Book to Screen Challenge, Tess Gerritson

The Surgeon

The Surgeon

Author: Tess Gerritsen | Publisher: Bantam

I watched ‘Rizzoli & Isles’ when it first came out. It was actually one of my favourite shows for a while. I can’t really remember what possessed me to buy The Surgeon (the first book in the series on which the TV show was based), but there it was on my TBR pile… And, since I’m doing the Book2Screen Challenge, I thought I’d give it a go.

First off, The Surgeon scared the poop out of me. I’m going to say that right up front. The killer is truly disturbing, and all those little asides into his world, his head, creeped me the f- out. So much so, I made my partner go check for intruders at one point… A book hasn’t given me the jeebies so badly in quite a while! That’s a good thing, right?

The characters are truly fantastic. The killer is, as I’ve said, very disturbing and suitably evil. Rizzoli is ballsy, smart, and flawed. She’s also somewhat unlikeable, which I thought was an interesting choice for the main character in a series. I also liked the other cops, they were all well differentiated, had distinctly different styles of police work, and great backstory. But there’s no Maura Isles; she doesn’t come in until book two of the series. I was a little disappointed about that…

The storyline is fast-paced, action packed, and dark. It kept me on the edge of my seat right till the very end! The style reminded me a little of James Patterson, which is no bad thing.

I’m definitely going to attempt the second book, The Apprentice – though I’ll know better than to read a Tess Gerritsen in the dark, this time!

Rizzoli & Isles


Just as I remembered, Rizzoli & Isles is a lot of fun! I really enjoy this series. If you also like a cop show, this is definitely one for you. Though, if you’re in the UK, good luck finding it to watch online… I had to resort to YouTube in the end…

I love the interaction and growing friendship between Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles, and the way they are fleshed out as people through the ongoing complications with their nearest and dearest. It’s the kind of show that drags you into the lives of the characters – you end up caring about them, whether you intended to or not!

Rizzoli is definitely more likeable in the TV show than the books, and, from what I know of the books so far, the personal lives of the characters are definitely given more weight in the TV series. I also liked the way the producers changed the secondary characters to add more diversity and a little more comedy; the books were lacking in that regard.

The first episode is loosely based on the second book in the series, The Apprentice. Since Maura Isles doesn’t appear in book one, I guess that’s why they jumped in there. There was one small but significant plot change, I think for ease of storyline when adapting for TV, but otherwise it was quite faithful to the book. It’s nice to see that. Thinking back to Bones, where the books and series are so different as to feel like entirely separate entities – that’s really not the case here. I think I prefer it.

The show has more humour and is more light-hearted than the books. In its own right, even if you haven’t read any Tess Gerritsen, I think it’s still very enjoyable. It’s very much standard US cop show format by season two, there is a definite shift, but it’s a lot of fun.


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