The Third Victim Paperback – 4 Mar. 2010
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This year I'm rationing out the FBI Profiler series and have just read book 2, so there is plenty more to go. (I love her books).
What can I say; it does my soul good to occasionally escape from this Sceptred Isle of ours and go way out west to the northwest coast Oregon, where lies the small town of Bakersville, with a small time sheriff's department dealing with a big time crime. Mass murder, and the Sheriff's 13 year old son is caught red handed with a smoking gun in his hand.
Enter FBI profiler, Dr Pierce Quincy, who is here to assist Officer Rainie Connor, who has known the perpetrator since childhood.
High drama, at it's very best. I was on the edge of my seat reading this one.
Brilliant, brilliant brilliant. You have got to read it.
Top international reviews
There are also very strong elements, particularly her ability to draw intriguing characters quickly, but these characters carried so much baggage it became burdensome to the story.
As the story opens Rainie, a relatively new police officer, is on patrol with an officer trainee when they get the call there's been a school shooting in their small town. Three people are dead and the murderer seems obvious -- but not all the evidence matches up. When state and federal detectives show up, Rainie must fight not only the killer and her neighbors but the officials who want to push her off the investigation.
I enjoyed this book but if it had been the first one I'd read by the author I probably wouldn't have picked up another one.
Years ago the heroine had come in to find her mother (who mistreated her) with her head blown off. Then her mother's killer, an abusive boyfriend, who had raped the 17 year old heroine came up to her door and was opening the door and grinning. Now she would be justified shooting him because he killed her mother and she was afraid he would kill her. Or she would be justified in shooting him because he had forcibly raped her and she was afraid he would do it again. But, no, she shot him and then hid his body under her mother's trailer, and no one knew about him. At the end of this book, she confessed and is thinking about pleading guilty to avoid a trial. Really, that's the way the book ends.
Rainie Conner, a native of Bakersville, OR, and a deputy sheriff, is stunned to discover Sheriff Shep O'Grady's son, Danny, with two firearms in his hands and one teacher and two students dead when responding to a shots-fired call at the local K-8 school. Rainie's job immediately becomes more difficult when the townspeople remember that Rainie escaped prosecution in the gruesome murder of her mother some fourteen years prior despite a preponderance of evidence pointing to her guilt. Rainie needs all the help that she can get. Fortunately a FBI special agent Pierce Quincy, a person who has spent considerable time exploring school shootings, becomes aware of the case and offers his assistance.
Rainie and Quincy immediately click and slowly start peeling off the layers of mystery. The story is well constructed, moves quickly, and interleaves any number of aspects of the various characters lives, both past and present. The discerning reader might question Rainie's fortuitous access to Danny in a juvenile detention facility. The characters are well explored and the psychology that might lead to this type of violence is looked at. This author's work compares quite favorably with the work of others working in this genre.
The story starts out interestingly enough and then it all falls apart as the plot unfolds. The Sheriff's son is involved in multiple murders at his school. The Sheriff is actively interfering with the investigation. The lead investigating officer is Rainey Conner. She works under the Sheriff. Conner has a long personal friendship with the Sheriff and enough personal baggage that normally would prevent her from ever being a cop in the first place. Holy comflict of interest Batman! State and Federal agents are called in but who is in charge, the admittedly unqualified, conflicted, unstable, Rainey Conner! Oh Please!!! If you removed the unqualified cop, had a realistic chain of command with the investigators,and put the Sheriff in jail for interfering this might be a good read.
My suspension of disbelief button was pushed too many times on this one.