been your favourite book this year so far:

ThrillerThe Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen

MysterySacrifice by S J Bolton

SuspenseBefore I Go To Sleep by S J Watson

HorrorCarrie by Stephen King

  6) What series or trilogy would you recommend ?
 
  Rizzoli & IslesTess Gerritsen (Fantastic Detective / Forensic Pathologist duo who solve some really interesting and unusuak crimes between them. My favourites!)

Hill & JordanVal McDermid (Detective and Criminal Pyschologist who work together to solve serial killer cases and really get into the mind of the perpetrators. Brilliant series!)

Ruth & NelsonElly Griffiths (I love these two! Detective and Forensic Archaeologist who solve some old and new crimes when bones have been found. You gotta love Ruth & Nelson!)

The Millenium TrilogyStieg Larsson (Swedish Journalist, Blomkvist, gets involved in some high profile cases with the aid of his rather unique sidekick, Lisbeth Salander.)

Inspector Alan BanksPeter Robinson (Set in the Yorkshire Dales where it’s supposed to be rural and sleepy except bodies keep turning up, leaving Inspector Alan Banks to investigate. Great series.)

Gretchen LowellChelsea Cain (Not for the feint hearted. Gretchen Lowell is sick, sick, sick but you can’t help but read about her exploits).

  7) Recommend 1 or 2 books that you think more around the blogosphere should read
 
  If you want a proper crime, serial killer type book then you should definitely read Retribution by Jilianne Hoffman. I loved this book – pacey, gripping, creepy. Just brilliant!
 
 
  For something a little gentler then I would recommend Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris. It’s a great book and I never saw the twist coming at the end!

  8 What authors have you tried and look forward to reading more from them?

Linda Castello – I have read her first book in a series of crime books set in the Amish community, Sworn to Silence,  and loved it so I am looking forward to reading the next two

Jane Casey – Has written 3 books and I have only read the second one, The Burning, which I loved.

Karen RoseI have only read her latest book, You Belong to Me, and I really enjoyed it and am very excited to know that I have 10 more of hers waiting to be read!

Stephen Beckett – Againm, I have only read the first one (The Chemistry of Death) out of the 4 books he has written so far with the same lead character so I have more to look forward to.

Jilianne Hoffman – Despite loving Retribution (see above) I still haven’t read the other book by the author but I do have it at home so I am looking forward to diving in to that one.

  9) What authors in the above genres are on your TBR list but you haven’t tried yet?  Who should I read soon?
 
  I am always on the look out for new crime ficiton authors so I am open to suggestions.  Based on my likes, which authors or books do YOU think I should be reading?
 
 
  Have you seen anything you like? Do you already any of the authors above or do you think you might give any of them a go? And don’t forget those recommendations 🙂
 
 

  I will be doing another Thrill Week post on 6th September and I have the MOST AMAZING GIVEAWAY too! A total of  FIFTEEN BOOKS to giveaway so make sure you drop by!

 
 

The Silent Girl by Tess Gerritsen

In three words:

disappearances, massacre, chinatown

 

What I thought:

This is the ninth Tess Gerritsen book I have read this year in the same series. I read the first eight all in a row as I couldn’t put them down (something I have never done before). As soon as I knew that there was a number 9 in the series I could not WAIT to get my hands on it and was totally sure that Gerritsen wouldn’t let me down and would deliver a cracking book once again. I was right!

Rizzoli & Isles are back on the case, this time in Boston’s China Town where the body of a young lady has been found with her neck slashed and her hand cut off by what looks like a sword. As Rizzoli and team get to work, they start to uncover links with not only a massacre that took place in a Chinese restaurant 19 years ago, but also the disappearance of two of the victims daughters within a few months of each other. Rizzoli becomes convinced that the crimes are related but she can’t figure out how and meanwhile, her and her team become stumped at the apparant presence of something lightning fast, human size but with monkey fur at some of the murder scenes.

I love how all Gerritsens books are so diverse. She has clearly done her homework and seems passionate about other cultures and rituals etc and often brings them into her books and this is no exception. I read somewhere that Gerritsen, being Chinese American herself, has wanted to write about something to do with Chinese culture for a long time but had been told that it wouldn’t sell. I beg to differ. Not only is this book, as usual, gripping and a real page-turner but I loved the bits of Chinese culture that were woven into the plot to help us understand the killers motives and actions. I have wanted to get myself a copy of Wu Cheng’en’s Journey To The West and now I have an excuse to buy myself a copy as I am fascinated to learn more.

Verdict: Another poweful and absorbing book from this author who has become my all-time favourite crime fiction writer. Write faster please, Ms Gerritsen!!!

PS/ I will interviewing Tess Gerritsen on my blog shortly so make sure you look out for that 🙂

 

Have you read any Gerritsen? If not, what are you waiting for?

 

(Source: this book is from my own collection)

The Killing Place by Tess Gerritsen = chilling

In three words:

Tension, terror, chased

 

The Killing Place (known as Ice Cold in the US) is the last one in the series of Rizzoli and Isles – until July!!!! *does a jig*. Maura Isles gets a bigger part in this book which sees her up in snowy Wyoming for a forensic medical conference. While there she meets up with an old colleague and his daughter and two friends and together the five of them decide to go on a trip up the mountains (just as a blizzard is coming in).

The Killing Place felt like a slight departure from her other books in the series as it wasn’t set in the urban Boston or Washington DC; instead the characters find themselves in the middle of nowehere and unable to get back to civilisation until they come across a tiny village that appears to have been abandoned….and at the last minute too as there are still plates of food on kitchen tables, a pet dog is found frozen to death and cars are still in all the garages – there’s just nobody else around (or is there?)

Tension laden and eerily quiet in the village, I loved the not knowing what had happened to the villagers and what/who was leaving footprints in the snow when they had all be inside. The battle to get themselves out of this forgotten town is hampered time after time until they have all but given up hope of being found alive. Not Maura though – she sets off on her own to try to bring back help to her friends, but finds a different sort of adventure instead and finds herself on the run. Meanwhile, Jane Rizzoli becomes convinced that something doesn’t stack up with the four bodies found in a burnt out car in Wyoming and the local police pronounce Maura dead. Cue lots of running around in snow-shoes and ignoring the local fuzz as it starts to look like the whole town is involved in some sort of cover up.

There is an almost spooky atmosphere in a lot of this book and I liked that it was a change from the usual settings (although I am now itching to get back to Boston in the next book and have Rizzoli chasing perps all over town!). There is a twist at the end of this book that I didn’t suspect either – I like it when that happens as I am normally pretty good at guessing earlier than I am perhaps meant to in crime fiction (must read too much of it!).

Verditct – brilliant, as always. A must for all crime/mystery fans!

(source: I bought my own copy of this book)

 

Keeping the Dead by Tess Gerritsen = thrilling

In three words:

Arachaeology, forensic, jam-packed

Keeping the Dead is jam-packed full of different types of murders which the police suspect is the work of one person whom, due to the fact that they don’t have just one modus-opperandi, makes them an extremely dangerous killer.

There is a media buzz around the hospital in which Dr Maura Isles works –  reporters and doctors are gathered for a highly unusual event at which Maura is asked to be involved with. A dead woman found in the basement of a local museum, assumed to be a mummy of at least 2000 years old, is about to be autopsied.  To the surprise and dismay of everyone present, the x-ray reveals that a bullet is lodged in the body, and Maura contacts her colleague, Detective Jane Rizzoli. What began as a historical investigation has suddenly become a case of murder.

What I loved about Keeping the Dead is that the first murder and subsequent murders are all different – they all follow ancient or cultural rituals but this both baffles the police, and keeps them on their toes. One of the museum curators who is involved in the mummy autopsy also appears to have something  to hide and it seems that whoever she is running from knows exactly where she is and how to get to her!

Verdict – the pages just turn themselves!

(source: I bought my copy of the book)

Please do leave me a comment – I am on holiday now but I still love getting them and will respond to any comments when I’m home 🙂

Vanish by Tess Gerritsen = addictive

 In three words:

Engrossing, trafficking, shocking

I need finish off my reviews for the Rizzoli and Isles series as #9 is about to come out (and if I haven’t already mentioned it) I am hopping and jigging all over the place in anticipation.

Vanish is every bit as brilliant as the previous four in the series, I’m happy to report. A very heavily pregnant Jane Rizzoli giving police evidence in court, when her waters break all over the courtroom floor  and in true Rizzoli style she reluctantly waddles off to the hospital to give birth to her first child. Meanwhile, unbeknown to Jane, two more dramas have been playing out which will have far more sinister consequences as the book unfolds.

Vanish opens with a group of Russian girls being violently herded into the USA via Mexico. Several months later and several states away, Maura Isles is about to perform an autopsy on the corpse of a young girl when the corpse opens its eyes. The woman is rushed to hospital where she then kills a guard and takes some of the staff and patients hostage. One of those patients is Jane Rizzoli! This book was different in that the police don’t have to go searching for their criminal, the criminal comes to them. However, the introduction of various characters had me guessing which ones were actually the good guys which is a great plot device as it certainly keeps you on your toes not knowing who to trust. The subject matter in Vanish is heavier than usual and more political: the trafficking and exploitation of foreign girls into the US who are forced to work as prostitutes.

It was good to see Jane at her more vulnerable self in this book too, as the story doesn’t stop once she is released and gives birth. True to form, Jane wants to get involved in solving the crime while trying to juggle tracking down perps with caring for a new born baby. But this time, it’s not just her she has to think of which could land her in yet more hot water…

As usual, a great book with twists and turns a-plenty. As with the previous books, the characters become more fleshed out as we get to know them through the series. Jane shows her vulnerable side for the first time – but don’t worry, she’s still kick-ass, and Gabriel becomes more prevalent in this book too as he races against the clock to save his wife.

Verdict – every bit as addictive as the rest of the series. Is Gerritsen even capable of writing a sub-standard book? Not so far.

  Have you read any of the Rizzoli & Isles series?

 

New Arrivals!

More goodies!

I have bowed to my “aholism” once again and welcomed these new lovelies into my home.

Thank you to the following for sending these book for review:

Green Books, Transworld, Amazon Vine, Hodder & Stoughton, Gallic Books.

The Report by Jessica Francis Kane

The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht

Before I Go To Sleep by S J Watson

Where Would I Be Without You? by Guillaume Musso

Blacklands by Belinda Bauer

Blood Harvest by S J Bolton

Now You See Me by S J Bolton

Wink Murder by Ali Knight

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey (this was also supposed to be in the pile but it isn’t because I am a donut and forgot to take a photo of it!)

 

Little treats for me…

These are books that I have either swapped using www.readitswapit.co.uk or I have found for a few pennies in a charity shop and it would have been rude not to. Right?

 

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

The Missing by Jane Casey

The Woman He Loved Before by Dorothy Koomson

Darkside by Belinda Bauer

 

And finally……

To satisfy my unquenchable thirst for all things Tess Gerritson. Ta – daaaaaaa!

 

 

Despite only buying these a couple of weeks ago (buy two for £7.00 in Asda – bargain!!) I have now read all eight books in the Rizzoli & Isles series. LOVE THEM! I am now suffering from withdrawal symptoms and about to embark on her stand-alones 🙂

 

Have you read any of these? Which ones do you recommend?