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Review: The Apprentice by Tess Gerristen

Title: The Apprentice
Author: Tess Gerristen
Series: Rizzoli & Isles 2
Genre: Crime thriller
Format: Hardcover
Source: Public library
Pub. Year: 2003
Purchase: Amazon/ B&N/ TBD

Blurb from Amazon:
It is a boiling hot Boston summer. Adding to the city’s woes is a series of shocking crimes, in which wealthy men are made to watch while their wives are brutalized. A sadistic demand that ends in abduction and death.

The pattern suggests one man: serial killer Warren Hoyt, recently removed from the city’s streets. Police can only assume an acolyte is at large, a maniac basing his attacks on the twisted medical techniques of the madman he so admires. At least that’s what Detective Jane Rizzoli thinks. Forced again to confront the killer who scarred her—literally and figuratively—she is determined to finally end Hoyt’s awful influence . . . even if it means receiving more resistance from her all-male homicide squad.

But Rizzoli isn’t counting on the U.S. government’s sudden interest. Or on meeting Special Agent Gabriel Dean, who knows more than he will tell. Most of all, she isn’t counting on becoming a target herself, once Hoyt is suddenly free, joining his mysterious blood brother in a vicious vendetta. . . .

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Thought to consider: Read for the emotions instead of the serial killer

The second book in the Rizzoli and Isles series doesn’t disappoint very much. We are introduce to more characters that appeared in the TV show and a love interest for Rizzoli. The same serial killer, Warren Hoyt, is back to torment our main character and company. His perspective is still creepy.

This book introduces Dr. Maura Isles or also known as Queen of the Death. I was looking forward to her appearance but she is not like in the TV show because she doesn’t have the camaraderie with Rizzoli yet. Detective Korsak comes into the picture as well. Gerristen constantly reminds the reader that he is overweight. Rizzoli constantly describes him as greasy, sweaty, plus with unhealthy coffee habits. I’m not sure if I’m fond of the repetition of him being overweight.

Let’s talk serial killer. In this segment, Hoyt and unknown serial killer team up (after Hoyt escapes from prison) and attacked women. Technically, they only killed one woman together but nonetheless, proceed to play psychological games with Rizzoli. I personally like the in-deep analysis behind Rizzoli. It makes her more human than in the first book. The Surgeon was about Rizzoli proving her worth in a male-dominated business whereas this book focuses on the scars she obtained from Hoyt and how it affects her life. I find this to be an important step because events leave fragments in people and it is important to acknowledge that those memories change our way of thinking or perspective of life.

There was this emphasis on portraying Rizzoli’s vulnerabilities as a woman in terms of her family and her job. Her family considers her the black sheep in the family which is quite sad. She performs her duty as a daughter yet it is the absentee male son that her family prefers. It is really hurtful and adds to the complexity that is Jane Rizzoli. Her family life isn’t the only place where her vulnerabilities are seen. The FBI agent Gabriel Dean also wants her to admit her status as a victim because she is a woman who was tortured by an unsub. He classified her as a damaged woman and tried to get her to admit this fact in a confrontational and psychological conversation which she obviously did not respond very well. I have to admire that; she will not see herself as a victim even if certain behavior allude to this fact. A romance does develop between them which I like because she deserves some something happiness in her life.

I’m looking forward to seeing how the romantic relationship develops between Rizzoli and Dean or if it is going to drop dead in the next book. With the intro of Dr. Isles, I’m wondering how Isles and Rizzoli become friends outside of the morgue.

I realize that I didn’t emphasize the serial killer so I’ll end with him. I was not expecting all the bureaucracy that this particular unsub brought. It was interesting because it was a war criminal. Very similar to the serial killer in the second book of Dexter. He was definitely not as creepy as the serial killer from Dearly Devoted Dexter though.

5 BB- Total Keeper

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21st book in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: Serial Killer, Second in a Series, Rizzoli & Isles,

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Review: The Surgeon by Tess Gerristen

Author: Tess Gerristen
Title: The Surgeon
Series: Rizzoli & Isles # 1
Genre: Crime thriller
Source: PaperbackSwap
Format: Paperback
Pub. Year: 2001
Purchase: Amazon/ B&N

Goodreads blurb:
A serial killer is on the loose in Boston. The victims are killed in a particularly nasty way: cut with a scalpel on the stomach, the intestines and uterus removed, and then the throat slashed. The killer obviously has medical knowledge and has been dubbed “the Surgeon” by the media. Detective Thomas Moore and his partner Rizzoli of the Boston Homicide Unit have discovered something that makes this case even more chilling.

Years ago in Savannah a serial killer murdered in exactly the same way. He was finally stopped by his last victim, who shot him as he tried to cut her. That last victim is Dr. Catherine Cordell, who now works as a cardiac surgeon at one of Boston’s prestigious hospitals. As the murders continue, it becomes obvious that the killer is drawing closer and closer to Dr. Cordell, who is becoming so frightened that she is virtually unable to function.

But she is the only person who can help the police catch this copycat killer. Or is it a copycat? To complicate matters even further, Detective Moore, often referred to as Saint Thomas as he continues to mourn the loss of his wife, is getting emotionally involved with the doctor.

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What I will remember: Women’s insecurity in a male dominated world

I’m a fan of the TV show, Rizzoli and Isles, so I decided to pick up the first book in the series. I was concerned at first because the blurb let me to believe that Detective Moore was the main character and Rizzoli would be a minor character. Turns out, this is not the case and like Dexter, it doesn’t disappoint much.

I really enjoyed the duality in the book. Throughout this book, we switched perspectives from Detective Moore and Detective Rizzoli while maintaining the third perspective without confusion. We can see the internal battles that they have. Moore dealing with the fact that he is crossing the line with Dr. Catherine Cordell (witness) and Rizzoli struggling being the only woman in a male profession where the men don’t care for her opinion. I liked her perspective more than Moore’s because I can relate to her  and see where her insecurities come from.

I did generally like almost everything about this book but what I didn’t like was Dr. Catherine Cordell. She was the one the unsub wanted all along as she is vital to the book. I dislike her character, she was just really cold to me. I do understand it has to do with her past, I’m sympathetic to her and I admired her because her because she is a survivor. I just can’t relate to her. That being said, Gerristen, did an excellent job portraying Catherine’s inner turmoil.

Rizzoli was not what I expected. In the show, she is more likeable and has more respect from the men. In the book, she was cold at times and constantly complained about being a woman in a male profession. It almost felt like she did not like being a woman because it was affecting her job. I hate that because she is falling into the belief that being a woman is a hindrance to her job and as a woman, she should strive to break those misconceptions (or at least not accept it). There will always be gender inequality in the work force but we shouldn’t promote it. Rizzoli has image-problems as well as acceptance problems which make her a complicated character.

Gerristen really let the unsub/serial killer evolve and it shows. She showed how he became more confident with each kill and inventive as well. The parts of the unsub speaking are creepy but well done. It does bother me that there is no background history on how came to be. Gerristen implies through the book that he was simply born to be a serial killer and I disagree. No one is born to be a serial killer, they are created. Still, her serial killer was fleshed out.

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4 BB-Ready for capture