October 08, 2003
The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen

The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen: better than average “serial killer stalks victim” novel that I enjoyed quite a bit.

A series of serial killings in Boston have the police baffled. Women are bound with duct tape, have their stomaches cut open and their uterus removed, and then killed by having their throats slit.

The police are at a standstill until it’s discovered that similiar killings happened in Savannah, though he was shot and killed by his last victim, Dr. Catherine Cordell. Questioning Cordell it begins to become obvious that the murders have something to do with her, but why and what?

I enjoyed this book for several reasons - the biggest being the story itself and the characters. I truly liked Cordell, Moore, and Rizzoli and wanted to see what was going to happen to each of them. I also enjoyed the plot and figuring out who the killer was and how he was choosing his victims.

Highly recommended for fans of the thriller/mystery genres and for anyone else that wants to get their blood pumping. Can’t wait to read the rest of Gerritsen’s work.

October 06, 2003
The Santaroga Barrier by Frank Herbert

The Santaroga Barrier by Frank Herbert: a science fiction novel by one of the best in the field that seemed to hold more promise than was ever delivered.

In Santaroga, a valley town in California, everything appears to be normal - until you look closely, that is. No one ever moves away for long, there’s no business in the town that aren’t local, and outsiders aren’t welcome.

Gilbert Dasein is hired by a group of corporate marketers to visit Santaroga and discover its secrets. Since Gil once dated and is still in love with a local girl named Jenny, it’s hoped that he’ll have more luck than the previous researchers, all of whom died in a series of accidents.

This book had a very strong Twilight Zone feel to it, but I ultimately felt that it never really delivered on its promise of being a scary, intriguing sci-fi novel. It’s not that it was bad, but it just wasn’t as good as I had hoped. I felt that it lacked a strong resolution of what the mysterious Jaspers was and how it came to be in the town.

Also, the book was first written in 1968 and I felt that it seemed a little dated to me. Nothing huge, but some of the issues of race and the like didn’t quite feel right. If you’re a sci-fi fan, this one may still be up your alley, but I don’t strongly recommended.