A serial killer is loose in Boston, committing crimes of almost unspeakable savagery and sadism. Detective Jane Rizzoli (who appeared in the bestseller The Surgeon) believes that these brutal murders are twisted tributes, an acolyte's imitation of an imprisoned maniac's deeds. But her insights, however accurate, seem unwelcome. Her homicide unit colleagues and the feds all seem to have agendas of their own. But before she can use her full persuasive powers on handsome Special Agent Gabriel Dean, Rizzoli herself becomes a target….
For the first time since she moved from mass market originals to hardcover (with 1996's Harvest), Gerritsen offers a sequel to last year's bestselling The Surgeon. It's a smart move, as in that novel this popular author introduced a terrific lead character, Jane Rizzoli, a female Boston homicide detective who rivals Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta for intensity and complexity. Her nemesis, serial killer Warren Hoyt, aka the Surgeon, whom Rizzoli sent to prison, returns here, too; that's not so terrific, as he's basically a Hannibal Lecter clone, though Gerritsen does pair him up this time with a second serial killer, known among cops as the Dominator. The discovery of the corpse of one of the Dominator's victims in a ritzy Boston suburb gets the action moving. Rizzoli notes connections between the Dominator's handiwork and that of Hoyt, and visits Hoyt behind bars. Eventually it's revealed that Hoyt and the Dominator have contacted one another by mail. Hoyt escapes and links up with the Dominator, and it's no surprise that Rizzoli is their number one target. The novel is suspenseful and stuffed with an encyclopedia's worth of tightly detailed forensic lore. Rizzoli gets a new love interest (Hoyt killed her last one, in The Surgeon), an FBI agent, which is handled with realism and subtlety, but her fuming at man's inhumanity to woman may grate on male readers. There are first-person italicized passages from Hoyt's point of view, a genre clich , and at times the grisliness of the murders tends toward sensationalism. This strong thriller should sell very well, but it's not Gerritsen's best. (Aug. 20) Forecast: The return of Rizzoli, a major ad/promo campaign and an 8-city author tour should counterbalance any less-than-enthusiastic word of mouth. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
In this sequel to The Surgeon, detective Jane Rizzoli is called to a crime scene out of her jurisdiction. The victim is a wealthy doctor, found with his throat slashed, sitting on the floor of his living room in his pajamas, with a teacup in his lap. His wife is missing, but her nightgown is found folded neatly on a chair in the bedroom. There are unmistakable similarities to the work of serial killer Warren Hoyt, nicknamed "the Surgeon," but he is in prison, which leads Rizzoli to suspect a copycat killer. The killing spree continues, Hoyt escapes, and the FBI is interested but not saying why. Meanwhile, Rizzoli has to deal with the emotional trauma she's neglected since Hoyt was put away, her growing attraction to Special Agent Dean, and the very real possibility that she will be the next victim. There is gore galore and plenty of technobabble for DNA aficionados, but readers will find no real surprises, and the ending is not very satisfying. Still, fans of The Surgeon will want to read this; buy for demand only. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 4/1/02.] Stacy Alesi, Southwest Cty. Regional Lib., FL
You may need a smear of Vicks menthol under your nose to get through Gerritsen's autopsies and crime scenes in this follow-up, a masterful sequel to The Surgeon (2001). Doc Gerritsen here moves into the Thomas Harris class, though with a style all her own, never as baroque as Harris, and always smoothly enriched with detail and with characters who catch your sympathies. Even the two serial-killer villains slowly dig into you, especially the carry-over from The Surgeon, Warren Hoyt, a well-spoken murderer of considerable depth and self-understanding. As her fans know, Gerritsen is a former internist now switched from medicine to fiction. In her novels, like the gripping Gravity, she fills every page chockablock with research of wondrous density about the human body, crime scene investigation, and behavioral science as tied to serial murders. In the earlier book, Boston Homicide Detective Jane Rizzoli got medical technician and blood specialist Warren Hoyt put in jail, though not before he'd scarred her palms with his scalpel. Now a seeming copycat killer arises in Boston whose mode is to bind husbands, then make them watch the rape and throttling of their wives. Afterward, the husbands' throats are cut and the wives' bodies spirited off for carnivals of necrophilia. The likeness of these killings to Hoyt's draws Rizzoli ever deeper into an investigation that eventually seems to be circling around her. When Hoyt then escapes from a prison hospital and actually joins the copycat, the horror deepens-and the danger to Rizzoli grows absolute. Meanwhile, we visit over a half-dozen crime scenes as Rizzoli increasingly resents being joined by FBI Agent Gabriel Dean, whose agenda points to somelarger but private purpose. The main interplay takes place between tough-talking Jane, as she resists breaking down, and coolly reserved Dean-with brilliant arias from Hoyt. Note: Do not read this one in bed or when home alone. Author tour