Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Last Victim-Karen Robards

The Last Victim

Karen Robards

Ballantine, Aug 7 2012, $26.00

ISBN: 9780345535405

When Dr. Charlotte Stone was seventeen years old, due to being sick in the bathroom, she was the sole survivor of the Boardwalk Killer massacre of her BFF Holly Palmer and her friend’s mom Diane. She hid from everyone the “visits” in visions by Holly and her mom. That nightmare led to Charlie obsessively dedicating her life to becoming the authority on serial killers.

Fifteen years later at Wallens Ridge State Prison in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, Charlie’s interview of death row inmate Michael Garland ends when FBI agent Tony Bartoli arrives to talk to her. Tony informs a horrified Charlie that the Boardwalk Killer is no longer dormant or a copycat has surfaced; as just like with Holly someone abducted a teen after massacring her family. After she leaves Garland, he dies in an attack by another prisoner. Garland’s ghost blames his death on Charlie even though she tried to save his life. He continues to harangue her, which radically deviates with what she knows about ghosts after years of contact. Charlie knows this is her bogeyman case, but believes she must rescue the teen while an irate Garland refuses to go away.

This is a great paranormal police procedural starring a fascinating researcher whose worst nightmare apparently has returned. The suspenseful story line grips the audience from the moment the teen stays hiding and never let’s go until the final confrontation with a diabolical serial killer. Adding to the fun is a touch of a romantic triangle as Karen Robards proves a fantastic ghostly whodunit.

Harriet Klausner

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