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Publisher's Summary

When Scott and Linda Gardner hire Julian Sawyer to tutor their troubled teenage son Brandon, Julian seems like the answer to a prayer. He's bright, courteous, refined, and connects with Brandon in a way neither of his parents can. They embrace Julian almost as a member of the family. But the tutor has his own dark agenda. For Julian, the Gardners are like specimens in jars, creatures to be studied - and manipulated. Each member of the family unintentionally reveals a secret to the tutor, giving him just the ammunition he needs to destroy them, one by one. Only Ruby, the Gardners' 11 year-old daughter, senses that Julian might not be what he seems and sets out to combat this seductive evil.
(P)2004 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A unique battle of wits - excellent!

Any additional comments?

I love a good "battle of wits" plot, and this one offers a cool twist, being that it's between a brlliant sociopath and a precocious 11 year old girl - an unusual setup made totally believeable by terrific writing. Wonderful character development of the first half sets the stage for the suspenseful second half, and the book is well-read as well. No wonder Abrahams is a favorite of Stephen King's. Going on to another of his books right away. Spend the credit, you won't be sorry!!!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • cristina
  • Somerville, MA, United States
  • 02-12-15

Pleasantly surprised

I have to admit that I did not expect this to be so enjoyable. A great mix of humor and suspense. The 11-year-old heroine is funny and smart. The plot is great. You don't even realize that you are on the edge of your seat because you're smiling most of the way. Towards the end, I could not put it down. In fact, I stayed awake in bed listening to the last twenty minutes at one in the morning. Can't wait to read something else by Peter Abrahams. And James Daniels did an excellent job as well.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

I like it

Good story; the young heroine was particularly appealing. I hadn't read anything by Mr. Abrahams but will again. Nice mix of humor and suspense. Mr. Daniels did a great job with the characterizations and pacing.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Marjorie
  • Quincy, CA, United States
  • 08-08-15

The Ending Needs A Little Work

This mystery centers around one family and the tutor they hire to help their son bring up his SAT scores. The parents are distracted with their own pursuits of career and money and, as a result, they are easily lulled into believing that the tutor can fill many of their family's needs. Julian, the tutor, is affable and appears to be a good influence on both the teen-age son and Ruby. As the story progresses, the tension builds and the mysteries mount. The observations of Ruby, the youngest of the two children (she's 11 years old) are essential to the plot development. Ruby is an avid Sherlock Holmes reader and using ideas she has learned in those books, she is able to finesse the solutions to the mysteries and crimes presented just in the nick-of-time. The ending is abrupt and somewhat unsatisfying, yet, I enjoyed Ruby's character and found the novel to provide just enough intrigue to be able to recommend it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Captivating from the beginning to the very end!

Very interesting book, I had a hard time stopping and not finishing it in one sitting.