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Pretty Little Things [Hardcover]

Jilliane Hoffman
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)

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Book Description

4 Feb 2010

A terrifying new standalone psycholgical thriller from the bestselling author of ‘Retribution’ and ‘The Cutting Room’

Special Agent Bobby Dees knows what grief feels like. He understands the pain of losing a child. And he'll do whatever he can to prevent it from happening again.

The phone call that comes on a Sunday morning will take him away from his insular world of grief and sleepless nights – and into a far darker place. A young girl, Elaine Emerson, has gone missing and only Dees has a chance of finding her.

It seems that Elaine was last seen waiting to meet her boyfriend - a mysterious figure she met secretly on the internet, who goes by the name of "El Capitan", and whose reality is as cruel and chilling as the worst thing Dees can imagine…

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Product details

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  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (4 Feb 2010)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0007311583
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007311583
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.6 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 434,336 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jilliane Hoffman began her professional career as an Assistant State Attorney prosecuting felonies in Florida from 1992 to 1996, with special assignments to the Domestic Violence Unit and the Legal Extradition Unit. Through 2001, she was the Regional Legal Advisor for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), advising more than one hundred special agents on criminal and civil matters in complex investigations involving narcotics, homicide, and organized crime. Originally from Long Island, New York, she presently resides in South Florida with her husband and two children.

Product Description

Amazon Review

For some time now, there’s been a name to add to that list of women writers unhampered by the traditional discretion that has been such a straitjacket for their sex – a growing number of female authors are ready to confront the more gruesome aspects of human behaviour. Their number includes Karin Slaughter, Patricia Cornwell and Karen Rose -- and notable in that company is the American Jilliane Hoffman. Hoffman's Retribution firmly established the writer as one of the most uncompromising practitioners in the serial killer field, and Last Witness consolidated the sterling work done in that book. And here’s Pretty Little Things, Hoffman’s latest (on the jacket of which her publisher invokes the names of the women above – with justification).

After a date on Halloween, Lainey Emerson disappears, along with a new boyfriend. This individual, known only by the nickname of El Captain, is the obvious suspect. Bobby Dees, the tenacious special agent of Florida’s crack Crimes Against Children squad, is the one person who may be able to find her -- and he is both helped and hindered by the fact that he knows only too well how it feels to lose a child. But all of his resources are called upon by a nemesis who always seems to be one step ahead – and time is running out for the missing girl.

As in Retribution, this high-octane narrative is dispatched with maximum efficiency by the unsentimental Jilliane Hoffman. The author has a strong background in Florida law enforcement, which she cannily parleys into the verisimilitude of the storytelling here. If you prefer not to be disturbed by your crime fiction, steer clear. The rest of us will be very reluctant to put down Pretty Little Things before we’ve finished it. --Barry Forshaw


Praise for Jillianne Hoffman:

‘Guaranteed to follow in the best-selling footsteps of Cornwell, Reiches and Slaughter’ Guardian

‘Gripping, well-crafted suspense…a belter of a book’ Sunday Express

‘Hoffman writes like an angel. Outstanding’ Independent on Sunday

‘Hugely readable’ Daily Mirror

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well paced serial killer thriller 18 Feb 2010
By dali
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a quick and easy to read and well paced serial killer thriller with a Miami, Florida setting. The theme is of young teenage girls who seem to have run away from home but as we learn fairly early on they are being kidnapped and killed by an internet predator. The main investigation is led by Special Agent Supervisor Bobby Dees who heads a 'crimes against children' police squad whose own teenage daughter has been missing for almost a year.

The narrative features the perspectives of several characters so as a reader you have an overall picture of what is happening and from early on the main suspects start to line up. The plot is suspenseful with graphic descriptions of the murder victims, written in short, succinct sentences using everyday language and equally short chapters which help keep up the fast moving pace.

I found the novel easy to read, liked the fast pace but felt let down when the perpetrator was finally revealed as I found it slightly not credible and didn't feel that we learned about the killer's motivation. However, overall I thought it was a good read and the character of Bobby Dees was interesting along with how the special police squad operated.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Put it down if you can 17 Dec 2009
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
After a relatively slow start, this story soon begins to rattle along until you reach a point - about halfway through - when it's almost impossible to put down.

This is another serial killer saga but with a difference. Special Agent Bobby Dees, who has taken on the burden of tracking down this hunter of young girls, also has a missing teenage daughter, believed to be a runaway but, in reality, probably one of the killer's victims.

Jilliane Hoffman, once in her stride, never lets up on the tension front. Dees's marriage is falling apart because there is no closure in his daughter's case and his career is under scrutiny for pretty much the same reason. As more bodies are found, discovered with the help of some weird paintings in which the killer, now nick-named Picasso, has included some clues as to their whereabouts and sent to Dees via a small-time news reporter covering the case, Dees finally has to admit that his daughter is likely to feature sooner or later in one of the paintings.

The author gives us the story from both the perspective of the unknown killer and, obviously, from the pursuer's investigative standpoint, enabling her to build on the tension within the Police Department as their efforts seem to be in vain.

It is not until the last few chapters, when everything seems to be finally resolved that we learn who the killer is and where other victims can be found. That Dees is placed in a terrible predicament, since he's been removed from the case and yet believes it's not really over, enables the author to keep us guessing until the end as to what did happen to his daughter.

If one takes out of the equation one, to my mind, serious flaw in just who's who in the criminal part of the story, this is a great read. However, this flaw is significant but to suggest why would act as a huge spoiler which would be unfair on an otherwise excellent, nail-biting story.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!!! 16 Mar 2010
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have to admit I have never heard of Jilliane Hoffman. I chose this book because it comes under my favourite genre ie 'crime'. At first this seemed a well written run of the mill crime thriller. Similar to early Patterson (in the days when he was good). And then POW. Once you have been POWED you are hooked and won't put it down. I don't often get emotionally involved in a book, but I did this one. This is a very well written book. It takes a little while to take hold because it just seems like yet another book about teenage abductions...and it probably is, but it is so powerfully written that it takes hold of you (eventually) and you cannot put it down. Absolutely loved it and I have already ordered another of Jilliane's other books.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic read! 3 Jan 2010
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I read Jilliane Hoffman's bestselling Retribution which was a brilliant book, and though Pretty Little Things doesn't quite beat Retribution, it comes very close.

The book starts off with Lainey, chatting away innocently to a boy on the Internet, he's 17, blonde, athletic and goes by the nickname ElCapitan. She decides to meet this new boy... but of course it's not what she expects.

We meet Special Agent Bobby Dees who specifically works looking for missing children, and he knows exactly what its like to lose a child. It's soon apparent there's a serial killer operating who loves to paint pictures of his young victims, and thus gains the nickname Picasso. Bobby must find out who's behind these killings before the number of dead young girls increases, whilst also fighting his own personal ghosts, and gaining false hope...

This was one book I couldn't put down. I wanted to know what was going to happen next and it made for a great page turning read. It did come full of twists and thankfully the killer wasn't too obvious... however any average read of a good crime thriller might just guess who is behind it all just like I did. Despite this it was an excellent read and there was plenty of other twists to keep me reading.
The short chapters in this book switch from character to character, one moment we're reading from Bobby's point of view, next you're in the mind of the serial killer, or we're back to Lainey and the terror she is going through. This only helped in making this a book you just can not put down and it worked very well.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A bit gruesome at times, but the tension draws you into the story
Pretty Little Things is pretty grim reading at times and I doubt I would have read it if I'd realised just how grisly certain scenes from the book were going to be. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Charles Fudgemuffin
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Book
This is the first of Jilliane Hoffman's books I have read and, based on my experience, have ordered the other 3. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Archie
5.0 out of 5 stars My rating of "Pretty Little Things"
Very page-turning and well written. I couldn't put it down. It kept my interest until the very last page. Excellent.
Published 28 days ago by MARYJANE SCHNEIDER
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty little things
Just a great read, just what I expected from Jilliane
Ever since Retribution all her books have gripped and entertained.
Published 1 month ago by frank o'toole
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
Good read will def be purchasing more books from this author. If you enjoy Karen Slaughter, Cornwall Riechs you will enjoy this author.
Published 3 months ago by Mrs Caroline Fenn
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
excellent read, only bought it cos it was cheap! very well written and the suspense grew as the book went on. Read more
Published 3 months ago by GreenReader
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
was recommended this book by my boyfriend, absolutely loved it!!! just couldn't put it down, absolutely gripping and full of twists, I'd recommend this book to anybody!
Published 3 months ago by sophie anne leader
5.0 out of 5 stars Real page turner
Almost half way through the book and can't put it down.... Her writing just draws you in and makes you so eager to ins out what happens next,
Another great read from... Read more
Published 4 months ago by JackieB
5.0 out of 5 stars Becky dove
Brilliant book... Keeps you gripped til the end- couldn't put it down.***** definately going to read more of her books.
Published 9 months ago by Bomtel
5.0 out of 5 stars Waiting in the sidelines
Haven't read this one yet, but am pretty sure that I wont be disappointed. Ms Hoffman has the ability to keep you guessing right up the last page, and never disappoints. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Mrs. Laura Braley
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