cover image The Last Victim

The Last Victim

Karen Robards. Ballantine, $26 (336p) ISBN 978-0-345-53540-5

Bestseller Robards (Sleepwalker) kicks off a paranormal romantic suspense series with this engaging but uneven tale of serial murder and ghosts. When she was 17, Dr. Charlotte “Charlie” Stone was the sole survivor of a horrific attack by the Boardwalk Killer and has spent her life studying serial killers as a result. Fifteen years later, Charlie is called in to help the FBI solve a series of murders eerily similar to those committed by the Boardwalk Killer. In addition to her psychiatric knowledge, Charlie also has the ability to see ghosts, like Michael Garland, an inmate Charlie was studying before he was stabbed to death. Michael’s ghost becomes attached to Charlie, and Charlie surprisingly finds herself turning to Michael for comfort as the Boardwalk Killer, or a copycat, escalates his killing spree. Robards sets up an interesting dynamic between Charlie and Michael, but too much focus on their relationship overshadows the hunt for the Boardwalk Killer. Agent: Robert Gottlieb, Trident Media Group. (Aug.)