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3.70  ·  Rating details ·  1,723 ratings  ·  449 reviews
A classroom is held hostage by someone with a thirst for revenge in this stunningly intricate, ripped-from-the-headlines novel of rich psychological suspense from the New York Times bestselling author of the Mary Russell mysteries.

Career Day at Guadalupe Middle School: a day given to innocent hopes and youthful dreams. A day no one in attendance will ever forget.

New York
Hardcover, 383 pages
Published June 13th 2017 by Bantam
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Average rating 3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,723 ratings  ·  449 reviews

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2.5 Stars. It’s Career Day at Guadalupe Middle School and Principal Linda McDonald needs the day to go smoothly. The school is in a low-income area and many of the residents are immigrants. The community is also still reeling from both the murder of a teenager by a gang member and the mysterious disappearance of a sixth-grader. Career Day is a chance to bring the students together and show them all the great things that their future could hold. But for some, the future seems too daunting and the ...more
Ivonne Rovira
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Ivonne by: NetGalley
Author Laurie R. King, best known for her Sherlock Holmes-Mary Russell historical mystery series, has penned a suspense-filled stand-alone novel that will keep readers reading much too far into the night.

Something really, really, really bad is about to happen at Guadalupe Middle School, a working-class school in a California town plagued with gangs, drug- and alcohol-addicted parents, child abuse, a disappeared child — the usual panoply of modern urban problems. That’s no spoiler: King foreshado
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, adrenaline
I've always preferred King's standalone to her series, and while this isn't my favorite (that would be Folly and Keeping Watch), it is a topical, ripped from the headlines, and riveting story. This initially reminded me of Jodi Picoult's novels, particularly Nineteen Minutes, but while Picoult frequently focuses on the aftermath of terrible events, King is all about the build up and here the secrets that intensify the suspense as we discover them. The subject is a shooting in a middle school on ...more
Bam cooks the books ;-)
Laurie R. King is the author of the long-running mystery series featuring Sherlock Holmes and his apprentice, Mary Russell. Here, in this standalone suspense novel, King takes on the story of one life-changing day at the troubled Guadalupe Middle School in San Felipe, CA.

"A school had always been a place to incubate hopes and dreams." In pursuit of that, Principal Linda McDonald has decided to hold a Career Day, where successful adults of the community can come to share details about their jobs
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a stand-alone book by Laurie R. King. The story is about students, a school principal and her husband, the school police officer and janitor and what leads up to the school shooting and school lockdown. I thought it was great to have San Francisco police detective Martinelli play a brief part in the story. I am a fan of King’s Martinelli series.

The book is well written. The chapters are short and succinct. The tension builds as secrets about various characters are gradually revealed. Eac
Bonnie Brody
May 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Imagine this: A middle school with a diverse ethnic and socio-economic population of students. It is career day and things are getting revved up but it feels like those in charge are preparing for a special ops operation. It might as well be Quantico but the question remains, 'Why"?

There are several characters that make up this ensemble novel, each with their own history and secrets. Linda, the principal, has turned Guadalupe School into a viable educational institution. Gordon, Linda's husband,
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Woohoo! Approved on Edelweiss for LRK's new book! :D
Sep 13, 2017 rated it liked it
In the Acknowledgments at the back of this book the author admits that much of this book was originally short stories. It reads like that. Each chapter tells you the story (and sometimes the waaay back story) of various adults and children at a middle school. And it is all tied together with a trite speech that the principal gives before 'career day' about how they all form a tapestry.

C'mon. A tapestry? But forgiving that painful cliche, this book is both readable and disappointing. The author
I guess I can't say this book was completely horrible because it infuriated me, and fury doesn't come without some other powerful feeling and that equals I guess I cared. Which is why there are 2 stars instead of one. Honestly, I'm surprised I finished it.

Guadalupe Middle School is having Career Day and Linda the principal goes on and on about the school being a "tapestry" and "all the threads coming together" and blah, blah, blah. I thought that was going to be the good part for me, talking abo

It has been many years since I read one of Laurie R. King's Mary Russell novels, but I remember them very fondly as a wildly enjoyable read. It pains me to say this, but I think Ms. King needs to stick to the Mary Russell series, as every
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I long ago fell in love with Laurie King's writing through the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series. I have followed her books through other series and her standalones, too, and I've been rewarded with great reading year after year. I was excited to learn that there would be a new standalone, but it seemed quite a departure in subject matter from what I expected. I was right. It was a departure, but a fascinating one that proved me wonderfully wrong about my predictions concerning the big eve ...more
May 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I was really intrigued by a new standalone book from Laurie King. I've enjoyed her strengths in characterization and empathy in the past.

The structure of this book reminded me of a book by John Sanford with ADD. Each chapter was a couple of pages long at most, sometimes only a paragraph or two. So while the book looks like it's over 300 pages long, I'd say there's only about half that much content to read, tops. Each
Book Concierge
King is probably best known for her Mary Russell series, but this is a stand-alone psychological thriller. As the title implies, it focuses on an incident at a school – Guadalupe Middle School in San Felipe, California. The action follows the characters on one particular day, “Career Day,” when Principal Linda McDonald will bring in a variety of adults to talk to the students about various career options. King gives us a timeline for each chapter, taking us from just after midnight to shortly af ...more
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, suspense
From the book's acknowledgements:
"Lockdown is a thriller set in a school under threat, but it is about the school's community, its weak points and skills, and the strength it can find when pressed to the brink. A story about how rescue comes from within, and how heroism may rise from the most unexpected direction."

The author handles a very difficult storyline without blatant violence and with tremendous humanity. King also uses differing character point of view in a great way. Surprisingly upli
Principal Linda MacDonald wants Career Day at Gaudalupe Middle School to be memorable. But as she frets over the language of her introductory speech, little does she know what will unfold on this day and how truly memorable it will be for herself, the students and the participants.

Laurie R. King's Lockdown bills itself as a novel of suspense. And like a film by Alfred Hitchcock, King gets us to invest in her characters to help build and ratchet up the tension until it finally reaches a boiling p
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
In my eyes, Laurie R. King can do no wrong. She has been on my Indispensables List for over two decades, and she is absolutely one of those writers whom I will follow anywhere. I doubt I would normally read a book about a school shooting; there are still too-fresh scars in this neck of the woods for me to choose such a subject for entertainment. (That's so in lots of necks of lots of woods; here it's because of Sandy Hook and twenty tiny dead children.)

All the different strands of this story –
May 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“Lockdown” is not the book you expect it to be – in a good way. When I started reading it, I thought I’d be reading a suspense story set in the midst of a situation with which we’ve all become too familiar: an armed intruder in a school. There is suspense, all right, but it’s more like the slow onset of a deadly fever, a serious of interlocking stories all leading up to an explosion – but not, perhaps, the one you’re expecting. The teachers, students and citizens around the Guadalupe Middle Scho ...more
Darcia Helle
I wish I could join in the praise for this book. Laurie King has an engaging writing style that I truly enjoyed reading. She has the ability to put me right in the moment with the characters, so I feel their emotions and the turmoil of the situation. Unfortunately, this story just didn't work for me stylistically.

Virtually every character in this book has a narrating part, and there are a lot of characters. We shift narrator every few pages. The switch is clear, as the chapter heading gives us t
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Originally published at Reading Reality

Lockdown was a surprise. In the end, it was nothing like I expected. Also, in the end, absolutely fascinating. Just not in the way that I expected at the beginning.

I was not expecting Holmes and Russell. Not that I wouldn’t love another entry in that series, but I knew this wasn’t it.

Instead, Lockdown is a story that starts out slowly and picks up steam, much as Guadalupe Middle School Principal Linda McDonald starts her day out early but slowly and ends wi
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Career Day comes to Guadalupe Middle School in California. Principal Linda McDonald took over the troubled school a year ago and Career Day is her idea. Someone else has big plans for this day too and not in a good way. The jacket of the book promises an "explosive confrontation". The story takes us through the hours prior to this event.

The chapters are narrated by maybe a dozen different characters, including both adults at the school and several teenagers attending class there. Many of the cha
Mary Ann
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Career Day at Guadalupe Middle School: a day given to innocent hopes and youthful dreams. A day no one in attendance will ever forget."

I finished this a week ago and, due to current events, forgot to rate it. Although it shares qualities with King's previous mysteries-intricate plotting, interesting characters with lots of secrets, a distinct atmosphere, and excellent dialogue, it's very different from her other series and stand-alones, and it's difficult to review without spoilers. Laurie expl
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Career Day at Guadalupe Middle School

This story started out kind of slow for me. It took me a while to untangle the characters and figure out their relationships to each other. The story is told from many points of view, which didn't help the bit of a chaotic start.

Another reason the book was hard to get into is a formatting style I'm seeing more and more. There was no line spacing between paragraphs and only a one space indent at the start of each new paragraph. This is a difficult style to rea
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
This was different from any other Laurie R. King book I have ever read...a novel written from the perspective of almost every character involved in the narrative: the school principal; her husband; the school's janitor; several students at Guadalupe Middle School, as well as the local police sergeant. One day last fall, Bee Cuomo disappeared and no one knows why. One of her friends thinks her father killed her. A local gangbanger is on trial for murdering a young girl. A prominent businessman in ...more
Jun 01, 2017 marked it as to-read
WooHoo! I won a GR Giveaway copy of this book. I enjoyed King's Mary Russell novel (I've only read one so far), so am excited to read this new stand-alone book!
Charlotte Miller
May 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs-2-read
New York Times bestselling Laurie R. King never disappoints, and she is at the top of her game with her outstanding standalone psychological thriller Lockdown. It is Career Day at Guadalupe Middle School, a day that starts with students’ dreams of the future and that threatens to end in violent confrontation. There are secrets here, myriad stories woven together of students and staff, people you come to know and care about in a breathtaking read that will keep you up turning pages late into the ...more
C Cox
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
With its ominous title, this book intrigued me but I felt a touch of dread that the violence the title portends would be fulfilled. But of course this is a Laurie R. King novel so that is only part of the story.
When one of the central characters, Linda McDonald is introduced I was hooked. She arrives as a missionary in the highlands of New Guinea and wends her way back to the States to the rural community of San Felipe, as the principal of the Guadalupe Middle School.
The story is skillfully wo
Tonstant Weader
May 22, 2017 rated it liked it
A troubled middle school in a poor urban neighborhood is experiencing a rebirth thanks to a decimated and gifted principal named Linda along with the subtle wisdom of Tío the janitor. Of course, there are others, teachers, parents, students who all contribute to the school coming together in spite of the odds and the odds are tough. A beloved little young girl named Bea has disappeared, nearly breaking her friends, particularly young Nick. Then there was the murder of one student’s babysitter by ...more
Jul 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It isn't a spy-fiction story but it is definitely a thriller so there we are.
I didn't buy this one when it came out as I usually do with MS King's books because I was a teacher and there was a lot of talk about school safety and just before I retired what classes were to do if there was a lockdown was the subject of several drills. It just seemed a little too close to home. As it was I was able to deal with it without much of a panic. My husband picked it up on his weekly shopping trip and I dec
Jul 20, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Remember when "active shooter'' wasn't part of our everyday vocabulary? I didn't think I was up for Laurie R. King's new standalone Lockdown (Bantam, digital galley), no matter how timely, having seen way too much of the real thing on the evening news. But King delivers more than a tick-tock countdown of Career Day at Guadalupe Middle School, which begins with the high hopes principal Linda McDonald has for her diverse student body. The school bubbles with "hormones and suppressed rage,
Jun 05, 2017 rated it liked it
I was super excited to be gifted an ARC of this book because I love all of Ms. King's other stand-alone novels; she does such amazing suspense stories. Like so many others, I didn't much care for how much the narrative bounced between such a huge cast of characters. It kind of felt like a game of duck-duck-goose; going round and round to each character in turn to see how they each might be responsible for whatever bad thing you could feel coming. The very short segments really kept me from truly ...more
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Play Book Tag: Lockdown by Laurie R King - 4**** 2 11 Mar 11, 2018 05:22PM  
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Edgar-winning mystery writer Laurie R. King writes series and standalone novels. Her official forum is
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King's 2018 novel, Island of the Mad, sees Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes travel from London's Bedlam to the glitter of Venice's Lido,where Young Things and the friends of Cole Porter pass Mussolini's Blackshi

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