The Last Time I Saw Her by Karen Robards
It is dangerous to window shop in a library. It always gets me into trouble.
Publisher’s Description: In this world, Dr. Charlotte “Charlie” Stone skillfully probes the twisted minds of incarcerated serial killers to better understand what makes them tick, and to help nab those who remain at large. But in the next world, Charlotte’s ghostly lover—convicted killer Michael Garland—is facing death yet again. It seem the only way Charlie can snatch Michael from the jaws of oblivion is by proving his innocence. And this dead man’s dead ringer may just be the key.
A mysterious stranger has turned up in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, and Charlie is shocked to realize he could be Michael Garland’s identical twin. But she suspects the resemblance is only skin deep—and that behind the handsome face may lurk the perverse mind of a killer. While using all her keen profiling gifts, Charlie risks her life to discover the shocking secret that will clear Michael’s name.
Then a breakout at Wallens Ridge State Prison forces Charlie to contend with a sudden swarm of psychopaths bent on spilling blood. No one has a better chance of tracking down the deadly fugitives than Charlie—unless the rampaging killers manage to find her first and make this case her last. But Michael will move heaven and hell—and even make a devil’s bargain—for the chance to save Charlie’s life, and feel her touch once more . . . if only for the final time.
Possible spoilers beyond this point.
Ruby Lee says…
I have a confession. I am more like Nell than I care to admit because I do have one of her quirks – I hate to start a book series until the last book has been published. I hate waiting a year between books especially after a cliff hanger ending. So I have my own system. If I discover a series that I want to read, I stalk it on Goodreads so I know when each new book is released. Then when the series is finished, I start to read the first one. It’s very simple even if it is a little OCD. But libraries can throw that plan right out the window which is how I found the Dr. Charlotte Stone series by Karen Robards.
About three years ago, I was in a library killing time while I was waiting for my Chinese takeout order to be done. (The restaurant is right across the street from the library.) I was browsing (window shopping) the new fiction section and I came upon The Last Victim by Karen Robards which is the first book the series. The premise of this series is that Dr. Charlotte Stone is a psychologist that studies serial killers and can see the recent dead. She is present when one of her serial killers is murdered and his ghost attaches to her. Two problems exist: #1: He might be innocent and #2: They begin to fall in love with each other. How could I put this down?
So I checked it out and went home to read it. Then the inevitable happens… cliff hanger and not another book for a year. So I wait and find the second one at the library after it is released… cliff hanger and more waiting. This time I go to the library a month before the third book is released and put my name on the waiting list. I am there so far ahead of time that they have to make a waiting list and my name is placed at the top. Same story, different year… cliff hanger and waiting.
The fourth book, The Last Time I Saw Her, was released at the end of August and NetGalley gave me a copy. (I am sure the librarians think I was in a horrible accident because I haven’t been around to pester them about getting the book.) I knew this book would not have a cliff hanger ending because it is the last one in the series. Because of this, I didn’t start to read it right away. Over the last three years, I have grown to love Charlie and Michael. At first I wasn’t crazy about the main character falling in love with the ghost of a serial killer but over the four books I fell in love with him as well. By book #2, I knew he was innocent and by book #3, I knew he loved Charlie with all his heart.
But my job here is to review The Last Time I Saw Her. Karen Robards continued to develop the characters in new and surprising ways which I enjoyed very much. The story line was unexpected so it drew me in from the beginning. Plus she ends the story well and in a way I didn’t see coming. I was satisfied with the ending of the book and the ending of the series. It had my required happy ending which I wasn’t sure would happen.
So my advice to all of you out there is to read the series. You would miss a lot if you skipped to the final book first. For those of you that have read all the other books in this series, The Last Time I Saw Her is a strong Karen Robards novel and wraps up everything well. Either way, don’t miss out on this exciting story.
1 Paw Print – I had to binge read this series since I wasn’t alive yet when 2 of the 4 books were released. I liked them. I understand that the serial killers in each book had to be stopped or there would be no series, so good winning over evil was to be expected. However, they always ended with the two main characters being separated in a big dramatic, painful style. I could really get behind that. I also enjoyed this book until we reached Chapter 30. If we had stopped at Chapter 30, the ghost Michael would have gone to Spookville to be snuffed out and Charlie would have been left without him. It’s cold. It’s realistic. It’s a perfect ending but we had to keep reading. Then my worst fear came to pass. We had a happy ending. I wanted to scream “NOOOOOO” into the big black universe. “All of that reading for a happy ending?” My pain was very real and is still being felt. Happy endings are my kryptonite and they will end me some day.
If you like this book…