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VINE VOICEon 17 September 2012
I do wish publishers would stop giving the impression that books which were originally released over 10 years ago (in this case 2001 for the UK) are masquerading as new books. Fortunately, I hadn't read this one so I enjoyed the story but feel annoyed that I was caught out by a sleight of hand!

The book is based around a series of mass killings at various schools throughout the US which actually took place. Regrettably, they still do. Make no mistake, this is a crime thriller and does not pretend to reflect on the real-life events. It does, however, spend some time, via the main protagonists, trying to rationalise the reasons for such outrages. Since the answer has not yet been found, mainly due to the lack of first hand perpetrators killing themselves before they are taken into custody, the chances are high that more school killings will occur.

In this novel, the disturbing clue which leads to a tense investigation is just why one of the victims, a teacher, was killed with a single shot to the head when the other victims were killed in a spray of bullets.

Officer Lorraine Conner, yet another police person with a haunted past, leads this investigation, little knowing that she, herself, has become the grand finale. Meantime, FBI profiler Pierce Quincy arrives on the scene to lend his support, a man specializing in child psychology with, guess what, a troubled past.

If one cuts out the author's take on why these events happen, this is well up to Lisa Gardner's high standards of storytelling. She intertwines the horrific event in Conner's earlier life resulting in the killing of her mother, with the manipulation of a young schoolboy by the real killer responsible for the mass killings at three of the schools. When all this is set in a very small town in Oregon, where everyone knows the business of everyone else - or thinks they do, Conner's job becomes increasingly plagued by emotions on all sides.

Even so, the author tells a convincing story. The person behind the killings lies hidden in the community and no amount of investigating seems to bring Conner and Quincy any closer to solving the mystery of the dead teacher. Until, that is, there is a breakthrough with an interesting take on how a .22 bullet can be made to fire from a .38. I didn't know this but then, why would I? But it's an ingenious point.

Despite its age, this book is still well up to today's standards of thriller writing, in fact, it's a far better book than many of the current crop of police action stories. I just wish Headline Publishing (and Amazon) would be more open with the provenance of their books.
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on 30 April 2016
Oh my God, this book brings back memories of classic style murder mysteries, it just keeps getting better and better, the more you read. A sudden evening visit by an ambitious reporter at the Stokes family mansion, turns adopted Melanie Stoke's blissful world upside down. Shocked by the reporter's insinuations about the family she has loved, ever since being adopted twenty years ago, she urgently needs to uncover the truth, find out who she really is. Unable to remember anything from her early childhood, Melanie is soon thrust into a nightmare, where danger lurks around every corner, as long buried family secrets threaten to come to the surface. A brilliant, suspensful mystery thriller, with nerve shattering moments, especially near the end. With twists and surprises it will appeal to all, especially to women. This author has just become one of my favourites.
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on 3 March 2016
Brilliant ....loved this book... Started a bit slow...but then boom..! Action packed page turner.. Decent read, not over in a night..a good juicy tale to get your teeth into. Not going into the story..but I would highly recommend it. Don't normally do book reviews, but had to in this case. Buy..you won't be disappointed. Now I'm off to find more books by this author..
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on 27 May 2017
First book I've read from this author and I'm not sure whether to bother with any more or not....It had so many unanswered questions...as I was reading I was always thinking "why would she do that" so many things didn't make sense...they just were totally unbelievable.. The characters were so over the top caricatures of damaged human beings it was laughable.. Why on earth would Marion do what she did at the end of the book it was stupid ...there are mixed reviews for this and some of the bad ones say her other books are better so maybe I will try another ..wish I hadn't started with this..a decent story that should have been done better.....
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on 14 August 2016
I have read several books by Lisa Gardner and really enjoyed all of them. I was looking forward to reading the first book in the FBI Profiler series and was really disappointed. Several times I nearly gave up through boredom. However I persevered and all I can say is I finished it and I won't be reading the rest of the series.
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on 1 May 2014
Could not put this book down the hook at the beginning was gripping and kept you guessing and wanting to know the answers..
A man is put to death for killing six children, whilst a nine year old girl is left in ER who doesn't know who she is, twenty years later we are now thrown into the heart of a family about to fall apart, but how is everything linked together? Not the way I was expecting.
They are slowly turning on each other, suspecting each other for things they may or may not have done and the twists and turns keep coming until the end. When you think you know who the girl in ER was and is , she might not be, what has the family done? It will shock you what they did and who.
Very well plotted and fast paced. Great characters and a good telling of the pain of each character bringing some sort of understanding to their actions.
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on 12 July 2016
A perfectly believable horror story with an equally believable ending. Well crafted and developed with characters who came over as real people not paper images. Some other "chick lit" authors could take lessons from Lisa Gardner (Lisa Jackson ????) Not for her the pretty women who need men to justify their existence. Read the DD Warren series for more strong women if you follow this argument.
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on 21 November 2016
Lisa Gardner has done it again. This book was so good I didn't get who did what until almost the end. A brilliant read as always, a must for lovers of gripping crime and Lisa Gardner
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on 29 January 2013
From the first - to last page i was Hooked! I read it at every opportunity I had and couldn't wait to find out the next twist & turn. It is skillfully written and yet easy to read. My only difficulty was trying to remember the names of the many charecter's at the beginning, but the story was so intrigueing I was soon hooked. Lisa weaved so much detail into the plot line which made for an interesting read. I had no idea 'who dunnit' right up untill the end but I did find the ending slightly dissapointing but the rest of the book was fascinating. I am definately going to read all her books in future. A great book, buy it!!
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on 22 July 2015
So disappointed. Very clichéd, sexual stereotypes, more mills and boom than the usual fab Lisa Gardner. It actually made me cringe in places. Didn't even bother to finish it. Can only think that this was written many years ago and only just released on Kindle. Really, don't bother. It only got the one star as I couldn't post review with none!
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