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The Third Victim: An FBI Profiler Novel Mass Market Paperback – January 30, 2001

711 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In her new thriller (following The Other Daughter), Gardner deftly probes the psychology of school shootings while developing a cast of complex, compelling characters. Rainie Conner initially joined the small-town police force in Bakersville, Ore., to escape the ghosts of her past. When she responds to a call from the local school and discovers students screaming, bodies lying inert in the rooms and one young boy holding two guns, however, Rainie find herself leading a controversial investigation and struggling to contain her childhood memories. The fact that the boy is the son of the town sheriff, Rainie's superior and friend, only intensifies the pressure Rainie endures from members of the community, the FBI and the media. Although she tries desperately to do her work amid the growing criticism, Rainie begins to question her own fragile psychological stability. Fortunately, she finds solace in the arrival of the gentlemanly Pierce Quincy, an FBI profiler with a sharp mind and a soft shoulder. The duo eventually reach the conclusion that someone else must be responsible for the massacre, someone who may have recruited the boy to do the shootings. A suspenseful, curl-up winter read, this thriller teems with crisp, realistic dialogue and engaging characters. (Feb.) Forecast: Even though Gardner has only three titles under her belt, her adept use of language and her strong characterizations will ensure her a broad, loyal following. Readers won't be disappointed to learn that Special Agent Pierce Quincy will reappear in her next offering, which is still untitled.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"A suspenseful, curl-up winter read, this thriller teems with crisp, realistic dialogue and engaging characters."
Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Riveting, hold-your-breath suspense."
— Iris Johansen

Don't miss these chilling novels from a new master of the thriller, Lisa Gardner:

The Perfect Husband
"A dark, powerful tale of nerve-shattering suspense."
— Tami Hoag

The Other Daughter
"Sheer terror...a great read."
— Iris Johansen

See all Editorial Reviews
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Product Details

  • Series: FBI Profiler (Book 2)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reissue edition (January 30, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553578685
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553578683
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (711 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #210,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

New York Times #1 bestselling crime novelist Lisa Gardner began her career in food service, but after catching her hair on fire numerous times, she took the hint and focused on writing instead. A self-described research junkie, she has parlayed her interest in police procedure, cutting edge forensics and twisted plots into a streak of thirteen bestselling suspense novels, including her most recent release, Catch Me.

Readers are invited to get in on the fun by entering the annual "Kill a Friend, Maim a Mate" Sweepstakes, where they can nominate the person of their choice to die in Lisa's latest novel. Every year, one Lucky Stiff is selected for Literary Immortality. It's cheaper than therapy, and you get a great book besides. For more details, simply visit Lisa's website.

Lisa lives in New England with her family, as well as two highly spoiled dogs and one extremely neurotic three-legged cat.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

100 of 104 people found the following review helpful By cmiller on April 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
Theresa Matthews never knew what hit her when she met Officer Jim Beckett. All she did know was that someone in her life finally loved her. With no complaints, Theresa did everything Jim asked of her. She kept a perfect home, cooked meals on time, and gave him a baby daughter that he appeared to love. Hiding behind his cruel facade, Theresa discovered an evil man with no soul. A killer that she was a part of stopping. After two years of running, and a new identity, Tess Williams emerges. When Jim escapes from prison, Tess find J.T. Dillon, an burntout ex-mercenary whom she talks into training her for one month. All Tess wants is to be able to protect her daughter from the monster that has sworn to return to kill her.
J.T. Dillon has his own demons to fight, and he doesn't need the responsiblity of protecting Tess. Finding his way through a hellish childhood, J.T. came out scarred, especially since he knew that he didn't protect his younger sister, Marion, from their father. Now, after two weeks training with Tess, everything with Beckett comes to head and J.T. knows that he will not lose another woman that he loves.
The Perfect Husband is an exceptional story about a pyshcopath who is not only sly, but intelligent as well. Continually escaping authorities, Beckett knows that no one will ever be able to catch him. Gardner does an extrodinary job of portraying a killer. The romance that was mixed in was intense and erotic, but didn't take away from the suspense of the story.
Pick it up!
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Burgoine on August 11, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Having read "The Perfect Husband," and "The Other Daughter," I was well ready to pick up "The Third Victim," when I saw it on the shelf in my store. I gobbled the book in a single night, and have to say that this is definitely of higher calibre writing than the other two.
For one, the character depth of the heroine and the villain is much more complex: I was three-quarters of the way through the book and still unsure of who I could trust, who might be the killer, and why this was all happening. Starting with a contemporary ugly reality: the school-shooting slaying of two students and a teacher, this book takes off from there and continues with a semi-manic pace throughout.
Gardner allows you into the mind of the killer without giving who the killer is away, which is a rewarding experience, but it is in Lorraine, a sherrif in the town where the shooting has happened, that the truly good writing occurs. A woman with a somewhat shady past of her own, this shooting may be about her in some way, and it's a great ride finding out just how.
The only quibble I had with the book was the occasional plot wrinkle that made me blink in confusion. There were a few passages I had to read twice to understand - not many, mind you, maybe only twice, but it did call a minor break in my reading.
Regardless of those minor stumbles, grab this book. It's a thriller perfect for those of us that like a healthy mix of mystery tossed in to our edge-of-seat-reading.
'Nathan
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By J. Evans on December 15, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the concept of the story of a frightened woman trying to take charge of her life in preparation for a meeting with her serial killer psycho husband, but I found the realtionship between Tess and JT to be pretty shallow and odd. I find it hard to believe that a woman with such a background of violence in relationships would be attracted to a hot-headed drunkard mercenary. I also felt that although the plot could have been really great, that the characters were not developed enough for the reader to care too much about their fates. In short, a decent read but don't expect too much
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40 of 46 people found the following review helpful By rebelmomof2 VINE VOICE on September 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
With Halloween just around the corner, I have to say this is the perfect spooky novel to read during a nighttime thunderstorm! I did do that ~~ read while waiting for my fiance to get home from work ~~ and every creak and moan in the house seems to house Jim Beckett waiting to kill me! Regardless of the hauntings, I still couldn't put this book down. This is my first Lisa Gardner novel and she does have me hooked now!!
Jim Beckett is the husband every woman dreams of having ~~ or so Tess thought. When she turned him in for being a serial killer, Tess takes her daughter Sam and run. Only, Beckett finds her and leads the reader on a merry chase through gruesome murders and mind games. It is a bold novel ~~ and one that will keep you up all night just to finish it. Then it's also one that will keep you up all night listening to every creak and moan in the house. It also explores the mindset of a killer and why he married Tess ~~ and why he chases after her after getting out of prison. It's a terrifying look inside an abuser's mind.
If you're brave enough to read this, I dare you to. If you haven't read Lisa Gardner before, I highly recommend you reading this author. She is talented and will ensare you with her stories. It's a great spooky read and a perfect gift for that Halloween lover in you!
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44 of 52 people found the following review helpful By A. Rubash on October 6, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I never write reviews on books I love because I never read the good reviews. There's really no way for me to know if my taste will mesh with a 5 star reviewer's taste, so I find those reviews worthless. I skip right to 1 and 2 star reviews for the information I need. I can usually figure out quickly if it's the right book for me.

I almost never read a book that has more than a few 1 star reviews, but I made an exception this time. The beginning of the book had some promise, so the Kindle sample drew me in. Unfortunately, the book went downhill quickly after the sample.

Many of the issues have been mentioned in other reviews, but with all the great reviews of this book, I really felt I needed to review it honestly for the people like me who base their reading on the insights contained in bad reviews.

-- Spoilers from this point...

This book was incredibly implausible. It wasn't just because it's fiction and it's supposed to be a little bit outside of real life, but approaching a big joke. Over and over, this man who is clearly VERY recognizable (and described this way over and over) is able to walk right up to people who have been hunting him and studying him for years without being recognized. Over and over, he is given the resources to be 10 steps ahead, but it's never explained how he comes to have these resources.

How did Jim Beckett come to own the house where he was hiding? Why would he spend some of his 4 phone calls a month talking to the old lady who lives next door to his hideout just to tell her he's away in Florida? How could he POSSIBLY pose as an elderly woman? Why would he hand his daughter over to the neighbor and let her get away?
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The Third Victim: An FBI Profiler Novel
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