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Before Cain Strikes (Esme Stuart #2)

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  55 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
When the student is ready, the teacher appears. The only problem is, in this online classroom the students are would-be serial killers eager to learn the tricks of the trade from a master, the enigmatic Cain42.

FBI consultant Esme Stuart is struggling to stanch the doubt and fear eating away at her marriage. Now a seedy true-crime writer is dredging up the deadly confrontat
Paperback, 368 pages
Published March 22nd 2011 by Mira (first published January 1st 2011)
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Mallory Heart Recommends
May 15, 2012 Mallory Heart Recommends rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Mallory Heart Recommends by: Hearts on Fire Reviews
Shelves: may-2012-reads
A graphic, gripping, top-of-the-line novel focusing on the impact a serial killer holds on his victims, their loved ones, and the law enforcement individuals who target him. Crime has an unending consequence; trial and imprisonment, or alternatively the death of the criminal, do not mean “it’s over.” There is no happy ending. Esme Stuart and her daughter and nearly estranged husband live this truth every minute of every day. A former FBI agent, Esme “retired” when she married tenured sociology p ...more
May 19, 2011 Kat rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: adults
I've now read 2-3 reviews that state this book was too gory for them. I'm one of the people that went into this book looking for the gore - to enjoy it. I heard it was great and gory so of course as a horror movie/book fan I wanted to see for myself. I guess if you have a very weak stomach you might not enjoy the 3 scenes I can think of off the top of my head (one including animal murder). Otherwise its really not that bad, in fact because those reviews gave me a heads up to the gore I had expec ...more
Apr 04, 2011 Kat rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 06, 2011 Jacqui rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller-mystery
Joshua Corin's new thriller, Before Cain Strikes (Mira Books 2011) at first blush seems like yet another female FBI agent struggling to balance work and family, caught in the middle of a psychopath's murderous spree, but as with all great reads, the author's voice saves the day. Sure, her failing marriage suffers and her young daughter is caught in the middle, and I worry until the end that she will come out divorced and alienated from her family, but Corin peoples her world with such edgy, quir ...more
Sarah (Workaday Reads)
Before Cain Strikes by Joshua Corin will be published in March 2011. It is about FBI agent Esme Stuart, and her pursuit of a serial killer teacher who is encouraging his "class" to go killing sprees.

I found this book very graphic and gory. Too much so. There were too many killing scenes that were overly detailed. Toning back the detail would have made a much nicer read.

The actual plot was interesting. But I found it overshadowed by the gore.

I had a hard time believing the character for Esme. Ye
Oct 22, 2015 Taneeta rated it really liked it
Before Cain Strikes was a fun ride. A gruesome and oftentimes disturbing ride, but I liked it. The plotline was tight, the characters competent, and unlike a lot of crime fiction I've read, there were strangely less obvious sexist overtones, which I appreciated. Of course the ending was a sad cliché, which I've grown to expect from such genres. The villain of the piece (to steal a line from Moss) was definitely as intelligent as he was portrayed, while still making human mistakes, which made the ...more
Jan 02, 2012 Jennifer rated it it was ok
The first in this series was better.

This one had the same quick thriller pace, but had gaping holes in the premise (the FBI sent in only one person as back-up for a major sting operation, and they were unaware of construction that could interfere?), a HUGE coincidence that allowed Esme's family to be put in danger AGAIN, and a villain that was a genius only in comparison to some really dumb FBI agents and his own extremely good luck.

So, meh.

Love the quick pacing and the unique premise - but want
May 04, 2014 Mary rated it liked it
It was an interesting read, you end up sympathizing for Esme and her marriage problems, but yarrr, I recommend reading this if you like the concept of a serial killer teaching people how to be homocidal maniacs online.
Matthew Young
May 07, 2011 Matthew Young rated it it was amazing
The plot of this book was fast-paced and original. I do agree that the book was gory, however. I really enjoyed reading this book and read it much faster than what it takes me to get through a typical novel.

The opening chapter was especially disturbing, but it set the tone of this book wonderfully. The characters were definitely more and more twisted as the story developed, but to a point where they were almost caricatures of serial killers. I think that, with the exception of the opening scene
Tom Tischler
Sep 15, 2011 Tom Tischler rated it liked it
This is aboutn a teacher on the internet who has a class of around
2,000 and he is teaching them to be serial killers. His name is
Cain42. FBI consultant Esme Stuart is struggling to save her marriage
and a seedy true crime writer is digging up her past.Esme knows that
her involvement can cost her everythig, her marriage, her job, her
daughter and her life but when Cain42 openly challanges his students
to go on a killing spree for a prize she has no choice but to act.
This is a very graphic book.
Hearts On Fire Reviews
Reviewed by: Mallory
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Rated: 5 Hearts

Check out the review at:
Feb 10, 2013 Cathy rated it liked it
Pretty gruesome already and I'm only on Chapter 3/4
Continued to be gruesome but a strong plot.
Harlequin Books
Miniseries: An Esme Stuart Novel
Category: Thriller
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