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Murder List (Buchanan-Renard) Mass Market Paperback – 1 Mar 2005
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From the Inside Flap
There are few authors who can weave nail-biting thrills, edge-of-your-seat drama, and romantic suspense as masterfully as Julie Garwood. Now she ratchets up the tension with "Murder List, in which evil is on the hunt- and proves to be methodically organized and chillingly successful.
When Chicago detective Alec Buchanan is offered a prime position with the FBI, it is the perfect opportunity to leave the Windy City and follow in his brothers' footsteps to the top echelons of law enforcement. But first he must complete one last assignment (and one that he is not too happy about): acting as a glorified bodyguard to hotel heiress Regan Hamilton Madison. The gorgeous exec has become entangled in some potentially deadly business. Someone has e-mailed her a graphic crime-scene photo-and the victim is no stranger.
Regan suspects that the trouble started when she agreed to help a journalist friend expose a shady self-help guru who preys on lonely, vulnerable women. In fact, the smooth-as-an-oil-slick Dr. Lawrence Shields may be responsible for the death of one of his devotees, which was ruled a suicide. Hoping to find some damning evidence, Regan attends a Shields seminar.
At the gathering, the doctor persuades his guests to partake in an innocent little "cleansing" exercise. He asks them to make a list of the people who have hurt or deceived them over the years, posing the question: "Would your world be a better place if these people ceased to exist? Treating the exercise as a game, Regan plays along. After ten minutes, Shields instructs the participants to bring their sheets of paper to the fireplace and throw them into the flames. But Regan misses this part of the program when sheexits the room to take a call-and barely escapes a menacing individual in the parking lot.
The experience is all but forgotten-until the first person on Regan's list turns up dead. Shock turns to horror when other bodies from the list start to surface, as a harrowing tango of desire and death is set into motion. Now brutal murders seem to stalk her every move-and a growing attraction to Alec may compromise her safety, while stirring up tender emotions she thought she could no longer feel. Yet as the danger intensifies and a serial killer circles ever closer, Regan must discover who has turned her private revenge fantasies into grisly reality.
"From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
JULIE GARWOOD is the author of many New York Times bestsellers, including Killjoy, Mercy, Heartbreaker, Ransom, and Come the Spring. There are more than thirty-two million copies of her books in print.From the Hardcover edition.
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Regan was helping a journalist friend expose the con game of a self-help guru who preys on lonely women. During a seminar of Dr. Shields's, she (and everyone else) does a little exercise of creating a list of people who had hurt or deceived them. Regan is shocked when people on her list begin dying! Alec and Regan become attracted to each other. This could easily compromise her safety and end up killing her. Together, they must figure out who is killing off the people on her list ... and why.
**** This one will grab you quickly. At times it seemed to drag on a bit too long (to me) though. Suspense, mystery, and romance blend together well to create this wonderful novel that is more than worth your time. ****
Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
Unfortunately, the contents didn't really match up to the back page promise. To begin with, the prologue was, dare I say, corny and cheesy, introducing heroine Regan and her brothers when children, which didn't bode well for the rest of the story. Then you are catapulted into the mind of a killer, a very jarring change of pace!! And though the hero and heroine characters were quite well rounded, there was something about this tale that just didn't work for me.
Regan and Alec didn't have that all-important chemistry, in my opinion, and the inclusion of Regan's friends (which are made too much of here not to pop up in their own stories later on) was okay, though a bit annoying, and they seemed to take the emphasis away from Regan herself at a crucial part of the story.
All in all, I had trouble finishing it. However, I had already bought a copy of 'Shadow Dance', Alec's sister's story, and I'm only a third of the way in, but it is really good! Much more like Julie Garwood's best.
AFTER READING "MURDER LIST" I AM GOING TO START IT STRAIGHT AWAY.
MURDER LIST - WHEN CHICAGO DETECTIVE ALEC BUCHANAN IS OFFERED A PRIME POSITION WITH THE FBI, HE TAKES IT AS THE PERFECT OPPORTUNITY TO LEAVE THE WINDY CITY AND FOLLOW IN HIS BROTHER'S FOOTSTEPS TO THE TOP ECHELONS OF LAW ENFORCEMENT. BUT FIRST HE MUST COMPLETE ONE LAST ASSIGNMENT: ACTING AS A GLORIFIED BODYGUARD TO HOTEL HEIRESS REGAN HAMILTON MADISON. THE GORGEOUS EXEC HAS BECOME ENTANGLED IN SOME POTENTIALLY DEADLY BUSINESS: SOMEONE HAS E-MAILED HER A GRAPHIC CRIME-SCENE-PHOTO AND THE VICTIM IS NO STRANGER.
REGAN SUSPECTS THAT THE TROUBLE STARTED WHEN SHE AGREED TO HELP A JOURNALIST FRIEND EXPOSE A SHADY SELF-HELP GURU WHO PREYS ON LONELY, VUNERABLE WOMEN. IN FACT, THE SMOOTH AS AN OIL SLICK DR. LAWRENCE SHEILDS MAY HAVE BEEN RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEATH OF ONE OF HIS DEVOTEES. HOPING TO FIND SOME DAMMING EVIDENCE, REGAN ATTENDS A SHEILDS SEMINAR.
AT THE GATHERING, THE DOCTOR PERSUADES HIS GUESTS TO PARTAKE IN AN "INNOCENT" LITTLE "CLEANSING" EXERCISE. HE ASKS THEM TO MAKE A LIST OF THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE HURT OR DECEIVED THEM OVER THE YEARS, AND POSES THE QUESTION: WOULD YOUR WORLD BE A BETTER PLACE IF THESE PEOPLE CEASED TO EXIST? TREATING THE EXERCISE AS A GAME, REGAN PLAYS ALONG.
THE EXPERIENCE IS ALL BUT FORGOTTEN - UNTIL THE FIRST PERSON ON REGAN'S LIST TURNS UP DEAD.
SHOCK TURNS TO HORROR WHEN OTHER NAMES FROM THE LIST START TO SURFACE AS CORPSES, AND A HARROWING TANGO OF DESIRE AND DEATH IS SET INTO MOTION. NOW BRUTAL MURDERS SEEM TO STALK REGAN'S EVERY MOVE - AND A GROWING ATTRACTION TO ALEC MAY COMPROMISE HER SAFETY, WHILE STIRRING UP TENDER EMOTIONS SHE THOUGHT SHE COULD NO LONGER FEEL. YET AS THE DANGER INTENSIFIES AND A SERIAL KILLER CIRCLES EVER CLOSER, REGAN MUST DISCOVER WHO HAS TURNED HER PRIVATE REVENGE FANTASIES INTO GRISLY REALITY.
THIS IS A SUPERIOR NOVEL, HIGH ON EXCITEMENT AND WITH PLENTY OF TWISTS AND TURNS AT ALMOST EVERY PAGE, THIS IS A HIGHLY ENJOYABLE THRILLER TO READ.
REGAN AND ALEC WORK WELL TOGETHER AND THE CHEMISTRY THEY IGNITE IS SURE TO PLEASE EVERY READER.
I REALLY ENJOYED THE SECONDARY CHARACTORS - FROM REGANS OLD SCHOOL FRIENDS TO HER OVER PROTECTIVE BROTHERS - THEY ALL DESERVE THEIR OWN STORIES - THERE SURELY ARE SOME ROMANTIC STORIES TO BE TOLD THERE.
BUT, BE WARNED I FOUND THIS BOOK TO REALLY BE ABOUT EMOTIONS AND HOW THE TWO CENTRAL CHARACTORS DEALT WITH THEM, RATHER THAN THE THREAT OF THE KILLER AT LARGE. NONE-THE-LESS, THIS IS A WONDERFUL BOOK TO READ.
I FEEL THAT THIS BOOK MERITS A 41/2 RATHER THAN A 5, BUT IT DOESN'T DESERVE TO BE BROUGHT DOWN TO A 3 - HENCE THE FIVE.
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