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The Last Victim by Karen Robards (Preview)

The Last Victim by Karen Robards (Preview)

Ratings:

3.5

(35)
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“[An] exceptional storyteller . . . Leave it to [Karen] Robards to deliver the start of a series that is distinctive and unforgettable!”—RT Book Reviews

A sought-after expert in criminal pathology, Dr. Charlotte Stone regularly sits face-to-face with madmen. At the age of sixteen, she herself survived a serial killer’s bloodbath. Because of the information she gave police, the Boardwalk Killer went underground, but Charlie kept her postmortem visions of the victims to herself. Years later, to protect her credibility as a psychological expert, she tells no one about these apparitions. Now a teenage girl is missing, her family slaughtered. The Boardwalk Killer—or a sick copycat with his M.O.—is back. This is the one case Charlie knows she shouldn’t go near. But she also knows that she may be the one person in the world who can stop this vicious killer, especially when she receives help from an unexpected source: The fiery spirit of a seductive bad boy who refuses to be ignored.

“Excellent . . . This story is going to haunt you.”—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Thrilling . . . a fun and sexy read.”—Booklist

“Tantalizing.”—Library Journal
“[An] exceptional storyteller . . . Leave it to [Karen] Robards to deliver the start of a series that is distinctive and unforgettable!”—RT Book Reviews

A sought-after expert in criminal pathology, Dr. Charlotte Stone regularly sits face-to-face with madmen. At the age of sixteen, she herself survived a serial killer’s bloodbath. Because of the information she gave police, the Boardwalk Killer went underground, but Charlie kept her postmortem visions of the victims to herself. Years later, to protect her credibility as a psychological expert, she tells no one about these apparitions. Now a teenage girl is missing, her family slaughtered. The Boardwalk Killer—or a sick copycat with his M.O.—is back. This is the one case Charlie knows she shouldn’t go near. But she also knows that she may be the one person in the world who can stop this vicious killer, especially when she receives help from an unexpected source: The fiery spirit of a seductive bad boy who refuses to be ignored.

“Excellent . . . This story is going to haunt you.”—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Thrilling . . . a fun and sexy read.”—Booklist

“Tantalizing.”—Library Journal

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Publish date: Apr 30, 2013
Added to Scribd: Jul 02, 2012
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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08/21/2013

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“[An] exceptional storyteller . . . Leave it to[Karen] Robards to deliver the start of a seriesthat is distinctive and unforgettable!”
RT Book Reviews
A
sought-after expert in criminal pathology, Dr.Charlotte Stone regularly sits face-to-face withmadmen. At the age of sixteen, she herself sur-vived a serial killer’s bloodbath. Because of theinformation she gave police, the Boardwalk Killerwent underground, but Charlie kept her postmor-tem visions of the victims to herself. Years later, toprotect her credibility as a psychological expert,she tells no one about these apparitions. Now ateenage girl is missing, her family slaughtered.The Boardwalk Killer—or a sick copycat with hisM.O.—is back. This is the one case Charlie knowsshe shouldn’t go near. But she also knows that shemay be the one person in the world who can stopthis vicious killer, especially when she receiveshelp from an unexpected source: the ery spiritof a seductive bad boy who refuses to be ignored.
“Excellent . . . This story is going to haunt you.”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“Robards is one terric storyteller.”
Chicago Tribune
“Tantalizing.”
Library Journal 
Watch for the next Charlotte Stone novel this August:
The Last Kiss Goodbye
 
ORDER YOURCOPY TODAY

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thehistorychic reviewed this
Won from Library Thing Early Reviewers
Overall Rating 3.75
Story Rating 4.25
Character Rating 3.25

First thought when finished: The Last Victim had a really good thriller aspect to the story but I could have done without the strange love "triangle".

What I Thought of the Story: The Last Victim had a very intriguing case that looped together the past and the present. I actually really enjoyed the case aspect of this story. Karen Robards did a great job of keeping us guessing. Were we looking for the same guy from the earlier case? Were we looking for someone new? How were the two tied together? As we worked our way through the new cases while figuring out what was the same as the older cases, we learned a lot about Charlotte Stone (the lead character) and her past.

What I Thought of the Characters: Love Triangle=UGH! I am just not a fan of love triangles and in this case it was just downright creepy! Charlotte was an interesting leading character and while I liked her, I felt that her personal life choices made her hard to relate too. She has a special gift, she can see ghosts of people who died suddenly and horribly. It is more of a curse to her and she doesn't handle it very well at all. I can't quite figure out why she hasn't tried to learn to get more comfortable with her gift but she just doesn't want too. I do have a theory about one of the two people involved in the triangle but can't talk about it without giving something away. Let's just say that I don't think he is what he appears but as it stands, him being involved (with her current knowledge of him) is just not understandable to me at all. Yes, this made me think less of Charlotte and not enjoy the character arc of the story.

Final Thought: Despite what I said about the love triangle, if this turns into a series I will be reading it! I think Karen writes an excellent thriller. Plus, I am curious to see if my theory pans out.
readsalot81 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
First off, I won a copy through the First Reads giveaway on Goodreads.

I don't quite know how to classify this one? Is it paranormal? Is it romantic suspense? I wouldn't call it paranormal romance. Heavy on the suspense light on the romance.

I'm not always a fan of romantic suspense because of peculiar pacing issues within a book. To me, within quite a few romantic suspense novels, the pacing seems almost frenetic with slow bits here and there. This book didn't have that problem. It kept up a brisk pace throughout most of the book, and I didn't find myself getting bored or flipping to the end to see what had happened.

The beginning scenes open with Dr. Charlotte Stone just barely escaping a killer that's to become known as "The Boardwalk Killer," when she's a mere 17(?) years old. The second chapter establishes her as a grownup and working as a psychiatrist who studies serial killers. She's interviewing Michael Allen Garland, a serial killer who'd been convicted of murdering 7 women after picking them up in bars. She asks him to identify inkblot pictures and most of the internal dialogue focuses on Charlotte noticing Garland's animal magnetism. Sigh. Then while she's still at the prison, Garland (for a mysterious reason presumably) is murdered and his ghost comes back to haunt her.

The FBI is also on hand, asking Charlotte for her help, (at the prison no less incidentally) when they discover a killer who may, or may not be, the Boardwalk Killer.

I'll just go into several things I took exception to. The first is there's a couple of crime scene boo-boos. Now most folks probably don't give a damn.. but it took me out of the book as my face went all scrunchy and my internal voice went THAT WOULD NOT HAPPEN. IT WOULD CONTAMINATE/ FUCK UP THE CRIME SCENE. THE POLICE KNOW BETTER THAN TO DO THAT.

Okay, most people don't care about crime scene boo-boos! Onward ho! I can't get over how Charlotte managed to "Poof - Be Gone" with the ghost of Garland. By using some incense and jasmine, we're told that she's learned how to do this from her ghost busting gurus. Yes. It says that, no, I'm not kidding. She's used this before (when? WHY? nope, it's not explained) It apparently opens some portal to the other side? The explanations are pretty poor. (She only does this poof be gone thing once, and I'm left to wonder why.. but maybe I'm a little odd to hone in on a detail like that, but hey!) But fear not, dear reader, he comes & goes. It's all very random.

After agreeing to help the FBI.. the ghost of this convicted serial killer starts showing up more & more. Charlotte, instead of lusting after the handsome FBI agent, goes for the ghost of the serial killer. At this point, I'm just like FINE. I'M GOING WITH IT. BECAUSE IT TOTALLY MAKES SENSE A PSYCHIATRIST WHO STUDIES SERIAL KILLERS AND SAW HER FRIENDS MURDERED BY ONE WOULD TOTALLY GET THE HOTS FOR ONE. Smexy times are had. And I actually think the smexy was pretty well written, I just didn't care too much about the people that were having them.

Tepid explanations abound in this book. The ending kind of leaves it on that note as well. I had many issues with the romance & paranormal elements within the book... it left me going "huh?" quite a few times within the span of the novel.
miyurose_1 reviewed this
Rated 2/5
This book had its good points and its bad points.THE GOOD: I liked Charlotte (enough, at least), and I thought her ability to see ghosts was interesting. I also liked Bartolli, and the way they worked together. The murders were gory, but the premise was compelling, and the connection to Charlotte’s own life unmistakable. I didn’t even mind Garland, the dead serial killer, being attached to her. He added a needed bit of difficulty to her life.THE BAD: Charlotte’s “relationship” with Garland is more than a little skeevy. I don’t mind her being somewhat attracted to him – handsome guys can be serial killers too – but when she acts on that attraction things get really weird.There’s a sequel in the works, and I’m torn about whether or not I’ll read it. I think it will depend on where Robards intends to go with Garland.
conkie_1 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
In review of this book, my rating of it was really up in the air. On the one hand, the storyline kept my interest and I wanted to finish listening to it. On the other, I was a bit put-off by the underlying premise of the book: can a psychiatrist justify their ethereal attraction to a former client/serial killer?I'm still not sure about my rating. However, if Ms. Robards writes a sequel, I would read it, soooo... make of that, what you will!
caitemaire reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Wow, there are so many reasons why I should have hated this book. So many reasons that made me wonder why in the world I ever requested the ARC of this book. When I saw this was listed as a paranormal novel, and a romance, I was totally sure I was going to hate it. The cover is even one of the sort of book that I don't really like. When I saw the very mixed reviews on Amazon, I thought this was going to be bad. Bad.And ya know what?I was wrong! No, I actually though it was a very good book, totally enjoyed it and whipped right through it to it's exciting conclusion. Regarding most of those bad reviews...I think they totally missed one HUGE point that makes all the difference to their issues with this story. One huge point which I can totally not explain to you without giving away the whole story. Sorry, but if you read this book, and I do recommend that you do so, you will know what I mean. Is that confusing enough?The paranormal was not what I expected, the romance was not what I expected and the whole book turned out quite differently than I expected with a clever little twist at the very end that I loved.Yes, it is about a serial killer and a bit scary and dark, but parts of it, especially Charlotte's conversations with herself and her conversations with her ghostly companion are very funny at times. And the investigation, with a few clues Charlotte picks up from her own brand of witness, is smart and face paced.Have you ever started a book, sure that you would dislike it, sure you would hate it, and then just the opposite ended up being true.Well, The Last Victim is such a book and if there is a sequel..and I feel a sequel coming on...I will be grabbing it up.For me, that is the best recommendation you can get.
bookbeat reviewed this
Rated 4/5
I always look forward to a new Karen Robards book coming out. She’s one of the few authors who still write that perfect blend of suspense and romance. With The Last Victim, she introduces an interesting paranormal element that I really enjoyed. I’m not sure what direction she is taking these characters, but I do know I want to read about them again. I hope a sequel is in the works – highly recommend this book.
dianaleez reviewed this
Rated 4/5
As any potential reader can see, Karen Robards' "The Last Victim" seems to draw strong - and opposing - opinions from readers.The readers' review copy that I received mentions that as a paranormal romantic suspense it is intended to compete with the best selling series of Iris Johansen, Kay Hooper, and Jayne Ann Krentz. If judged in that light, with the same potential readers, "The Last Victim" is a five star novel. Dr. Charlotte Stone, the protagonist, is the sole survivor of a serial killer who struck when she was in her mid-teens. Charlie has become an authority on serial killers and, as the novel opens, is asked by the FBI to aid in a current case that has striking similarities to her own.In order to move from just 'suspense' to 'paranormal' Charlie is given the power to see dead people. So we have aserial killer researcher who can, perhaps, communicate with his victims.Now to add the 'romantic' (erotic) element. When Charlie is interviewing her last serial killer before joining the FBI team, he is killed by another inmate. His spirit latches on to Charlie, and he comes along on the manhunt, although no one but Charlie can see him. Any astute romance reader knows in her bones that bad boys have their appeal. And Charlie's new spirit buddy has plenty. Unfortunately he also has been found guilty of killing seven women.And we come to the crux of the critical review conflict. Charlie KNOWS he's BAD. But he's so HOT. Add to that he's a ghost."The Last Victim" is highly recommended to those who enjoy paranormal romantic suspense novels. It should have many of the elements that you're seeking - suspense, mild erotica, an interesting heroine, a well-developed plot, and that sense of danger that comes from 'dating' a serial killer.However, "The Last Victim" is not recommended for all. It requires great suspension of disbelief. Believing in the ghosts is the easy part. The sex with a dead convicted serial killer may be a deal breaker for some.

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