Charlene Rosalind Carter Grant is afraid that she will be murdered. She even knows the date. One of her two best friends was killed on January 21, two years previously. The next year, on January 21, Charlene's other best friend was murdered. Charlie anticipates confronting the same killer and has spent the year training to survive. Days before the 21st, Charlie meets Detective Warren outside of a crime scene and asks her to investigate her (expected) death.
Initially, D.D. is skeptical; she is already involved in a case in which a killer appears to be targeting pedophiles. She has also just returned after maternity leave and has a baby that is keeping her up most of the night. D.D. already has a lot on her plate and isn't at all sure that Charlie will be murdered.
It is difficult to be certain who is targeting Charlie or why, but Gardner keeps the suspense building and has several interesting topics (pedophiles and cyber grooming, Munchausen by Proxy, domestic violence).
Although part of a series, the plot doesn't depend on having read any of the previous books. What was a little distracting was the references to characters in her other series (she has at least 3 crime series in addition to all of her stand alones). If you've read all of her series, this might be something you'd appreciate, but I haven't so reference to just on or two characters would have been sufficient.
Read in Dec. Library copy.
Crime/Suspense. 2012. 400 pages.
This one was a little too dark for me. The child abuse theme seems pretty consistent with Gardner.
Truthfully, if this had been the first one I read, it probably would have been the last. I wasn't overly impressed with characters or plot, but it was suspenseful.
In the latest Kimberly Quincy thriller, the FBI special agent is five months pregnant. Most women might be thinking about taking things a bit easy, but not Quincy: not only is she still working full time but she also stumbles into what might be the biggest case of her career (and, as regular readers know, she has already tackled a few big ones). A serial killer is targeting young women. This in itself isn’t so unusual, but here’s the twist: he is, or so it appears, using spiders as murder weapons. Kimberly is convinced she is on the trail of a psychopath, but without any bodies or hard evidence, she is having a difficult time convincing her superiors she isn’t on a wild-goose chase. In her last few novels, especially Gone (2006) and the excellent Hide (2007), Gardner has really hit her stride, and this one, if not her best, will surely be a surefire hit for her fans—and, in fact, for all readers who likes their thrillers suspenseful, fast paced, and just a little creepy (OK, a lot creepy). --David Pitt
Read in Dec. Library copy.
Crime/Suspense. 2008. 370 pages.