The pattern suggests one man: serial killer Warren Hoyt, recently removed from the city’s streets. Police can only assume an acolyte is at large, a maniac basing his attacks on the twisted medical techniques of the madman he so admires. At least that’s what Detective Jane Rizzoli thinks. Forced again to confront the killer who scarred her—literally and figuratively—she is determined to finally end Hoyt’s awful influence . . . even if it means receiving more resistance from her all-male homicide squad.
But Rizzoli isn’t counting on the U.S. government’s sudden interest. Or on meeting Special Agent Gabriel Dean, who knows more than he will tell. Most of all, she isn’t counting on becoming a target herself, once Hoyt is suddenly free, joining his mysterious blood brother in a vicious vendetta. . . .
After finishing The Surgeon it didn't took me long to grab the next book. The story starts a bit after where The Surgeon ended. Rizzoli is still the only female in the police force and when she is called to a crime scene where the victim, a man, was made to watch something she starts seeing similarities to the work of Warren Hoyt.
Her colleagues seem to think she is still affected by what happened to her in the previous book, and while we can see that she is, it is also obvious that there are many similarities between the crimes happening now and Hoyt's rituals.
When an FBI agent arrives intending to assist in the investigation Rizzoli isn't exactly happy, especially because she doesn't understand why he is there and he refuses to divulge his intentions. It doesn't help that he constantly questions her and goes to her boss behind her back. But the bodies continue to pile up and finding the culprit is every ones priority.
I did like this Rizzoli a lot more than the one we met in The Surgeon. We get to know her better, her motivations and vulnerabilities. Her weird family, how she deals with them and how that influenced her life. She is strong, determined to be the best cop she can, no matter how much that costs her.
Rizzoli and Dean end up working together, sort of, and when he finally reveals what is behind his appearance I thought it was a surprising and well thought of twist. I was a bit surprised by the relationship between them and I am now curious to see where Gerritsen is going to take it.
This is also the book where we are introduced to Maura Isles, a medical examiner who processes the crime scenes. The explanation of her work is detailed but interesting and helps move the story along. Her relationship with Rizzoli is a professional one and they spend most of their time speaking over a dead body. I will be interested in finding more about her too.
In general terms I liked it as much as the Surgeon! The ending was rather abrupt though and I would have preferred to read the scene instead of being told about it. Now I'm looking forward to book nº 3!