Customer Reviews: The Survivors Club
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on August 25, 2002
Jillian Hayes, Carol Rosen, and Meg Pesaturo are three women, all from different walks of life, who survived brutal attacks by serial rapist Eddie Como. They form their own version of a support group and call themselves The Survivors Club, under Jillian`s leadership. Ironically they become the prime suspects when Eddie is murdered right before his court appearance and his assassin is blown up as he attempts to leave the scene.
Detective Sergeant Roan Griffin wonders if the three women have collectively conspired to carry out their revenge on Eddie, or if someone one wants to make it look as if they did. Roan must deal with the growing complexities of this case, as well as his own personal demons as he confronts the women. After another woman is attacked, there is more controversy and confusion, especially since the killer is now determined to eliminate each member of the Survivors Club. Roan must now pullout all the stops, even if it costs him his career, and possibly his life.
Lisa Gardner is an extraordinary writer. She serves up witty and upbeat dialogue, eclectic characters and complete pandemonium in this book. The Survivors Club is chock full of enough excitement, chills and thrills to exhaust even the most die-hard suspense fans. Don't miss this one.
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on April 27, 2004
Amazing! A very good book from the beginning to the very end. You'll not find a way to put it down. You'll not loose the interest until the last page.
I strongly recommend this book for those who like a good reading and a very good suspense.
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Jillian Hayes, Carol Rosen and Meg Pesaturo belong to "The Survivors Club," a group of three women living in Providence, Rhode Island, who meet regularly after having been victimized by the same rapist. Jillian, the de facto leader of the group, lost her beloved younger sister, Trisha, at the hands of the rapist. The criminal then savagely beat Jillian when she unwittingly walked into her sister's apartment after the rapist had attacked and killed Trisha. Jillian, Carol and Meg still bear the emotional scars of their encounters with the man who robbed them of their security and their peace of mind.
After putting a great deal of pressure on the police and airing their case in the media, the members of the Survivors Club are gratified when a suspect, Eddie Como, is arrested for the rapes. DNA evidence found at all the crime scenes appears to prove conclusively that Como is the rapist, although he insists that he is innocent. The case is blown wide open, however, when Como is gunned down by a hired killer on the day that his trial is about to begin.
Detective Sergeant Roan Griffin of the Providence State Police is brought into the case after having been off the force for a year. He had suffered a meltdown after the death of his beloved young wife, and after he discovered that his next door neighbor and friend was both a pedophile and a serial killer. Griffin joins forces with the local police to reopen the investigation of the rapes and to find out who paid to have Como killed. Could one or all of the members of the Survivors Club have paid a killer to murder Eddie Como? As Griffin's investigation continues, he discovers that this case is far more complicated than anyone has previously realized. Griffin is also drawn to Jillian Hayes, a beautiful and vulnerable woman who has built a shell around herself since Trisha's death.
Lisa Gardner has written a satisfying thriller with wonderfully drawn characters and plenty of twists and turns. The author effectively describes the terrible psychological effects of rape on both the victims and their families. Gardner sympathetically portrays the difficulty of carrying on with one's life after suffering a severe trauma. The mystery is well handled, and Gardner, for the most part, avoids the melodramatic touches that have marred her books in the past. I recommend "The Survivors Club" highly. It is a fascinating look into the lives of criminals and their victims, and it is a riveting novel of suspense.
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on February 23, 2007
"The Survivors Club", first published in 2002, is the fifth novel Lisa Gardner has published under her own name. She has also published thirteen other novels under the name "Alicia Scott".

It's a big day in Providence : Eddie Como, more widely known as the College Hill Rapist, is about to face trial. Nobody seems to be expecting anything other than a guilty verdict - details of the evidence are fairly sketchy in the early part of the book, though it appears his DNA was found at the scenes of the attacks. When Como is killed on his way to the courthouse, it's hard to see too many people being upset. When the assassin is killed immediately afterwards, however, it leaves two murders needing investigated.

The immediate assumption in certain quarters is that the Survivors Club - Jillian Hayes (a hardworking, polished, educated businesswoman who looks after her mother), Carol Rosen (a blue-eyed blonde socialite who lives in a mansion and does a lot of good work for charity) and Meg Pesaturo (the sweet, beautiful nineteen year old, whose big brown eyes send men weak at the knees) - had something to do with it. All three had survived attacks by the College Hill Rapist, although Jillian's sister wasn't so lucky. The three had held regular press conferences together, in an attempt to pressurise the police into pushing forward with the case. Nevertheless, it was always clear that Jillian was very much in control.

Meanwhile, Detective Sergeant Roan Griffen is facing his first day back on duty with Rhode Island's Statement Police Department in eighteen months. Griffen, a widower, wasn't a vacation but rather on an enforced period of medical leave - the investigation into the Candy Man Case had left him a little `twitchy'. He's a little nervous about his first day back, and still raw about his wife's death. Naturally, before he's even made it to the police station, he's assigned to a certain very high-profile double murder.

"The Survivors Club" was something of a disappointment to me : even though this is only the second book by Gardner I've read, I already know she's capable of much better. There was an odour of laziness about the story - the more I read, the more it became a very ordinary thriller-by-numbers. There was absolutely nothing original about Griffen (the tragic cop who has seen "the true nature of the abyss") or Jillian Hayes (the hard-nosed control freak you just KNOW is hiding a heart of gold) - together, they form a pair of clichés you could find in any lazy thriller anywhere. The identity of the villain came as no surprise whatsoever, and when the final confrontation came I was half-expecting a shout of "If it wasn't for those pesky kids...". Very ordinary overall.
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VINE VOICEon June 19, 2005
Lisa Gardner's "The Survivors Club" is the engrossing tale of 3 rape victims whose attacker is murdered on the first day of the trial for his crime against them. The murder looks like a professional hit and soon the 3 victims are suspects. But just when the women think they may be able to move passed the tragedy that has surrounded them, a young woman is raped and murdered in exactly the same manor that the original 3 women had been attacked and there's a DNA match to the deceased rapist, who always maintained his innocence. The police and the 3 women race against a psychopathic killer's clock to stop him from murdering again and to discover the truth about what really happened to them.

I have never read anything else of Lisa Gardner's, but I will definitely check out her other works now. This novel was just fantastic. I adore a good mystery and that is exactly what "The Survivors Club" is. Excellent character development and plot movement. I couldn't put this book down. I highly recomend it.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon August 13, 2011
While it starts slow, Lisa Gardner's novel, the Survivor's Club soon picks up enough steam to keep the reader on the edge of their seat, wondering who might have done it.

Eddie Como is about to be put on trial for the rape of three women and the death of another. He's shot in the head by a sniper on his way to the courthouse. We are then taken into the world of the Survivor's Club, a club made up of the three women who were slated to testify against Eddie Como. At first glance it would appear that Eddie is guilty as sin, and someone with a grudge against him, yet leave it to Gardner to not only keep us guessing but to show us a criminal mastermind as frighteningly civilized as Hannibal Lector.

Gardner introduces Detective Sergeant Roan Griffin, a man who survived something so horrible, it's only referred to as the Big Boom, an event that had him off the job for a year in order to recover and now he's back on the job dealing with his old life in what he hopes is a `new and improved' way of reacting. Throughout the book, Griffin struggles to keep his legendary temper in check. If he loses control again, he'll lose more than his job, women and children could die this time.

The three women of the Survivor's Club, formed to help them deal with the aftermath of being raped and assaulted by the same man, meet once a month in order to teach each other not to be victims ever again. When their rapist is shot on his way to the courthouse, all three become suspects.
Of course Gardner is not going to make her plot so easy to untangle and once more she surprised me, after taking me on a fantastic journey of suspense.

Reading is my addiction, and Lisa Gardner is my drug of choice.
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on March 3, 2004
Carol Rosen and Meg Pesaturo were both raped by the College Hill Rapist. Jillian Hayes wasn't raped, but her younger sister Trsiha died while being raped by the College Hill Rapist. Three women drawn together by one man form the Survivors Club - a support group and activist group all in one. Together they are strong and united with Jillian as their leader and spokeswomen - but things are about to change.
Eddie Como was the man that was caught and charged with the crime and there was perfect DNA evidence to prove it. The first day of his trial a snipers bullet kills him - and hen the sniper dies too. Starting his first day back on the job after 18 months, Detective Roan Griffin was not expecting to find himself involved in one of the biggest cases of the year. But something is not right, there is a puppet master pulling the strings of this case and they have to figure out what is happeing - especially when the College Hill Rapist attacks another woman after his death.
This book was amazing, and the ending was one that was not expected. The characters are well written and the suspense is agonising, especially as you think you work out the story at least a half dozen times before the end of the story. I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to get my hands on other books by this author. If you did like this book then try reading Tess Gerritsen who has the smae amazing ability to drag you into the story, churn you around in the story, and then spit you out at the end feeling as though you have been on a rollercoaster ride.
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on May 24, 2002
After reading The Next Accident, I was eagerly awaiting the newest release from Lisa Gardner. I'm happy to say that I was not disappointed in the least.
This is a fine book for many reasons. The plot races along and takes the reader through many mindbending twists and turns. Gardner has the ability to leave readers shaking their heads and times while keeping the story plausible and believable. The ending has all the marks of a great thriller and will please both her fans and new readers of her work.
While the plot of the novel is excellent, the aspect of this book that sets it above most run-of-the-mill novels of this genre is the strong characters that Gardner uses. Griffin is one of the best cop characters that I can remember reading about is some time, while Fitz plays his foil to perfection. The three women members of the Survivors Club are also well developed, especially the younger Meg. Surprisingly, Jillian's mother, a stroke victim who has lost her ability to speak and communicates by tapping, is one of the most gripping characters in the book.
This is a fine novel that readers will not forget. It is violent at times, sad at others, while remaining interesting always. Highly recommended.
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on July 16, 2002
This is the best Lisa Gardner book I have read yet. She is a great author and I could not put this book down. I adored Griffin, the cop in charge of the investigation. I hope she brings him back in another book one day!! The story itself was intricate and well written. Everything was explained neatly in the end and nothing was left hanging. I like that. The suspense was mighty and the romance kept to a minimum. I like that, too. But best of all this story was poignant and I was in tears much of the time. With the death of Griffin's wife, Carol's messed up marriage, Meg's messed up family, and the effect the rapes had on these victims, this was a very meaningful and sensitive book. I thought Ms. Gardner portrayed these emotions brilliantly. It is a deep, and sometimes raw read that leaves you feeling very sympathetic to a rape victim. This is one of the best books I have ever read and it ranks up there with a Joy Fielding novel. It has all the elements I enjoy in a story and I highly recommend it!
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on January 28, 2004
The Survivor's Club has many of the usual ingredients of a thriller.
A tough cop struggling to get back into work after the death of his wife and a terrible end to his last murder case...
Three women who have been attacked but refuse to back down against their tormentor...
An interesting twist at the end of chapter 1 that lures you into reading on...
It is with great relief therefore that I inform you that there is nothing formulaic or banal about this cracking thriller!
The great strength of the book is in its fabulous characters. Each of them have their strengths and weaknesses and are utterly believable. The two that really stand out are Jillian and Roan. Jillian Hayes is one of the three attacked women who form the `Survivor's Club' and use the media to help them spur the police on to apprehend the criminal. Jillian was controlled and stubborn at times but also ruthlessly clever, quick witted and generous to a fault, as the book progressed I liked her more and more. Roan Griffin was the Detective Sergeant assigned to head the murder investigation. He was very tough and deeply affected by the loss of his wife , his best qualities were kindness, good old decency and a wicked sense of humour. He was also extremely lovable and I developed a huge crush on him - oh, about two paragraphs after he first entered the story. The secondary characters were also great and very vividly described.
The pages whiz by as the plot is filled with twists. The narrative is woven with the funniest lines and witty dialogue which adds much needed moments of levity. The ending is great - very suspenseful and everything nicely tied up as you turn the last page - it actually moved me to tears.
Overall I simply loved this book, it deserves its five stars and then some. The smashing characters, plot and dialogue were wonderful and a credit to the author. This is the first novel by Lisa Gardner I have ever read but it certainly won't be the last. Don't miss out on this pacy thriller!
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