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The Apprentice - Tess Gerritsen

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5 Reviews

Author: Tess Gerritsen / Genre: Crime / Thriller

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    5 Reviews
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      13.12.2012 22:12
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      My first introduction to Gerritsen's work, and I know it will not be the last.

      Tess Gettitsen is an author I have heard about but not read any of her work, so when I was browsing in the library, I recognised the name, and thought I should try her out. Crime novels are one of my favourite genres and the more gruesome the better. Gerrirsen's work is highly acclaimed by a number of other authors who I enjoy, such as Harlan Coben and Stephen King, and her work is compared to Patricia Cornwell and Kathy Reichs, so I felt that I was fairly confident I would enjoy her work.

      'The Apprentice' is probably a bit strange for me to start with, as it is part of a series of books by Gerritsen featuring detective Jane Rizzoli and Dr Isles, the pathologist. This is book two in that series, and is really a sequel to her novel, The Surgeon. Some authors it is essential to have read the first part before going on to the second, here I did not feel it hindered my enjoyment of this book because I had no prior knowledge of the plot. I think it might have enhanced my enjoyment, but I was able to read this without trying to put together information myself as things were updated briefly and I knew what I needed to.

      The Apprentice starts with a prologue set in a prison yard. A young prisoner is stabbed to death, and we are told this through the eyes and viewpoint of one of the prisoners, who I came to learn later in the novel was the sadistic killer from her first novel, who is known by his nickname, The Surgeon.

      We then see Rizzoli at work, carrying out investigations at a murder scene. She starts to see startling similarities between the case she is working on and the case of The Surgeon from the summer before. Her colleagues think that this is because she is not coping, but is Jane going mad, or are they dealing with a copycat or something worse?

      Events then take a bizarre turn when The Surgeon escapes from prison, leaving Rizzoli paranoid and determined to get to the bottom of it all before she loses the plot completely.

      I found the level of gore in the crime and autopsy scenes met my expectation well. There is no inclination from the cover of the book how gorey it will be, but I think this will satisfy all readers who like the CSI type programmes as there is strong focus on what evidence the cops have.

      I felt the character of Jane Rizzoli and The Surgeon were established really well. I get a strong sense of vulnerability and strength at the same time within Jane's character, and you get to see the person as a whole, and not just the cop. By filling in more of the character, I felt stronger emotions about the plot of the story when it affected Jane. She seems like a real human, with real weaknesses to be exploited.

      The Surgeon was someone who had many depths too, but I felt more and more horror as I got to know more about how he ended up as he did, and hearing about the things he had done in his past. It left a feel of not knowing where the limits to the plot were, and it really could have gone anywhere and I would not have seen it coming.

      There is tension and drama at every point of the book, making it one of those novels you can not put down. I wanted to know what was next, but at the same time, did not, as I didn't know if it was something I would like. I felt it was addictive reading this, and trying to work out the motivation of different characters like the FBI Agent, Gabriel Dean, who is hiding something from the start but we are unsure what.

      While I have read many books in this genre, I did not feel the story was at all predictable, and it has left me wanting to read more from this author and in particular from this series. I highly recommend this if you like gruesome crime novels, and you enjoy your brain and your emotions being involved at every stage of the plot. This is not a novel to relax to, and not one to read a quick chapter of before bed. Be prepared to lose a few hours until you reach the grisly conclusion, and to be thinking about this one after you turn the final page.

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        28.11.2009 17:02
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        Fantastic read

        A year after Jane Rizzoli has put the Surgeon behind bars, a new serial killer is at large; one who has alarming similarities between himself and the Surgeon. It's only Jane who sees the similarities and is determined to prove they have somehow made contact with each other. The case becomes even more confusing for Jane and her team when the FBI become involved. Jane's worst nightmare comes true when the Surgeon manages to escape from prison and it seems as if the Surgeon and his Apprentice are hunting and killing together... and they have one person in mind in particular that they're hunting: Jane Rizzoli.

        As you'll know from my reviews, I tend to stick to reading chick lit books when it comes to reading of any kind, however my mum picked up The Surgeon a while ago and the synopsis sounded incredibly interesting so I decided to give it a read. I absolutely adored it and set about getting the rest of the Rizzoli and Isles series by Tess Gerritsen. The second book in the series is The Apprentice and the other books in the series are: The Surgeon (as mentioned), The Sinner, Body Double, Vanish, The Mephisto Club, Killing The Dead and The Killing Place (which will be released in 2010). I've loved all of the other books in the series except The Sinner, which confused me a little bit, and eagerly await the next release.

        I thought The Apprentice was a bit of a departure from The Surgeon. The Surgeon seemed to be written differently to the sequels and Maura Isles wasn't even a present character, the ME in The Surgeon was Doctor Tierney. I also felt the main characters in The Surgeon were actually Thomas Moore and Catherine Cordell rather than Rizzoli. I thought Rizzoli was important to the story, obviously, but that she was also trying to prove herself in a male-dominated profession more than anything; she wasn't the main focus, not until the end of the book anyway, like she is in The Apprentice. It's as if Gerritsen meant The Surgeon to be just a stand-alone novel rather than having it develop into a series. Develop into a series it did, and all of a sudden Rizzoli was the main focal point as well as Dr. Maura Isles. Thomas Moore and Catherine Cordell are all but forgotten, which was a shame as they were hugely enjoyable characters. The strange thing is though, I liked both books equally as much regardless of the changes between The Surgeon and The Apprentice.

        The Surgeon, for those who haven't read it, is about a serial killer who preys on vulnerable women, slashing their throats in one fluid movement and taking out their most powerful organ: their uterus. One thing that stands out about the killings is the fact they're remarkably similar to a case a few years back in which Catherine Cordell was subjected to a brutal rape and attempted murder but managed to shoot her attacker dead. As Thomas Moore and Jane Rizzoli investigate, it becomes apparent this new killer knows intimate details of what happened to Catherine, details that were never made public. It's as if Catherine's attacker has come back to life and is now following her every move... I absolutely loved The Surgeon and the first time I read it, I managed to finish it all in one sitting. It was an absorbing read and it surpised me how much I loved it as I had never really shown any interest in suspense novels.

        It was the next day, after finishing The Surgeon, that I went out and got the rest of the series and devoured them just as quickly. The reason I decided to re-read The Apprentice was because I was looking for something to read on the bus on the way home yesterday and picked this up. I'm having a bit of reading trouble at the mo, chick lit seems to have lost its appeal, so this was the perfect tonic and I was gripped, again, from the first page.

        The Apprentice sucks you in straight away, as just like The Surgeon, it opens with a prologue from the Surgeon himself. It's a welcome start to the book because although he's beyond evil and not someone I would ever want to come across, he is actually a strangely compelling character. He is immensely clever and hugely insightful and I could read about him all day. To give us such an insight into such a sick mind is a very clever tactic from Gerritsen, especially since it's told in the first person so it's as if he's talking to me.

        We are then re-introduced to Rizzoli and her partner Barry Frost as well as the ME, Dr Tierney, who are at a crime scene, trying to figure out how a man's body has been so badly splattered onto a street corner. A call then comes in to Rizzoli about a murder in Newton, from Detective Korsak, who says that she really needs to see the murder scene. That sets alarm bells ringing in Rizzoli's head especially since when she gets there, the MO (modus operandi) is alarmingly familiar (the folding of the bedclothes in particular) and Rizzoli immediately thinks of the Surgeon. Since the Surgeon is behind bars, everyone tries to tell Rizzoli it's all just an alarming coincidence. Things get even stranger when Agent Gabriel Dean, of the FBI, comes into the picture without any kind of explanation.

        As Rizzoli and her team try to figure out who the unsub (unknown subject) is who's killing these couples, more bad news filters through: the Surgeon has escaped. Things get even worse when it seems the unsub and the Surgeon have met up with each other and are now killing together. The Surgeon is still seemingly obsessed with Rizzoli, as she managed to evade him in the first book, and the pair set about trying to find Jane.

        I absolutely loved The Apprentice. After reading The Surgeon I truly didn't think The Apprentice would be as good but I was completely stunned to find I enjoyed it just as much as The Surgeon, regardless of the fact it was a tad different to how The Surgeon was written. I would recommend that if you want to read The Apprentice, that you try and read The Surgeon first. Everything is recapped perfectly fine in The Apprentice but, if I'm honest, if you're planning to start reading a series, you ought to start with book numero uno!

        As I keep mentioning, The Apprentice is different to The Surgeon. This book focuses solely on Jane Rizzoli, with regular thoughts from the Surgeon himself and it's like a wild goose chase between the two of them as the Surgeon is beyond obsessed with Rizzoli. Once the Surgeon escapes, the suspense level is ratcheted up a notch and it only seems a matter of time before the pair will meet again.

        The characters are all fantastic in The Apprentice. Jane Rizzoli is just as fearless as she was in the first book but we can see that what happened with the Surgeon shook her up quite a lot, and although the only visible scars are those on her hands, we know there are a lot of scars underneath that people can't see. She puts up quite a front and I love her fearlessness; she runs rings around most chick lit heroines. All of Rizzoli's work colleagues from the police department return although they aren't as present as they were in the previous book. I liked the inclusion of Detective Korsak and Agent Gabriel Dean. Both were fantastic characters and even though Agent Dean got on Rizzoli's nerves in the beginning, I liked how their working relationship progressed. The most important character who we're introduced to in The Apprentice is, of course, Maura Isles, whom everyone calls Queen of the Dead, the new ME (medical examiner)! As the books progress, Maura definitely becomes a more prominent character (even more so than Jane in a few books) but in The Apprentice she's only there to be the ME and we learn nothing of her personal life or professional life as we do in later books.

        Tess Gerritsen's writing is fantastic. She's a hugely talented suspense writer and knows how to get people's hearts beating fast. There is a lot of medical jargon included in the book but it's all explained in a satisfactory way and I didn't at all feel confused. I really can't wax lyrical about this book enough as it is a truly fantastic read. If you thought The Surgeon was fantastic, then you'll love The Apprentice as it follows on very well and it's all wrapped up very satisfactorily.

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          25.06.2009 00:29

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          A brilliant sequal to The Surgeon

          Contains spoilers...

          Another chilling tale from Gerritsen in which Boston is plagued by a second serial killer. Despite the fact Warren Hoyt (the Surgeon) is incarcerated the murders show many similarities to his work, causing unpleasant memories to surface for Detective Jane Rizzoli. Then, Hoyt escapes, leaving the police to face a partnership of killers who are both horribly accomplished at torture and murder and are working together to capture and kill Rizzoli.
          I think if anything this book is even better than The Surgeon and again Gerritsen uses her medical knowledge to bring a harrowing accuracy to the story. Two pivotal characters are also introduced - Dr Maura Isles, the new Medical Examiner and Gabriel Dean, an enigmatic FBI agent. Also fascinating are parts of the book written from Hoyt's perspective, in which he attempts to explain and perhaps even justify his horrific crimes and give the reader insight into why an intelligent and outwardly respectable human being might commit such appalling acts. Perhaps this books is even more disturbing than The Surgeon and therefore the reader should be slightly cautious, it is not for the easily upset.

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          06.01.2009 23:34
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          Not bad, but read The Surgeon first

          This is the first Tess Gerritsen book that I have read and I am reasonably impressed with it. It is her sixth novel but is the second in the series starring detective Jane Rizzoli and is a follow on from the previous novel entitled The Surgeon.

          ~~~The Plot~~~

          Serial killer The Surgeon was caught by detective Rizzoli a year ago and has been in jail ever since. But now a new series of killings is bearing a startling resemblance to The Surgeon's handiwork. Still traumatised from her first dealings with The Surgeon, Rizzoli tries to make sense of this new case but her world is shot to pieces when The Surgeon escapes. Will he unite with the other killer or will they work against each other? Will Rizzoli find them before The Surgeon finds her? And how many more people will die along the way?

          ~~~What I thought~~~

          I quite enjoyed this book. It is a tense novel that moves along quickly and keeps your interest well. I found it quite difficult to put down at times and wanted to know what was going to happen next.

          Rizzoli is a decent character and we get to hear quite a lot of her thoughts which makes us sympathise with her and want her to win out.

          There is also a nice romance subplot which dilutes some of the tension and is well written and sweet, if a bit predictable.

          The main problem I have with this book though is that it is not really a stand-alone novel. It is very much the second in a series and in my opinion should probably not be read without reading The Surgeon first. There are so many references to the first book that it becomes really annoying if you haven't read it, and you can't really go back and read it after either, because almost every plot detail, even seemingly small ones, are revealed in this book. Often crime novels use the same detectives and sometimes the same criminals making a reappearance but they are rarely as intertwined as these books.

          I wonder also, whether even if you had read The Surgeon first, you might get quite bored with all the rehashing of the plot.

          Nevertheless I did enjoy it, I just found it a bit irritating at times. I would recommend reading both books in order but not this one on its own.

          This book has an RRP of £6.99 but can be bought on Amazon.co.uk for £4.89. I would probably advise borrowing it from the library instead though as I'm not sure many people would want to read it more than once.

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            23.06.2008 13:12
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            When The Surgeon escapes prison, emotionally battled detective must use all her wits to track down h

            The second book to feature Detective Jane Rizzoli and a direst follow-up to THE SURGEON, THE APPRENTICE picks up a year after it's predecessor with Rizzoli attempting to come to terms with what happened and still bearing both the physical and emotional scars. When a new killer emerges on the scene exhibting haunting similarities in his M.O to serial killer, Warren Hoyt, there are those who say that Rizzoli is still obsessed with the man who gave her those scars but when Hoyt escapes from prison and seems to join forces with this latest killer, it is only Jane's obsession that can bring this case to it's rightful conclusion. Teamed with moody FBI agent, Gabriel Dean, who has his own personal agenda, Detective Jane Rizzoli has to prove that she hasn't lost her focus and can still perform in this tense, gritty thriller that is every bit as gripping as the first Rizzoli novel.

            This novel seems to take a different approach to Gerritsen's previous work with its much stronger emphasis on how hard it is to cope with being a victim and a much deeper look at Hoyt's pysche and what exactly makes him tick. The latest killer almost at times though feels as though he is being shoved to one side in favour of both the sub-text and the presence of Hoyt and the climatic ending is very sudden and over far too quickly. This seems to be a common pit-fall with many crime authors of late and there is nothing more frustrating than sitting through a novel such as this only to have it all come to a head in a couple of measly pages. That said this is an enjoyable read and it is interesting to understand a bit more about Hoyt though you are still left thinking there is more yet to discover than at first meets the eye.

            The book also features the debut of Medical Examiner, Maura Isles, though her appearances here are brief and more of a cameo than as a starring role. For the main part, this is Rizzoili's story and quite rightly so!! Having read BODY DOUBLE set much later than this, it is certainly interesting to see how both characters became the people they are later on though this earlier book never really feels like Gerritsen at her best. It does however provide you with more than enough to want to keep reading mainly because this is such a light and unchallenging read and sometimes that is all you need....

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