Tess Gerritsen – The Apprentice

‘I am not the only one of my kind who walks this earth. Somewhere, there is another. And he waits for me…’

The surgeon has been locked up for a year but his chilling legacy still haunts the city, and especially Boston detective Jane Rizzoli. But now a new killer is at work and Rizzoli senses something horrifyingly familiar about him.

The FBI starts taking an interest in the investigation and Rizzoli begins to wonder just what makes this case so different and so dangerous?
But then the unthinkable happens: the surgeon escapes. And suddenly there are two twisted killers on the loose — master and apprentice…

The Apprentice is the second book in Tess Gerritsen’s Rizzoli and Isles series. As I mentioned in my review for The Surgeon, we’re avid watchers of the TNT show Rizzoli and Isles in my house. And since book one was even better than the TV version, I picked up the second one during my last book splurge. And The Apprentice is just as good as The Surgeon. The difference was that this time I already roughly knew what would happen as the script for the series pilot was based on this novel. This, however, did in no way take away from my enjoyment of the novel, as once again it was proven that TV and books are two very different experiences.

In The Apprentice we finally meet Dr Isles and she’s nothing like the Dr Isles we meet in the TV show. Instead of sophisticated, brilliant, slightly socially awkward, rich girl Dr. Maura Isles of TV fame, the book’s Dr. Isles is a brilliant, business-like, logical professional with a penchant for Goth black and nicknamed Queen of the Dead by the police department. While she doesn’t read very different from TV-Maura, she certainly looks completely different and doesn’t have a super large part in this book.

There are more switches in characters. Moore is of in Europe with his new ladylove, Dr Catherine Cordell, so Rizzoli is back to partnering with Frost. In addition, she has to contend with Detective Korsak, a blunt, grumpy, middle-aged detective with a drinking habit, who calls Rizzoli in on a murder case that closely resembles the M.O. of the Surgeon. Another complication is Gabriel Dean, an FBI agent who turns up at the second murder scene Rizzoli and Korsak are called to, intending to ‘advise’ them on their case, much to both Korsak’s and Rizzoli’s chagrin. His appearance is a sign that all is much more complicated than a simple copycat on the loose. I loved these new additions to the story and I do hope we’ll see more of them in future books.

The number of viewpoints in this book has lessened from the four there were in The Surgeon. This time we only get view points from Rizzoli and Hoyt. I liked it as it tightens the focus of the book on to Jane and makes her the central character. Hoyt is as freaky as ever… His viewpoint pieces just gave me goose bumps and chills as I read them. They are also very key in creating tension between what the reader knows and what the cops know. The encroaching sense of helplessness that envelops Rizzoli, as her conviction that the new murders are linked to Hoyt is dismissed by her colleagues as paranoia and as a result of her traumatic experiences in the first book, is chilling and frustrating for both Rizzoli herself and the reader as we know that she’s right!

The Apprentice was another chilling read. Gerritsen’s creation of Rizzoli and Isles is one of my favourite ones out there at the moment and I really hope I’ll be able to get my hands on further instalments in the series soon. The Apprentice is a highly recommended police procedural for people who enjoy meticulous plotting and research combined with chilling, psychological aspects. Make sure to free up your schedule though, because you won’t want to put this one down.

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