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4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 14 October 2013
Really enjoyed the early books in this series. However didn't finish Dead Rich. Loved the character development and the plot lines. Enjoyed the ease of using a kindle to purchase more in the series straight away
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on 21 June 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I passed this one to my partner who loves this genre ....

A great holiday read - quick, gripping and not quite as predictable as you sometimes suspect.

Detective Karin Shaeffers world is left in tatters, with seemingly nothing left to lose to The Domino Killer - she faces the daunting prospect of building her life back again without her husband and child. That is just the beginning, for when the serial killer escapes from prison, she finds out just how much she still has left to live for ... and to lose.

Karin is a well-written character and despite looking like she has nothing left to give at the beginning, is believably brought back into the thick of things creating an interesting character you will want to read more about. The crimes of the killer are brutal and include entire families - not for the faint hearted, but the no-holds-barred approach makes for a thrilling read.

If you enjoy quick page turners like James Patterson this is a great one to add to your holiday collection.
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VINE VOICEon 18 July 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Yawn! Yes, yet another serial killer thriller....but this one is rather good. Not great, but good. Ex police officer Karin Schaeffer is at an all time low, following the murder of her husband & children, & now the killer is coming after her having escaped from prison. She makes no attempt to get away: she has nothing left in her life. But, she discovers that his next intended victim is to be her young niece, so she decides to fight, survives, the killer gets away & the family goes into hiding. It trundles along quite nicely, some exciting bits but also some drab bits & some highly signposted twists. I did enjoy it, and it's really easy to read (I finished it in two sittings) but it didn't leave me wanting more, & I won't get too worked up when her next novel is published.
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on 4 June 2015
This was a new writer to me, and therefore a great excitement when I read this book almost in one sitting. I wont repeat the story line, you have that already, what I can say is that it is fast moving, it grips you from the go get, you dont want to put it down till you find out what happens. I like her writing style, I have no periods of skimming chunks of the book as here were, for me, no unnecessary words.

I immediately ordered all the books in the series about Karin Schaeffer, and few others too.

It is so exciting when you discover someone new to you, so, if like me you like thrillers. murders, great characters you really care about, I heartily recommend this series, you will not be disappointed.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I found it REALLY hard to put this book down, it's a very good thriller. It's hard to write too much without giving away spoilers, but for people that like this genre of book, i'm sure you won't be disappointed.

My only criticism would be the overly American writing style (I do read many American authors, but many of them stick to the broader universal English language, rather than many of the Americanisms found in this one). Don't let this put you off too much thou.

Well worth a read, and I will definitely be picking up any follow-ups in the series.
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VINE VOICEon 9 February 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Following the death of her husband and daughter at the hands of the serial killer known as JPP (just plain psycho), ex police office Karin Schaeffer is in a deep depression. So when she hears that JPP has escaped from prison and is after her, she decides to do nothing other than wait for him to finish her off. Just in the nick of time though she realises that after her he intends to kill her 2 year old neice and so she fights him off. He escapes and the family go into hiding.

This is a well written book of its type. It begins well and the scenes where Karin await JPP and her fate are gripping and tense. The depiction of depression too is well handled and there are scenes which are unbearably poignant. However we are never really given a plausible reason why JPP is the way he is and the reason given for his choice of first victims (a family of five) is ludicrous and explained away by the internal logic of the serial killer being illogical (!). So, it's very good on the psychology of depression and grief but not too hot on the inner workings of the serial killer. I was irritated by JPP's use of dominoes as a way of indicating his next victim. He would leave three dominoes at the scene and the number would somehow turn out to be linked to his next victim. So it could be part of their address, date of birth, social security number, bank details ... well, just anything really. And if you think about it, dominoes can be read either way up so what appears to be 1,6,2 could just as well be 2,6,1 and what do you do then? It wasn't a very good form of communication but somehow the police would work it out. There's a twist at the end (isn't there always) but not a very good one. I saw it coming as they say.

I feel I've been a little harsh as this was an easy, page turning read and if I could, I'd give it 3.5. If you're looking for a non demanding but well written book of this type then give it a try.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The blurb for this serial-killer 'thriller' couldn't have been less accurate. It promised 'a taut roller-coaster' but instead the book delivered a meandering, naval-gazing, plodding progression through a survivor's experience of guilt and depression towards resolution, new love and a new life.
For most of the book the heroine does very little apart from sniffle around, feeling sorry for herself, waiting for the other shoe to drop. She's supposed to be police officer who attracted the attention of a serial killer, and her family has become targeted as a result. This could have been a gripping premise and some of the scenes sound promising when sketched out -- like the situation where the heroine, overcome by grief and misery, awaits the arrival of her nemesis with the intention of accepting death so that she can at least join her loved ones and end her suffering.
However, the characterisation is so flat and the delivery so muddy that instead of mounting tension and claustrophobia, the reader instead is overwhelmed with 'so what'. The pop psychology sections, debates about Prozac, and trip to a psyche-farm are particularly irritating, but the whole novel fails to engage the attention. The great secret of the serial killer isn't scary, nor is the killer particularly menacing or threatening. And there's way too much touchy-feely family stuff, involving the heroine's brother, his wife, their daughter, the new premature baby, grandma, grandpa and blah blah blah.
'You Are Next' is being packaged and sold as a pulp thriller, and it's far from that. It's not actually bad, but it's also a long way from good.
6/10
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VINE VOICEon 1 February 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
When former police detective Karin Schaffer's family is brutally murdered, she comes apart at the seams. She is an empty shell in every sense of the word and feels she'd be better off dead. Both her husband and daughter were murdered by JPP (Just Plan Psycho) or as he was also known, "The Domino Killer" because he would leave dominos at the crime scene as a clue about who his next victim will be. Mild-mannered Martin Price--if that's his real name--does his best to torture Karin and keep her chasing him while trying to figure out what he'll do next in order to catch him.

It's not long before they get their man. With JPP in prison, the question now becomes, who took her niece Suzanna and is she still alive--unlike his other victims? With dominos left behind as a clue, it's a race against time to find out if they have a copy cat killer or if JPP has a partner. What do you think?

Lief pens a diabolically brilliant story and takes us on an amazing, wild ride of, I can't wait to see what happens next, all the while keeping uppermost in our minds what's driving Karin. Her family, along with her very caring psychiatrist Joyce somehow keeps her going, even in her darkest moments. With her old partner Mac, Karin will not rest until she finds Suzanna and untangles the web of lies and murder to find out what's really going on with all the players in this fantastic mystery.
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VINE VOICEon 27 January 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I am a sucker for a cheap thriller - they are what I term pop-corn reads. Fun whilst they last but not unlikely to linger in the memory for long.

This is a perfectly adequate piece of writing - nothing spectacular or extraordinary. Not terrible either.

The central character is reasonably well-drawn - you are very aware of how damaged she is emotionally by the traumas in her history. There is a good relationship with her male counterpart. The plotting is reasonably taut - though there is a reliance on the old trick of cutting away from a key scene and then coming back to it in the next chapter by way of a recap. This does undermine the tension a little. There was only one moment of real suspense for me - but that soon passed.

It is not a demanding read - 3 hours is all it took me to zip through this tale of a serial murderer and his victims. The print is very large - which gives the book a feel of being slightly meatier than it actually turns out to be.

This is a very crowded genre and I am not sure this is good enough to rise to the top. It is entertaining enough but I doubt I will remember much about it in a few days. Probably will find a market for a holiday read - the sort of thing you pick up in the airport when you need to kill some time.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
"You Are Next", by Katia Lief, is pretty standard American psychopathic serial killer fare that could (and probably will) transfer effortlessly to the big screen; it reads like a screenplay presented as a novel, owing more than a few debts to productions such as "Red Dragon" and "Seven". With only a few hiccups along the way, Ms Lief does a reasonable job of building and sustaining tension as the book proceeds towards its show-down finale, although the story arc is pretty bog-standard for the genre, with most readers well able to predict what will happen chapter by chapter if not exactly page by page.

Storyline apart, though, the quality of the writing is consistently high throughout, and while the plot twists may be clichéd, the book's writing never is. The book would make a good holiday read, especially for anyone wanting something a little meatier (and decidedly more gory) than a slushy romance while still preferring not to tax the brain unduly.

Three and half stars really.
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