The police call him the working girl killer. But no woman is safe…
The 11th victim is found only a short distance from Karin Shaeffer’s house. At thecrime-scene she discovers a local prostitute stabbed to death, the knife left embedded in her body.
It is the signature of the ‘Working Girl Killer’ – a serial killer who has terrorised New York City for the last three years. The police are clueless but when Karin’s best-friend becomes the lead investigator, she finds herself drawn into the investigation as a consulting detective.
But next time the killer is going to strike all too close to home…
I have no idea where the time has gone lately and when I suddenly take a gander at the calendar I notice it’s been 16 months since I read my first Katia Lief book– You Are Next (Karin Schaeffer 1) – and with it my introduction to the mercurial Karin Schaeffer. In You Are Next Karin is in a dark place throughout following the loss of her daughter and husband and it’s all about rebuilding her life but in The 12th Victim, she appears to have turned a corner despite reeling from another loss in her life.
No stranger to dead bodies – friends, family or strangers – the former detective appears to be a magnet for corpses, serial killers and grisly murders, a note not lost on our heroine during this her third book in the mesmerising series. The funny thing is, with the body count increasing, I was thinking exactly that when two pages down the line Schaeffer questions how it is she is attracting the macabre. That in itself was slightly disconcerting and it was as if the author had read my mind and put it in the narrative to explain herself – either very clever and a new way of writing or just plain creepy – I’ll let you decide!
As with her first book The 12th Victim is another fluid and pacy read, read over two days the story flows unhindered with a heady mix of intelligently placed characters and a well-structured plot. There were a couple of things I questioned – more to do with relationships than anything else – and I couldn’t quite believe one thing would happen in real life but I’m seriously struggling to find something negative to say in what is an intelligent and gripping story.
The final 100 pages flew by, as did the rest of the book, but Katia Lief pulled me one way and then the other and I never quite knew where the author was taking me. One moment I thought a particular person was clearly guilty and then a few pages later I’d changed my mind only to see it changed again minutes later! A rollercoaster of a finish Lief ties the story incredibly well and does a magnificent job of good old fashioned storytelling and giving us a few well-placed red herrings along the way.
I have to confess I could happily read Katia Lief novels all day long, there’s something comforting and relaxing about them – despite the grim and deadly threads – but they are so easy to read it makes reading enjoyable, you just lose yourself. Add a good tale to the mix I guess you can’t ask for much more in a book.
Characterisation is once again top drawer and I simply loved the way Ben was written in this book. On the cusp of turning four, Schaeffer’s son is a force to be reckoned with, I just loved his interaction with his parents and in fact everyone he came into contact with. Ben was probably the highlight of the book for me and I for one can’t wait to see how he grows in the next book despite being only four years old at the end of the book!
The 12th Victim works well as a standalone but I would certainly recommend starting with the first book in the series to optimise character development.
· Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Ebury Press (Fiction) (5 July 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0091944783
- ISBN-13: 978-0091944780
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