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Free of Malice

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  211 ratings  ·  100 reviews
Librarian Note: Alternate Cover Edition for ISBN-10: 0990937402 / ISBN-13: 9780990937401.

Laura Holland awakes in the middle of the night to see a stranger standing in her bedroom doorway. She manages to defend herself from the would-be rapist, though he threatens to return as he retreats. Traumatized with recurring nightmares, Laura seeks therapy and is exposed to a unique
Paperback, 274 pages
Published March 31st 2016 by Mitchell Cove Publishing LLC (first published March 18th 2016)
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Chelsea Humphrey
Feb 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Many thanks to Netgalley and author Liz Lazarus for providing my digital copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Wow, this is a debut?! So impressed. This might be one of my favorite reads of 2016 yet. Its a thriller on steroids and I flew through to the end and wishing I had savored it a bit more. ***Good book withdrawals***

The premise for this story is that Laura has been through a horrifying trauma so tragic she's having trouble moving on and coping. She finds a form of healing in a the
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Received ARC from author in exchange for review.

Wow! For a first time author this book rocked. The characters were well developed and likable.

Laura, the main character has been through a horrific trauma in which she is left emotionally scarred. In Laura's own way to heal she starts going to a lawyer to make a hypothetical case that she can write about her attack where she shoots her attacker. Is it self defense or murder? How can is be murder when the person she hypothetically shot was trying
Feb 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of Free of Malice by Liz Lazarus through NetGalley and Liz Lazarus. Thank you to both for the opportunity.

A nightmare.....a gripping, suffocating nightmare that presses your bones into the bed and silences the escalating scream in the halls of your throat.

This is the nightly visitor that frequents the mind of Laura Holland. Laura was attacked in her home in the middle of the night by a man who attempted to rape her. Although his ugly intent was not fulfilled, he spat out the wo
I was given an ARC edition by the author Liz Lazarus- a GR friend of mine- in exchange for an honest review.
I give this book 4.5 stars because it was a thriller in every sense of the word, and those who know me here on GR know that I do not usually read thrillers. Liz introduces us to Laura Holland, our 30 year old protagonist. Laura is a journalist who is happily married to her college sweetheart Chris and living the suburban life many dream of when one night when Chris is away on business, a
Jan 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't believe this is a debut novel!

Really well written mystery/suspense with strong characters and a unique plot.

Laura Holland is attacked in her home one night while her husband is out of town. She was able to fight and scare her attacker off, but he ran away with this warning-'You win for now, but don't forget about sweet Sam.'
When her nightmares and fears continue to affect her quality of life, she seeks out the help of a therapist for some relief. It's here that the plot becomes rather un
Danita Brown
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I received Free of Malice from Liz Lazarus and it was an awesome read 4 a first timer.
Sincere thanks to the author for my free copy, I’m always thrilled to be offered a copy for a review. This is a privilege, so my thanks for sending it to me, Liz!

This was a thoroughly researched thriller that also serves as this author’s debut, and what is very interesting is that the author has based the premise of the novel upon her real life experience. This is evident as she has really gotten to the core of an absolutely scared woman, who has survived a near rape. The way in which Liz Lazar
Feb 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: net-galley
Free of Malice by Liz Lazarus is a debut thriller that is intriguing and hard to put down. Written in the first person; the storyteller’s feelings and fears are very much front and center and play into all of our fears as women at one time or another in our lives.

Laura Holland is a freelance journalist attacked in her home, at night while her husband is away on business. The would-be rapist retreats as Laura screams and fights, but he tells her he will be back. Laura, at the urging of her husban
FREE OF MALICE by Liz Lazarus is a debut psychological legal thriller that was a pleasure to read. It is a gripping story about a woman who was attacked, and fought her perpetrator from being raped while she was sleeping in her bedroom having been left alone while her husband was away on business. This novel is written in the first person, and shows the aftereffects of this thwarted attack; the residual panic feeling of being always watched and dealing with the fears of this trauma…that he is co ...more
Mar 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a very original premise for a suspense novel. The main character, journalist Laura Holland is home alone while her husband is away on business. Asleep in bed she is woken suddenly by her bolted bedroom door being shattered open to reveal a huge shadow of a man standing there. Although he attacks her viciously Laura is able to scream and fight him off and he flees but chillingly promises to be back one day. Unable to cope with the nightmares and fear of being alone that comes after the a ...more

Laura Holland was home alone with her husband Chris away for work – it had never bothered her before but the uneasy sensation she was feeling at bedtime was enough to cause her to slide the flimsy lock at her bedroom door for the first time since they had been living there. The crashing noise of the door opening startled her to wakefulness – her terror at a stranger in the darkness was completely overwhelming. Though she managed to fight him off, her injuries and the recurring nightmares wo
Linda Strong
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
Laura Holland lives through a woman's worst nightmare. She awakes one night to see a strange man in her bedroom. She manages to fight him off but he swears to return.

Suffering gut-wrenching nightmares, afraid to leave her house, afraid to enter her house, her husband talks her into counseling. Chris is also having to deal with some guilt because he was out of town for a business meeting... or was he?

The counseling helps, but then Laura buys a gun. She never wants to be unprotected again ... espe
No one knows how they will be affected after a home invasion and attempted rape. Your personal space has been violated; the sanctity of the safety you feel in your home has been shredded. Laura could not get over the attack, and the attacker had promised to return, the once confident woman was afraid of every sound, every shadow as she slowly imploded on herself. After therapy, the endless support of her husband and a neighbor, she went as far as buying a gun, which brought up a myriad of questi ...more
Mar 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Is wanting to stop an attacker the same as defending yourself? Where does self-defense end and revenge begin? How do you know whether one acted free of malice and in good faith, i.e. avoiding any more force than one had to? These are just some of the questions raised in Liz Larus's debut novel. Based on the author's real-life experience of being attacked by a stranger in her home, this Atlanta-centered story follows six months in the life of Laura and her remarkable approach to deal with the att ...more
Mar 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Free of Malice is a debut novel by Liz Lazarus. I received an ARC edition from the author in exchange for an honest review.

The premise for the story is that Laura, the protagonist, has been attacked in her home and the intruder has escaped. She finds herself wishing she had had a gun so that she could have shot him as he was leaving. Learning that she may not have gotten away with the murder (or it being a open and shut case), she finds herself seeking the help of an attorney to get his opinion
Tori (InToriLex)
Dec 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult, thriller
Find this and other Reviews at InToriLex

This book has wonderful suspense and an accurate portrayal of the legal system which kept me intrigued the whole way through. The main character Laura has to deal with the aftermath of a horrible attack, she tries to keep it together while controlling her fear. Barbara was her therapist, the included  notes from their session, gave me useful insight into the kind of thinking and behavior that was abnormal. This was a great contrast because the story is tol
Whilst her husband is out of town, Laura Holland is attacked one night in her own home. The attacker runs off after Laura screams but she is left very shaken and regularly having nightmares about that horrific night. This leaves her husband helpless and at a loss as to what he can do. He decides that therapy may be a way forward and asks Laura to attend some sessions. Laura agrees to do so and after much discussion and upon meeting defence attorney, Thomas Bennett, she decides to write an accoun ...more
Michelle (Michelle's Book Ends) Shealy
"But if you had shot him, you would be dealing with a lot more than you are today," she replied. "If you killed or even wounded him, there could have other ramifications, don't you think?" It would have been self defense. He attacked me, remember?" "Yes, I know, and I'm not a legal expert, but I believe if you had shot him when he was leaving, you couldn't claim self defense."......

Based on real life experiences of the author, this psychological legal suspense takes place in Atlanta. Journalist
Mar 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Although crime and mystery novels were one of my favorite genres in the past, it's been quite awhile since I've read a great one. Luckily, Free of Malice by Liz Lazarus rekindled my love for fast-paced, intriguing mysteries!

This novel follows Laura, a woman who was attacked and almost raped in her home late one night. After seeking therapy and talking to police, she discovers that if she had shot and killed her attacker, she would most likely have been charged with murder. Laura decides to creat
Mar 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Our bookclub read this first novel by Liz Lazarus and this was by far one of the BEST discussions that I have ever experienced!!! The twists in this book will have you second guessing until you get to the end. As an African-American woman, I compel ALL to read with an open mind. The legal aspect of the book was very informative and eye opening for the "what-if" part. Not to give away the story, we are looking forward to a possible 2nd novel from Ms. Lazarus. We also had the absolute pleasure to ...more
{ U n s o l v e d M y s t e r y }

My rating: 4.5

Wow! This was extremely detailed on the legal ramifications of shooting an intruder OUTSIDE your house.
Ms. Liz did her homework (research) in writing this book. Her passion for writing and descriptions came through.

Another thing I loved was the authoritative stance that Laura took in the issue of owning a gun for self defense.
This is not something you normally see in a book.....recently.
Owning a gun for self defense purposes is OKAY.
Protecting your family, yourself and property
Holly (epiloguebookblog)
Mar 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars!

“Well-researched” is the term that comes to mind when I reflect on Free of Malice. While reading, I learned much about legal, mental health professional, and law enforcement approaches to assault and self-defense. Interestingly enough, the thriller explores vicitms’ rights and where those rights intersect and/or conflict with an attacker’s rights—and those of any innocent bystanders. As one character expressly communicates, the issue isn’t as cut and dried as one might think. And it’s
Tammy Downing
Dec 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
Wow! This book as absolutely fantastic. The story involves a woman who was attacked in her home and decided to write a story about what would have happened if she would have killed him when he left. The suspense was incredible. I was surprised by the ending.
Dec 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(I received this book in a giveaway on goodreads)There's soooo much to say about this book! It's so captivating. Anyone that's reading this review please do buy this book and read it. ...more
Brittany Beadles
Oct 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaway
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. I absolutely loved this book. It will keep you guessing all the way to the end!
Rebecca A
5/5 stars

First reviewed at Vicariously!

I needed to take a walk after I read this book. Some things hit too close to home and entirely too close for comfort. I had to sort through my feelings for a bit, after which I realized:

I'm very very very glad Ms. Lazarus wrote this book.

Free of Malice is one of the most detailed, accurate, unique, and liberating books I've read in a good minute. It's uses of 'notes' from Laura's psychiatrist, a code to hear a song that a character (inspired by the author'
Susan Hampson
Mar 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Your home is your castle, a place to lock the horrors of the world outside and feel safe but how do you ever feel safe again after the illusion is destroyed?
Laura Holland is home alone while her husband is working away, it happens quite regular and it hasn't ever been a problem, that is until one night in bed she feels someone is watching her and a fight for her life takes place. When the man with dark skin escapes he leaves her with a terrifying promise, Sam will be back!
Wow! this is a tremen
Jan 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First, thank you to Liz Lazarus for providing a copy of her book in exchange for my unbiased review.

I thought this was an interesting book. I related well with Laura, but felt some of her decisions were not what I would have done. I kept looking at every male character with suspicion and had trouble trusting them. I enjoyed her appointments with Dr. Cole and thought the doctor’s notes were a nice touch. I didn’t really enjoy the legal aspects of the story; I know they were researched and authent
Feb 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Bravo!!! This was such a captivating book. I was at the edge of my seat reading it. I kept on being suspicious of the three men that spent time with Laura never saw what was coming head on. I loved that the story revolved around the process of the court system. I took a course in College similar to the way this book was written. I not only was suspicious of the other characters but part of me also thought she imagine the whole scenario. This is Liz's first book and readers would never be able to ...more
Alaina Maxam
Dec 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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LIZ LAZARUS is an engineer by education, a consultant & business owner from experience and an author given her passion to tell stories.

Her first novel is loosely based on a personal experience and a series of ‘what if’ questions. FREE OF MALICE traces the after effects of a foiled attack; a woman healing, and grappling with the legal system to acknowledge her right to self-defense.


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