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Debra Hamel is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


Books by Debra Hamel:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


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READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


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paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


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TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


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paperback | hardcover (UK)

SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


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ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


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PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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Gerritsen, Tess: The Surgeon

  Amazon  

4.5 stars

The Surgeon, originally published in 2001, is the first book in what would become Tess Gerritsen's Rizzoli and Isles series. In this outing, however, Boston homicide detective Jane Rizzoli is only a supporting character--and not a particularly likable one--while forensic pathologist Maura Isles doesn't appear at all. (She is introduced in Gerritsen's follow-up to The Surgeon, The Apprentice.) The Surgeon of Gerritsen's title is a killer who earned his nickname from the gruesome manner in which he's killed a series of women. The murders appear to be copycat crimes: a killer with a similar modus operandi had terrorized Georgia a couple years earlier. The killer also seems to be focused on one particular woman, Dr. Catherine Cordell, who is the unfortunate common link between the killings in Boston and Georgia.

It seems odd, reading The Surgeon, that Gerritsen opted to focus the series on Rizzoli: her colleague, Thomas Moore, is arguably the main character here, and he is the one I'd prefer to read more about. Rizzoli, unlike Moore, is prickly and defensive. A theme of the book is the mistreatment of women by men--not surprising given what the Surgeon is up to--but anti-female bias plays out also, if much less dramatically, in the police department: Rizzoli constantly feels that she's not accepted on the job because of her sex. Frankly, this aspect of the book seems to me a bit whiny and tiresome, but that's my only complaint about this tense and well-written novel.

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