Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Last Victim: A Novel [Hardcover]

I've finished "The Last Victim" the 1st book in her Dr. Charlotte Stone and Michael Garland series by Karen Robards.

Product Description

Electrifying suspense, cutting-edge psychological insight, and an unforgettably sensuous love story — these are the trademarks of Karen Robards’s sizzling novels. Now the New York Times bestselling author launches a red-hot new paranormal romantic thriller series featuring the fascinating Dr. Charlotte Stone, a serial killer expert whose extraordinary powers lead her from ecstasy to terror.


Dr. Charlotte Stone sees what others do not.

A sought-after expert in criminal pathology, Charlie regularly sits face-to-face with madmen. Obsessed with learning what makes human monsters commit terrible crimes, Charlie desires little else from life — no doubt because when she was sixteen, she herself survived a serial killer’s bloodbath: A man butchered the family of Charlie’s best friend, Holly, then left the girl’s body on a seaside boardwalk one week later.

Because of the information Charlie gave police, the Boardwalk Killer went underground. She kept to herself her eerie postmortem visions of Holly and her mother. And even years later, knowing her contact with ghosts might undermine her credibility as a psychological expert, Charlie tells no one about the visits she gets from the spirit world.

Now all-too-handsome FBI agent Tony Bartoli is telling Charlie that a teenage girl is missing, her family slaughtered. Bartoli suspects that after fifteen years, the Boardwalk Killer — or a sick copycat with his M.O. — is back. Time is running short for an innocent, kidnapped girl, and Bartoli pleads for Charlie’s help.

This is the one case Charlie shouldn’t go near. But she also knows that she may be the one person in the world who can stop this vicious killer. For Charlie — whose good looks disguise a world of hurt, vulnerability, and potent psychic gifts — a frantic hunt for a madman soon becomes a complex test of cunning, passions, and secrets. Aiding Dr. Stone on her quest to catch a madman is a ghostly presence with bad intentions: the fiery spirit of seductive bad boy Michael Garland who refuses to be ignored, though in his cat and mouse game they may both lose their hearts.

Dr. Charlotte Stone sees what others do not. And she sees the Boardwalk Killer coming for her.

Product Details
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books (August 7, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0345535405
ISBN-13: 978-0345535405

My Review:

Fifteen years ago Charlie was the only witness of a serial killer known as the Boardwalk Killer.  She was seventeen when she witnessed her best friend and her family brutally murdered.  This prompted her to become a psychologist specializing in profiling and deconstructing serial killers.

She decides to research serial killers to try to understand them from a psychological aspect and to figure out why they commit these brutal killings.  One of her patients is Michael Allen Garland a handsome and charismatic who is convicted of killing seven women.  Now fifteen years later the FBI ask her to help with their investigation of killings very similar to the Boardwalk Killer.   Is the Boardwalk Killer back in action or is it a copycat you will have to read to find out! This case scares the hell out of Charlie because it makes her relieve her own tragic memories and to make her acknowledge her own abilities.  She sees ghosts of victims of violent crimes since a very young age which she shares with her older brother.

On their way out of the prison she is called to an emergency another inmate has stabbed Garland in the heart with a deadly weapon.  She is helpless and all she can do is watch Garland bleed out.  She witnesses him die and sees his spirit raise and form over his body and she is the only one who can see him.

She isn't too happy that Garland is sticking around her.  She wants him to go towards the white light but he wants her to find a permanent way for him to stay around.   She also starts a relationship with Tony Bartoli the FBI agent in charge and they have more in common and he's alive.   Even though her mind says Tony is the right choice her body and heart lies with Michael.

I loved the scenes between Charlie and Garland because it was full of sexually charged innuendos which left her hot and bothered.  It was so funny reading that she knew he is definitely "Mr. Wrong" but she wanted him so bad.  Loved how he tried to help her in her investigation and it was interesting learning about Michael's background.

The killings are pretty gruesome which will turn off some people!


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