Excerpt from The Apprentice by Tess Gerritsen, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Apprentice

by Tess Gerritsen

The Apprentice by Tess Gerritsen
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Aug 2002, 344 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2003, 344 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"Hey, can I get my car out now?" the man said. "It's that green Ford."

"That one with the brains splattered on the trunk?"

"Yeah."

"What do you think?" she snapped, and walked away to join the medical examiner, who was crouched in the middle of the road, studying the asphalt. "People on this street are jerks," said Rizzoli. "No one gives a damn about the victim. No one knows who he is, either."

Dr. Ashford Tierney didn't look up at her but just kept staring at the road. Beneath sparse strands of silver hair, his scalp glistened with sweat. Dr. Tierney seemed older and more weary than she had ever seen him. Now, as he tried to rise, he reached out in a silent request for assistance. She took his hand and she could feel, transmitted through that hand, the creak of tired bones and arthritic joints. He was an old southern gentleman, a native of Georgia, and he'd never warmed to Rizzoli's Boston bluntness, just as she had never warmed to his formality. The only thing they had in common was the human remains that passed across Dr. Tierney's autopsy table. But as she helped him to his feet, she was saddened by his frailty and reminded of her own grandfather, whose favorite grandchild she had been, perhaps because he'd recognized himself in her pride, her tenaciousness. She remembered helping him out of his easy chair, how his stroke-numbed hand had rested like a claw on her arm. Even men as fierce as Aldo Rizzoli are ground down by time to brittle bones and joints. She could see its effect in Dr. Tierney, who wobbled in the heat as he took out his handkerchief and dabbed the sweat from his forehead.

"This is one doozy of a case to close out my career," he said. "So tell me, are you coming to my retirement party, Detective?"

"Uh . . . what party?" said Rizzoli.

"The one you all are planning to surprise me with."

She sighed. Admitted, "Yeah, I'm coming."

"Ha. I always could get a straight answer from you. Is it next week?"

"Two weeks. And I didn't tell you, okay?"

"I'm glad you did." He looked down at the asphalt. "I don't much like surprises."

"So what do we have here, Doc? Hit-and-run?"

"This seems to be the point of impact."

Rizzoli looked down at the large splash of blood. Then she looked at the sheet-draped corpse, which was lying a good twelve feet away, on the sidewalk.

"You're saying he first hit the ground here, and then bounced way over there?" said Rizzoli.

"It would appear so."

"That's got to be a pretty big truck to cause this much splatter."

"Not a truck," was Tierney's enigmatic answer. He started walking along the road, eyes focused downward.

Rizzoli followed him, batting at swarms of flies. Tierney came to a stop about thirty feet away and pointed to a grayish clump on the curb.

"More brain matter," he noted.

"A truck didn't do this?" said Rizzoli.

"No. Or a car, either."

"What about the tire marks on the vic's shirt?"

Tierney straightened, his eyes scanning the street, the sidewalks, the buildings. "Do you notice something quite interesting about this scene, Detective?"

"Apart from the fact there's a dead guy over there who's missing his brain?"

"Look at the point of impact." Tierney gestured toward the spot in the road where he'd been crouching earlier. "See the dispersal pattern of body parts?"

"Yeah. He splattered in all directions. Point of impact is at the center."

"Correct."

"It's a busy street," said Rizzoli. "Vehicles do come around that corner too fast. Plus, the vic has tire marks on his shirt."

"Let's go look at those marks again."

As they walked back to the corpse, they were joined by Barry Frost, who had finally emerged from the car, looking wan and a little embarrassed.

Excerpted from The Apprentice by Tess GerritsenCopyright 2002 by Tess Gerritsen. Excerpted by permission of Ballantine Books, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Hillbilly Elegy
    Hillbilly Elegy
    by J.D. Vance
    In this illuminating memoir, Vance recounts his trajectory from growing up a "hillbilly" in ...
  • Book Jacket: The Dark Flood Rises
    The Dark Flood Rises
    by Margaret Drabble
    Margaret Drabble, the award-winning novelist and literary critic who is approaching eighty and ...
  • Book Jacket: All Our Wrong Todays
    All Our Wrong Todays
    by Elan Mastai
    You need a great deal of time to read All Our Wrong Todays, but don't let that put you off. ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Atomic Weight of Love
by Elizabeth J. Church

In the spirit of The Aviator's Wife, this resonant debut spans from World War II through the Vietnam War.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Mercies in Disguise
    by Gina Kolata

    A story of hope, a family's genetic destiny, and the science that rescued them.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Our Short History
    by Lauren Grodstein

    Lauren Grodstein breaks your heart, then miraculously pieces it back together so it's stronger, than before.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

O My D B

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
Modal popup -