Retribution Hardcover – Jan 5 2004
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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.
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
Top Customer Reviews
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!
Edit: I see this book is now on track to sell a whopping ONE-TENTH of its announced hardcover first printing of 250,000. I was wrong in saying the publisher was going to take a bath: Putnam is in the middle of a head-to-toe fully submerged drowning. Yet another example of the publishing "gurus" underestimating the intelligence of the reading public. A piece of crap with a $300,000 marketing budget is still a piece of crap.
The novel starts in 1988 in New York City, where we find Chloe taking a night off from studying for the bar exam to go out with her fiance in their anniversary in hopes that he will pop the big question. After the night does not go as she expected, she returns alone to her home and is raped savagely all through the night by a stranger in a clown mask. Twelve years later in Miami, Chloe is working as an assistant state attorney and has changed her name to C.J. Townsend. The police are in the track of a serial killer that kidnaps and murders young women taking their hearts out. When a suspect is taken into custody, CJ finds herself prosecuting the man that raped her twelve years earlier.
Hoffman does a very good job in describing what goes through the mind of a rape victim, the fear, anger, insecurity, etc. I think though, that she is somewhat repetitive in the description of the rape itself, going back to it several times throughout the novel without any real need to do so. Also, at some points the author loses some of the reader's interest, but luckily she recovers quickly and delivers a pretty good book overall.Read more ›
This story is incredibly well written with characters that are compelling and enough surprises to keep the most inciteful reader guessing. The investigation and the courtroom scenes are sprinkled with enough realism to to entice the reader while not bogging the prose with unnecessary detail. It is always exciting to find a great new book, but particularly so when the author is new as well. I can't wait to read Hoffman's next book.
(For anyone who has seen the few poor ratings you might want to note that these reviewers are unwilling to put their names to the unjust reviews they have written.)
Most recent customer reviews
As a huge fan of being creeped out it takes a lot for me to sleep with the lights on. Jilliane Hoffman's Retribution had me looking around my apartment and checking all the doors... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Nic Jamet
I am an avid thriller/mystery lover. Considering the other positive reviews and the fact that this book is indeed marketed as a "thriller" I had high expectations for this... Read morePublished 24 months ago by Jennifer Christie
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 morePublished on Jan. 17 2005 by Sally Herchel
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 morePublished on July 4 2004 by Veronica
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... Read morePublished on July 4 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... Read morePublished on June 27 2004 by Untouchable
An amazing journey! I could not put this down and let me tell you, I cleaned my kitchen while reading this. Read morePublished on June 23 2004 by A. Hansen
This is the first book by Jilliane Hoffman that I have come across. I was entrigued by the title alone "Retribution". Read morePublished on June 22 2004 by A. M. Stepnick