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(Dr. Schwartzman #1)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  16,469 ratings  ·  1,145 reviews
Dr. Annabelle Schwartzman has finally found a place to belong. As the medical examiner for the San Francisco Police Department, working alongside homicide detective Hal Harris, she uncovers the tales the dead can’t tell about their final moments. It is a job that gives her purpose—and a safe haven from her former life at the hands of an abusive husband. Although it’s been ...more
Kindle Edition, 402 pages
Published October 1st 2016 by Thomas & Mercer
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Average rating 3.99  · 
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 ·  16,469 ratings  ·  1,145 reviews

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How is this supposed to be a psychological thriller when the main character, Anna, predicts every move her psycho ex-lover will do or have possibly done, and it usually ends up being accurate? Two of the major problems I had with this book: everything was too convenient and the characters were flat.

Spencer, her former abusive lover, plots, murders multiple people, and stalks so perfectly that it should be literally impossible to do all at once, especially since he’s doing this in TWO different s
Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Exhumed BY Danielle Girard was a thriller that I got through I liked it but wouldn't say I was rushing to get back to.

The plot was easily worked out & the perp predictable, although Dr Annabelle Swartz men was a strong character, the author showed her weaknesses she has a psychopathic ex husband Spencer Macdonald who's character was well written he made the story as he was always chasing Annabelle making her life a total nightmare.

For Me Annabelle had too many issues involving her mother & siste
Oct 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first book by Danielle Girard and I will say it will not be my last. Her Dr. Annabelle Schwartzman character is my new favorite strong female and a great read. She has left an abusive husband who always finds and stalks her wherever she may go and is so good at it there is never any clue as to the fact it is him. Her own mother would not even believe her. Now a dead ringer to her has turned up dead. She thought she could call this home until a cop she has become friends with turns up ...more
Sep 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing

This is an exceptional read, once you get started it's hard to put down. I will tell you how I chose my Kindle First for September, first it was listed as a Psychological Thriller, one of my favorites. Second there were several of Danielle Girard books listed with reviews of 4.5 and higher, that made my decision easy.

Annabelle Swartzman is a good character (a little quirky, very likeable), she draws you into her story from the first few pages. This will be an excellent series, highly reco
Nov 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review probably won't help anyone, but I couldn't stand it. Everything was too convenient, from how manipulative and sociopathic the antagonist is, to the extensive and rather drawn out panic attacks of the main character. There was simply nothing about this novel that makes it stand out from the hordes of generic crime books out there. Yawn....
The Badger
Oct 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
I could not disagree more with some of my "esteemed" co-readers (that word is facetiously emphasized for those who have the audacity to complain that a book whose main character is a medical examiner has too much medical terminology). Let's examine how the novel might read without the "big words." Also, I understand that some of you took issue with the examiner being called "Schwartzman," as it is a "big word" (I'm going to briefly point the irony that many of the same people bemoaning the impos ...more
Sep 05, 2016 rated it did not like it
I truly wanted to like this book but the writing is so bad, the characters so flat and the medical terminology so forced that I only made it through the first two chapters. On a positive note, it was free with Amazon Prime so I didn't waste any $$ on it.
K Allen
Sep 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
Disappointing Second Half

I totally agree with another reviewer - halfway through the book I would have still given it 5 stars, but it all went downhill from there and I started to skim through it just to get to the end. Although I wasn't overly sympathetic with Schwartzman's character (why aren't we calling her Anna by the way??) I still enjoyed the book in the beginning because it was suspenseful and I really wanted to know how everything would tie together at the end. But halfway through the b
Oct 28, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Evidently the book I downloaded entitled “Exhume” was not the same book others read. The book I read could have been a dependable mystery/suspense novel. Not great, but good. It had a tried and true plot line going - wife being stalked by her crazy husband that she ran away from years ago. The main character had an interesting profession - pathologist - and it took place in two cities that fiction loves - San Francisco and Charleston.

Instead this became almost a retelling of the story of Job. I
Lynda Kelly
Sep 05, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: deleted
I usually enjoy this author's books and so when I saw one by her on this month's Kindle First list I grabbed it quick. However, I've packed it in at only just isn't for me.
I wasn't liking the fact that Annabelle was always referred to as Schwartzman throughout. Seems odd. The main police personnel were called Hal and Hailey, again I found it odd she picked such similar names. It has a surfeit of medical terminology that had to keep being looked up and really wasn't neccessary in that m
Sarah Joint
Oct 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dr. Annabelle Schwartzman is called to the scene of a murder. As a medical examiner, she prepares to make an initial assessment of the body. But seeing the woman lay as if sleeping while clutching yellow flowers gives her pause. She was just sent yellow flowers (her least favorite) by her estranged husband. The victim has a passing resemblance to herself. She's even wearing a copy of the custom necklace the doctor never takes off. Is her ex escalating from his usual notes and occasional phone ca ...more
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, kindle-first
3.5 stars

The book started off really well, definitely a page-turner with some cliff-hanger chapter endings that made it really hard to put down. After a while, the plot line started to get harder to swallow. The bad guy was just too smart and poor Anna kept having one bad thing happen to her after the next (give her a break already!). I still thought the second half of the book was quite entertaining. Overall it's a good read when you're looking for some brainless excitement. There's nothing wro
Sep 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
Very flat characters with a whiny protagonist. Everything that happens to her is a little too convenient, a little too easy for her to get out of. Some details are hammered over and over again, many not even pertinent to the plot. Did I really need to be told over and over how large Hal is? Even how scared Schwartman is gets explained over and over. While the past abuse she suffered and her present fear are an integral part of the story, after a while I wanted to scream 'yes, I get it; she's ter ...more
Nov 02, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a long book so I decided to keep track of my thoughts as I went along because I knew I would forget stuff. It turned out to be a lot of thoughts, but it makes sense—long book = long review. Fasten your seatbelts, friends.

About 35%

This is going to be a long book.

Okay, looks like we’ve got two different storylines going on here—but as this isn’t an episode of CSI, they’ve got to converge at some point. I’ll wait.

Oooh, alternating POVs. If I really felt invested in Schwartzman as a characte
Oct 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Danielle Girard's Exhume is the story of a frightened, damaged, abused woman, Dr. Annabelle Schwartman, whose (almost) ex-husband, Spencer, has been stalking her for seven years--since she left him for severe emotional abuse and the murder of her unborn child. While hiding from him, trying to avoid anything that would allow him to re-capture her, she builds a life as an accomplished and well-regarded San Francisco Medical Examiner, hoping to have a quiet and normal life--

"Schwartzman preferred s
Oct 01, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-first, 2-star
The story is tedious and far-fetched. So is the main character, a super-smart but emotionally fragile medical examiner (view spoiler). Huh? This book was a Kindle First choice for September and 2 stars is extremely generous. The series could improve, I suppose, if Dr. Schwartzman got her act together. ...more
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars, rounded up!! This was such a great story!
I had a hard time buying the premise of this book, which is that an overachieving third-year med student went on a date with an older man who then raped her, and so of course she somehow got roped into marrying him because I guess rapists are just that controlling; anyway, she's in this abusive marriage for several years before she finally escapes, moves across the country to finish medical school and eventually becomes a coroner, all the while her ex (to whom she's technically still married) is ...more
Robert Freeman
Sep 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a free Kindle First book for me. Normally, I don't read murder mysteries, but Kindle First has been great for trying out genres and books that are outside my comfort zone. This was one of the better ones.

This is the kind of book I imagine Richard Castle of the TV show Castle writes: a suspenseful murder mystery/thriller that is both competently written and kind of dumb at the same time.

It features several tropes of the genre that normally turn me off:

1) the protagonist carries deep psyc
Oct 05, 2016 rated it liked it
I got this book through Kindle First. It's not amazing by any stretch, but it's full of suspense and keeps you reading to the end. I also liked that the main character is a medical examiner. There should be more books about medical examiners. They're always kind of quirky, because you'd have to be to pick working with dead bodies over working with alive ones, right?

The descriptions of the abusive ex-husband made my skin crawl and had me looking over my shoulder for nighttime attackers. I have no
Rochelle Begovatz
Sep 04, 2016 rated it it was ok

I did not like the character Annabelle. She was so whiny, dull and boring. The storyline line was totally unbelievable and far fetched.
Jan 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
Very predictable, with lots of plot holes and a cartoonish villain
NOTE: I received a free copy of the book from NetGalley for reviewing purposes. All opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced in any way.

My main problem with this novel was that I just could not muster much sympathy for the main character. I didn’t understand how she could allow herself to be controlled and manipulated by Spencer MacDonald and her own mother to the extent she endured when Annabelle Schwartzman lived in South Carolina. Making the main character a “southern woman” earns
Malina Skrobosinski
Sep 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
"Because Spencer enjoys scaring me? No. That's too simple. He had something larger in mind, but she had no idea what his plan was..."

While reading this book I couldn't help but be taken back to when I was a young girl and I had just seen the movie Fear starring Mark Wahlberg and Reese Witherspoon for the first time. That movie instilled such terror in me, and in many ways, so did this novel. Was it overly terrifying, no, of course not, but if you stop to think about what it would be lik
Oct 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Medical Examiner is Stalked by her Former Husband

Seven years ago, Dr. Annabelle, although she prefers Anna, Schwartzman, left Spencer, her abusive husband. Starting over was a struggle, but she finished medical school and now has a job in Seattle as a medical examiner. She loves helping the homicide team solve cases. Being part of a team makes her feel safe, but when one of the cases brings back the horror of her married life, she panics.

The murdered woman looks like her, and when a necklace
Nov 19, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, page-turner
I am not sure why this book was entitled "Exhume." No dead bodies were dug up that I recall. The story started out with some great prose from the main character's POV at work as a medical examiner in San Francisco. Then it deteriorated into totally implausible plot twists. My huge pet peeve is when a smart person does incredibly stupid things, which Anna Schwartzman, the medical examiner does. How does someone make it through pre-med and med school in 6 years, then marry a guy who (view spoiler) ...more
Oct 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Ok, my heart was pounding more than once as I read this one. Schwartzman is a great character! She feels real, as do many of the others. Is the mystery/thriller solid? I rather doubt that bad guys of the sort we find here actually exist in real life--the lengths to which he goes, not the level of his evil--that we know exists. None the less, even as I knew it was preposterous, Girard pretty much grabbed me and didn't let go until I finished.

Did Schwartzman make some incredibly bad moves? Of cour
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This isn't my normal book genre pick- but it was free through Kindle Prime...

The book had promise in the beginning and I read through it quickly as the suspense grew at an exciting pace- but then it just fell flat. Details didn't add up and it became too far fetched. I would only read another in the series if it was free.

A hidden room with a creepy projection where he hid her Aunt's necklace and recordings of his capture of her- after going through meticulous planning to cover other cri
Jaina S
Nov 19, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Meh. Gotta stop getting sucked in by the 'free' books of Kindle First. Yes I may have to spend a few dollars for a book actually worth reading BUT I won't waste the time reading stuff like this that SHOULD be a 'discovery' but instead is just kind of lackluster and lame. This one at least was interesting enough to finish, but if you have any other choices I wouldn't bother with this.
There is a lot going on in this book, the details overbearing and full of red herrings. Too much telling instead of showing and the main character's actions were often maddening. Not a fan but I won a copy so wanted to give it a try.
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Danielle Girard is the USA Today and Amazon #1 bestselling author of thirteen novels, including Exhume, book 1 in the Dr. Schwartzman Series, and Chasing Darkness, as well as The Rookie Club series. Her books have won the Barry Award and the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award, and two of her titles have been optioned for movies.

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Other books in the series

Dr. Schwartzman (4 books)
  • Excise (Dr. Schwartzman, #2)
  • Expose (Dr. Schwartzman, #3)
  • Expire (Dr. Schwartzman #4)

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