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Pretty Little Things Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Vanguard Press; First Edition edition (September 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593156073
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593156077
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,178,305 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Some twists and turns in Hoffman's stand-alone thriller may leave readers scratching their heads, but the suspense ratchets up to such a high pitch that most will keep flipping pages till the end. Coincidentally, the 16-year-old daughter of Bobby Dees, a Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) special agent supervisor, a leading expert on discovering the fate of missing children, has been gone without a trace for almost a year. But that doesn't keep Bobby from being one of the best at his job. His immediate concern is the fate of 13-year-old Lainey Emerson, who's in the hands of a sadistic serial kidnapper known as "Picasso" for his bizarre depictions of his victims delivered to TV reporter Mark Felding. While Picasso taunts Bobby, Felding turns up the media heat on the investigation. Hoffman (Plea of Insanity) paints a scary picture of sexual predators, vulnerable teens, and the shared hunting ground/playground that the Internet provides.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

They are, indeed, pretty little things: naive, vulnerable teenage girls who have gone missing, some lured by Internet predators, others runaways or throwaways. One of them is Katy, the daughter of Bobby Dees, a high-profile investigator for Florida’s Crimes against Children division. When Bobby begins to investigate the disappearance of a 13-year-old girl, his own loss threatens to overshadow his duty. Thanks in part to goading by an annoying reporter, Dees’ instincts eventually kick in, and he takes off in pursuit of a serial killer whose paintings of mutilated victims earn him the nickname Picasso. Could Katy be among the psycho’s trophies? The thought pushes Dees to the edge, while Picasso continues to kill. Hoffman, who doesn’t spare the gore, delivers some page-turning action here, incoporating an emotionally charged view of the enormous problems faced by missing teens (and those who hope to find them). There are some bumpy patches in the narrative, but this is still entertaining and suitable both for fans of conventional mysteries and for those who prefer high-adrenaline thrillers. --Stephanie Zvirin

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Customer Reviews

We hear about stuff like this happening on the news.
Jennifer Sicurella
Internet predators are specifically addressed and this is the story of Special Agent Bobby Dees and his efforts to save these children.
W. Bentrim
There are lots of twists, turns and misdirection - all done well.
Cheryl Stout

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By misplaced cajun on September 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Lainey Emerson thought she'd met the perfect guy. With no worries other than whether he'll like her in person, and whether he'll catch on that she's only 13, she sets off to meet Zach, a blond senior from a local high school. What she gets instead is everyone's worst nightmare. Two days after Lainey disappears, Bobby Dees, an officer with the Crimes Against Children Squad is called in to investigate. Though all signs seem to point to a runaway, Dees suspects the case may be more complicated.

I thought Hoffman's latest was a super intense and suspenseful read. Definitely recommended for thriller fans.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By W. Bentrim VINE VOICE on September 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Pretty Little Things by Jilliane Hoffman

This book is not for the faint of heart. It deals with disposable children. Children who have been abandon by society or have abandoned society. Kids who have run away or have been snatched from all walks of life. Internet predators are specifically addressed and this is the story of Special Agent Bobby Dees and his efforts to save these children.

This was an excellent mystery. It was still hard to read. The predator was despicable and wholly frightening. What was also frightening was the Internet naiveté that kids demonstrate even as the Internet matures. Simply log on to any of the social networks and see the inappropriate postings that could lead to devastating consequences. I would like to see the book used in a middle school reading program led by the guidance department. It's intensity could be construed as a "scared straight" type of book but it might serve to enlighten kids to some of the dangers they face in an electronic environment.

Do you know that your kids DSi or xBox can communicate to other online users and that neither they or you know who they are REALLY communicating with?

Parents should seek out and read this book. It isn't necessary to overact but simply the act of reading this book could help to open some naïve eyes, in both parent and child.

I highly recommend the book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on September 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Thirteen years old Lainey Emerson loves MySpace, especially keeping her page current. Her biggest peeve at the moment is relocating with her family, which means a new school and finding new friends.

However Lainey becomes excited when she meets El Capitan online. She agrees to go out with the boy, but conceals her date from her family. A couple days pass before her mother reports her missing, as she assumed Lainey was behaving just like her older sister, a serial runaway. Florida's Crimes Against Children Special Agent Bobby Dees leads the search for the missing teen even as he fears she is the victim of a serial killer, who uses the net to lure victims and then after killing them sends drawings of his kills to the media.

Rotating perspective between the missing teen, the agent (his daughter vanished last year) and the killer in chapters not much longer than Twitter, Pretty Little Things is a terrific cautionary tale that warns readers beware of internet social networks especially what you tell of yourself and the contacts you make. The story line is loaded with twists that enhance the growing tension, which the agent and the teen especially emote. Although the ending feels weak especially with the taut story line that brilliantly leads to the climax, fans will appreciate Pretty Little Things while wondering how to allow their youngsters to enjoy the net yet avoid stalking cyber predators.

Harriet Klausner
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lori Johnston VINE VOICE on October 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I read Jilliane Hoffman's Retribution several years ago, found the book engrossing enough to mentally put Ms. Hoffman on my "must read" list but somehow have missed picking up any of her follow up books until I was sent Pretty Little Things. Ms. Hoffman, herself the parent of teens, takes a timely and concerning subject in internet preying and runs with it.

In the book, I liked the character of detective Bobby Dees the best. He was written as a complex cop, with many layers of depth, but without being a stereotype, which many characters of this type fall victim to. I appreciated his back story and, honestly, would enjoy having more books devoted to him. Here's hoping that Ms. Hoffman will feature him in a future book.

The character of Lainey was realistic, acting as a teen girl would, complete with the self esteem issues present with most teen girls. As a parent, it was frightening to read of Lainey unknowingly setting herself up as the perfect victim for such a predator, thinking she was talking to a teen boy who was interested in a date with her when she was in fact speaking with a maniuplator finessing her into leaving the relative security of her home.

The mystery was a good one, leaving me guessing until the end - - nothing frustrates me more with mysteries and thrillers than figuring it all out too soon. Well, that and heroes/heroines that do crazy, unrealistic things simply for the purpose of moving the plot forward. The killer was appropriately creepy, with Ms. Hoffman providing enough details to visualize the killer without giving away his identity.

As much as I enjoyed Bobby Dees, I was let down with the almost tidy resolution at the end of the book.
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