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.
I am a very quick reader but have not yet finished this novel. I find the plot to be disappointingly plodding, especially for a "thriller", and the characters not particularly likeable. To me, they seem wooden and one-dimensional, and the personal introspection of the protagonist, as well as the dialogue she and her colleagues carry out among themselves, is repetitive, boring and in short, less than inspired. The author seems obsessed with minor details of which she reminds the readers time and again. These minutiae neither help to progress the plot nor succeed in sustaining the reader's interest. I find myself rooting for no one, especially as the story seems to focus just as much or more on the dithering romance between the lead detective and the protagonist prosecutor than it does on bringing the villain to justice.
Despite these gripes, I continue reading because I am still at least mildly interested in how things turn out. But I'm not holding out much hope at this point that the other books in the series will be any better.
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.
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 4 months ago by Nic Jamet
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
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
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 morePublished on June 13 2004