Published: September 4, 2007
Published: September 4, 2007
Published: July 12, 2016
In the small, affluent town of Fairview, Connecticut everything seems picture perfect.
Until one night when young Jenny Kramer is attacked at a local party. In the hours immediately after, she is given a controversial drug to medically erase her memory of the violent assault. But, in the weeks and months that follow, as she heals from her physical wounds, and with no factual recall of the attack, Jenny struggles with her raging emotional memory. Her father, Tom, becomes obsessed with his inability to find her attacker and seek justice while her mother, Charlotte, prefers to pretend this horrific event did not touch her perfect country club world.
As they seek help for their daughter, the fault lines within their marriage and their close-knit community emerge from the shadows where they have been hidden for years, and the relentless quest to find the monster who invaded their town – or perhaps lives among them – drive this psychological thriller to a shocking and unexpected conclusion.
“The traumatic memories of a teenager’s rape are medically erased, but lingering thoughts of the attack remain, infecting everyone in her close-knit community.
15-year-old Jenny Kramer thought the party she’d been invited to would be the moment when she’d finally blossom, maybe even get a moment alone with the dashing Doug Hastings. Instead she found herself drunk, in the woods, the victim of a vicious hourlong rape, of which Walker spares the reader no detail in this unnecessarily explicit debut. After she’s rushed to the hospital, Jenny’s parents—blubbering car salesman Tom and tightly put together homemaker Charlotte —decide to give her an experimental drug cocktail to erase her memories of the attack. If the process were successful, there’d be no book, so enter the skin-crawlingly smug narrator, soon introduced as psychiatrist Dr. Alan Forrester, who begins treating Jenny, along with her whole family, after her nearly successful suicide attempt. It’s difficult to empathize with a character—our narrator no less—who looks at a 15-year-old assault victim and wonders to himself “why [he] could not see the rape in her eyes.” As the well-to-do enclave of Fairview, Connecticut, tries to regroup in the wake of zero viable suspects, Tom Kramer makes it his mission to find Jenny’s rapist, jumping on every slim lead, like the sighting of a blue Honda Civic near the party and a boy in a blue sweatshirt. The introduction of one of Alan’s other patients, a soldier who endured the same treatment as Jenny, merely clutters an already busy story whose resolution is anything but satisfying.
A repugnant narrator, even an unreliable one, makes it difficult to focus on the true victim, one who is crushed under the weight of this ridiculous plot.” from Kirkus Reviews
I couldn’t have said it better. As the book went on I began to wonder if indeed the rape of Jenny and her well-being was the focus of the story or if it was the Doctor Forrester and his well-being. To tell you the truth, I still don’t know.
Don’t waste your time.
Published: May 2, 2017
A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.
Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return.
With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.
Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.
Te story starts with a woman, Nel Abbott, who is found dead in a river in a spooky northern English town. It quickly emerges she is not the first person to meet a watery grave in Beckford. The mystery spirals out from this “did she fall or was she pushed” puzzle, and it is to Hawkins’s credit that she attempts to tell the story from multiple viewpoints, too many if you ask me.
The problem is that there are 11 of these characters. This is far too many and it seems the author battles to make these slightly troubled people distinct from one another. If reading the book you would have to keep looking for the name at the top of each page to see whose story you are in. If listening to the audio book version, which I did, it’s not as easy to keep all viewpoints separate and that’s my main complaint.
Paula Hawkins first book, The Girl on the Train, which sold over 15 million copies, had a certain kind of plausibility in its very focused suburban setting, but the whole “death stalks a strange northern-English town” idea feels incredibly hokey.
That being said, I loved it and with all its twists and turns, gave it five stars. It’s well worth reading or listening to just to see if you can manage all the points of view.
Published: March 30, 2004
P.I. Elvis Cole’s relationship with attorney Lucy Chenier is strained. Then the unthinkable happens. While Lucy is away on business and her ten-year-old son Ben is staying with Elvis, the boy vanishes without a trace. When the kidnappers call, it’s not for ransom, but for a promise to punish Cole for past sins he claims he didn’t commit. With the LAPD wrestling over the case, and the boy’s estranged father attempting to take control of the investigation, Cole vows to find Ben first. But Cole’s partner, Joe Pike, knows more about this case than he has said. Pike lives in a world where dangerous men commit crimes beyond all reckoning. Now, one of those men is alive and well in L.A.—and calling Elvis Cole to war. . . .
Joining forces with his enigmatic partner, Joe Pike, Elvis frantically searches for Ben with the help of LAPD Detective Carol Starkey, as Lucy’s wealthy, oil-industry ex-husband attempts to wrest control of the investigation. Amid the confusion of personal conflicts, Elvis and Joe are forced to consider a more troubling lead — one indicating that Ben’s disappearance is connected to a terrible, long-held secret from Elvis Cole’s past.
Venturing deep inside a complex psyche, Crais explores Elvis’s need for family – the military that embraced him during a troubled adolescence, his rock-solid partnership with Pike, and his floundering relationship with Lucy – as they race the clock in their search for Ben. The Last Detective is Robert Crais’ richest, most intense tale of suspense yet.
This book is a roller coaster ride which leaves you breathless but wanting more. The ending is bitter sweet but hopefully even Elvis Cole will one day have his HEA.
Published: February 10, 2016
He’s a killer. A mobster.
The last man on earth I’d ever want to be with. I won’t lose my head just because he’s hot, Irish, and has a wicked accent to boot.
He’s one of the only leads in my best friend’s disappearance, and I don’t trust him.
So I’ve got a few rules in mind when it comes to dealing with Lachlan Crow.
1. Keep a clear head and don’t get distracted.
2. Do what’s necessary and never forget why you’re there.
3. Never, and I mean never, fall for him.
Fourth and final rule?
Throw out the book altogether. Because the rules don’t apply when it comes to the Irish mafia.
It was only supposed to be temporary, but now Lachlan thinks he owns me. He says he’s not letting me go.
And I believe him.
I don’t know who she is. I don’t know why she’s here.
But if it’s my attention she wants, she has it.
The Russians want her dead, and now it’s up to me to look out for her. This girl is trouble. A distraction I can’t afford.
So why have I already decided she’s mine?
I’ve claimed her and there’s no going back now.
Okay, first of all, is there a sexier Irish name than Lachlan? I don’t think so.
Lachlan is a mobster, a killer, a strong dominant male and a pretty good boxer to boot. Oh, yes, and sexy as hell!
Mack is a girl from Southie, a great boxer and is out to find her missing friend. She never stood a chance.
They both know that their relationship is fool-hardy and impossible but that doesn’t stop them. In between all the hot steamy sex scenes there is a real plot that keeps you turning pages, but the bad guys get what’s coming to them and Mack and Lachlan get their HEA!
Great read and it’s a standalone.
Five stars *****
DAPHNE DU MAURIER AWARD AUTHOR