J.D. Robb discussion

The Last Victim (Dr. Charlotte Stone, #1)
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Monthly Book Discussion Library > Dec. Monthly Book Discussion - The Last Victim by Karen Robards (SPOILER ZONE)

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message 1: by Sandra (new) - added it

Sandra Hoover (sandrahoover) | 10394 comments Mod
Our December Book of the Month is The Last Victim by Karen Robards. This is book 1 of the Dr. Charlotte Jones series. We hope you'll join in as we read & discuss this book in December. We'll plan on making this a Spoiler Zone on Dec. 15th.


Dr. Charlotte Stone sees what others do not.

A sought-after expert in criminal pathology, Charlie regularly sits face-to-face with madmen. Obsessed with learning what makes human monsters commit terrible crimes, Charlie desires little else from life—no doubt because when she was sixteen, she herself survived a serial killer’s bloodbath: A man butchered the family of Charlie’s best friend, Holly, then left the girl’s body on a seaside boardwalk one week later.

Because of the information Charlie gave police, the Boardwalk Killer went underground. She kept to herself her eerie postmortem visions of Holly and her mother. And even years later, knowing her contact with ghosts might undermine her credibility as a psychological expert, Charlie tells no one about the visits she gets from the spirit world.

Now all-too-handsome FBI agent Tony Bartoli is telling Charlie that a teenage girl is missing, her family slaughtered. Bartoli suspects that after fifteen years, the Boardwalk Killer—or a sick copycat with his M.O.—is back. Time is running short for an innocent, kidnapped girl, and Bartoli pleads for Charlie’s help.

This is the one case Charlie shouldn’t go near. But she also knows that she may be the one person in the world who can stop this vicious killer. For Charlie—whose good looks disguise a world of hurt, vulnerability, and potent psychic gifts—a frantic hunt for a madman soon becomes a complex test of cunning, passions, and secrets. Aiding Dr. Stone on her quest to catch a madman is a ghostly presence with bad intentions: the fiery spirit of seductive bad boy Michael Garland who refuses to be ignored, though in his cat and mouse game they may both lose their hearts.

Dr. Charlotte Stone sees what others do not. And she sees the Boardwalk Killer coming for her.


Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 13389 comments Mod
Yay! I'm in.


Sheri Morell (smorell22) | 2165 comments I have been wanting to read this series. I am so in


message 4: by Namita (last edited Nov 30, 2015 11:55AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Namita  (-namita) | 202 comments Oh wow...sounds awesome...I'm so reading this.

Downloaded my copy from the library...I'm ready to go. I'll start in a couple of days.


message 5: by Sandra (new) - added it

Sandra Hoover (sandrahoover) | 10394 comments Mod
I'm planning on it also!


message 6: by Denise (new) - added it

Denise (lutheranchick57) | 12 comments Count me in too!


Namita  (-namita) | 202 comments I have started this and it's good so far.


Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 13389 comments Mod
Looking forward to it!


Kris - My Novelesque Life (mynovelesquelife) | 7 comments I just caught up on this series this year so will not be rereading but will join in on the discussion.


Namita  (-namita) | 202 comments I've finished reading! Can't wait to chat with you all.


Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 13389 comments Mod
Wow! That was fast.


Namita  (-namita) | 202 comments Jonetta wrote: "Wow! That was fast."

It was a fast read Jonetta. Plus, my other books are on hold at the library...and this one was available so I just read.


Kris - My Novelesque Life (mynovelesquelife) | 7 comments Namita wrote: "I've finished reading! Can't wait to chat with you all."

Yay! They are fast reads...if you like it ;)


Namita  (-namita) | 202 comments Kris - My Novelesque Life wrote: "Namita wrote: "I've finished reading! Can't wait to chat with you all."

Yay! They are fast reads...if you like it ;)"


I'm going to read the whole series....only 3 more books and I'll be all caught up.


Kris - My Novelesque Life (mynovelesquelife) | 7 comments Namita wrote: "Kris - My Novelesque Life wrote: "Namita wrote: "I've finished reading! Can't wait to chat with you all."

Yay! They are fast reads...if you like it ;)"

I'm going to read the whole series....only ..."


Just to let you know you might want to read books 3 and 4 back to back as there is a cliffhanger!


Namita  (-namita) | 202 comments Kris - My Novelesque Life wrote: "Namita wrote: "Kris - My Novelesque Life wrote: "Namita wrote: "I've finished reading! Can't wait to chat with you all."

Yay! They are fast reads...if you like it ;)"

I'm going to read the whole ..."


Thanks for the heads up Kris.


message 17: by Sandra (new) - added it

Sandra Hoover (sandrahoover) | 10394 comments Mod
Namita wrote: "I've finished reading! Can't wait to chat with you all."

Wow Namz! You're fast!


Namita  (-namita) | 202 comments Sandra ~ ♥ Cross My Heart ♥ wrote: "Namita wrote: "I've finished reading! Can't wait to chat with you all."

Wow Namz! You're fast!"


Thanks Sandra. I'm trying to catch up for the missed reading the entire Summer. lol


Sheri Morell (smorell22) | 2165 comments Finished listening this morning and it was so good. although there were aspects of the book I found were a little odd. I do like Charlie. I will continue on with this series.


message 20: by Vera (new) - rated it 3 stars

Vera M. | 446 comments Just got this from the library, will be starting soon!


message 21: by Sandra (new) - added it

Sandra Hoover (sandrahoover) | 10394 comments Mod
Me too!


Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 13389 comments Mod
I'm reading this now and am really hooked.


In2books (in2book) | 1 comments I like this one, but I did a lot of skimming in some of the middle sections. I'm not sure if I'm going to continue or not. I might see the feedback from some of you who read the next one.


Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 13389 comments Mod
Hmmm..l'm at 60%
(view spoiler)


Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 13389 comments Mod
In2books wrote: "I like this one, but I did a lot of skimming in some of the middle sections. I'm not sure if I'm going to continue or not. I might see the feedback from some of you who read the next one."

I'm finding myself skimming a bit, too. Too much detail re clothing, setting, etc. It's slowed the pace to a crawl at Chapter 22 to its end.


Kris - My Novelesque Life (mynovelesquelife) | 7 comments Jonetta wrote: "Hmmm..l'm at 60%
[spoilers removed]"


I don't either to be honest. I think that was one of my major problems with this series the details of the not important slowing down the suspense.


Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 13389 comments Mod
Two things were covered in Chapter 23...(view spoiler)


Kris - My Novelesque Life (mynovelesquelife) | 7 comments Jonetta wrote: "Two things were covered in Chapter 23...Her waking from her dream and her leaving the room for her run with Tony. All the rest was endless musing about how she was feeling and preparing to see Garl..."

I would recommend audio if you want to continue...as I read them all and I was skimming for the reasons you mentioned. It feels at time that editing in books has gone lax.


Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 13389 comments Mod
I know she was trying to lead us to where her mind was but it just doesn't work. It just bogs down the mystery.


Kris - My Novelesque Life (mynovelesquelife) | 7 comments I completely agree with you...that was my major problem with book four too. I think we get too much of what is in Charlie's head.


message 31: by Vera (new) - rated it 3 stars

Vera M. | 446 comments I feel like this could've been split into 2 seperate books. Something just didn't connect well for me. The writing was good and I liked the plot, but something was off. I thought it might be the stories felt too disconnected, but maybe it was the author being too detailed, pulled me out of the story a bit there.
(view spoiler)
I may read more of the series to see where things head and character development, I did like it enough. There were some moments where I loved the book and other times I just was like yeah this is okay I guess, little weird or off, but okay.


Namita  (-namita) | 202 comments I agree with all of you. When I finished reading, I felt it was missing something.


message 33: by Loriidae (new)

Loriidae I am so glad others had the same reaction. I have been a staunch Karen Robards fan and have most of her books, but this series didn't work for me on many levels.

Is this her first suspense series?

I know of a duo which is historical romance, but everything else I have is stand alone.


Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 13389 comments Mod
She's just hit or miss for me. My first was a book called Vanished that was just...awful. I don't normally refer to books this way but it was bad. Friends convinced me to give her another shot so I listened to Shattered and loved it. Both are romantic suspense.

This one is just what I would call uneven. It begins with the suspense aspect, which I think she does very well. It's when she approaches the romance part it all starts to falter. I think it's because she puts you in the character's head for too long as opposed to more dialogue and action. I'd rather her just tell me Charlie was struggling with her feelings than put me through the whole thought process. Even when her characters are having a dialogue, she interrupts it with al that mind musing. I kid you not, there was one passage where Garland asked Charlie a question and she responded a page and a half later. I had to flip back to refresh my memory.

I'm now almost finished and the story is moving again. I'm with Kris...bad editing.


Kris - My Novelesque Life (mynovelesquelife) | 7 comments I am hit and miss with Karen Robards, too.

Jonetta - I am not sure why she chose to write every detail of Charlie's thoughts. It feels like a first draft.


message 36: by Loriidae (new)

Loriidae I have enjoyed her older books more so than her newer works in particular, Heartbreaker (1996) and Superstition (2006).

As you have said previously Jonetta, more attention and detail was given to editing when both were written.


Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 13389 comments Mod
And she seems to write the suspenseful parts brilliantly. It's the romance that feels awkward and out of sync.


Namita  (-namita) | 202 comments Jonetta wrote: "And she seems to write the suspenseful parts brilliantly. It's the romance that feels awkward and out of sync."

I know what you mean. I didn't see the (view spoiler) as the love interest!!! Like Really!!!


Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 13389 comments Mod
Me either!!! I was all settled in with (view spoiler).


Namita  (-namita) | 202 comments Jonetta wrote: "Me either!!! I was all settled in with [spoilers removed]."

I was quite miffed about it.


Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 13389 comments Mod
Why don't we make this a spoiler zone now.

This is now a spoiler zone and all comments that follow may include details about the story that may contain spoilers.


Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 13389 comments Mod
And it doesn't appear that Tony will ever be a serious romantic interest since she felt nada after kissing him.

I get that Garland is sexy and handsome but he's a serial killer!! There was an insinuation that maybe he didn't kill those seven women he was charged and incarcerated for but until that's resolved, I'm still repulsed by him. I couldn't connect with the romance but did enjoy their humor when it wasn't about their sexual attraction.


Namita  (-namita) | 202 comments Plus, I'm not a fan of ghost and humans making out. It simply grosses me out...lol


Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 13389 comments Mod
This was the first time I can recall reading a romance involving ghosts unless it was a PNR/UF. Just requires too much suspension of belief.


In2books (in2book) | 1 comments I guess the problems I had are:

I found it hard to believe Dr Charlie's initial attraction to Garland given her past experience with a killer and her educational knowledge of serial killers. I feel her repulsion/ knowledge would override and keep her from feeling/acting on a purely physical attraction.

And if Garland is NOT a serial killer, I would expect Dr. Charlie, portrayed as one of the foremost experts on serial killers in the country, to know.


Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 13389 comments Mod
That was a rub for me, too. Everything about him read "predator" to Charlie and she still was attracted to him. I've known some really good looking creeps and their physical attributes were never enough for me. Ugh.

If he's innocent, Charlie should have needed more than him saying, "I'd never do that" to prove that before proceeding with any kind of intimate relationship.


message 47: by Sandra (new) - added it

Sandra Hoover (sandrahoover) | 10394 comments Mod
I haven't had time to read this one yet and now I'm not sure I will. Thanks for the input.


message 48: by Loriidae (new)

Loriidae Namita said: Plus, I'm not a fan of ghost and humans making out. It simply grosses me out...lol

Yes this was the sticking point for me too!


message 49: by Loriidae (new)

Loriidae In2books said:...I found it hard to believe Dr Charlie's initial attraction to Garland given her past experience with a killer and her educational knowledge of serial killers.....

Yes exactly. I was really disturbed by that development. Seriously icky...


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