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The Last Victim: A Dr. Charlotte Stone Novel | [Karen Robards]

The Last Victim: A Dr. Charlotte Stone Novel

Dr. Charlotte Stone sees what others do not. A sought-after expert in criminal pathology, Charlie regularly sits face-to-face with madmen. Obsessed with learning what makes human monsters commit terrible crimes, Charlie desires little else from life - no doubt because when she was 16, she herself survived a serial killer's bloodbath: A man butchered the family of Charlie's friend, then left the girl's body on a seaside boardwalk one week later. Because of the information Charlie gave police, the Boardwalk Killer went underground.
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Publisher's Summary

Electrifying suspense, cutting-edge psychological insight, and an unforgettably sensuous love story - these are the trademarks of Karen Robards' sizzling novels. Now the New York Times best-selling author launches a red-hot new paranormal romantic thriller series featuring the fascinating Dr. Charlotte Stone, a serial killer expert whose extraordinary powers lead her from ecstasy to terror.

Dr. Charlotte Stone sees what others do not. A sought-after expert in criminal pathology, Charlie regularly sits face-to-face with madmen. Obsessed with learning what makes human monsters commit terrible crimes, Charlie desires little else from life - no doubt because when she was 16, she herself survived a serial killer's bloodbath: A man butchered the family of Charlie's best friend, Holly, then left the girl's body on a seaside boardwalk one week later.

Because of the information Charlie gave police, the Boardwalk Killer went underground. She kept to herself her eerie postmortem visions of Holly and her mother. And even years later, knowing her contact with ghosts might undermine her credibility as a psychological expert, Charlie tells no one about the visits she gets from the spirit world.

Now all-too-handsome FBI agent Tony Bartoli is telling Charlie that a teenage girl is missing, her family slaughtered. Bartoli suspects that after 15 years, the Boardwalk Killer - or a sick copycat with his M.O. - is back. Time is running short for an innocent, kidnapped girl, and Bartoli pleads for Charlie's help.

This is the one case Charlie shouldn't go near. But she also knows that she may be the one person in the world who can stop this vicious killer. For Charlie - whose good looks disguise a world of hurt, vulnerability, and potent psychic gifts - a frantic hunt for a madman soon becomes a complex test of cunning, passions, and secrets. Aiding Dr. Stone on her quest to catch a madman is a ghostly presence with bad intentions: the fiery spirit of seductive bad boy Michael Garland who refuses to be ignored, though in his cat and mouse game they may both lose their hearts.

Dr. Charlotte Stone sees what others do not. And she sees the Boardwalk Killer coming for her.

©2012 Karen Robards (P)2012 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (168 )
5 star
 (69)
4 star
 (48)
3 star
 (31)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
 (11)
Overall
4.0 (146 )
5 star
 (65)
4 star
 (37)
3 star
 (27)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (10)
Story
4.1 (145 )
5 star
 (71)
4 star
 (38)
3 star
 (23)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (10)
Performance
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  •  
    Michelle EUREKA, CA, United States 08-17-12
    Michelle EUREKA, CA, United States 08-17-12

    dannyzlady

    HELPFUL VOTES
    78
    ratings
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    260
    19
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    Story
    "Needs something, just not sure what"

    I don't know what it is about the narrator, but I couldn't stay "tuned in" to the book. I suddenly heard "Chapter 13" and realized the last chapter announcement I actually remembered was chapter 8.
    The premise for the book was so good I was sure I would love it. Then we bring in the ghost of a serial killer. I actually didn't mind that so much. It was when the serial killer ghost suddenly became the poor misunderstood bad boy who is really a good guy that I started rolling my eyes. When he's being interviewed by the psychiatrist, everything he says is disturbing on every level. And I'm suddenly to believe he is an acceptable love interest? Seriously? Guess I'm not into unhealthy relationships. First of all, he's a GHOST. I no way does that make him an acceptable love interest. Second of all, he's a convicted serial killer. His MO was to attract and pick up women and then kill them. This woman is a psychiatrist who extensively interviewed him, she knows how he lured women to their deaths. And she doesn't see the red flags? She needs more help than all the serial killers she interviewed.
    The rest of the story, the tracking of the live serial killer, and her other interactions with ghosts was entertaining. I just couldn't get past her fatal attraction to the dead serial killer.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    laura San Jose, CA, United States 08-17-12
    laura San Jose, CA, United States 08-17-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    2
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "This is not the Karen Robards that I know and love"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Very unrealistic. I am not into ghosts and that was all this book had to offer.


    What was most disappointing about Karen Robards’s story?

    Very unrealistic


    Which scene was your favorite?

    none


    Do you think The Last Victim needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Please, no.


    Any additional comments?

    I love all her books and usually can't wait to download them but this one I could have passed on.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tanya 11-03-12
    Tanya 11-03-12

    My taste varies depending on my mood. I use to read primarily crime dramas (fiction & true crime), but have been on a NA & PNR kick lately.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Different, but good."
    Any additional comments?

    The book is classified as a paranormal romance... so it baffles me that people would give it a bad rating for being far fetched. If you want something realistic, 1) why are you reading anything classified as paranormal 2) why are you reading a romance novel? Overall, I liked it. It has a different twist then most of the paranormal romances out there. As for all the negative comments about the "falling in love with a serial killer", the book insinuates that he was wrongly accused... hopefully the next book will prove he (michael) was not a serial killer.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen R. Wheatley Vienna, WV 09-17-12
    Stephen R. Wheatley Vienna, WV 09-17-12 Member Since 2011

    kalex23

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Different story line."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I enjoyed it.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Karen Robards? Why or why not?

    Yes. Good author.


    Which character – as performed by Ann Marie Lee – was your favorite?

    The main female charactor.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    It was a different story line and that is what intrigued me.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather United States 09-12-12
    Heather United States 09-12-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
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    71
    9
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    "Cant wait for her next one!!!"
    What did you love best about The Last Victim?

    I adored how You were never sure about the main male character, You had to figure it out on your own wether or not he was, what they said he was. I think not. ( Spoiler ) Karen Robards tells you in the book he gets disgusted by what he see's if he really was a killer, I would hedge a bet that he would have enjoyed what was going on rather than being appalled. Loved the book.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Last Victim?

    To many to count. Had me looking behind me on the way out of the house and making sure there wasn't a serial killer.


    What does Ann Marie Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She made the Characters stand out and I knew their voices and emotions.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    All I will say because I don't want to give to much away was when she has the candle and the incense. I was begging her to stop but could understand why she was doing it.


    Any additional comments?

    I even bought the book for my sister so she could read it as well just so we could have discussions about it. I highly recommend the book!!! If you want a little paranormal, a little love interest, some laughs and a whole lot of shivers up your spine, this is the book to get!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    barbara chattanooga, TN, United States 09-06-12
    barbara chattanooga, TN, United States 09-06-12 Member Since 2008

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    46
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    "THE LAST VICTIM!!"

    I ENJOYED THIS LISTEN ,,I ENJOY KAREN ROBARDS BOOKS AND THIS ONE IS
    RIGHT UP THERE!!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 08-15-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    36
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    274
    23
    FOLLOWERS
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    7
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    Story
    "Somewhat Different"
    What did you love best about The Last Victim?

    The characters were well developed, as usual.


    If you’ve listened to books by Karen Robards before, how does this one compare?

    This one is somewhat different than her usual stories. I don't want to give anything away but the ending didn't finalize the story for me ... series?


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I wasn't as 'invovled' in this book as I have been in previous ones.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer RADCLIFF, KY, United States 08-19-12
    Kindle Customer RADCLIFF, KY, United States 08-19-12 Member Since 2010

    Mimmi

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "<3 Robards, but conflicted ~ Is this a series?"

    Karen Robards is an auto buy for me ~ she's a KY author, so started out buying her for loyalty, and now I buy her because she's DAMN good, people. Her suspense ROCKS. And one of the things I like best about Karen Robards?
    You never know what you're going to get. She's penned books that made me crack up the whole way through, books that made me sob like a baby, books that made me look in back seat ( still to this DAY ) every time I get in my car, and books that deal with the paranormal. And not all in the same books. She totally mixes it up. So had NO idea what The Last Victim was about, just knew I wanted it because Karen Robards had written it.


    Dr. Charlotte Stone is an expert in criminal pathology ~ working on a gov. grant, she's made it her life work to study serial killers. What makes them tick, what made them what they've become, etc. Michael Garland is a serial killer on Death Row that Charlie has been interviewing ~ when the FBI show up talk to Charlie, Garland is escorted from the room. While FBI agent Tony Bartoli is explaining to Charlie that the FBI is requesting her help on a case, Garland is shanked by another inmate...and Charlie is the last person he sees before he dies.


    The FBI have come to Charlie because as a teen, Charlie had witnessed & survived the brutal murder & kidnapping of a friends family...and given the police a sketch of the man who did it. It's not 17 yrs. later, and after all these years, why would the Boardwalk Killer be back? And can Charlie stand it if he is? And should she tell the FBI the biggest way she can be of help to them is talking to ghosts of the dead people they find?


    I'm going to through some SPOILERS out here, guys, so don't read if you don't want them!!


    Chalie DOES go to help the FBI ~ and while she's attracted to FBI agent Tony Bartoli, she's MORE attracted to the GHOST who has attached himself to her & is harassing her & following her pretty much everywhere...Michael Garland. Yup, the serial killer. I had SO many thoughts winging through my head on this! NO way, & there's got to be more to this story we're going to find out & he's really a cop &...guess what? Nope. While the story of the Boardwalk Killer is resolved, and it's a great mystery, we're left hanging about Garland and what his role in HIS life really was, and what his future rold in Charlie's life will be.


    This HAS to be the start of a series...I haven't found it anywhere yet, but HAS to be. Because truly, the focal point of this story WASN'T the suspense, it was the story of Garland & Charlie, and the fact that Charlie can see & speak to ghosts...the writing was superb, funny moments abound, had a zinger for a whodunnit, but REALLY? You're gonna leave me hanging like that, Karen???


    At least tell me there is MORE to come???


    If you guys know this is going to be series, tell me, PLEASE!!


    And on the Audio book ~ Ann Marie Lee narrates, and the narration on this was excellent. I listened in 2 parts...and that's only because I couldn't listen straight through! She's amazingly skilled at voices...I loved Garland's voice.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marcheta 10-10-12
    Marcheta 10-10-12 Member Since 2006

    love audio books - Anglophile

    HELPFUL VOTES
    358
    ratings
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    1107
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    "Well done; loved the ending"

    I was really impressed at how the author ended this book. I loved the interaction between Charly and the convict, Michael Garland; he does show some redeeming qualities. There's a lot of hinting that he may not have been guilty of the crime he's in prison for, and that's not resolved. My favorite line is when a ghost is walking around naked and Charly yells at him to put on some pants. The weakest part of the story for me was the many times she misses obvious clues and goes back to reveal what she missed and why that's important. The greatest attraction for me about any story is that it keeps me listening, and this one did. Based on Charly's past, the ending at that point in her life made sense to me. Anything else would have felt like a forced resolution. I'd like to know more about Lena and Buzz. It would be great to have a sequel.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Ulm California 10-06-12
    Mary Ulm California 10-06-12 Member Since 2008

    fur_ball_40

    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
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    138
    12
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    "One of her better books"

    I enjoyed the interaction between the gost and charlie. The verbal interaction between the characters was fun. The story line was a bit unusual not what I expected. The end was left asking for another book. By the end of the book you find yourself rooting for bad boy Michael Garland. I hope you give this book a listen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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