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Retribution [Hardcover]

Jilliane Hoffman
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 5 2004
retribution: n. punishment that is considered to be morally right and fully deserved
-The Oxford American Dictionary

When an elite prosecutor faces the most lethal predator she's ever encountered, it all comes down to a choice between justice . . .

. . . and retribution

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Product Details

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

With this graphic serial killer/courtroom thriller, debut novelist Hoffman joins the lengthening list of high-powered legal ladies whose professional expertise serves as the basis for authentic, insider crime fiction. Blond, beautiful law student Chloe Larson is looking forward to a great future with successful New York businessman Michael Decker. Her expectations are shattered forever after a madman in a clown mask rapes and tortures her until she is near death. She survives physically, but psychologically slips into an extended mental breakdown. Twelve years later she's dyed her hair mousy brown and become unassuming, hardworking C.J. Townsend, assistant chief of the Miami Dade State Attorney's office. A suspiciously lucky break nets serial killer suspect William Bantling, and C.J. takes over the prosecution as part of her normal workload. When Bantling stands up in court and speaks, C.J. realizes he's the man who raped her years ago. C.J. learns that the statute of limitations has run out on her rape and that her involvement in that case might very well cause Bantling to be freed on a technicality. Love interest Special Agent Dominick Falconetti knows there is something seriously wrong as C.J.'s mental state begins to deteriorate, but she brushes off his concern and immerses herself in her work on the case. The far-fetched resolution will throw some readers, but Hoffman compensates with a compellingly horrific villain and an undeniably exciting final confrontation.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Hoffman comes on to the scene with a vengeance in her debut novel. It's 1988, and Chloe, fresh out of law school and cramming for the New York State bar exam, has her future shattered when she is brutally raped and maimed; she blows off the exam and her would-be fiance because she is so haunted by the crime and the indelible mark it has left on her life. Cut to 2000; there is a serial rapist on the loose who doesn't just injure his victims, he carves out their hearts and leaves them for dead in conspicuous places. On the case is compassionate officer Dominick Falconetti of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and when a suspect is found, Dominick is teamed with C. J. Townsend of the Major Crimes Unit of the state's attorney's office. Together the talented cop (male) and aggressive prosecutor (female) build the case against the creep, but there is an urgency to C. J.'s actions that makes Dominick wonder about her motivation. This is a fine first novel, with twists and turns of the highest order and an ending that is downright breathtaking. Mary Frances Wilkens
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Law and Order taken to the next level Aug. 13 2004
By A Customer
I admit it: I'm a fan of the show LAW AND ORDER. Can't get enough. So naturally, books such as this catch my eye. But RETRIBUTION is different. First of all, the pacing is totally different from a TV show and what the author does with character development is truly wonderful. I always know when a writer is right on the mark: I get goosebumps, and boy did I get them during the scene where the main character realizes she's looking at the guy who raped her. If you're one for great drama and excellent writing, check this book out. Also would recommend THE BARK OF THE DOGWOOD which is NOT a legal thriller but an excellent book nevertheless.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I am one fussy reader- needing a book that not only takes me away from it all, but one that completely grabs ahold of me and won't let me go!!! It's got to be written intelligently, with substance (unlike SO many thrillers out there) and of course with gripping suspense, and twists and turns that I never saw coming- and, normally, I almost always do! I couldn't stop thinking about this book when I was forced to put it down (WAY WAY past my bedtime!...lost a lot of sleep, literally, over this book!)- and even then, I was aching to get back to it the next available moment I could find. I couldn't stop thinking about what the character was going through, afraid of what would happen next, what would reveal itself. Honestly, I gasped out loud, re-read the previous page more than once in absolute disbelief as to what had just unfolded-it was THAT unexpected and mind blowing! And I literally felt a loss when I was done reading it- I missed the character and I missed the literal rush I recieved during the reading of this novel and honestly have not had that kind of amazing ride since- despite my search and reading many other thrillers from other well known authors.
Truly, an amazing psychological thriller that's get's in your head and emotions. It's intelligent, scary, suspenseful, sometimes gruesome and horrifying. It will grab you and not let you go, and is full of twists and turns like I've never experienced in a novel yet, ones that noone could predict!
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By A Customer
This is a good book to curl up with on the beach this summer. A real page turner! It wasn't without it's flaws, but I argue that it is much better than some of the tripe that is being pawned off as "thrillers" these days. While the characters were in large unlikeable, it is also the case with MYSTIC RIVER by Lehane, yet everyone upholds him to be a fantastic author. The plot wasn't any less surprising as DA VINCHI CODE, yet people seem to think that was the best book ever written. In other words, it's amazing that the criticism applied to this book turns a blind eye to other books that suffer the same flaws. I wouldn't pick this book up to be intellectually stimulated, but for an entertaining read on the beach, this is perfect.
That being said, I was somewhat confused by the ending. The therapist confesses to the crimes, but nothing becomes of it, and the villian's guilty verdict is upheld by appeals. So was he actually framed, or was the therapist just crazy and saying things to mess with C.J.? I can't tell. It was probably the biggest chunk of plot development, yet it was rushed at the end. C.J.'s ethical transgressions were pretty much excused in the epilogue. It would have been fascinating to see how she dealt with her wrong doings, as well as the defense attorney, who seemed to be torn apart regarding her ethics at one point. So there are ways this book could have been made better, but take it as it is - a book for the masses to enjoy. I would be happy to read Hoffman again, which is more than I can say for other authors, such as Lehane and Brown, who people have touted over Hoffman in their reviews.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Stunning Debut. June 27 2004
After beautiful young law student Chloe Lawson is brutally raped and horribly disfigured then left for dead in her bed by a masked intruder, she drops out of her life in New York City. She begins to live in terror of a repeat attack. The opening few scenes of this gripping legal thriller are shocking in their violence but they set Chloe's victim mentality up perfectly.
We then jump forward 12 years to Miami, Florida where Chloe has reinvented herself as C.J. Townsend, an Assistant State Attorney, and a darn good one at that. She is working on a serial killer case, currently 11 victims strong, that has suddenly broken wide open with a suspect in custody. C.J. will be prosecuting and is looking forward to the challenge. When she meets the suspect in court, she realises that he's the man who raped her 12 years ago and suddenly her case and her life spins out of control once again.
C.J. is forced to make a decision based on her feelings of revenge versus her training in what is right in the eyes of the law. As a prosecutor, no one works harder, but she knows her judgement is bound to be impaired by the knowledge of what this man has done to her in the past. It makes the case even more fascinating than it promises to be.
It's a serial killer story, but it's more. And it's more than just a legal thriller. There is a fascinating moral and ethical dilemma that a rape victim is placed in when she is unexpectedly given her chance at revenge. The question is, will she take it? This book was satisfying on many levels, but mainly because it forced me to think while I was being entertained. This is a wonderful debut by Jilliane Hoffman.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars very good read
I like this type of book and was very sorry to have finished it. I liked the suspense and thought she did a very good job of keeping the identity a secret. Read more
Published on Jan. 17 2005 by Sally Herchel
1.0 out of 5 stars Unfortunately, I've read it all before
I have a confession to make; I really did not like this book. I couldn't finish reading past about a quarter of the way through - but because I ALWAYS read to the end I forced... Read more
Published on July 4 2004 by Veronica
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
An amazing journey! I could not put this down and let me tell you, I cleaned my kitchen while reading this. Read more
Published on June 23 2004 by A. Hansen
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent First Book
This is the first book by Jilliane Hoffman that I have come across. I was entrigued by the title alone "Retribution". Read more
Published on June 22 2004 by A. M. Stepnick
2.0 out of 5 stars Been done before ...
I agree with other reviewers that this story has been done already ... and definitely done better. I finished the book, but really felt it was a waste of time. Read more
Published on June 13 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars A really really good first effort........
I don't usually read crime centered novels, but due to a friends' recommendation I did read this one. I'm glad I did. Read more
Published on June 12 2004 by G. Love
2.0 out of 5 stars Same old; same old BUT great writing!
This story has been told thousands of times in the same way. Smart woman get raped, falls in love with police investigator, rapist almost gets away...
Ms. Read more
Published on June 2 2004
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for fans of literate mysteries
It's obvious by the reviews that readers either love this book or feel it was not as good as its hype. Put me in the latter category. Read more
Published on May 16 2004 by E. Henry
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down.........
I read books for entertainment and when I can't put a book down then I give it 5 stars. This book was everything I look for in a serial killer mystery. Read more
Published on May 10 2004
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