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by Tess Gerritsen

Ballantine Books, August 2003 ($24.95)

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

Whew! Talk about a book you can't put down...

Don't even think about starting this book unless you have time to sit down and read it. You are not going to be able to read a chapter then set it aside until later.

At the time I began reading THE SINNER, I was aware that the author had written several other novels. Most of them were in my "to read" pile. I was not aware that THE SINNER is part of series, and that this is not the first book to feature the main characters. Not a problem. The author brings the reader up to speed quickly and effortlessly.

One of the featured characters is Dr. Maura Isles, a Boston medical examiner. Another featured character is Jane Rizzoli, a homicide detective. Various other secondary characters that have appeared in an earlier book will sort themselves out as the story progresses. (Well, actually the author has her two female lead characters sort them out for the reader).

Dr. Isles is called to the scene of an horrific crime. Someone has attacked two nuns, within the walls of their cloister. The gruesome find, in the chapel of Our Lady of Divine Light, is the beginning, or the end, depending upon how you look at it, of a twisted series of events that leave Dr. Isles and Detective Rizzoli scrambling to uncover and interpret the clues before more carnage ensues. Can they put the pieces together in time? The answer isn't clear until the last few pages.

I thoroughly enjoyed Gerritsen's breezy writing style. She moves to the top of my favorite writers list.

Other titles by this author include: HARVEST, LIFE SUPPORT, BLOOD STREAM, GRAVITY, THE SURGEON, and THE APPRENTICE. THE APPRENTICE will be available in paperback in August, 2003.

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