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At the moment I'm in a kind of reading frenzy and have proceeded to work my way through at least 6 books in a matter of weeks. I have always liked Tess Gerritsens books and had read The Surgeon and The Apprentice a year or so previously. So at long last I decided to carry on reading the rest of the stories in the series. The other novels are The Surgeon, The Apprentice, The Sinner, Body Double, Vanish and The Mephisto Club. I believe that a new book will be released soon called The Keepsake. I have read all of them up to Vanish which I am reading at the moment and will very soon have finished.
The Sinner is a story involving the characters Detective Jane Rizzoli and the Medical Examiner Maura Isles.
This story begins at a convent where a terrible event has occurred, within the grounds lie two nuns one of whom has already died from her injuries and the other who is in a critical condition. Detective Rizzoli arrives on the scene and is sickened that anyone could commit such an horrific thing. They are victims of a seemingly savage and motiveless attack and when the medical examiner Maura Isles procedes with the autopsy on the deceased nun it leads to a shocking surprise and the case then takes a very disturbing turn. When the body of another woman is found, it seems that someone took a lot of trouble to hide the deceased womans identity and somehow this latest body ties in with the murdered nuns. Along the way secrets are revealed that help to finally reveal the killers identity.
From the start of the story you are hooked and there are many twists and turns before the dramatic conclusion. You genuinely feel for the main characters and Tess Gerritsen brings them to life very well. Out of all the books that Tess Gerritsen has written I prefer Body Double, this does come a close second though.
It retails for £6.99 and I bought my copy from Whsmiths when it had £3 off the marked up price, so for £3.99 it was well worth the price.
I would have to say in conclusion that if you are a fan of thrillers and suspense filled stories then this is definitely the book for you!
Every time I pick up a TESS GERRITSEN novel, I kind of wonder why I'm reading it.... but by the time I have reached the end, I always remember; it's because her novels are just sooo good and GERRITSEN is clearly an author who knows how to write a bloody good thriller. THE SINNER, the third novel to feature Detective Jane Rizzoli and Medical Examiner Maura Isles, who is obviously supposed be a fictional representation of TESS GERRITSEN from what I can make out. GERRITSEN gave up a career in medicine to look after her children and pursue her writing career and I get a strong sense from these novels that Maura Isles is very much the strong-hearted woman that TESS perhaps would have liked to see herself as if things had happened differently in her life....
This time around, the pair find themselves called in to the investigation of an assault on two nuns in their convent. One is dead, the other on deaths door and fighting for her life. An autopsy on the deceased produces some startling results that were certainly not expected and then the body of another woman is found in a deserted building with her face, hands and feet removed. Somehow this new case seems to be connected with the attempted murder of the two nuns but how? The answers when they come quick and fast are shocking and surprising and lead Maura Isles back into the arms of her ex-husband who himself has plenty of secrets he has no desire to share.....
Once again, GERRITSEN proves that she is a formiddable force with this excellent, tense and enthralling thriller that kept me glued to the edge of my seat. The good sign of a thriller is when you are reading it on your break at work and are reluctant to put it down to return to your job and this book certainly had that effect on me. I quite literally had to tear my way away at some points and was desperate to return to find out how it ended. And you can't get a more glowing reccommendation than that!
Her style of writing is a little P.J.TRACEY in places and her books are obviously aimed at a more female audience judging from the emphasis on relationships and the two main characters' love lives but still, as a bloke, I was still able to throughly enjoy this latest installment in the series that has established GERRITSEN as one of the big hitters of crime fiction and really made her name. Shew is defenitely without any doubt now high on the list of my top ten favourite thriller writers and I can't wait to read the next GERRITSEN novel that I am fast-tracking to the top of my to-be-read pile!! The ending when it comes feels a little sudden and a tad rushed but then this appears to be the current vogue with thriller writers- to have a lengthy build-up with a short, sharp climax at it's end! This is no bad thing but does mean the novel is over far quicker than you expect especially as, with an extract of the next book in the series featured in the last few pages, the book looks like it has further to go than it has.
But this is a mild complaint and this wouldn't be a balanced review if I didn't include some negative comments- rest assured, on every other level this novel delivers and you could do no better than picking this up if you see it in your local charity shop or on EBAY. It can be read as a stand alone but you may find it more enjoyable to start at the beginning of the series with THE SURGEON. This also enables you to see how GERRITSEN's writing just gets better and better with every book she writes and personally, having already read the book that comes after this, BODY DOUBLE, I can't wait to pick up the fifth book, VANISH.
Having picked up this book for 25p on the charity book list at work, I thought I'd review it before returning it to the booklist for someone else to enjoy!
I first heard of Tess Gerritsen when I read her book "Life Support" (also from the 25p booklist) and thoroughly enjoyed it. Following this I attempted to read her novel "Gravity", but just couldn't get into it. I thought I'd give her another go when I came across this book. It is the third in a series of six (at present) Jane Rizzoli (a detective character) novels. Having not read the first two, "The Surgeon" and "The Apprentice" I was aware that I was coming in part way through an ongoing story. But much like Kathy Reich's books, it doesn't really matter as the stories do stand-alone. However, if you do get the opportunity I would suggest that you start with "The Surgeon".
Tess Gerritsen trained as a medical doctor - which is good as I feel it gives some credibility to the stories. While on maternity leave she started to write romance novels (first published in 1987). Her first medical novel was published in 1996, and this is when she first started to gain popularity - clearly this is the right genre for her! She is now a highly successful author, has won numerous awards, and has given up the day job to write full-time. More about Gerritsen and her books can be found here:
It's the run up to Christmas and medical examiner Maura Isles is called to a bitterly cold crime scene where a young nun (Sister Camille) has been brutally murdered, and another one seriously injured. The death is all the more tragic because Sister Camille was only 20 - the first new nun to the convent in years. Who would commit such a crime, and do the other (aging) nuns know more than they're letting on?
With homicide detective Jane Rizzoli the two work to uncover the mystery behind the tragedy. It seems that Sister Camille was hiding something at the time of her death - what was it, and could that be the motive? Did Sister Ursula (the seriously injured nun) just get in the way of the attacker, or were there secrets she was hiding as well?
Shortly afterwards another woman is found murdered in a disused restaurant - not only has she been murdered, but her face, hands and feet have been removed. It's a complete mystery why the feet were removed - what was the killer trying to hide? Is this linked with the incident at the convent, or is it something completely different?
Matters are complicated by the arrival of Maura's ex-husband, and Rizzoli's personal life. Like in most crime novels, things come to a head in a dramatic climax, the questions are answered, and everything falls into place!
I started this book on Wednesday and finished it on the Thursday - admittedly this was partly due to the fact that the high winds meant that our digital TV wasn't working, so I was forced to read! But something must have kept me reading it.
The pace is generally fast, and although there was a bit of a lull in the middle of the book, things picked up, and I was kept guessing to the end (mind you I'm not the quickest person in terms of guessing what happens in novels and films!)
The main characters, Maura Isles and Jane Rizzoli were on the whole likeable and they worked well with one another - they didn't irritate me half as much as Temperence Brennan in Kathy Reich's books! The dialogue between them and the other characters did cause me to think about issues such as why would someone want to be a nun, and what makes a good parent. Perhaps at times the subplots (the main characters' personal lives) was a bit tacky for my liking, but the audience (I would imagine) is predominantly female and I hear that other women like a bit of romance!
I would suggest that it is an ideal book to read on a train, plane, or on the beach. Easy going and doesn't require much thought power. Overall I would give it 7/10. It's not a groundbreaking book, and certainly not one I'd read again (I generally don't reread books anyway as there is so much to read and not enough time in life). However, I will be reading more of Gerritsen's books.
I would recommend Gerritsen to people who like Kathy Reichs, Karin Slaughter, and (perhaps) Harlan Coben. Certainly someone to keep an eye out for if you enjoy the crime/suspense genre.
The book was first published in 2003 and my edition has 419 pages.
It is currently available for £5.49 on Amazon - my advice is to keep your eye out for a second hand copy!