Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Retribution (C.J. Townsend #1)” as Want to Read:
Retribution (C.J. Townsend #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Retribution (C. J. Townsend #1)

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  5,624 Ratings  ·  386 Reviews
C.J. Townsend is a brilliant prosecutor known for keeping her cool even when trying the most horrific cases. The latest: an accused serial killer who savors cruelty and considers murder an art. But this case is different. C.J. recognizes the suspect. She knows what he's capable of. After all these years she still has the nightmares to prove it. Now she's walking a fine ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 448 pages
Published November 2nd 2004 by Penguin Group (first published 2003)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Retribution, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Retribution

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. RowlingTwilight by Stephenie MeyerThe Lightning Thief by Rick RiordanHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
MY Faves!
156th out of 291 books — 183 voters
Now You See Me by S.J. BoltonAwakening by S.J. BoltonSacrifice by S.J. BoltonIn the Woods by Tana FrenchDead Scared by Sharon Bolton
22nd out of 40 books — 17 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jan 10, 2014 Maddy rated it did not like it
Shelves: bottoms, 2004-reads

Reasons why I didn't like this book:

Tired Cliches:

--Sadistic rape scene

--With a guy in a clown mask

--Serial killer who gruesomely mutilates his victims, cutting their hearts out

--The lead female and the (supremely sensitive) lead investigator end up in a relationship

Bad writing:

--The waves left in their wake splashed the beach-towel bow bikinis and
caused the otherwise-proud captains to spill their beers.

--His hair was tousled on his head....

--So last night she had sat on her balcony a
Robert Beveridge
Jilliane Hoffman, Retribution (Putnam, 2004)

It's not often that a single book causes me to put aside everything else I'm reading to concentrate on it. I got my copy of Retribution in the mail, and started paging through it about half an hour later. Thirty-six hours later, with little food and sleep in the interim, I'd finished it, having put aside the other books in the queue to concentrate solely on Jilliane Hoffman's debut novel.

Some books are best summed up with the same "what if?" question t
Feb 05, 2015 Brenda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a remarkable debut novel. I must say up front that the protagonist is a rape/torture victim. Not everyone can stomach the horrors that were perpetrated on her, but from that moment on, I understood her motivation. The character was well written, and I felt her fear, paranoia, anger and loss of control.

This book was not a white-knuckle page turner; it slowly and methodically revealed the story and its surprises. It is also a sad, but perhaps realistic, commentary on our law enforcement a
Jul 24, 2011 Pamela rated it did not like it
Shelves: reviewed
Judging from the other reviews it looks like I'm the only one who did not enjoy this book.

This is my second novel of Jilliane Hoffman’s I’ve read and it will be my last. I should have learned my lesson after reading her other one.

I didn’t find this novel entertaining at all. Nor was it suspenseful or thrilling. For a court-room drama it’s quite the bore. It revolves around C.J. Townsend who is a district attorney in the state of Florida. Twelve years earlier while studying in New York she was
May 18, 2016 DaJa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, 2016
3,5 Sterne
Jilliane Hoffmans Erstlingswerk "Cupido" hat mich hin- und hergerissen. Der Anfang ist dann auch recht vielversprechend: Man wird Zeuge eines brutalen Überfalls auf eine junge Frau, liest sich schnell in die Handlung ein und die ersten Seiten verschlingt man pausenlos und ohne Mühe.
Aber nach der ersten Szene flacht der Spannungsbogen ziemlich ab. Man lernt eine junge, aufstrebende Anwältin kennen. In jungen Jahren ist sie Opfer eines sadistischen Vergewaltigers gewesen, später versucht
Oct 12, 2014 Francesca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very nice and hooking book. I loved the first part because the writer has been very good at describing what Chloe goes through. I clicked immediately with her. I will definitely read the second book.
Jul 22, 2015 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery fans, courtroom mystery fans, fans of strong female protagonists.
Recommended to Michael by: Saw that it was nominated for Anthony Award
4 1/2 Stars.

In this fine novel which was nominated for the Anthony Award for the Best First Mystery Novel, a preditor stalks and rapes law student Chole Larson and escapes.

12 years later, a string of murders has occurred in the Miami area. A policeman pulls a car over for a traffic offense and when the driver refuses to allow the author to check his trunk, a K-9 unit is called. The dog whiffs something. On popping the trunk, they find a dead girl with a missing heart. William Bangling asks for a
Liz Cee
May 30, 2014 Liz Cee rated it it was amazing
This is classic edge-of-your-seat suspense!

I don't want to delve too much into the plot because the twists and turns are what makes this an excellent read.

Chloe Larson is a law student in New York, about to take the bar. One night, she is brutally tortured and raped by a man who, horrifyingly, knows so many intimate details about her.

She survives and, 12 years later, is living in Florida and practicing law under a new name and appearance. Her attacker was never captured.

We travel with CJ as she
Oct 27, 2015 Luise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book a lot. It's thrilling to the end with a lot of twists and new revelations etc.
I guessed some of the turns, but there were still enough "how" and "am I right?" thoughts. So it definitely didn't get boring :)
Jan 08, 2015 Kimberly rated it it was amazing
Great thriller with lots of twists, surprises and turns.
Dan Richter
Mar 27, 2016 Dan Richter rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: krimi, usa
Jiliane Hoffman, von der ich nichts kannte, wird, so musste ich lesen, als der aktuelle Goldstandard des Genres gehandhabt, und Cupido gilt als ihr bestes Werk.
Es kommt nicht allzu oft vor, dass ich mich in die Thriller-Welt verirre. Ich kenne mich bei den Autoren nicht aus, vertraue auf Hörensagen oder gute Verfilmungen. Hohe literarische Ansprüche habe ich nicht, aber eben auf nicht zu doofe Art, ein bisschen Nervenkitzel hervorrufen.
Und Cupido enttäuscht auf der ganzen Strecke.
Erstens: Ich ne
Eine Jurastudentin wird in ihrem Apartment in NYC brutal vergewaltigt und gefoltert. Der Täter kann nie gefasst werden, er versteckte sich hinter einer Clownmaske und hinterließ keinerlei biologische Spuren.

12 Jahre später ist die Studentin Staatsanwältin C.J. Townsend in Florida und gemeinsam mit der Polizei hinter einem Serienmörder her, der junge hübsche Blondinen kidnappt, gefangenhält, vergewaltigt und schließlich auf bestialische Weise umbringt: indem er ihnen bei lebendigem Leibe das Her
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 29, 2014 Judith rated it liked it
C.J. Townsend is a prosecutor in the DA's office in Miami, Florida, several years after she had been raped and mutilated in her former incarnation as Chloe Larsen. As a member of a task force investigating a probable serial killer, C.J. is early on the scene when a man is picked up with a body in the trunk of his car.

It is when this man is arraigned that she recognizes him as her rapist. And she begins a trip down retribution lane that disturbed me.

***You may not want to read any further until y
Apr 12, 2012 Keksisbaby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed, read-2009
C.J. Townsend ist eine erfolgreiche Staatsanwältin. Doch sie hütet ein düsteres Geheimnis. Mit 20 Jahren wurde sie während ihres Jurastudiums brutal vergewaltigt. Der Fall wurde nie aufgeklärt. Zwölf Jahre später will es der Zufall das ein Mann festgenommen wird, der im Verdacht steht der gesuchte Serrienmörder Cupido zu sein. In ihm erkennt C.J. ihren ehemaligen Peiniger und die Vergangenheit holt sie ein. Endlich ist es an ihr ihn für das büßen zu lassen, was er ihr angetan hat. Doch oft sind ...more
Mar 02, 2010 BoekenTrol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all people who like thrillers
Recommended to BoekenTrol by: kiki1928
This was my first book by Jilliane Hoffman. As a matter of fact I had never heard of her before. On another site I came across this book and decided to give it a try (in German).

From the very first page the story grabbed me. At first there's the brutal rape and the aftermath. And then, I realised that C.J. and Chloe are the same person (yes, soemtimes it takes me awhile to figure things out...).
After that I couldn't put the book down, wanting to know 'what's next?, what will happen? how will i
"What would you do"? An outstanding debut novel. So good, I just purchased her nxt 2 books WITHOUT reading the overview. Although they weren't a good as "retribution", they were good enough to keep me wanting more. Retribution didn't just make me ask myself; "what would I do?", but I found myself asking; "how far would I go to stand up for what I truly believed"? An excellent book. To tell you much more, would leak some of thrills & excitement.
Apr 09, 2011 Kaylol rated it really liked it
Just excellent.

It made me think on whether it's right or wrong to lie or do something illegal to get someone you know deserves to be dead, dead. The main character is an incredible woman who has to face her rapist and cross the boundaries of what's ethical and what isn't. Does the end justify the means?
Jul 13, 2015 Sunsy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, ebooks-2015
Von mir gibt es 09/10 Punkte, einen Punkt mehr als die gekürzte Hörbuchversion, die ich 2010 gehört habe. Erschreckend, brutal, ernüchternd - und für ein Debüt einfach große Klasse.

Meine Rezension gibts hier: .
Frau Zentner
Jan 29, 2016 Frau Zentner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-stars-books
Von Anfang an extrem spannend und hervorragend geschrieben.
Ich liebte besonders die Kapitel, in denen ein Ereignis aus mehreren Perspektiven erzählt wurde. einfach toll!
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Jan 20, 2012 Shelby *trains flying monkeys* rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2012
Pretty decent book. I thought it dragged there for a bit but def. worthwhile.
Ashlee O'Rourke
Oct 28, 2016 Ashlee O'Rourke rated it it was amazing
Having never really written a review for a book before, I felt as though this one more than deserved my honest input!

My coworker started reading this before me and she would come to work (I am an Assistant Director at a Public Library) any who.... She would tell me of this psychological thriller she was reading and after about the second time I was like a child, fingers in my ears asking her to stop because I wanted to READ this once she was done. Of course I had to endure about a week of pure
Jul 25, 2009 Dave rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa Bitner
Oct 26, 2016 Lisa Bitner rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! it took me a little while to get into it, but then I couldn't stop reading. I needed to find out who the real killer was. Great book.
Two-haiku review:

She was rape victim
Now prosecuting killer
Was he her rapist?

Very complex plot
Deep look at her character
Ethical issues

4-1/2 stars
The Badger
To be honest, the legal material is good, although Hoffman's characters seem inclined to make unethical decisions (and even deliberately break the law) that could lead to mistrials or even criminals having their charges dropped.

Also, I wish that Hoffman would collaborate with an actual psychologist knowledgeable in psychopharmacology. The defendant was able to hold down a prestigious job, keep a meticulous house, and plan rapes all over the world for which he was never charged. And yet he's (a)
Nov 07, 2012 Nicole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
„Es heißt, Justitia sei blind, C.J., aber ich glaube in manchen Fällen beschließt sie einfach nur, nicht hinzusehen. Vergessen Sie das nicht.“

Chloe ist noch Studentin an der Uni und befindet sich kurz vor ihrem Examen, um danach einen Job bei einer renommierten Anwaltskanzlei anzutreten, als das Grauen in ihr Leben tritt. Mitten in der Nacht befindet sich plötzlich ein Fremder in ihrer Wohnung und foltert und vergewaltigt sie. Doch das ist nicht das Schlimmste. Der Mann mit der Clowns
Joop Liefaard
Jul 19, 2014 Joop Liefaard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Chloe Larson woont in New York en na een ruzie met haar vriend besluit ze de nacht alleen in haar appartement door te brengen. Midden in de nacht wordt ze wakker en kijkt recht in de ogen van een clownsmasker. De man die dat masker draagt verkracht en martelt haar en laat haar zwaargewond achter. Hij werd nooit gevonden. Het kost Chloe heel wat tijd om van deze verschikkingen te herstellen maar het lukt haar en zij vestigt zich onder haar nieuwe naam C.J. Townsend als openbaar aanklager in ...more
Sharon Bell
Oct 01, 2016 Sharon Bell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read

Great read. Glad to find another talented mystery writer. Good character development. Well written and suspenseful. Can't wait to read other CJ Townsend thrillers.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Face of Death (Smoky Barrett, #2)
  • Der Augenjäger
  • Der Kindersammler
  • Whispers of the Dead (David Hunter, #3)
  • Milchgeld (Kommissar Kluftinger, #1)
  • Das Skript
  • Eine unbeliebte Frau (Bodenstein & Kirchhoff, #1)
  • The Missing (Darby McCormick #1)
  • Fear Itself
  • Die letzte Spur
  • Merciless (Jessica Balzano & Kevin Byrne, #3)
  • The 50/50 Killer
Jilliane P. Hoffman began her professional career as an Assistant State Attorney prosecuting felonies in Florida from 1992 to 1996 with special assignments to the Domestic Violence and the Legal Extradition Units. Originally from Long Island, she currently lives in South Florida with her husband and two children.
More about Jilliane Hoffman...

Other Books in the Series

C. J. Townsend (3 books)
  • Last Witness (C.J. Townsend #2)
  • The Cutting Room (C.J. Townsend #3)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »