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The Girls He Adored (E.L. Pender #1)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  2,345 Ratings  ·  150 Reviews
For ten years, the charmingly disheveled veteran FBI Special Agent E.L. Pender has been investigating the apparently random disappearances of a dozen women across the country. The only detail the cases have in common is the strawberry blond color of the victims' hair, and the presence of a mystery man with whom they were last seen.

Then, in Monterey, California, a routine t
...more
Kindle Edition, 448 pages
Published November 3rd 2001 by Atria Books (first published 2001)
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Ann A psychological thriller about a young man with dissociative identity disorder (DID), also known as multiple personality disorder, started reading it…moreA psychological thriller about a young man with dissociative identity disorder (DID), also known as multiple personality disorder, started reading it & can't put it down for too long, a real page turner! Warning though if you're sensitive to gory scenes!(less)
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Emma
Aug 27, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

Another long-time-later reread for me, one which pretty much matched my original evaluation. There's some huge potential in this, especially the DID character mostly under the control of alter Max, who is (collectively) beyond terrifying and pretty much the most dangerous and depraved kind of killer you don't ever want to meet. His voices and actions are not for the fainthearted, there's a lot of explicit sadistic and sexual violence in this so don't pick it up if that's not the kind of
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Shaun
This started off as a four, by halfway had evolved into a three, and by the end had plummeted to a two.

While the writing is competent enough, a story with tons of promise is ruined by plain silliness.(view spoiler)
...more
Shiela
This book appealed to my psychology background and was a real treat. Nasaw does a great job at creating a character who suffers from both the controversial Dissociative Identity Disorder phenomena and all of the implications that go with the disorder, and meshed it so brilliantly with Antisocial Personality Disorder in such a believable way. Max actually reminded me of a new and more twisted Hannibal Lector.

What I loved about this book is the amount of time and detail the author spends developi
...more
Gram
Jul 31, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The violence, much of it of a sadosexual nature, is overwhelming in this horrific crime thriller, but Nasaw's obviously done his research on DID, Dissociative identity disorder (aka multiple personality disorder) suffered by his central character Maxwell Ulysses. "Max" is a vicious kidnapper, torturer, rapist and murderer, who's been targeting strawberry blonde females for almost a decade. He also kills anyone who gets in his way - even if they're just giving him directions on the road.

Now, he'
...more
Maicie
Jan 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished-in-2011
Ed Pender, a frumpish special agent, is a bit of a joke at the FBI. He's spent years searching for a serial killer who favors strawberry blonds. Unfortunately, no bodies have ever been recovered and no one takes the agent seriously.

During a routine traffic stop, a deputy pulls over a man sitting next to a recently disemboweled woman with strawberry blond hair. Pender is sure this is his man. But before he can make the connection stick, the prisoner escapes. He kidnaps Dr. Irene Cogan, the court
...more
Christie
Feb 02, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Years ago I read the Dean Koontz book, Intensity. It was freakin’ terrifying. I generally find Koontz to be a pretty reliable writer- delivering fast-paced and exciting suspense, sometimes with a dash of the supernatural. (Of late I find him a little wordy, but never mind that.)

I was hoping Nasaw’s book would offer me the same thrill ride as Intensity, you know- one of those page-turners that you carry with you everywhere and can’t put down. The Girls He Adored is well-written (as these sorts of
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Franzie Lovegood
Oct 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Girls He Adored is a very different thriller. I think, it's one of the most unique thrillers I have ever read.

I really liked Maxwell Ulysses. He has DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) and has multiple "sub-personalities". When he is caught killing a young woman in his car, it's Kinch (the killer part) that has control. But there are switches. Lots of switches. Controllable switches, and uncontrollable ones. It's difficult to describe this disease. There are also Lyssy, the little kid, Alic
...more
Nidah (SleepDreamWrite)
4.5 rating for this. Also what do I say after reading this? Of course it would be a suggestion from GR, thanks a lot. Though it helps I heard nothing about this series.

Been reading suspense reads lately which was mostly for the Halloween month but now looks like I'm curious as to reading a bunch of these series I started.

This was a what did I just read kind of book. And yet I couldn't stop reading. It got weird, it got um what and what just happened moments. Oh and let's add creepy to that list
...more
Cari
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A heart-wrenching, twisted, thought-provoking, disgustingly descriptive page-turner. The short chapters from the different point of views make this a very fast read.

Trigger warning - rape, incest, child abuse/molestation, murder, and everything in between.
Akaii
Stumbled upon a good mystery/crime novel after a long time. “The girls he adored” is a fast paced and interesting read. Kept me guessing whole time what’s gonna happen next. Also, the very little known facts about DID(Dissociate Identity Disorder) and its psychological impact has been portrayed skillfully. The graphic details of murder were harrowing and spine chilling. However, I think it added overall to the disturbingly dark "feel" of this novel.
Shannon
Apr 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scary, my-poor-brain
This is a great scary book! I actually read this book years ago and I forgot the name of it and for the last year I have been trying to figure out the name of this book so I could read it again. I was so happy when I finally found it! This is such a weird plot and just very disturbing, but so original I couldn't help but be intrigued. I'm super excited to see that there is another book in this series. If you like scary books then this one is a keeper!
Rebecca McNutt
The Girls He Adored is a pretty good mystery novel; although it was rather generic it still had many great things about it that made it worth reading.
Donna
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.75 stars. Psychiatrist Irene Cogan comes to the prison to interview and test a murdered "Max" suspected of having multiple personalities. She's an expert in this field but he's very cunning and might be fooling everyone.

FBI agent Pender has been tracking a serial killer of women with strawberry blond hair for almost 10 years. Pender is coming to interview this suspect when Max escapes from jail. Taking Irene as hostage, Max takes a murderous path back to his home base and the only way Irene wi
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Lauren
The Girls He Adored
5 Stars

When a routine traffic stop results in the discovery of a disemboweled corpse, veteran FBI Agent, E.L. Pender, finally catches a break in a decade old serial killer investigation. Unfortunately, before Pender can prove a connection to his case, the suspect, who appears to be suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder, escapes police custody and abducts his court-appointed psychologist, Irene Cogan. As Pender searches for the two, Irene must navigate the twisted mind o
...more
Brandi ;)
ummm, well....hmmm....I'm really at a loss for words here on how to review this book. It was very disturbing, hard to read but at the same time it was like the proverbial train wreck, you just couldn't look away, you just had to see and know what happened.
You know the deal on the book so i don't feel a need to rehash the whole DID psychotic details. What I feel the need to share is why on earth I could say I 'really like it' & give the book 4 stars when the abuse to women was terrible and e
...more
Goodenough
Sep 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One cannot find a better thriller.

If you live on the Central Coast of California you will really love The Girls, as the action takes place there--between Big Sur and San Francisco with a jaunt to Oregon.

Nasaw is a much better writer than, say J. Patterson, who actually is a corporation of writers--how's that work?!

Nasaw develops his characters with great detail and depth. I've read some reviews by folks who are upset that he "gave away the ending", failing to understand that Nasaw writes psycho
...more
Stephanie
This was a very dark and twisted read. "Max" is violent psychopath suffering from DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) who is fixated on strawberry blonds. Nasaw does an incredible job telling the story from his, and his many personalities, point of view. It starts off a little difficult to keep them all straight but then you get into the flow and it becomes impossible to put the book down.

I would have given this book a four or even five star rating, because it was superbly creepy and entertaini
...more
kim ellis
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Scary stuff !

What goes on in Mr Nasaws head to come up with these ideas? Very dark,the different personalities made it very real and scary,I loved it,great story,well written, and I went on to do my own research into DID, which I found fascinating,but also sad. I have read all of Jonathan Nasaws books and you're always guaranteed a good story with a start,middle and end,but this one has stayed with me long after I closed the last page. Great!
Tricia Riley
The main character has multiple-personality disorder. It is described on the front cover as "Dark, inventive and relentlessly nasty."

It was good but disturbing. The person who wrote this has done a lot of research into multiple personality disorder and I found the explanation of how the alters ordered themselves inside the body fascinating.

Of course two of those personalities were serial killers so I guess you can see what happened to the girls he adored.
Lizz
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
first time i read a book about multiple personalitys, and i admit it was pretty good. viewed a little of what goes on, liked the ending the best 😅
Brian O'Leary
Slightly above average tale.
norma robinson
Nov 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My thougjhts

I enjoyed this book eventual
l






I enjoyed this book eventually it was a bit confusing at first but I got there.


K P Trillo-Blanco
Loved it!!

A fast page Turner right to the end.
Can't wait for his next one.
Absolutely fantastic writing!!
They want 3 more words. Hmmmm ok cucumber, fish, thunder.
Miss Jinxed
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good One!
Heather
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't normally read this genre, but enjoyed this due to the mental health component.
Alexis Stankewitz
Sep 21, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Misogynistic writing at it's worst.
Myrna
May 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.25/5 stars. A really good thriller. I didn't want to put it down. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.
Kristy
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the audio of this book and it was performed very good considering the character had multiple personalities. The story is disturbingly psychotic but I listened to the whole thing.
Piroska
Jun 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There was a bit too much sexual aggression, even if not explicit, other than that I really liked it, well written and exciting.
Chris
Oct 02, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Jonathan Nasaw is the acclaimed author of Fear Itself and The Girls He Adored, both Literary Guild Selections. He lives in Pacific Grove, California.

Series:
* E.L. Pender
* James Whistler
More about Jonathan Nasaw

Other books in the series

E.L. Pender (5 books)
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  • Twenty Seven Bones
  • When She Was Bad
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