The 7th Victim - Karen Vail, Bk 1 Author:Alan Jacobson The Dead Eyes Killer lurks in the backyard of the famed FBI Profiling Unit. His brutal murders confound the local task force, despite the gifted profiling skills of Special Agent Karen Vail. But along with Vail's insight and expertise comes considerable personal and professional baggage. — On leave pending a review of her assault on her abusi... more »ve ex-husband, Vail must battle forces determined to bring her down, as she fights to find Dead Eyes before he murders more young women. But the seventh victim is the key to all that stirs this killer...the key that will unlock secrets perhaps too painful for Vail to bear. These are secrets that threaten to destroy her, secrets that will bring down her storied career. For Karen Vail, the truth rests at the heart of a lie. And uncovering it could get her killed...« less
Special Agent Karen Vail is a profiler with the FBI on the hunt for a serial killer. The killer is nicknamed Dead Eyes by the task force searching for him because of the way his victims eyes are stabbed with steak knives. Vail's struggle to remain human when she is exposed to such brutality is only complicated by problems in her personal life: she is in the midst of a nasty divorce from an abusive husband, and struggles as a single mother to a teenage son.
The blurbs on the book's cover and the considerable publicity surrounding focus on the extensive research the author did into the operations of the FBI's profiling unit. This research pays off in this book, as the terminology and processes used makes those aspects of the story ring true. However, some of the plot twists do not. I can't say anything more because I don't want to give away the surprises, but I found the ending a bit too contrived. Also, the chapters focusing on the serial killer's perspective are silly rather than scary and too frequently sprinkled in - after the third chapter it is clear that killer thinks women are *****es and wants to rid them of their eyeballs, yet the reader is reminded of these things in chapter after chapter.
Fortunately Karen Vail and her team of agents and cops are likable and more realistic than the killer. They propel along the entertaining if somewhat implausible story. This book should appeal to fans of Thomas Harris, Stephen White, and others who enjoy stories about the minds of serial killers.
I have to sneak in reading time wherever I can, whenever I can. I just feel sad that I wasted so much of that precious time that I could have been reading a good book on this one. There are very, very few books that I pick up that I don't finish. I just could NOT force myself to waste another minute on it. I was bored in the beginning but continued on because some books take a while to get into. For me, this one never picked up steam. I had heard it read like a Harlan Coben or Stephen White type of book, but I think that was being way too generous. Sorry, I just can't write a pretty little review of this one. :(
To each his own though. I am sure there will be many of you who will disagree and that is the wonderful thing about imagination and the differences in people's opinions and tastes.
Al F. reviewed The 7th Victim (Karen Vail, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 3
I seldom write reviews but this book inspired me to break my pattern. Without spoiling a reading for an unspecting or perhaps less critical reader, I need to respond to the quality of the content. I've been a fan of well constructed mystery and crime plots, both in books and video form. This particular episode gives a whole new meaning to the term pulp fiction.
In what may be an early work of the author, the plot builds one improbability upon another like stacking toy blocks to see how high they'll go before it all falls down. The law enforcement characters often speak in sophomoric fashion that would best be received by (well . . .)a 2nd year high school student. The technology used in the plot is modern but the attitudes are embarrassingly unprofessional at times.
After a while the tortured plot twists are fairly predictable if you ask yourself the question: "What is the least likely and most unrealistically thing that's going to happen next. And 9 times out of ten, that's what it will be. It'll only be a surprise to the reader if they fall into a torpor before reaching it. You may find it a book well worth reading if only to be able to reach the end of it.
I hope Karen Vail and her crew grow up before Volume 3 of the series. Oh, yes, I would relish a rebuttal and perhaps an explanation.
I must say I was a bit disappointed in this book. My first Alan Jacobson book was False Accusations and it blew my socks off. I expected the same from The 7th Victim but it was not to be. This story didn't really get into character development. It just sort of lopped along and became somewhat predictable. You never really get into the mind of the killer as in so many psychological thrillers and you don't really feel for the characters.
3.0 out of 5 stars Cliche-ridden psycho killer thriller disappoints..., June 30, 2010
This review is from: The 7th Victim (Hardcover)
As other readers have remarked, this book was full of unbelievable co-incidences, tired plot devices, and tepid characters. Riddled with cliches, the novel is overlong and filled with redundant details and minutiae that most of us who read this genre are quite familiar with.
Karen Vail is the only female FBI profiler in the BAU and is working on a case that has been dubbed "Dead Eyes Killer" by the rest of those on the task force. Working with them, she is faced with trying to figure out why there is an increase in the killer's activities but ends up being implicated in the case. As the killing escalates, the task force is slowly but surely trying to find the killer and prevent further murders. The narrative moves forward slowly with lots of background about the nature and function of profiling as part of the investigatory activity of the FBI when faced with a serial killer.
The revelations during the investigation are peripheral as most of the story centers on all the different facets of Karen's life -- an abusive ex husband, a contentious divorce, a custody battle, a son in the hospital, a mother with Alzheimer's -- well is it any wonder that Karen is distracted?! Oh, and of course there's a romance in the midst of all this horror!
Now -- your guess -- does the killer come after Karen? I was disappointed when, yet again, the killer marked the female agent involved in the case. She is to be victim number seven.
As far as I can tell, if you are a fan of the psycho killer, thriller chiller suspense novel -- you've already basically read this one. Borrow, don't buy.