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The Dead Eyes Killer lurks in the backyard of the famed FBI Profiling Unit. His brutal murders confound the local task force, despite the gifted profiling skills of Special Agent Karen Vail. But along with Vail’s insight and expertise comes considerable personal and professional baggage. On leave pending a review of her assault on her abusive ex-husband, Vail must battle f The Dead Eyes Killer lurks in the backyard of the famed FBI Profiling Unit. His brutal murders confound the local task force, despite the gifted profiling skills of Special Agent Karen Vail. But along with Vail’s insight and expertise comes considerable personal and professional baggage. On leave pending a review of her assault on her abusive ex-husband, Vail must battle forces determined to bring her down, as she fights to find Dead Eyes before he murders more young women. But the seventh victim is the key to all that stirs this killer...the key that will unlock secrets perhaps too painful for Vail to bear. These are secrets that threaten to destroy her, secrets that will bring down her storied career. For Karen Vail, the truth rests at the heart of a lie. And uncovering it could get her killed... With material meticulously researched during seven years of study with the Bureau’s vaunted profiling unit, Alan Jacobson brings refreshing realism and unprecedented accuracy to his pages. The 7th Victim is a page-turner as only Alan Jacobson can write, with a stunning twist of an ending that will satisfy even the most discerning thriller reader.


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The Dead Eyes Killer lurks in the backyard of the famed FBI Profiling Unit. His brutal murders confound the local task force, despite the gifted profiling skills of Special Agent Karen Vail. But along with Vail’s insight and expertise comes considerable personal and professional baggage. On leave pending a review of her assault on her abusive ex-husband, Vail must battle f The Dead Eyes Killer lurks in the backyard of the famed FBI Profiling Unit. His brutal murders confound the local task force, despite the gifted profiling skills of Special Agent Karen Vail. But along with Vail’s insight and expertise comes considerable personal and professional baggage. On leave pending a review of her assault on her abusive ex-husband, Vail must battle forces determined to bring her down, as she fights to find Dead Eyes before he murders more young women. But the seventh victim is the key to all that stirs this killer...the key that will unlock secrets perhaps too painful for Vail to bear. These are secrets that threaten to destroy her, secrets that will bring down her storied career. For Karen Vail, the truth rests at the heart of a lie. And uncovering it could get her killed... With material meticulously researched during seven years of study with the Bureau’s vaunted profiling unit, Alan Jacobson brings refreshing realism and unprecedented accuracy to his pages. The 7th Victim is a page-turner as only Alan Jacobson can write, with a stunning twist of an ending that will satisfy even the most discerning thriller reader.

30 review for The 7th Victim

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jason Edwards

    I don't know how this book ended up on my e-reader, but I think it was free. I mean I hope it was free. I mean I hope I didn't pay money for it. This book was an eye-roller on so many levels. I kept looking up to see if there was a secret camera on me, filming my reaction for some hilarious reality-TV show about people reading truly horrible fiction. Don't let me stop you if you like this sort of thing. I'd never want to keep someone from enjoying themselves... but this book doesn't even qualify I don't know how this book ended up on my e-reader, but I think it was free. I mean I hope it was free. I mean I hope I didn't pay money for it. This book was an eye-roller on so many levels. I kept looking up to see if there was a secret camera on me, filming my reaction for some hilarious reality-TV show about people reading truly horrible fiction. Don't let me stop you if you like this sort of thing. I'd never want to keep someone from enjoying themselves... but this book doesn't even qualify as "so bad it's good." The author allegedly did all kinds of research into FBI profiling and police procedures-- if only he'd done research into verisimilitude and the inanity of coincidence. The plot rides the Deus Ex Machina express from beginning to end, with characters getting killed, jailed, or tossed in a coma when their existence was no longer convenient. Damn it, why did I read this? I'll tell you why, because I was trapped in a car for three hours with no wifi access and it was the only book I had. Should have listened to the radio. And once I was in a few hundred pages, I had to find out "whodunit," didn't I. Even though I was able to guess-- merely by asking myself, "what would be the cheesiest way for this to end." Who shouldn't read this? Everyone shouldn't read this. Who should? Aspiring writers, so that they can see the truth about publishing: talent has NOTHING to do with it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Book Concierge

    Book on CD read by Lila Wellesley One thing I can’t stand in a thriller/mystery is a hero or heroine who behaves stupidly. The reader is supposed to believe that Karen Vail, FBI profiler, will: 1) marry a total scumbag despite her training in psychology; 2) talk to the cops when she knows she should keep her mouth shut and ask for an attorney; 3) stay on the task force despite the threat of domestic violence case against her; 4) continue working when her child lies comatose in an ICU (even going Book on CD read by Lila Wellesley One thing I can’t stand in a thriller/mystery is a hero or heroine who behaves stupidly. The reader is supposed to believe that Karen Vail, FBI profiler, will: 1) marry a total scumbag despite her training in psychology; 2) talk to the cops when she knows she should keep her mouth shut and ask for an attorney; 3) stay on the task force despite the threat of domestic violence case against her; 4) continue working when her child lies comatose in an ICU (even going out of town a couple of times). Also, Jacobson did some shameless stealing from Thomas Harris’s The Silence of the Lambs. And then there are the subplots that go nowhere. As for the narration – Wellesley mostly has just one voice; except for one “Southern black” character, everyone sounds the same, making it difficult to distinguish who is speaking when there is a two-(or even three-)way conversation. Still, it’s fast-paced (a must for this genre); there is a somewhat plausible love interest; and Vail does work hard to get herself out of most the messes she puts herself in, vs relying on a nearby strong male. So I still give it 2 stars.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Scott A. Miller

    I finally found my BAU series. Vail is an incredibly layered character, one I’ve never seen have so many horrible things happen to in a book. The fact that this was the first in a series makes me wonder how she can possibly survive going forward. What could Jacobson possibly put her through next? This was a great mystery. I never figured it out until Jacobson wanted me to. That’s fantastic. The bad guy was pure evil. Jacobson inserted just enough real background to really make things interesting. I finally found my BAU series. Vail is an incredibly layered character, one I’ve never seen have so many horrible things happen to in a book. The fact that this was the first in a series makes me wonder how she can possibly survive going forward. What could Jacobson possibly put her through next? This was a great mystery. I never figured it out until Jacobson wanted me to. That’s fantastic. The bad guy was pure evil. Jacobson inserted just enough real background to really make things interesting. Looking forward to what comes next.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Daniel

    Quite possibley the worst book featuring a serial killer I have ever read. It was as if the author chewed up Silence of the Lambs and Red Dragon then vomitted them up and added some crap like a multiple personality secret twin sister, and several irrelevant sub-plots, like my aunt is really my mom who now has Alzheimers and my kid is in a coma caused by my abusive ex-husband and a blossoming romance with an cop who had a big ass.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    What an excellent read this book was and Alan Jacobson had my attention from the first paragraph. Very likeable and dis-likeable characters in a captivating and fluid storyline. Some twists and turns, a red herring or two added to keep the reader guessing. You have an idea of who the serial killer is but it's not a given :) There is a bit of romance, but that really isn't the focus of the book. I thoroughly enjoyed this first book in the "Karen Vail, FBI series" - highly recommend it to those that What an excellent read this book was and Alan Jacobson had my attention from the first paragraph. Very likeable and dis-likeable characters in a captivating and fluid storyline. Some twists and turns, a red herring or two added to keep the reader guessing. You have an idea of who the serial killer is but it's not a given :) There is a bit of romance, but that really isn't the focus of the book. I thoroughly enjoyed this first book in the "Karen Vail, FBI series" - highly recommend it to those that love police procedurals. 2 thumbs up and 5 stars!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jessie

    Skimmed this one. I didn't feel like Jacobsen had a great handle on writing for a female main character. Skimmed this one. I didn't feel like Jacobsen had a great handle on writing for a female main character.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Madelon

    I just finished reading THE 7th VICTIM; it's the middle of the day, which is unusual as I am mostly a late-night reader. This is the first time, here at goodreads that I am reviewing a book so immediately upon completion. I am torn between a 3 and 4 star rating. There is just something about this book that I didn't like. I read every word and found that the story didn't flow. The story is good but a bit too convoluted in its presentation. There were almost too many plot lines to follow. It felt l I just finished reading THE 7th VICTIM; it's the middle of the day, which is unusual as I am mostly a late-night reader. This is the first time, here at goodreads that I am reviewing a book so immediately upon completion. I am torn between a 3 and 4 star rating. There is just something about this book that I didn't like. I read every word and found that the story didn't flow. The story is good but a bit too convoluted in its presentation. There were almost too many plot lines to follow. It felt like some of these plot lines would never be resolved, and when they were, the story still felt off. I do wish I could be more specific, but it is very like pouring a glass of milk and finding it isn't spoiled yet isn't really fresh either. The main characters are pretty well developed, but some of the auxiliary characters are just annoying. Detective Mandisa Manette adds nothing to the plot except repetitious negative comments. As the players are presented, and identified, I like to have a single name associated with a set of characteristics so that I can remember who's who. Tell me right off the bat that Roberto Hernandez is Robby. Don't introduce Roberto, move onto another character, or three, and then start calling him Robby. Many people today iterate the sentiment that the world is going to hell in a hand basket, and I would like to expand this to say that the English language is following in its footsteps. Writers, and more importantly editors, need to be aware of the rules of English grammar. You do not end a sentence with a preposition. I understand that this rule can, and probably should be broken when writing dialog, but when writing expository prose, stick to the rules. I also have no problem with colloquialisms. The most offensive prepositions used at the end of a sentence are the little ones: of and to being the worst. I might not have brought up the preposition issue here except I read books in their entirety. I read the dedication, and I read the acknowledgements. Alan Jacobson makes of point of thanking his editor for "tweaking and refining" and his copyeditor for her "keen eye and attention to detail," however, I came across these glaring violations of the rules of English grammar, and when I do, it's like fingernails on a chalkboard. I've come to the end of my comments, and still feel torn between 3 and 4 stars. What is a reader to do? I would happily give THE 7th VICTIM three and a half stars if I could.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    This book had a great plot and was actually very well researched and informative about FBI profiling. Since the plot excelled I was able to continue reading the book. However, the characterization is horrible. The main character, Karen Veil, is the only female FBI profiler and is really intelligent, however her character is beyond annoying. She came off as excessively pushy and unwilling to listen to her comrades on anything. I could not have cared less what happened to her in the book, and that This book had a great plot and was actually very well researched and informative about FBI profiling. Since the plot excelled I was able to continue reading the book. However, the characterization is horrible. The main character, Karen Veil, is the only female FBI profiler and is really intelligent, however her character is beyond annoying. She came off as excessively pushy and unwilling to listen to her comrades on anything. I could not have cared less what happened to her in the book, and that is sad. Another badly developed character was Veil's nemesis - whose name I forget. He is supposed to be a dick and unduly angry at Karen but we rarely see this anger. It's not until he nominates her as the killer that his "angry tendencies" seem to come out. Otherwise, Veil is always the one pushing him. On the task force with Veil are also a few cops. One of whom is another female - Man...something. Her character also comes off as annoying and generally useless to the group. Actually, most of the task force characters come off that way. Even though they would be necessary in a real life situation of this type, in the book they just take up space. Random relationships is another point from the author. One develops between Veil and police officer Robby. However, they seem to fall for each other without any prior indication and far too quickly for a 400-page novel. There are also familial relationships that come out about Veil throughout the course of the story that are also unnecessary. And again, since I didn't care about her character, these "surprises" were more annoying than anything else. There are other ways to "shock" the readers with the identity of the killer than the way Jacobson goes about it. Overall, this story was wonderfully researched but not exactly entertaining. However, I may give him another shot. There is potential.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Robyn

    Not the most convincing of books.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    I got this book as a free download, and it was worth the price. :-) SPOILER ALERT--Had it not been for two issues that I could not seem to overcome, I might have rated this book higher. In general, I liked the character of Karen Vail. She's tough, smart, a loving mother and dedicated to to her job. The thing I could not wrap my head around was this devoted mother leaving her son in a coma in the hospital to go on an overnighter to visit her mom with her would-be love interest (but don't worry, t I got this book as a free download, and it was worth the price. :-) SPOILER ALERT--Had it not been for two issues that I could not seem to overcome, I might have rated this book higher. In general, I liked the character of Karen Vail. She's tough, smart, a loving mother and dedicated to to her job. The thing I could not wrap my head around was this devoted mother leaving her son in a coma in the hospital to go on an overnighter to visit her mom with her would-be love interest (but don't worry, the hospital promised to call her if anything changed). Really???? The second major issue was the ending. Unless you are in the third grade, you could probably figure out that the killer was related to Vail about halfway into the book, and I did not take issue with that; however, in the persuit of differntiation at the expense of beliveability, Jacobson not only makes the killer out to be her sibling, but her SISTER (in contradiction to Vail's definitely male profile). But wait, there's more- not only is the perp her sister but her TWIN sister (come on!), and just when you thought it could not get any more more ridiculous, we find that Jacobson has found an unbelievably silly way to reconcile her criminal's gender to magically reconcile with Vail's originial analysis (we couldn't have our heroine be wrong about anything , now could we?). Her evil twin has developed a split personality and the MALE persona she created was the one up to all the mischief while the "sweet sis" personality was blissfully unaware somewhere inside her subconscious. It was beyond contrived and took away far more than it added. Aside from these two issues, it was not a bad book.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

    My kind of book. Not sure what took me so long to read this one. Main character is an FBI profiler. I love profilers and books where there is a team searching for a serial killer. Great start to the series. Will surely be reading more. 4 stars

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    This book had so much potential but was awful. Pretty sure my middle school students could write a better story.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Misty Baker

    For those of you who have been keeping track, you know its been a while since I’ve read a novel like this, (The last being a Temperance Brennan Novel) after reading the genre for 4 straight months, book after book, my mind/sanity thought it was necessary to take a break from serial killers and their maniacal crime scenes, so I did… , and in turn wrapped myself in the more mellow reads of the paranormal. (Ok…not all of them were tame…but trust me when I say they are a damn site less descriptive) I For those of you who have been keeping track, you know its been a while since I’ve read a novel like this, (The last being a Temperance Brennan Novel) after reading the genre for 4 straight months, book after book, my mind/sanity thought it was necessary to take a break from serial killers and their maniacal crime scenes, so I did… , and in turn wrapped myself in the more mellow reads of the paranormal. (Ok…not all of them were tame…but trust me when I say they are a damn site less descriptive) It’s hard to pinpoint, in my cynical mind, exactly what I expected to find when first deciding to read “The 7th Victim”, an ok novel with an interesting plot maybe? or maybe a decent copy cat of the greats I have already read? Who knows…but what I didn’t expect to find actually shocked me more than I could have anticipated. #1 I didn’t expect to find a fantastic new author. #2 I didn’t expect to find that I missed the chase so much. Now, while most of y’all are cringing at the fact that I just confessed to missing the company of fictional serial killers, let me assure you that it’s nothing more than my love for the game of “Clue” I love a good mystery, the who-did-it-where-did-it-happen-who’s-going-to-be-next kind, and while most books will have snippets of the unknown, psychological thrillers ARE the unknown. “Karen Vail” works for the FBI. As a profiler she surrounds herself with the seedy underground of ax murders and psychopaths on a daily basis. After months of seemingly dormant action her world suddenly turns into a whirlpool of chaos, when a previously un-captured crazy known to the media as “Dead Eyes” returns to the scene with several more grizzly murders. While trying in vain to capture a killer who decides to personally taunt her through break-ins and creepy self-destructive emails, Vail’s personal life takes a hit as well. Her ex…an abusive waste of space… throws her under the bus and charges her with assault. Struggling to keep herself, her son, and her career alive she spends every waking minute building her own walls of protection while trying to break down everyone else’s. “Alan Jacobson’s” writing was masterful, artfully inserting twists and turns that not even and avid thriller reader, like myself, could see coming. The plot flowed freely and his attention to detail was undeniable, and he is now, without question, a new found force to be reckoned with in my world of “who did it?” There were fake badges, egotistical has-been agents, missing limbs, peep holes, moments of self realization, and several OMG! moments ending in one hell of an underground chase. If you are like me, don’t mind gruesome descriptives in your quest to peg the killer, this one is worth every cent, but if you like the softer side of things and prefer a safer less bloody world, steer clear cause this one is covered in it. Happy reading my fellow Agents, and remember: Even the biggest of us still need barf bags sometimes.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tammy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Lets see...I read this book after my daughter prodded me for about a year to do so. I finally got it on my Kindle and read it. Okay...the story was good. I enjoyed the plot and the look into FBI profiliers but I thought the main character Karen Vail left a bit to be desired. I think it's evident that a man is writing this woman. For instance, her young son is attacked by his father, pushed down the stairs and is in a coma, but she works instead of stays at the hosptial. She checks in on him via Lets see...I read this book after my daughter prodded me for about a year to do so. I finally got it on my Kindle and read it. Okay...the story was good. I enjoyed the plot and the look into FBI profiliers but I thought the main character Karen Vail left a bit to be desired. I think it's evident that a man is writing this woman. For instance, her young son is attacked by his father, pushed down the stairs and is in a coma, but she works instead of stays at the hosptial. She checks in on him via phone and a few stops at the hospital while her ex husband is at large... this to me doesn't seem like something any mother (other than a negligent one) would ever do. I understand work is important, heck, I'm a working mother but still, this is her child. There were other instances through out the book that I felt like I was reading a mans perspective rather than a womans. I enjoy Karen and her brashness and intellect but I didn't enjoy the side of her Jacobson was trying to write as a mother. I just felt it was inadequate. I am reading through the rest of the series and hoping his insight to the female mind gets better. I will say this...Jacobson is a master at writing around the obvious. This is the first book where I really had NO IDEA "who dun it" I didn't see "it" coming. It was masterfully written and kept you guessing the whole time with twists you didn't see and turns that came upon you quickly and quitely.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Brian Steele

    This book was the equivalent of a popcorn-muchin' Hollywood blockbuster. Not that THAT is always necessarily a bad thing. A wonderful psycho villain, tons of bloody violence, multiple flawed heroes, and lots of twists. I read it in one sitting, quite engrossed by the story line. And oh, how I love my FBI plots! The whole BAU/BSU bit is a plus. However... There were a few too many characters, and let's be honest - I don't care what gender, what training, what experiences you've had; if YOU went thr This book was the equivalent of a popcorn-muchin' Hollywood blockbuster. Not that THAT is always necessarily a bad thing. A wonderful psycho villain, tons of bloody violence, multiple flawed heroes, and lots of twists. I read it in one sitting, quite engrossed by the story line. And oh, how I love my FBI plots! The whole BAU/BSU bit is a plus. However... There were a few too many characters, and let's be honest - I don't care what gender, what training, what experiences you've had; if YOU went through half of what our protagonist did, you'd be a gibbering mess. Maybe only 2 or 3 life-changing, gut-wrenching incidents for our plucky heroine next time, huh? Ultimately, I really enjoyed the way Jacobson writes. As much as I can dig a Patterson 'Alex Cross' book, you always have to suspend belief a good amount. Not here. The realism, cynicism, and politics of law enforcement sucks... another reason those folks are heroes.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    If there was one thriller where I neither felt the thrill nor liked the main character it would be this book. I didn't feel any sympathy towards the main character and to put it straight I just downright hated her. I had a feeling that she just doesn't care about anyone but her n she came off as a rude n snobbish n someone with nil emotions or feelings. I can't see her emote towards her sick mother or comatose son or her so called love towards Robby. Alan Jacobson says he has done extensive rese If there was one thriller where I neither felt the thrill nor liked the main character it would be this book. I didn't feel any sympathy towards the main character and to put it straight I just downright hated her. I had a feeling that she just doesn't care about anyone but her n she came off as a rude n snobbish n someone with nil emotions or feelings. I can't see her emote towards her sick mother or comatose son or her so called love towards Robby. Alan Jacobson says he has done extensive research on FBI profiling for 12 years. May be he should ve spent some time in those 12 years researching on how to make the reader feel and emote with the principal character. Tried this author for the 1st time and I think its gonna be my last time reading ts author's work. Diasppointed.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Suvi Tartia

    This book seemed like an experiment on how many plot twists you can cram into a single novel. One of the reviews on the cover stated something about how the main character is believable, when in fact she was quite the opposite in so many ways. This was one of those books that I had hard time finishing, and now that I finished it I wonder why I bothered. The good thing was that the identity of the killer was not too obvious, but in the end it did not really matter. It was really difficult to care This book seemed like an experiment on how many plot twists you can cram into a single novel. One of the reviews on the cover stated something about how the main character is believable, when in fact she was quite the opposite in so many ways. This was one of those books that I had hard time finishing, and now that I finished it I wonder why I bothered. The good thing was that the identity of the killer was not too obvious, but in the end it did not really matter. It was really difficult to care for any of the characters.

  18. 4 out of 5

    David

    Uggh. Where to begin on this one? Every cliched, over-the-top serial killer/murder mystery trope thrown into one novel that isn't supposed to be farcical, with poor character development. I had the plot pretty much figured out by the first few chapters, with only a couple of things that were mildly surprising. Too many 'surprise' entanglements to make it even remotely believable and killing all hope for suspense. I'm not sure why I finished it, but I did. Uggh. Where to begin on this one? Every cliched, over-the-top serial killer/murder mystery trope thrown into one novel that isn't supposed to be farcical, with poor character development. I had the plot pretty much figured out by the first few chapters, with only a couple of things that were mildly surprising. Too many 'surprise' entanglements to make it even remotely believable and killing all hope for suspense. I'm not sure why I finished it, but I did.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Shelby *trains flying monkeys*

    Some parts of this book are pretty good. I liked the profiling part. However the main character has way too much going on to make her likeable or believable. I mean come on! Every chapter turns out to be something new going on in her life. It's like the author wanted to cram in 5 books in one. Some parts of this book are pretty good. I liked the profiling part. However the main character has way too much going on to make her likeable or believable. I mean come on! Every chapter turns out to be something new going on in her life. It's like the author wanted to cram in 5 books in one.

  20. 5 out of 5

    PJ

    how many coincidental happenings can one put in one book?

  21. 4 out of 5

    Di

    Interesting, very interesting. I read this for #MarchMysteryMadness I've had this book on Kindle for a very long time. I picked it up free but never read it, so March Mystery Madness was the perfect time to dust it off. There were a couple twists in this book that I didn't see coming and the twist at the end was super surprising. You learn a lot about Karen throughout this book too. This book does contain more gruesome crime scenes and violence than I'm used to reading, but it's not unfamiliar for Interesting, very interesting. I read this for #MarchMysteryMadness I've had this book on Kindle for a very long time. I picked it up free but never read it, so March Mystery Madness was the perfect time to dust it off. There were a couple twists in this book that I didn't see coming and the twist at the end was super surprising. You learn a lot about Karen throughout this book too. This book does contain more gruesome crime scenes and violence than I'm used to reading, but it's not unfamiliar for me as I do watch shows like Criminal Minds which contain similar themes. I listened to a majority of this on audiobook and thought the narrator did a good job. I'll definitely be checking out other books in this series in the future.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Zain

    Interesting The 7th Victim was filled with enough suspense and energy that you would have to be a Scrooge not to love this book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Alex Telander

    THE 7TH VICTIM BY ALAN JACOBSON: In Alan Jacobson’s third novel, The 7th Victim, he presents a well-defined and fascinating new character in Karen Vail, one of the very few female FBI profilers. As a member of the Behavioral Analysis Unit, joining with a crack team of experienced detectives, it’s up to her to create the solid profile that will lead them to the identity and locate of the Dead Eyes killer. The murders are garish and gruesome, as Vail investigates the crime scene of each victim, un THE 7TH VICTIM BY ALAN JACOBSON: In Alan Jacobson’s third novel, The 7th Victim, he presents a well-defined and fascinating new character in Karen Vail, one of the very few female FBI profilers. As a member of the Behavioral Analysis Unit, joining with a crack team of experienced detectives, it’s up to her to create the solid profile that will lead them to the identity and locate of the Dead Eyes killer. The murders are garish and gruesome, as Vail investigates the crime scene of each victim, until an important person of stature is horrifically murdered changing the whole profile of the killer, but also presenting some terrifying links to Vail herself. Jacobson has spent seven years researching The 7th Victim, working with the FBI’s renowned profiling unit, as well as one of the few female FBI profilers. Karen Vail is a well rounded character who has plenty of personal issues going on in her life with an abusive soon to be ex-husband and a young child who she cares for more than anything in the world. She also teaches future FBI agents, and fights to maintain her profile as a high-ranking and well respected profiler. The 7th Victim is an entertaining, fast-paced read in the style of Patricia Cornwell’s Scarpetta series, but adding a further grittiness and realism with the killings and the harsh everyday fights Vail must go through as an FBI profiler and mother. It is hopefully the first of more to come in the world of Karen Vail. For more book reviews and exclusive author interviews, go to BookBanter.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tqwana

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. So, more a 3.5 than a 3. I was conflicted about this book. Loved the suspense and tension. I just knew something wasn't right about that scene with the dead bio father at the ranch! Came too early in the book and was too nicely wrapped up. But, the revelation of a twin was both a good twist, but also a bit dues ex machina. I mean, isn't it a rule of mysteries and thrillers that we have to know who the killer is, but not know it? I don't know. I guess there were a lot of clues, but she seemed to So, more a 3.5 than a 3. I was conflicted about this book. Loved the suspense and tension. I just knew something wasn't right about that scene with the dead bio father at the ranch! Came too early in the book and was too nicely wrapped up. But, the revelation of a twin was both a good twist, but also a bit dues ex machina. I mean, isn't it a rule of mysteries and thrillers that we have to know who the killer is, but not know it? I don't know. I guess there were a lot of clues, but she seemed to come out of nowhere. Karen's dreams just didn't make me buy it. But, more important than that, I was impressed how the writer made me feel sorry for Samantha Farwell in the end. Poor thing. And on that note, thank God he didn't go into much detail about the type of abuse she suffered. Speculation was enough. Poor girl. I feel like I'm nitpicking the rest, but like I said, conflicted. Some of the more emotional scenes fell flat, like the scenes with Emma and Jonathan. Maybe they were just rushed and glossed over too much. And I found it weird that she was still referred to as Vail, and not Karen in those scenes. It was off-putting. And where this did love for Robby come from. It was like one minute she was cautious about even dating him, and a few pages later, she was thinking he knows her so well and all. Seemed to come out of nowhere. Didn't really like some of the attempts at humor either. Overall, I enjoyed the thrill. Gonna add the others in the series to my Nook. Despite some of my issues with it, he's pretty great at building suspense and thrill.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    I’ll write more later (honestly, probably not), but a quick sum-up is this: this was my first serial killer novel – it was a bit graphic, but it helped to set the scene for how brutal the serial killer was, adding to the urgency of stopping them. Unfortunately, the writing was pretty bad. Going between very broken up, ‘chunky’ dialog and excessive descriptions including odd product placement (Extra Strength Tylenol was mentioned a half dozen times in one chapter) left me shaking my head wonderin I’ll write more later (honestly, probably not), but a quick sum-up is this: this was my first serial killer novel – it was a bit graphic, but it helped to set the scene for how brutal the serial killer was, adding to the urgency of stopping them. Unfortunately, the writing was pretty bad. Going between very broken up, ‘chunky’ dialog and excessive descriptions including odd product placement (Extra Strength Tylenol was mentioned a half dozen times in one chapter) left me shaking my head wondering why. The story was also insanely predictable. By the end of the first quarter (maybe third) of the book I knew who had done it simply because of the use of old, worn literary tools. Granted, I didn’t have a name and address, but I knew who they were related to and I knew what drove them to be a serial killer. Also, this wasn’t a ‘who-dunnit’ type novel, there aren’t clues given to make it like that, the reader is left as much in the dark as the investigator is – what I figured out was by applying meta-knowledge to the story (meta knowledge is knowledge of how things work, like when you’r watching a movie and a character does something that is, on it’s own, innocuous, but the watcher can identify them as the villain because that’s ‘just how things are in movies’). So, while I enjoyed it enough to keep coming back and finish reading it, I wouldn’t really recommend it to anybody (unless you get it for free like we did on our nook).

  26. 5 out of 5

    Paige Turner

    It was just OK. I am pretty surprised at all of the accolades from other accomplished authors for it. It is your average serial killer thriller novel. Somewhat entertaining in spots, but certainly nothing great or special, as the other author's comments lead you to believe...IMHO. It's much too long at 550 pages that were not necessary for the story and I have never found that a man writing from a woman's perspective works out too well. Not sure why there was so much animosity towards Karen Vail It was just OK. I am pretty surprised at all of the accolades from other accomplished authors for it. It is your average serial killer thriller novel. Somewhat entertaining in spots, but certainly nothing great or special, as the other author's comments lead you to believe...IMHO. It's much too long at 550 pages that were not necessary for the story and I have never found that a man writing from a woman's perspective works out too well. Not sure why there was so much animosity towards Karen Vail, the main character, from some of her co-workers as that was never explained, other than the rift between her and Hancock. And finally, all of the "twists and turns" in Vail's personal relationship(s) to several of the characters in this book were highly unbelievable. The fact that she would, as a trained FBI agent, allow her soon-to-be ex-husband to beat on her or would have stayed married to him for so long after he started to abuse her is also highly unbelievable, and then she doesn't report it at first and is arrested for assaulting him? Then there is how she runs off for a romantic weekend get away with her new lover, a fellow agent, while her son lies in the hospital in a coma after being pushed down the basement stairs by his father, her ex-husband. NO loving mother would do that! Trust me. Instead of "twists", I found these to be way over the top. I don't feel compelled to read the rest of the books in the series. All in all, I give it a D+.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alicea

    The 7th Victim by Alan Jacobson started off feeling a bit like an episode of Criminal Minds as the main character is an FBI profiler who works for the BAU. However, as the story continued I started to realize that this woman was in no way capable of being a member of such a prestigious group. Her credibility is basically nil as she rants and raves at the office while dealing with a lot of drama in her personal life. To say the drama was overdone would be to put it mildly. (There isn't an area of The 7th Victim by Alan Jacobson started off feeling a bit like an episode of Criminal Minds as the main character is an FBI profiler who works for the BAU. However, as the story continued I started to realize that this woman was in no way capable of being a member of such a prestigious group. Her credibility is basically nil as she rants and raves at the office while dealing with a lot of drama in her personal life. To say the drama was overdone would be to put it mildly. (There isn't an area of her life where she isn't faltering in some way and the obvious course of action to fix said problem never seems to occur to her.) Our main character, Karen Vail, has been trying to find the Dead Eyes Killer for several weeks with virtually no leads. The killer's signature is gruesome and the bodies keep piling up but she's too wrapped up in her own life to really spend a lot of time working the case efficiently. (And then it's further complicated by her relationship with the members of her task force.) I don't want to spoil the ending but it was so ridiculous that it really sealed the lid on the coffin for me. I didn't like the main character, I didn't like the plot, and the killer reveal was dumb. 0/10 do not recommend Adding insult to injury, this is the first in a series. That's a no for me.

  28. 5 out of 5

    TeresaFL

    Having debated between 3 and 4 stars I went with 3 on this one. There was a little TOO much going on with this main character for me to believe she could hold it together as well as she did in this book. That's fine, I can suspend my belief for a good book but it did keep me from giving it 4 stars. There are a lot of points to keep track of and even small things end up making sense in the end. Some are there to try and throw you off track, while others help you begin to see a picture before our Having debated between 3 and 4 stars I went with 3 on this one. There was a little TOO much going on with this main character for me to believe she could hold it together as well as she did in this book. That's fine, I can suspend my belief for a good book but it did keep me from giving it 4 stars. There are a lot of points to keep track of and even small things end up making sense in the end. Some are there to try and throw you off track, while others help you begin to see a picture before our heroine does. I didn't have any trouble believing she wasn't "seeing" all the pieces, since between her ex-husband, the investigation, her mother issues and her son's issues there were a lot of things for her to deal with and that's what I think kept her from figuring out what was going on earlier. Like any really good mystery all the clues are there, the reader just has to pick them out and put them together, much like the detective does. All in all a good, fairly fast paced, mystery. I might even have to see what happens to Supervisory Special Agent Vail next.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I thought I was going to like this when I started it, but after about 300 pages I was pretty much done. Unfortunately there were another 100 pages to go before the incredibly far-fetched reveal of the killer. There were just too many "tragedies" happening to the main character, Karen. Her ex-husband becomes abusive, she gets arrested for punching him, ex then pushes their son down the stairs and puts him in a coma. She goes to visit her mom and discovers (for the first time! no one has mentioned I thought I was going to like this when I started it, but after about 300 pages I was pretty much done. Unfortunately there were another 100 pages to go before the incredibly far-fetched reveal of the killer. There were just too many "tragedies" happening to the main character, Karen. Her ex-husband becomes abusive, she gets arrested for punching him, ex then pushes their son down the stairs and puts him in a coma. She goes to visit her mom and discovers (for the first time! no one has mentioned this to her despite being an only child) that her mom has pretty advanced alzheimers. Karen's mom mistakes her for an estranged sister and Karen realizes her mom is really her aunt and her bio-mom is a state senator. Then her bio-mom becomes a victim of the serial killer! IT'S ALL TOO MUCH. And it needed editing so badly. There was tons of unnecessary description. Thrillers need to be faster paced than this. Too many characters, too many coincidences, and too much extraneous detail.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Darcy

    I liked this book. The thriller aspect was good and kept me guessing until the end. I wasn't sure what to think if Karen the main character, she doesn't come off as sympathetic, just extremely closed up and not approachable. It seemed to me that she liked to put people down if she didn't like what they had to say. I mean I get it that she was the only female profiler, we were hit over the head with that fact. I also can't believe that as "smart" as she was that she would make some of the choices I liked this book. The thriller aspect was good and kept me guessing until the end. I wasn't sure what to think if Karen the main character, she doesn't come off as sympathetic, just extremely closed up and not approachable. It seemed to me that she liked to put people down if she didn't like what they had to say. I mean I get it that she was the only female profiler, we were hit over the head with that fact. I also can't believe that as "smart" as she was that she would make some of the choices she did. With a child in the hospital she leaves town over night??? There is no mother I know that would do that, most would be afraid to go as far as the cafeteria. I did like some of the other police on the case and it would have been nice to get to know them better. I may check out other books by this author, just not sure.

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