I know this goes against everything I believe in, but I just finished reading Tess Gerritsen's The Apprentice (the second book in the Jane Rizzoli series, and the first in the Rizzoli & Isles relationship) and I'm officially ready to take on the TNT series.
Much like when reading The Surgeon, I was unsure how I felt about the novel. When sequels repeat villains, I become wary of the writer's ability to keep me attentive. Tess Gerritsen has a powerful gift in her prose. Not only was she able to recycle Warren Hoyt (a.k.a. The Surgeon), she also shined a new light upon him, gave him a new partner and made him more vicious than before. She made the monster come to life.
It's hard to compare the two novels because each has its own merit. Tess Gerritsen has the ability to captivate her audience and pull in newbies from the sidelines. The Apprentice isn't just a sequel to The Surgeon, it's also a powerful glimpse of the monster that lives within each of us. Gerritsen pulls back the blind, the masks we hide behind only to reveal the deepest, darkest desires that linger within. Despite our denying our true nature, we cannot help but to acknowledge that each of us could be capable of becoming a Warren Hoyt, or something far worse - given the right (or wrong) circumstances.
We're also a glimpse into what we fear the most: Despite all our efforts of keeping a facade, we are all prone to vulnerability brought on by fear. It's what we do with the fear that molds us; that separates us from those who lie down to die and those who have the gall to fight back.
The copy I have happens to be the series tie-cover. The book also contains an excerpt from the current novel in the series, Ice Cold, which I'll probably avoid and the first six pages of the pilot script - which I don't need but will read anyway.
And while The Sinner is next on the list, I think it's time that I break from the Jane Rizzoli/Maura Isles world and take some time to read something less human. Which, looking at my stack of novels sitting on my desk, might not be as easy.
Until next time, keep on huntin'.