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PIECES: A Novel Paperback – November 23, 2009

4.2 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Julia Dudek lives with her husband and two wonderful children in New Jersey. She graduated from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey with a degree in Historical Studies, and from Monmouth University with a Master of Arts in Teaching. Julia has received numerous awards for her writing while in college, most notably The Ignie LaFluer Endowed Scholarship Award for her short story, "The Color of Homage." Pieces is her first novel. Julia is currently writing the sequel to Pieces, as well as working on other projects. You can visit her website at www.juliadudek.com.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Xlibris (November 23, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1441589929
  • ISBN-13: 978-1441589927
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,795,334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Author/Reviewer Geri Ahearn TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
Julia Dudek takes the reader on an emotional roller-coaster ride through a dark, twisted tunnel as it enters the human psyche. The ride begins slow, then speeds up, and suddenly you feel like you're on a rocket. As you wait to see if there will be light at the end of that horrifying tunnel as chills go up your spine, while sitting on the edge of your seat, you witness a heart-pounding thriller. This compelling, nail-biting story portrays the terrible truths that hide behind everyday appearances. The plot is a spellbinding, chilling journey that reveals just how little we know about the world around us. The pages are filled with revenge, passion, and rage, with a spectrum of terror that only a few can see. Evil has its winning ways, but how far will Angelique McCourt go to seek her revenge on Bernadette's killer? Will Angelique find the mysterious pieces to the bizarre puzzle? This spine-tingling suspenseful journey will continue through relentless psychological torment. How many victims does detective Ben Marsden find, and does he solve the puzzle before Angelique? On the quest of vengeance for the murder of her best friend, does Angelique's life fall apart, and how does she change? Does an intelligent beauty queen, with a photographic memory battle a blood-thirsty monster, and where does she find that demon? As rage and danger light up the pages, while Angelique embarks on a ruthless mission to hunt the killer, who's on the hunt for her? Does Angelique's mission become seductive and deadly to find the missing pieces? Will passion distort the hidden truth in the case? After suffering the loss of a loved one, then jumping into the mind of a deranged killer, will Angelique survive her struggles for justice as she faces her worst fears? I highly recommend this novel to all thriller lovers.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
From the description of the book and the prologue, I thought this book was going to begin after Angelique (Angie) McCourt's best friend died and she went on a mission to discover the missing pieces of the puzzle so she could identify the killer. But the story doesn't begin at that moment. It begins with Angie starting med school. Angie is perfect. She has a perfect memory and is gorgeous. In the beginning, she comes off as someone who thinks she's too good for everyone else. I figured that the story would show the evolution of Angie from someone who's "perfect" to becoming human--and I was right.

The process of how that came to be was entertaining. It starts when she finally opens up to her roommate, Bernadette Scott, who is pretty much the opposite of Angie. It turns out they complement each other and become best friends. This was actually very interesting for me to read, but I felt sad when Bernadette died. It's hard for me to get attached to a character and watch them die. But this leads Angie on her quest to remember who the killer was, because she saw him murder her friend--it's just that the image is blurry in her mind.

What I liked most about this book was the evolution of Angie. It was an interesting journey she took as she sunk into the mind of a serial killer bent on revenge. The process was slow and the more "pieces" of the puzzle she got, the deeper she sank into the dark part of her mind. Parts of it had me on the edge of my seat, so that is always a plus. And I didn't expect the ending. I'd say this book takes a look at the good and bad that all of us possess. It was very well done. Oh, and the writing was excellent. This was flawlessly edited.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Beautifully deadly. Sinfully chaotic. Julia Dudek's first novel is one of mystery and intrigue leading the reader down a dark twisted tunnel of trauma, mystery, love, and vengeance. Leading character Angelique McCourt, a beautiful freshman med student with a painstakingly detailed photographic memory, comes face to face with the murder of her best friend during a night in town. Haunted by the events, she comes to the frightening realization that the trauma of the death has fragmented her otherwise perfect memory. To her horrific discovery, the only way she can reassemble the shattered pieces of the identity of her friend's killer is to place herself in harm's way shocking it into clarity. But as she places herself in these dangerous encounters, she finds a pent up monster lurking within her unleashing its bloodthirsty rage resulting in the murders of the ones wanting to cause her harm. The story is a battle of survival of mind, body, and heart as Angelique struggles to bring her friends killer to justice, assemble her fragmented memory, and try to rationalize her unexpected love for the detective assigned to her case; culminating to a climatic showdown with her worst fears.

For a first book, Dudek's Pieces is wonderfully crafted, deviously designed, and painfully sinister as it thrusts you into the tormented mind of a normal person turned killer trying to compensate with the loss of a loved one. My only complaint with this book is that it was too short, as I could have easily delved into another 32 chapters of Angelique's journey of vengeance and redemption.

5 stars to Julia Dudek's novel. An excellent read!

-Michael Mullen, Massachusetts
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