The Third Victim

ISBN: 0752844830
ISBN 13: 9780752844831
By: Lisa Gardner

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About this book

Officer Rainie Conner comes closer to a deadly truth than she can imagine. Out there in the shadows a man watches her and plots his next move. He has already brought death to Bakersville, but what he has really come for is Rainie.

Reader's Thoughts


Love Lisa Gardner books and this one didn't disappoint!

Heather P

I know I wow alot of books but this one just popped right out from the start. I couldn't put the book down from page 2 on. Everything in this book by Lisa Gardner grabs you and holds you right up to the very last sentence of the book. There were lots of twists, and questions within the whole story. I loved all of the characters and they were all written perfectly. I only got confused once but then it was all figured out for me come the end of the book. This book is a heart stopper and it keeps you reading from the get-go! I really love Lisa Gardner books and I can't wait to start the next one! Keep on reading and enjoy!Heather


This story was unlike any serial killer story I had ever read before. I didn't even know about this type of psychological behavior before in serial killers (won't go into detail as it would be the biggest spoiler ever). I also loved many of the things that she included about kids who commit school shootings and other serious crimes. For many years I have lamented that the criminal justice system conveniently forgets that even disturbed children are still children, and treating them as adults criminals serves no good to anyone. But off my soap box, I also really enjoyed the development of Quincy and Rainie as characters and was very surprised by the ending of the novel. It made me want to immediately start the next book to see if she addresses what came after the last scene. I look forward to reading the rest of this series as long as these two are prominent fixtures. It totally redeemed my severe disappointment in the characters of the first book by demonstrating again how totally imperfect, sad, broken people can make great protagonists that the reader will still root for.

Christine Blachford

Plot: A small American town becomes the latest victim of a school shooting and it’s up to Rainie Conner to work out whether the boy she has under arrest actually did it or not, all the while trying to live through her own horrors and embark on a relationship with an out of town investigator.Characters: Lorraine Connor, Rainie, has a deeply troubled history and she takes the reigns of the terror embarked on the town well, although starts to lose the plot a little herself. The object of her affection, Quincy, just seems like a really nice guy.Style Of Writing: Very open and clear and sympathetic to what is a very hard and appalling subject to write about.Overall Opinion: Very, very good, I think it lacks the big thrills that it tries to pursue but manages to be about the town dealing with the horror instead.Recommended If: You want to see no matter how awful the world can be, people can survive it, if they stick together.


Mon avis en FrançaisMy English reviewJe ne connaissais pas du tout cette série mais je connaissais Lisa Gardner et j’étais curieuse de voir ce que donnait cette petite série. Encore une fois, je ne commence pas avec le premier tome, mais en lisant le résumé, on peut voir que le volume précédent traite de personnages différents. Il n’y a donc pas vraiment de problèmes ici avec cette histoire.Nous découvrons dès le début de l’histoire : Rainie, un agent de police dans une petite ville de province. Rien ne s’y passe jamais et la vie y est assez paisible, aussi quand une fusillade éclate dans l’école du coin, la ville est mise en émoi. Rainie se précipite sur les lieux du crime pour trouver Shep (le shérif de la ville) en pleine négociation avec son fils tenant des armes en mains. Mais ce n’est pas tout, car deux petites filles et une enseignante ont été tuées et le coupable semble logiquement désigné. Les gens de la ville ont eux aussi déjà condamné cet enfant qui a avoué plusieurs fois les faits et la population a décidé de prendre en grippe cette famille ainsi que Rainie qui n’a pu empêcher cette catastrophe à temps. Pourtant notre héroïne est persuadée qu’il y a plus et aidée d’un enquêteur du FBI : Quincy, ils vont essayer de comprendre ce qu’il s’est passé dans cette petite école.J’ai adoré Rainie. Elle a eu depuis toujours une vie très difficile avec une mère alcoolique qui la battait et un traumatisme qu’elle garde constamment en elle. Pourtant elle s’est forgée une vie assez simple comme elle les aime, gardant un secret qui la détruit petit à petit, surtout maintenant que cette nouvelle enquête la fait retomber dans son passé. Cependant, malgré sa fragilité, notre héroïne sait parfaitement se contrôler quand il le faut et va tout faire pour résoudre cette affaire du mieux qu’elle le peut. Et puis, il y a aussi Quincy… Ah cet homme. Il est loin des stéréotypes que l’on peut rencontrer en littérature. C’est un homme aux multi-facettes, attentif, analysant tout ce qu’il se passe autour de lui et comprenant des choses que Rainie préférerait oublier. Alors qu’un lien va tout de suite les lier au début de l’histoire, on comprend que l’homme ne sera jamais le coup d’un soir. Non, parce qu’il ne désire qu’une chose et c’est comprendre cette jeune femme si énigmatique qui semble cacher un grand pan de sa vie. On sait très bien de par son attitude que Rainie veut se livrer et se débarrasser du fardeau qu’elle porte et en même temps elle le refuse catégoriquement.Pour ce qui est de l’enquête de meurtre, c’est vrai que le lecteur sait parfaitement dès le début de l’histoire qu’il existe un meurtrier autre que cet enfant, mais nous ne savons pas véritablement s’il y a un ou deux coupables. On se pose un grand nombre de questions, de même que sur cet adulte qui a participé à la tuerie. Mais alors que les réponses sont difficiles à obtenir, et voyant que nos hypothèses changent constamment, j’avoue que j’ai quand même été surprise en fin de livre quand nous apprenons l’identité du coupable. Je ne m’attendais pas du tout à la révélation de Rainie sur le soir du meurtre de sa mère.Vous l’aurez compris, j’ai passé un super moment avec ce roman et l’auteur nous présente une enquête vraiment fascinante. Je suis très curieuse de pouvoir lire le troisième tome pour en découvrir plus sur nos deux héros.


What's it like to be the parent of a school shooter teen? How does it feel to have raised a boy that is part vulnerable child and part monster? By introducing a third-party sadistic serial killer who manipulates the boy in question (as unrealistic as this plot line is), the reader is more open to exploring the emotions and tribulations of the parents. The main character is the sheriff's deputy who was rumored to have killed herself as a child. Unlike most thrillers -- but in keeping with any true tale of school shooting -- this story does not end in a tidily wrapped package for the reader.


If the holidays weren't here when I started this book I probably would have finished it within a day but since Christmas interrupted my reading I finished it last night. Great book, great charaters, LOVED the plot. She is fast becoming one of my favorite authors.


When the author stops writing like this is a textbook about school shootings and mass murderers, the story approaches 4 stars for me; unfortunately, the book gets bogged down in the information Gardner is trying to teach me about these topics.

Dee Waite

The more I read of Lisa Gardner the more I like her style of writing. She doesn't hold back and tells a story the way life happens. The real world can, and often does, suck. We all know there are "bad guys/gals" out there and silently pray that they don't enter our own little piece of the world, but for far too many, they do enter, and consume their lives. This is a well told story of a terrible act and the woman who fights against her own demons to bring the true killer to justice. If you want to get a good grasp of the difference between serial killers and mass murderers, Lisa did her research; you can learn something here.

Nan Williams

I really enjoyed the suspense and pace and movement of this novel. It was a real page turner. The characters were pretty well defined although there certainly was an excess of personal baggage and unfortunate history for each. It would seem that nobody had had a normal childhood nor one lacking in severe trauma. This ranged from severe verbal abuse to rape to murder to alcoholism. I wanted to like some of the more upstanding characters, but it was hard.I was truly shocked at the climax of the plot as I kept wanting there to be a redeeming feature for our little boy.It was a story based on 5 or 6 horrific school shootings in the late 90s, the last one of which was Columbine in CO. Obviously the characters were drawn from the lives of those people. I read the book 13 years after those events, but just a few months after the Sandy Hook, CT, shooting.It was a very hard story to read and digest, but it was well written.


If you enjoy hostage type books you will enjoy this book ..I didn't read much of it .. But I did push on to give it a chance ..A public school is under fire ..Quincy gets the call .. They arrive And I won't say much more ..It just wasn't doing it for me .. Comparing it to "say goodbye"It just didn't stand up against it .. At all !So I've put it down for now .. Maybe I'llTry it again another time ...

Bill Garrison

THE THIRD VICTIM is one of bestselling author Lisa Gardner's early novels, and one in which long time characters Quinch and Rainie Connor meet. Quincy is an FBI profiler and Rainie is a police officer in the small Oregon town of Bakersville. As I followed them in later Gardner novels, I always pictured them as older, so it was fun to get a glimse of Quincy in his forties and Ranie at 31. The novel opens with a horrific event, a school shooting. Rainie is fifteen minutes away and drives like crazy to get there. Once on the scene, she sees bleeding, injured children. A national tragedy has come to their small town, just like Colombine. Gardner really evokes the horror of a shooting at a school, from the helplessness of all those involved to the fear of the parents, to the anger of the victims. Ranie is the officer put in charge of the case when Danny O'Grady is found in the school holding two guns. Danny is the 13 year old son of Shep, the chief of police and Rainie's mentor.Quincy comes to town because he's been investigating the cause of school shootings and what causes these kids to act out. While in town, he gets close to Rainie as they try and find out why Danny did what he did, and if he acted alone.The good: The third victim of the title refers to Ms. Avalon, a teacher at the school and a victim of the shooting. Was she a target? It was an really interesting premise. I don't want to give anything away, but the past of the villain of the novel is really interesting and probably should have gotten more attention in the novel.The not so good: So much of the middle focuses on the aftermath of the shooting. We read about the frustrations of the investigation, and the pain Shep O'Grady and his family are facing. While we are deep into the lives of the people in the novel, the actual progress on what really happened moved at a glacier pace.All of Gardner's recent novels have been great, but her early ones have been hit or miss for me. I liked THE OTHER SISTER, while THE PERFECT HUSBAND and SURVIVOR'S CLUB had issues. This novel fits somewhere in the middle. I really liked the story, but it seemed slow at times.

Bridget Conroy

As usual, another great book by Lisa Gardner. You never want to put her books down because you want to find out who did it and why and are excited for all the twists that are about to come your way. I have been reading her books out of order as I get them so this was nice to see how Quincy met Rainie to begin with and explains her past so it was nice to finally find out about her past. This book was really good although I dont think this was one of my favorites or the best but definitely an enjoyable read and a page turner!


The Third Victim - GGardner, Lisa - 2nd in Quincy/Raine seriesAn unspeakable act has ripped apart the idyllic town of Bakersville, Oregon, and its once peacful residents are demanding quick justice. But though a boy has confessed to the horrific crime, evidence shows he may not be guilty.Officer Rainie Conner, leading her first homicide investigation, stands at the center of the controversy. It's hitting too close to home, bringing back her worst nightmares, threatening to expose her secret sins. But with the boy's life at stake, she won't let anything stop her from finding the real killer.With the help of FBI profiler Pierce Quincy, Rainie comes closer to a deadly truth than she can imagine. Because out there in the shadows a man watches her and plots his next move. He knows her secrets. He kills for sport. He's already brought death to Bakersville and forever shattered the community. But what he has really come for is Rainie--and he won't leave until he has destroyed her.Not as good as the first book in the series but still enjoyable.


Educational, educational, educational--boy, can we tell that Lisa Gardner did a bunch of research on mass murderers vs. serial killers and various homocidal types. Which she dumped on us in dialogue. Ugh. Very slooooooow plot.Mostly I was interested in Rainie and Quincy's backstory. Eh.

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