Book Review: The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen

I absolutely loved the TV show Rizzoli and Isles and have wanted to pick up the series that inspired the show for a couple years now. It wasn’t until I created my own reading challenge for 2017 that I chose The Surgeon as one of the books to satisfy one of the prompts. It worked out since at the time I started to read it, I was on a thriller reading bend.

Obviously I knew not to expect the book to be 100% like the TV show, but I was a little disappointed that they seem to be on opposite sides. I’ll try not to let that influence this review too much.


Let’s start with what I did like/ enjoy. The plot. It always amazes me what writers can come up with when writing a thriller/ mystery/ suspense. Because of that, it really doesn’t take much for me to like a plot. I thought everything was written well and tied together really nicely and definitely kept me hooked. I liked that I wasn’t given any huge hints about who the killer is and so I got to discover who it is right along Detectives Moore and Rizzoli.

While the plot was really good, the writing on the other hand, was just in the middle for me. I find with a lot of these serials is that there are just a lot of words – and not necessarily needed ones at that. I know it sounds weird – how can you have novel without words? It wasn’t that there was a lot of fluff, just that there was some things that while adding to a character or a scene, it would have been just as fine without those parts. Gerritsen’s writing isn’t terrible (she wouldn’t be selling so many books if she was), but like some of the other books of the genre that I’ve loved, the writing just wasn’t a wow factor for me.

The characters were well written and engaging, but at the same time, nothing to call home about. They serve their purpose within the plot well. The only thing that truly disappointed me was that Jane Rizzoli was really just a side character for the majority of the first half of the book. This first book focused on Detective Moore (weird since he kind of faded into the background in the next book). Jane was written to be a very masculine woman if only because she’s the only female detective in the homicide unit. As a character, I believe she tries too hard to be seen as just one of the guys and so I never feel like I’m getting her real personality; just a mask she puts on (I get a little more in the second book, but still feels like a mask). Which maybe she was written like that on purpose.

Even with some of the disappointments in this book, I got hooked into the plot(s) that Gerritsen was able to conjure with some well placed twists and turns.

Have you read this series? Thoughts? What are some of your favorite thriller serials?

Reading Challenge Prompts Satisfied:

Sorry, I’m Booked 2017 Reading Challenge: A book/ genre your mom loves


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