THE SURGEON by Tess Gerritsen, 2001, Ballantine Books
I came to discover author Tess Gerritsen when I read The Sinner a few years ago and instantly I became a fan of her characters Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles. However, this book has Rizzoli but no Isles but it still has the same kind of Gerritsen thriller.
The story starts with a murder that happened in Boston and the same modus operandi was repeated thrice a year after. The police detected the serial killer’s pattern: ties his victim on the bed, covers the mouth with duct tape, removes the uterus, and cuts the throat. The horrible crime made the police and the media brand this serial killer as “The Surgeon”.
But when the police discovered that the serial killer also puts a piece of jewelry of the previous victim and rapes the victim a week before, they revisited a rape case that happened in Savannah. The victim in that Savannah rape case was Dr. Catherine Cordell, a daughter of a military man and a good vascular surgeon working in Boston. However, she had shot her rapist Andrew Capra and was sure he died. So who was this serial killer who knew the modus operandi of the late Capra? Readers could only suspect the people around Dr. Cordell because the cases led to her possible death, a real page-turner indeed.
This book is another example that shows the shifting the point of view. The serial killer started the story with the first person POV written in italics. Then it shifted to the narrator on the third person POV on the next chapter. Good characterization, exciting plot, realistic medical drama, logical crime investigation, it’s all here.