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Plain Jane: Brunettes Beware (Harbinger Mystery, #1)
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Plain Jane: Brunettes Beware (Harbinger Mystery #1)

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3.46  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,325 Ratings  ·  271 Reviews
A city paralyzed by a serial killer stalking the night, taking a most gruesome trophy. The only standing in the murderer's way is an FBI profiler...recently released from a mental institution.
Paperback, 330 pages
Published June 1st 2010 by Createspace
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kathleen Valentine
I'm not going to rate this because I gave up three chapters into it so it isn't fair to rate it. The author has an extremely annoying (to me) habit of referring to characters in a very odd mixture of references. In the opening chapter she alternated talking about "Joanne" and "the brunette" - it took me to the end of the chapter to figure out they were the same person! In the second chapter she continued this by call a cop alternately by his first name and his last name. In the third chapter she ...more
The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon)
Lets skip to the end..."Holy freakin ape-shit Batman, I can't believe ...(Shudder)"

Now I know why I lock my doors at night. If you wake up and someone's in your room, it's only 50/50 it's a good guy. This was a good, fun read. I stayed on the edge of my seat and glancing over my shoulder...and I'm not even a Brunette or a Girl!

This is a really good suspence thriller with more twists and turns than a king snake attacking a garden hose. Both of the main characters started off in the dog house wi
...more
Julie
Aug 30, 2013 Julie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
After I slogged through this book after having read all the rave reviews about what a page turner it was, (shame on y'all!) I deleted it from my Kindle. It should have been classified as a fantasy for being completely unbelievable. The writer clearly thinks she is clever for all the jokes her characters crack which fall flat. Save yourselves! Run away from this book and this author!
Jennifer Chase
Oct 06, 2010 Jennifer Chase rated it it was amazing
Plain Jane drew me into the story from page one. I would have read the entire book in one day if my schedule permitted. The reader is taken into the dark, disturbing world from a serial killer’s point of view. It grabs hold of you and won’t let go. Not for the squeamish, but you dare not blink if you want to know what happens next.

Kent Harbinger is the department’s profiler and he’s on the trail of the Plain Jane killer. He has a knack for getting into a serial killer’s head, living and breathin
...more
Will Jacobsen
Apr 18, 2013 Will Jacobsen rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Simon Forward
Oct 10, 2012 Simon Forward rated it did not like it
Some books beggar belief. This one buggers it.

Penned by an author who seems to have enjoyed a few too many serial killer movies and fancied having a go herself, this details the hunt for the eponymous killer who has a habit of removing and collecting the uterus of each of his victims. The author herself states her intention to shock, but really all that follows is a lot of absurdity, ridiculous contrivance and unintentional hilarity.

Demented FBI profiler, Kent Harbinger (I kid you not), is so go
...more
Cristyn West
Jun 12, 2010 Cristyn West rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
First off, this is my book (What? I'm going to give my book less than 5 stars?) and it Rocks. That is if you like James Patterson's Along Came a Spider or Silence of the Lambs.

But don't take my word for it.

Take NYT Top Ten Best Seller James Rollins' (of Altar of Eden and Sigma series fame)word for it......

"Wickedly macabre and blisteringly paced, PLAIN JANE marks the debut of a thriller for the new millennium. Brash, funny, terrifying, and shocking, here is a story best enjoyed with all the lig
...more
Tammy
Oct 04, 2012 Tammy rated it really liked it
Detective Nicole Usher is desperate. A serial killer is stalking women and has killed over a dozen. These women are special to the killer but Nicole and the rest of her department cannot determine why and have no way of stopping the killings. The killer likes brunettes. Plain, shy and unassuming brunettes are stalked then mutilated for a trophy the killer covets.
No one can know the mind of a killer, unless you are a genius profiler with a talent for doing just that.
Nicole knows that Kent Harbin
...more
Patti
May 08, 2013 Patti rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Gruesome for the sake of gruesome, main character that was a real asshole, and seriously, if an FBI profiler (view spoiler), I don't think he'd still be working in law enforcement.

The process of how the serial killer found victims was a little far-fetched. And tossing in random characters who you KNOW are nothing but red herrings is just lazy writing, IMO.

I can't honestly recommend this.
Indie Books
Jun 19, 2011 Indie Books rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys a great read
GREAT read. Grabs hold of you from page one and doesn't let go. The characters are all well-drawn; the plot well laid out; and the suspense was killing me! West's quick pacing & insights into the mind of a serial killer (and profiler) will keep you turning pages long into the night.

Just leave the lights on...
Megan Clark
Mar 12, 2015 Megan Clark rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
SPOILERS

I wanted to like it, I really did. I just couldn't. I feel like the story itself could have been really suspenseful and interesting, but the writing was so poor that it never materialized.

Characters: The characters were so flat and stuffed into such stereotypical gender roles that it just started making me angry. The relationships were really one dimensional, mostly abusive, and I really wasn't rooting for anyone.

Weird writing choices: I don't even know what to say here, the writing was
...more
Nancy Black
Jul 19, 2011 Nancy Black rated it it was amazing
Non stop action and a huge unforgettable novel. I received the ebook free to review,from Smashwords, and although it has taken me a long time to finish it, It is a huge winner.

The characters pull at your emotions and a few offend your sense of fair play. Nicole Usher is a detective working a serial killer case. Her partner Reuben is a total jerk in my book. Nicole's old partner/lover is the famous Kent Harbinger of profiling fame. Able to solve cases almost instantly.

Kent was following a victim
...more
Mrneil98
Jul 19, 2010 Mrneil98 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you love serial killers with a unique obsession, FBI investigators that flirt with madness and complex romantic relationships then Plain Jane is the book for you. Throw in more twists and turns and surprises and you have an intriguing debut by a promising new thriller writer.

The story centers on Detective Nicole Usher, ex-beau partner Ruben Torres and another ex-beau Kent Harbinger, an expert at profiling, tracking and capturing serial killers. Kent's actions often cross the line but his resu
...more
Just My Opinion
Nov 20, 2012 Just My Opinion rated it really liked it
"Intrigue, Suspense and a whole lot of freaky!"

This is my second novel by Carolyn McCray and I can honestly say; I LOVED this book! I am a huge fan of thrillers and love when you mix a crazed killer with cops and profilers! Between the fast pace, the twist on the typical serial killer profile, the macabre scenes and depictions and the incredibly intricate characters you truly cannot put this book down.

It is very clear that Ms. McCray put quite a bit of thought and planning into this plotline and
...more
Jackie Chanel
May 07, 2011 Jackie Chanel rated it it was amazing
This book totally freaked me out - in a good way- and made me happy that I'm not a brunette. I don't own a Kindle (yet) but I do have the Kindle app on my Blackberry. I hate reading on it because the screen is too small for my liking but I read this book, from start to finish. I couldn't put it down.

The plot was definitely intriguing. I loved the relationship between Kent and Nicole. The fact that the profiler is definitely a little psycho himself was a great addition to the book. Many books ab
...more
Ben Hopkin
Jun 09, 2010 Ben Hopkin rated it it was amazing
This one had me flipping pages until 2 in the morning. I knew when I saw the quote from James Rollins (one of my favorites) that I would get at least my money's worth out of the book, but I had NO idea what laid in store for me.

I pride myself on being able to figure out books with a twist. I could tell from the beginning that this novel had one. The killer is shrouded in mystery. Aha! A challenge.

Two things happened as I read. First, I was so engaged I forgot to try to figure out who did it. Sec
...more
Kimberly
Feb 22, 2016 Kimberly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: serial-killer
This author has created a character that you will either love or hate, there is no in-between lol. I happen to love him. Some will say that some of the things that hapen in the book are too unbelieveable to be true and couldn't possibly happen in law enforcement... to that I say... "You're reading a FICTION BOOK!".
If you want something that's true, go and read something in the Non-fiction section.
It's called "Suspension of Disbelief" and it's used in TV, Movies, Video Games and yes, I hate to br
...more
Irene Ziegler
Jul 25, 2010 Irene Ziegler rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
This is a tight, sexy crime drama with grit and guts. Meant to be devoured rather than savored, we follow profiler Kent Harbinger through urban landscapes as he stalks potential victims of a particularly unsavory serial killer. Harbinger is a treat: antisocial, belligerent, beguiling and unlawful, he is an irresistible bad boy hero. Lots of romantic tension here, too, as his ex-partner, Nicole the cop, tries desperately to tamp down her attraction in order to apprehend the Plain Jane killer.

I sa
...more
Darcia Helle
Mar 04, 2011 Darcia Helle rated it really liked it
I'm a little torn on how to rate this book. The good points: The plot was entertaining, fast-paced and had a great twist. The characters were unique. Overall, it kept me turning pages.

My problems: I wanted more from the main characters. I needed some background, bits of their personal lives, emotions, etc., so that their choices and actions would make sense. I wasn't clear on why or how the connection between this one FBI profiler and the particular detective squad originated. FBI and cops are n
...more
Rebecca
Aug 05, 2012 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I do most of my reading while riding my stationary bike so I look for books that have a great pace to them. This one did not let me down!

The story quickly draws you in and places you in the mind of an FBI profiler and the detectives that work with them. The case has a lot of twist and turns and keeps the adrenaline pumping.

I was able to deduce factors about the killer much more quickly than most of the reviewers but that didn't change a thing about the reading because I wasn't sure that I was
...more
Ben Langhinrichs
Jul 13, 2010 Ben Langhinrichs rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who is not too squeamish
Plain Jane creeps up on you, making it as hard to put down as it is to outguess. The profiler, Kent, is a disturbing, complex character whose job is to get into the minds of the serial killers he tracks, and he succeeds almost too well. His on-again/off-again relationship with Nicole, a police officer who all too often has to cover for his eccentricities, is a classic case of attraction and repulsion, but you can't help hoping they find a way to get together, if only to read more about their ste ...more
Dezieroze
Jun 22, 2015 Dezieroze rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A real page turner

I read this book in a 24 hour span, it held me that captivated. The story line is disturbing enough to create a real spine tingling thriller. I enjoyed all the characters, even the killer...making the book all the much better.
Robin
Apr 14, 2016 Robin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, 2016
Another kindle freebie. While there was some suspense, the plot and characters were over-the-top. Just no way. Especially the main protagonists. I found myself unable to suspend my disbelief and could not buy in at all to this story-- 1.5 stars.
Erika Miller
Another promising author developing her voice. I enjoyed the strong character development and look forward to the next Harbinger installment.
Black Butterfly
Nov 02, 2014 Black Butterfly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ADULTS
Recommended to Black Butterfly by: BORROWED FROM AMAZON
KENT HARBINGER LEAVES ME SO ANGRY AND CONFUSED I LOVE AND HATE HIM, SOMETIMES BOTH AT THE SAME TIME. THE MAN CAN BE SUCH AN A-HOLE BUT HE IS USUALLY A MISUNDERSTOOD ONE. I GUESSED AT WHO WAS DOING ALL THE KILLING AND HAPPENED TO BE RIGHT, YOU COULD SORTA SEE IT COMING (just a little bit). I WONDER WHERE THE KENT & NICOLE SITUATION IS HEADED, HOPEFULLY IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION (please let that happen). WELL I'M OFF TO READ MORE IN THIS SERIES (I'm super addicted now) LOOKING FORWARD TO MORE BLO ...more
Charles Ray
Jul 13, 2016 Charles Ray rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A killer who specializes in plain women, brunettes in fact, is stalking the city. Police detective Nicole Usher and her partner, Ruben Torres are on the case, but the key to finding the killer is an FBI profiler, recently released from a mental institution. Kent Harbinger’s technique is to put himself fully into the mind of the unsub (unknown subject), determine who his next victim will be, and then catch him in the act. Unfortunately, he’s too late and another woman dies, putting Kent on a down ...more
Gloria Johnson
The best part about this book is the surprise as to the identity of the serial killer. Unfortunately for me, I really did not like the "good guys" in this book, who were in some ways as bad as the bad guys. The other negative comment is that I found it very hard to picture the lair of the killer - description was confusing and unrealistic. Most unrealistic of all was the (a bit of a spoiler here) giant patched together uterus from which the killer would be "born."
L. Carrington
Oct 06, 2010 L. Carrington rated it it was amazing
One of the best crime thrillers I've read in a long time! I actually found this book through another review, and, my curiosity piqued, had to have a read for myself.

Without giving anything away, I will say there's parts that aren't for the faint hearted, but overall, this puts the "thrill" in thriller, and then some! Pick this up and put this among your crime fic reading collection.
Naomi
Oct 28, 2011 Naomi rated it did not like it
I really thought I was going to like this book and had wanted to read it for a bit. When I got into it though, it really came across to me as an overly dramatic cop show..like the one from the 1970's and found myself really just wanting to get it read. Had I not had committed to it for a group challenge, I probably would have stopped reading it.
Brittney Lyons
Feb 26, 2015 Brittney Lyons rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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4077516
I find catching serial killers (on paper of course), well... fun.

Do you really need to know anything more about me?

Ok, fine, I am also a veterinarian (for real, not just in my own head like the serial killer thing) and I find the thought of having a romance with a homo chiroptera pretty hot.

See? I told you, you didn't want to know anything else!

For the holidays I am giving away my Patterson-style
...more
More about Cristyn West...

Other Books in the Series

Harbinger Mystery (5 books)
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  • My Soul to Keep (Harbinger Mystery, #1.5)
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