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The Last Victim: A Novel (Dr. Charlotte Stone) Mass Market Paperback – April 30, 2013

3.8 out of 5 stars 464 customer reviews
Book 1 of 4 in the Dr. Charlotte Stone Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Karen Robards
 
“Draw a line between two extremely popular genres, mysteries and romance novels, and in the middle you will find the bestselling Robards. She merges the two worlds like no one else, deftly interlacing plot and passion.”—Albany Times Union
 
“Robards has a true flair for characterization and excels at adding large doses of humor to the spicy mix.”—RT Book Reviews
 
“One of the most popular voices in women’s fiction.”—Newsweek
 
“Robards is one terrific storyteller.”—Chicago Tribune

About the Author

Karen Robards is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of forty books and one novella. The mother of three boys, she lives in her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.
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Product Details

  • Series: Dr. Charlotte Stone (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (April 30, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345535812
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345535818
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1.1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (464 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #179,848 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Karen Robards is the New York Times bestselling author of forty-seven novels. The winner of six Silver Pen awards for favorite romance novelist, as well as numerous other awards, she lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with her husband, Doug, and their sons Peter, Christopher, and Jack. She says, "I read, I write, and I chase children. That's my life."

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I typically like to read more romance than mystery novels, but the book description sounded intriguing. I was not disappointed in the least, and I eagerly await the next book in this series!

Charlie is the lone survivor of a notorious serial killer. She was a teenager when she saw the family of her friend brutally murdered. Instead of shying away from the world, Charlie became an expert on serial killers, conducting research that helps profile killers. Her life is controlled and smooth until someone starts killing families again, just like before. The FBI wants Charlie to help with the case, throwing her controlled world into complete chaos. Add to this the sexy ghost of a convict that she had studied who doesn't seem to want to leave her alone. This fast paced read kept me reading well into the night. Not only was the mystery intriguing and the action gripping, but this mystery also had some super sexy elements. Charlie's struggle to stay neutral about her ghost stalker is fun to read. You can sympathize with her because she thinks he is a serial killer, but how can a serial killer seem so genuinely disgusted by what is done to the victims of the case Charlie is working on? I can see how some people would be disturbed by the romance aspect, but I never really believed that he was a serial killer. He feels sympathy for others too much to be a serial killer. I feel certain that this will be cleared up in the next book, but this aspect may bother some readers. If I KNEW he was a serial killer, then of course, I would be very disturbed by this book.

Overall, I LOVED this book. I can't wait to read another in this series. I loved Charlie's character and the paranormal aspects. Any fans of mysteries or paranormal romance novels will love this book. The characters are complex and real with fast paced elements that will keep you on your toes, wondering what will come next.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
How you feel about The Last Victim completely depends on how you feel about a serial killer as a love interest. Without that element, I would give The Last Victim a four star review. With that element two is the highest I can go. While it seems likely that Robards is planning to clean up Garland's background in book two, the heroine (and the reader) have to go with what's on the page. On the page this guy is a psychopath and a murderer. Every time Charlotte Stone thought about how hot he was I wanted to yank her degree off the wall and remove her college's accreditation. To her credit the heroine acknowledges her attraction is sick. I agree and it took away from my enjoyment of the book.

If the heroine's taste in men doesn't hit your ick button as hard as mine then there is much to like about The Last Victim. Robards is in her usual form as she sets up what is obviously intended to be a long running series. The crimes have weight and urgency, the ghostly interactions work to drive the plot forward without completely solving the crimes, and the side characters are well conceived. A bit of slack is required to accept the ease with which law enforcement accepts her leads, but if you can handle a serial killer love interest that shouldn't be too difficult. I honestly don't know if I will read the planned second book in this series. I love Robards. I found her premise interesting. Unfortunately I can't get past the heroine's self destructive preferences.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I had no expectations before reading this first installment to a new series by Karen Robards, but I have enjoyed both her historical romances as well as her contemporary thrillers. This is definitely a new direction from what I've read of her books in the past, and I for one am thrilled. It's described as a red-hot paranormal romantic thriller and that certainly sums it up, but I would also have to add that it's unpredictable and pretty much elicited a range of emotions from sadness, to disgust, to anticipation, and surprisingly, lots of laughter. The booked hooked me in with the very first sentence, "If Charlotte Stone hadn't drunk the Kool-Aid, she would have died," and I found myself settling in for a non-stop, fast paced read filled with twists and turns.

Fifteen years ago at the age of seventeen, Charlie Stone was the soul surviving witness to a serial killer known as the Boardwalk Killer, who was responsible for murdering her best friend. Driven from that moment, she became a prominent psychologist specializing in profiling and deconstructing serial killers. Fifteen years later, the FBI needs Charlie's help because a new wave of killings have cropped up and either the Boardwalk Killer is back in action or there's a copycat in play. The details of the new killings terrify Charlie to the bone, but her reluctance of getting involved isn't just because it makes her an easy target for the killer to finish what he left behind, but also because of Charlie's ability. She sees the ghosts of victims of violent crime and being close to that much death can cripple Charlie's sanity.

The content of the book prepared me for a gruesome, serious read, but I was pleasantly surprised by how balanced it was with humor, witty banter, and spicy sensuality.
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3 Comments 28 of 33 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
To do Karen Robards justice, she has written other novels that I've found engaging and well-written, but this is not one of them. There is a strong supernatural element in this book, which is fine because I'm actually a fan of the genre, but it was the way the author expanded the plot that left me perturbed. The female protagonist in this novel gets romantically entangled with a character that I found repulsive, and I'm not talking warts here. Let's just say the male love interest has horrific baggage in his past and I could not reconcile how a brilliant woman could succumb to him, knowing full well what lay in his past.

It just defied credibility. I can suspend disbelief when it comes to supernatural stories but the romantic part of this story just left me feeling cold and very disturbed. I read that the author plans to expand this into a series. Well, I do not think I'll be reading any of those.
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