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With Child (Kate Martinelli #3)

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  2,627 Ratings  ·  102 Reviews
Adrift in mist-shrouded San Francisco mornings and alcohol-fogged nights, homicide detective Kate Martinelli can't escape the void left by her departed lover, who has gone off to rethink their relationship.But when twelve-year-old Jules Cameron comes to Kate for a professional consultation, Kate's not sure she's that desperate for distraction.

Jules is worried about her fri
Paperback, 308 pages
Published March 31st 1997 by Bantam (first published 1996)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan 28, 2009 Heather rated it really liked it
I just gave in and let myself spend the afternoon finishing this book. While I wasn't impressed with every aspect of the writing (sometime the dialogue seemed a little stilted), I ultimately became totally absorbed in the story. I'm impressed with the complexity and depth of the characters and can't wait to read another book in the series. This is the first one I've read -- someone gave me this book a while ago and frankly I was reading it so that I could pass it on or get rid of it -- now I ...more
Jun 28, 2009 Joy rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, american, 20c
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 01, 2008 WK rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lrk
Emotions run high in this Martinelli book where Kate is unwelcomingly given hard lessons in self realization by her life-partners behavior. In addition her dogged detective skills have never been more important then when Kate is given the responsibility of child-sitting Al new teenage daughter, and she disappears.
Apr 06, 2008 Jessica rated it it was amazing
King crafts her mysteries so much better than most other authors, even though (or maybe because) the mystery isn't an end in itself - it's a lens through which we see the characters grow and wrestle with themselves. A+ as always.
Cherie Bush
Nov 08, 2016 Cherie Bush rated it really liked it
Family dynamics, abduction, homelessness and other serious topics woven together in a gripping tale. Not for the faint of heart.
Mike Cuthbert
Jul 21, 2016 Mike Cuthbert rated it really liked it
This is an odd mystery in that it doesn’t really become a mystery until 2/3 in. Up until then it is a fascinating character study of a wounded San Francisco detective, Kate Martinelli, her partner, Lee and a confused and confusing teen, Jules Cameron. Add in Jules’ friend, Dio, and you have an interesting cast, but nothing much happens to them until Jules begins getting mysterious calls and Kate decides to take Jules on a trip north of San Francisco. The book then shifts into high gear and ...more
Oct 31, 2011 Vickie rated it it was amazing
I gave this book 5 stars because I could NOT put it down. Halfway through I was completely committed to the plot and stayed up a few hours past my bedtime to finish it. the ending was quite, quite abrupt, which left me a little bit unsatisfied, but I still enjoyed myself up to that point.

I was a bit concerned because I read the first, but not the second, book in this series. Fortunately the jump is not too crazy, and I was able to deduct what had previously occured no problem.

I'm not a fan of th
Linda S Adams
Jan 03, 2015 Linda S Adams rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Laurie R King!

I have been reading King for years - but the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series, not the Kate Martinelli books. I started with the first one of the series, A Grave Talent, followed by To Play the Fool and now by this one ... With Child. The main character, Kate Martinelli, is an experienced San Francisco police officer in the mid 1990*s who has just been transferred to Homicide in the first book of the series.

But as with all the Laurie R King books that I have read , these a
Dec 16, 2009 Joan rated it really liked it
I read Laurie King many years ago, but liked them enough to go a second round. I accidentally read them out of order, but I think I am now back in synch. I love her characters and the way she writes.

The following is a reviewers review:

I can't think of any moments in recent mysteries that equal the sheer physical and emotional terror of Kate Martinelli's discovery--about halfway through this third book in Laurie R. King's excellent series, now available in paperback--that the 12-year-old girl sh
Joe Slavinsky
Jan 24, 2016 Joe Slavinsky rated it really liked it
Laurie R. King is quickly becoming a favorite author(although I must admit, that I have MANY favorites). I absolutely LOVE her "Mary Russell" series, which is one of the most original ideas, ever. She is also one of 13 authors, of the book, "Naked Came the Phoenix", which I read several years ago, and now follow several of those 13. Anyway, because of the Russell series, I decided to start her "Kate Martinelli" series, of which this book is the third. This series is also very original, in that ...more
Aug 05, 2016 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Since her lover Lee is off rediscovering her independence by playing lumberjack with her eccentric aunt, San Francisco cop Kate Martinelli is desperate for distraction. Her young friend Jules, a prodigy with some emotional issues, provides just that: a quest to locate her homeless pal, Dio. This sets of a chain reaction of events that goes on for months and puts Kate through the wringer, physically and emotionally. Really excellent characterization, which is necessary because large chunks of the ...more
Sep 13, 2016 Annamarie rated it liked it
This book was "ok." Getting weary of the Lee-Kate dynamic, "sweetheart/love"... I felt the "relationship" between Kate and young Jules a bit forced. Didn't have enough of Al!
Jun 20, 2015 Kate rated it liked it
Shelves: library, 2015
I enjoyed With Child, although it didn't really feel like a mystery to me. It's more a novel about Kate Martinelli.

True, Kate spends the first chunk of the book investigating a missing boy, but that isn't the focus of the book. It's really more about Kate's relationship with Jules, as well as Kate's search to figure things out.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, particularly that (view spoiler)
Jul 30, 2014 Suzanne rated it really liked it
This was my third book in the series. At first I did not want to read about a child who possibly went missing. I actually skipped this book to read the next one. It really did not affect the story line. But, what I did miss was the development of the character, what made her tick and why. So, then I went back to read this one. I am amazed how much I get to know Kate as a character, how she begins to open up, almost like a developing friendship. At first tentative steps, trust issues, support ...more
Jan 29, 2012 Richard rated it it was amazing
This was my first Laurie King book, and by far my favorite. Some authors, you just click with their prose, and King is not one of those writers for me. Bits seem oddly phrased, characterizations seem murky... that's a good word for how her writing strikes me: murky. But it's all a matter of personal taste, of course, and I certainly wouldn't consider her a bad writer. Anyhow, none of my King criticisms really apply here. With Child is full of bright, sympathetic characters and memorable scenes.
Nov 08, 2015 Bill rated it liked it
A nice love drama with a mystery to bring it all together.

I like the theme here and how it pulls together. I like the relationship with Lee and Kate, even if its just a hole where the relationship used to be in the beginning. I like Jules.

There are no hot and heavy lesbian scenes in here. If you're the type that avoids that, you're safe to read this book. If you, like me, rather enjoy scenes of any number of people being intimate, in any number of combinations, don't be too disappointed. Sex sce
Nov 20, 2012 Chana rated it liked it
I think I have read this before, it seemed familiar, especially the main characters; Jules the 13 year old girl and Kate the detective.
A lot of this book is actually not a mystery at all, it is more about Kate and her feelings, which is OK but not memorable. Jules is a likeable character, one of the early child techies. btw, the technology in this book is pretty outdated, things have changed a lot in 15 years. Kate doesn't even have a cell phone. But the outdated tech does not spoil the story, t
Mar 22, 2010 Michelle rated it it was amazing
My favorite of the Martinelli series. Kate, lost and alone after her partner Lee deserts her for an island in Washington, befriends her partner's girlfriend's daughter Jules. Their friendship develops around a mystery, and then Jules disappears. The most heart-wrenching of all the Martinelli books and the better for it. My only complaint is there wasn't enough - I wanted a postscript. But that's a great complaint. Highly recommend!!
Nov 09, 2012 M rated it really liked it
Jules is a genius thirteen yr old who wants more from her family life. When her birth father makes contact and kidnaps her, Inspector Kate Martinelli doggedly pursues every lead until she finally gets Jules friend Dio to give up more clues. Lee spends most of the book trying to "find" herself while Kate tries to deal with the pain of missing her. Luckily Lee emerges just when Kate could use the support. Excellent mystery.
Apr 24, 2015 L rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I really do like King's Kate Martinelli character. This one has her helping out a young friend, 12-year old Jules Cameron, on a missing persons problem. All seems going reasonably well until things go awry. Then they really go awry! Good thing Martinelli is smart and caring (more for others, sometimes, than herself). The relationships between Martinelli, Jules, and Dio (the missing person) make the book worth reading all on their own. On top of that, though, there is a solid plot.
Dec 06, 2007 Trina rated it really liked it
Strange. The abduction mentioned in every summary and blurb I found about the book doesn't actually happened until over halfway through. The whole first half is just character development and build up. Which is great- except I had read those blurbs. I just kept waiting for something I already knew was going to happen. Once it did, I raced through the rest of the book. Altogether, a great book but reading the back cover first ruins it a bit.
King, Laurie R. - 3rd in Kate Martinelli series

Kate Martinelli, a San Francisco homicide detective, feels rejected by her partner, Lee. Confused, Kate befriends 12-year-old Jules and agrees to care for her while her parents are away. During a visit to Lee, in an area where a serial killer has been victimizing young girls, Jules disappears.

Very good although the protagonist/author seems preoccupied with the homeless. Still, it was a very good read.
Mar 09, 2012 Jess rated it it was amazing
I checked this book out from the library three times before I was in the right mood to read it. But as soon as I started, it grabbed me and I ripped through it at top speed. It goes at a breakneck pace, and the mystery evolves very compellingly. Lots of good character development, too, especially between the main character and her romantic partner. This is the strongest Kate Martinelli novel I've read yet.
Jun 13, 2012 DianeR rated it really liked it
I'd actually give this book 4.5 stars. King's skill has improved with each Kate Martinelli novel and while I don't care for for Mary Russell series, this character plus the central character of each novel (in this one a young, brilliant teen named Julie) appealed to me immediately. What happens when Julie disappears? Is she the latest victim of a serial killer? Twice the surprise was so shocking that my hand literally flew to my open mouth. I LOVE it when that happens!
Bert Mccollum
Jul 04, 2013 Bert Mccollum rated it really liked it
As with so many Laurie King books 'With Child' starts out deceptively calm and quiet introducing a set of interesting, attractive characters: their thoughts, feelings, pleasures, anxieties. Then on page 145 with three little words King yanks the ground from beneath the reader's feet as the story turns suddenly, almost unbearably dark and suspenseful. It's like walking through a park on a quiet summer day and, out of nowhere, having a tree fall on your head.
Feb 17, 2009 Jody rated it it was amazing
The 3rd in the series of Kate Martinelli. This book is much more emotional the the 1st 2. No spoilers in this review, just a really great, can't put it down mystery. With each book her characters grow and you "know" them, not just as 2 dimensional book characters but as friends. Laurie King combines several plots that all come together nicely in the end. I hated to have to end this book, so I rushed out to the library & fortunately they had the next 2 in the series1
Jill Porter
Apr 06, 2015 Jill Porter rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, mysteries
This is the third book in the Kate Martinelli series by Laurie R King. Heart pounding terror and excitement. Laurie really knows how to tell spin a story that sucks you right into its terror. Set in San Fransico, you feel like you could have always lived there. The descriptions of the surroundings, the character development are all so impressive!
May 07, 2009 Lynne-marie rated it it was ok
I had determined to give the Kate Martinelli series one last try, given that it is so highly praised and so widely read. Again, I found the careful crafting and the deliberate intent. Again, I had to distance myself from the happenings of the plot and the twistings of the psychological play in the characters. I don't think I will read any more. The effort is for naught.
May 28, 2008 Danielle rated it liked it
You can tell I'm on a Laurie R King kick right now. She is one of my favorite authors. I have recently been re reading some of her books.
This book was pretty good, though not my favorite Laurie King. The ending was pretty cheesy and dissapointing, not because of what happened, but how it was written.
3.5 stars. It was a 4 up until the last fourth of the book, when, well, it seems like editorial deadlines reared their head, which is a shame because the first half of the book is full of gorgeous writing and vivid detail. It was engaging enough that I read it in one sitting, hence my disappointment at not being able to give 4 stars.
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Edgar-winning mystery writer Laurie R. King writes series and standalone novels. Her official forum is
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King's most recent novel, Dreaming Spies, sees Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes travel from Japan to Oxford, in a case with international players and personal meaning. The Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series foll
More about Laurie R. King...

Other Books in the Series

Kate Martinelli (5 books)
  • A Grave Talent  (Kate Martinelli, #1)
  • To Play the Fool (Kate Martinelli, #2)
  • Night Work (Kate Martinelli, #4)
  • The Art of Detection (Kate Martinelli, #5)

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