Tess Gerritsen’s novels appeared in my life not too long ago, when a colleague gave me a few books to read over the weekend. Among them was Keeping the Dead, whose cover read: ‘As good as Kathy Reichs or your money back.’ I thought this was a pretty impressive claim, as Kathy Reichs is fantastic, but surprisingly, Gerritsen didn’t disappoint, and from that point on I’ve been hooked.
The Surgeon is probably the best book of hers I’ve read. In fact, it’s one of the best crime fiction novels I’ve read in a long time. And I read a lot of crime fiction.
The way in which Gerristen manages to deal with sensitive themes in a way that is both ferocious and tender is really quite exceptional. The Surgeon features a man who preys on women who have been sexually assaulted; he has killed many, until he reaches Catherine, a doctor, who he fails to kill because she gets there first, shooting him to death in her apartment. Years later, Catherine is living a new life in a different state when the murders start up again. But how is that possible? Surely the Surgeon is dead? Or is he…?
It really is a wonderful book. Its sequel, The Apprentice, is unsurprisingly not quite as wonderful as The Surgeon, but still well worth a read. Go on. Buy them both. Gerritsen deserves it.