The Surgeon is the first installment in the Rizzoli & Isles (Book Series) by Tess Gerritsen.

Plot Synopsis

He slips into their homes at night and walks silently into bedrooms where women lie sleeping, unaware of the horrors they soon will endure. The precision of the killer’s methods suggests he is a deranged man of medicine, propelling the Boston newspapers and the frightened public to name him “The Surgeon.”

The cops’ only clue rests with another surgeon, the victim of a nearly identical crime. Two years ago, Dr. Catherine Cordell fought back and killed her attacker before he could complete his assault. Now she hides her fears of intimacy behind a cool and elegant exterior and well-earned reputation as a top trauma surgeon.

Cordell’s careful façade is about to crack as this new killer recreates, with chilling accuracy, the details of Cordell’s own ordeal. With every new murder, he seems to be taunting her, cutting ever closer, from her hospital to her home. Her only comfort comes from Thomas Moore, the detective assigned to the case. But even Moore cannot protect Cordell from a brilliant hunter who somehow understands-and savors-the secret fears of every woman he kills.

Filled with the authentic detail that is the trademark of this doctor turned author, and peopled with rich and complex characters-from the ER to the squad room to the city morgue-here is a thriller of unprecedented depth and suspense. Exposing the shocking link between those who kill and cure, punish and protect, The Surgeon is Tess Gerritsen’s most exciting accomplishment yet.


In a summer of Boston, a mysterious serial killer was lurking in the streets, vivisecting vulnerable women in their homes. Detective Rizzoli, (Jane Rizzoli in Franchise) Moore, Crowe, Frost (Barry Frost in Franchise) and Lt. Marquette was on the case. After further investigation, they believe this was linked to Andrew Capra, a past serial killer of four women who is now deceased because the current one's method of killing was similar to his, save for Capra would first rape the women who were killed. They interview Catherine Cordell, the only survivor and killer of Capra. But now, the killer is after her.

He kills the women to scare Cordell and began taking her keys and pops out of nowhere. Moore and Frost are assigned to protect her, while more interviews and a hypnosis session reveal at the night Cordell was attacked and killed Capra, someone else was in the house beside the two, spiking the theory it was the killer in the house. Then, further research, including a trip to Savannah, confirms this, revealing the mysterious killer was Warren Hoyt (the inspiration for Charles Hoyt in the TV series). The team tracks Hoyt down but had tracked down the wrong man, mistakenly, and Rizzoli even shoots the innocent man, nearly losing her career.

But even with her struck, she still researches on the case secretly and tracked the real Hoyt down to a farmhouse in the countryside, just as Hoyt finally got Cordell, stunning her with chloroform. Rizzoli arrives in time, but left her gun on the bed and gets knocked down by a medical dish, leaving her defenseless as Hoyt impales her hands and prepares to torture her. But Cordell, an experienced shooter herself, shoots Hoyt, just as the cops arrive. Cordell becomes Moore's fiance, and Hoyt's memories reveal he killed Capra in an act of mercy, thus swearing revenge on Cordell.


This is the list of characters that appeared in the book, in order of appearance:


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