For the past three months, Eve Renner has struggled to remember the night she was nearly killed and her lover was tried for murder. She remembers getting the anxious call from a friend from her past: "Meet me at the cabin. I've got evidence." She remembers seeing that friend lying in a pool of blood. And she remembers a horrifying glimpse of her lover Cole Dennis's face as a gunshot plunged her into darkness. Now, her memory and emotions scarred, Eve has returned to New Orleans to forget the past. But the past will not be forgotten. Eve's shattered memory has helped Cole walk on murder charges just as a new series of killings begins.
The latest murders are bizarre and baffling. The victims are killed in a ritual fashion, a series of numbers tattooed into their bodies. 212. 101. 111. 323. There is no clue to their meaning, no connection to the victims except one: Our Lady of Virtues Hospital, the crumbling old asylum that was once the scene of unspeakable madness. For Eve, it was a second home as a child. Her father was a doctor there, and she spent hours exploring its secret chambers, hidden rooms, and forbidden passageways. Somewhere in its decaying rooms lies the key to a terrible crime, a betrayal beyond imagining whose echoes are now being felt with a vengeance--a crime that seems to lead to Eve herself. And the only man she can trust with the search is Cole, her former lover and, just possibly, a cold-blooded killer.
As forgotten memories begin to surface, bodies are found and each twist leads to another terrifying piece of the puzzle. Someone is watching, planning, luring her back to the ruins of Our Lady and the shocking truths hidden there--someone who has been waiting for this moment to strike. He is deadlier than she could ever have imagined and closer than she knows. For the sins of the past must be revealed, the crimes brought to justice, and the price paid--in blood.
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By LISA JACKSON
KENSINGTON BOOKSCopyright © 2007 Susan Lisa Jackson
All right reserved.
Chapter OneThree months later
"This is a big mistake, Eve. Big! You can't leave yet; you're not ready." Anna Maria, in a bathrobe, fuzzy slippers, and no makeup, was chasing Eve down the driveway of her home.
"Watch me." Eve wasn't going to get into it with Anna again. Not now. It was morning, barely light, the street lamps still offering some bit of illumination as dawn crept down the manicured street of this suburb tucked between Marietta and Atlanta. Time to leave.
Holding a cigarette in one hand and a cup of sloshing coffee in the other, Anna somehow managed to keep up with her sister-in-law. "You're not through with physical therapy, you can't remember jackshit about the night you were attacked, and for God's sake, there's a rumor, probably a good one, that Cole Dennis is going to be released. Did you hear me? The man you think tried to kill you is going to walk!"
At the mention of Cole's name, Eve's heart clutched. Just as it always did. And she ignored it. Just like she always did.
"We've had this argument a kazillion times. I need to get home." Lugging a cat carrier, Eve made her way to her Camry as Samson, her long-haired stray, howled from within. "No matter what you think, you're not dying," she assured the unhappy animal as she scrounged in her purse for her keys with her free hand. The carrier bobbed wildly, and Samson, freaked out of his mind, hissed loudly. She placed the plastic crate on the driveway near the back tire of her car as she kept searching for the damned keys.
"Don't start." Glancing up at her sister-in-law, Eve shook her head, short strands of hair brushing the back of her neck. "You know I have to leave." She managed to slide her key ring from a side pocket, but as she did, her cell phone, tangled in the keys, popped out of the purse and dropped onto the concrete, landing with a sickening smack. "Oh great!" Just what she needed; another reason for Anna, supposedly a devout Roman Catholic but as superstitious as anyone Eve had ever met, to find an excuse for Eve to linger. It amazed Eve how Anna was forever seeing "curses," "signs," or "omens" in everyday life-so much so that Samson, being a black cat, was nearly banished from Anna and Kyle's home.
"I saw that!" Anna announced. "God is trying to tell you something."
"Yeah, like I need a new cell-phone carrier," Eve muttered through clenched teeth.
"Not funny, Eve."
"You're wrong. It was really funny." She managed a smile and looked up at her sister-in-law as dark clouds, heavy with the promise of rain, moved slowly across a low Georgia sky. Only the slightest breath of wind rattled the spreading branches of a magnolia tree growing close to the drive, but it was enough to cool the sweat that was already sprouting on Eve's neck and spine. Picking up the phone, she saw that the screen was still illuminated. Hitting the speakerphone button, she heard the familiar hum of a dial tone. "Still working. Guess I won't have to switch networks." She tucked the phone more securely into a pocket of her purse, unlocked the door, and slid the cat carrier onto the backseat.
"For the record, I'm against this," Anna said, her arms crossed beneath her large breasts.
"For the record, I know."
"You could at least wait until Kyle gets home. He just ran out for milk and cigarettes. He'll be back any minute."
All the more reason to leave. Eve and her oldest brother had never gotten along. Having her camp out at his house while recovering from a gunshot wound and trauma-induced amnesia hadn't improved their relationship.
"You're not talking me out of this, so don't even try. Nita says I'm eighty-five percent of normal, whatever that is."
"Nita's an idiot." Anna Maria took a long drag on her cigarette and shot smoke out of the side of her mouth.
"Nita's a board-certified physical therapist."
"What does your shrink say?"
Eve paused. "Low blow, Anna." She'd quit going to the psychiatrist after just three sessions. She hadn't "clicked" with him and knew enough about psychiatry to realize a patient had to trust in her doctor completely. She didn't. Dr. Calvin Byrd was too guarded, too quiet, too studious. The way he'd leaned back in his chair, pen in hand, as she'd confided in him had given her a bad feeling. She'd felt as if he were more interested in judging her than healing or helping her. So she'd quit the sessions. She'd been around enough shrinks in her lifetime to know the good from the bad. Wasn't her own father proof enough of that? Not to mention that she herself had been working on her PhD in psychology before her life had been shattered at that cabin in the woods. Bottom line: no doctor should make a patient nervous.
"He might be able to help you with your memory," Anna argued.
"I told you, I don't like him. End of story."
"He's well respected. One of the best psychiatrists in Atlanta."
"I know." Eve had seen all the degrees, awards, and letters of commendation so proudly displayed in Dr. Byrd's office. "It's personal-just a gut feeling." She was already walking back to the house, to the breezeway, where her luggage was stacked. Eve passed by her brother's work van-a dirty paneled truck with the predictable words WASH ME scribbled into the dust on the back windows. Obviously he'd taken his Porsche for his morning run to the store. "Look, Anna, I'm not arguing about this anymore. You can either help me load up the car or stand there and rant and rave to no good end. So what's it going to be?"
"This is nuts, Eve."
Eve smiled gently. "Oh, come on. Things aren't that bad."
"Not that bad? For the love of God! When did you become such a Pollyanna? You were shot. Shot! The bullet hit your shoulder and ricocheted to your temple, and your brain was bruised. Bruised. You didn't end up dead or paralyzed or God only knows what else, but pul-eeze don't tell me things aren't bad. I know better." Anna took a long drag on her cigarette and glared at her sister-in-law over the glowing tip. "You were almost killed. By that son of a bitch you thought you might marry! C'mon, Eve. Things are definitely 'that bad' and probably a helluva lot worse. The problem is, you just can't remember."
Done with arguing, Eve picked up a duffel bag and her computer case, then started hauling them back to the Camry, where Samson was crying loud enough to wake the dead. Yes, she had big holes in her memory. But her amnesia wasn't complete. She did recall bits from that night. Painful little shards that cut through her brain. She remembered being late. She remembered seeing Roy lying on the floor, bleeding out, barely hanging on to life. She remembered the bloody number 212 scrawled on the wall. She remembered reaching for her cell phone, hesitating, her fingers shaking too badly to dial, dropping the damned thing, seeing NO SERVICE in bold letters against a glowing LCD. She remembered seeing the gun leveled through the window before it went off. And she remembered blood. Everywhere. Splattered on the wall, pooling on the floor, making the touch pad of her cell phone sticky, oozing from Roy's neck and forehead ...
She closed her eyes for a second and drew a long breath. Guilt, ever lurking, loomed again. Deep, dark and deadly. It ate at her at night. Cut through her dreams. If only she'd been at the cabin earlier as she'd promised, if only she hadn't hesitated or dropped her phone before dialing 911, her friend Roy might still be alive.... Shaking inside, she opened her eyes to the somber morning. The clouds overhead seemed even more ominous.
"The doctors think my memory will return," Eve said as she reached her car and tossed the duffel onto the floor of the backseat. She slid her computer next to the cat carrier. She noticed Samson, pupils dilated, glaring through the tiny windows of the crate.
"Maybe getting your memory back isn't a good thing."
Boy, was Anna on a tear this morning. First one side of the argument, then the other. Eve tossed her purse onto the front passenger seat then turned to find her sister-in-law standing within inches of her.
"Aren't you the one who told me that the brain shuts down because of trauma, to protect itself?" Anna pushed her long hair from her eyes. She was close enough that Eve smelled the smoke and coffee on her breath, the hint of perfume clinging to her skin. "Maybe you don't want to know what happened."
"I want to know," Eve responded evenly.
Across the street, a door opened. In a striped terry robe and slippers, a balding man pushing eighty stepped onto his porch and shot a glance their way from behind thick glasses. He sketched out a wave then bent to retrieve his newspaper.
"Morning, Mr. Watters," Anna said, waving back as her neighbor scanned the headlines and disappeared inside. She lowered her voice and moved closer to Eve. "I'm just asking you to wait. A week. Maybe two. 'Til you're stronger, and maybe by then we'll know what Cole is up to. Stay here until we're certain you're safe."
Eve had already started up the drive again. "Besides, I'm thinking of getting a dog ... a puppy."
Anna Maria took a final hit on her Virginia Slim and sent it to the concrete of the driveway, where she stomped the butt out with her pink mule. "A puppy? Like that'll keep the bad guys at bay!"
"I'm talking about a really, really tough puppy."
There wasn't the slightest hint of humor in Anna's worried eyes. "Look, Eve, you can laugh and make light about this all you want, but the bottom line is: someone tried to kill you."
"I was at the wrong place at the wrong time."
Anna tossed her an exasperated look. "You think it was Cole. You were going to testify that he shot you. And now ... now they expect him to be released from prison. The whole case against him has fallen apart. But that doesn't mean he won't come after you. He did before, didn't he? When he was out on bail? He called. Planned to meet with you, and you, being some kind of idealistic numbskull, were actually going to see him! What the hell were you thinking?"
Eve's stomach knotted. The headache that never seemed to quite go away began to beat slowly inside her skull. She didn't want to think about all this again.
"Cole thought you were having an affair. Probably with Roy."
Anxiety clamped over Eve's lungs. The truth of the matter was that she couldn't remember. Her headache thundered. "Damn it all." She found her purse in the car, scrounged through a zippered pocket, came up with a nearly empty bottle of ibuprofen, and tossed two pills into her mouth. "I told you, I don't want to rehash this. I'm done arguing." She grabbed Anna's cup and washed down the tablets with a swallow of tepid, milky coffee. "God, this is awful."
Anna snagged her cup.
Feeling a tic develop beneath her eye, Eve sensed another panic attack in the making. Her heart was racing, and she felt as if her lungs were strapped by steel bands.
Not now. Not here. A full-blown anxiety attack will only add fuel to Anna Maria's you-aren't-ready-to-leave fire.... One ... Breathe! ... Two ... Think calm thoughts.... Three ... Slow your heartbeat.... Four ...
By the time she reached ten, she was taking normal breaths again, but Anna was watching her closely. "I gotta go." Eve grabbed her makeup kit, not that it would do much good. Her face was still a bit puffy, the plastic surgery around her right eye not quite healed. She placed the makeup bag beside the cat carrier, then turned to reach for her large roller-bag.
"Okay, fine. Hey! No! Stop! For God's sake, don't lift that. Just wait a sec, will ya?" Anna set her cup down then grabbed Eve's roller-bag. "Jesus, this weighs a ton. What've you got in here, lead weights?"
Eve smiled faintly. "At least you didn't say a dead body."
"I thought about it."
"I know you did."
From within the interior of the car came the pitiful sound of a cat who thought he was being tortured. "Won't that drive you nuts?" Anna asked.
"Probably." Eve flipped up the lid of the trunk. "But I'll survive."
"You know you're impossible, don't you? As stubborn as your brothers." Anna refused Eve's help as she hoisted the bag into the trunk. "And don't give me any of that crap about you not being from the same genetic pool as Kyle and Van. It doesn't matter. You were all raised under the same roof, and that's why you're all so bullheaded."
Eve had given up arguing. There was just no point to it. Not when Anna Maria got going. Logic didn't count, and the fact that Eve's older brothers were from their mother's first marriage, that they were twelve and ten years old when Eve, as an infant, was adopted by Melody and Terrence Renner, wasn't going to change Anna's mind. Eve suspected that the only reason she'd ended up living with Kyle and Anna after being released from the hospital was that Anna Maria had insisted upon it. It hadn't been any bit of brotherly love, or nobility, or even guilt on Kyle's part.
Anna picked up her cup, took a swallow, and scowled. "You're right. This is really bad." She tossed the dregs into the dirt beneath the magnolia tree.
"So, if you're going to go," Anna said, glancing up at the menacing sky, "go already. And Eve?"
"Avoid Cole. He's just plain bad news."
"That's not the answer I want to hear." Anna wrapped her arms around Eve and held her tight, as if she didn't want to let go, and Eve wondered if it was because she was worried for Eve or because she didn't want to be left alone with her husband. Eve knew only too well what a brooding, moody tyrant her oldest brother could be. The fact that Anna had never bent to Kyle's will or had let him break her spirit was testament to her strength.
"Take care of yourself, Anna," Eve whispered emotionally. "Thanks for everything. I owe you!"
"I'll try. You too." Before the whole scene got any more difficult, Eve extracted herself from Anna's embrace, slid behind the wheel of her car, ignored the yowling cat, and fired up the engine. "Bye!"
Anna was already reaching into her pocket for her pack of cigarettes. She shook out the last one before crumpling the empty pack.
As Eve headed out the drive, drops of rain began to pepper the ground. Just what she needed. She had over four hundred miles of asphalt between here and New Orleans.
And once you get there, then what?
"God only knows." She flipped on the wipers and pressed her toe to the accelerator. To drown out Samson's mournful cries, she turned on the radio, found a country station, and wondered which was worse, the wailing guitar or the unhappy cat.
The rest of her life, whatever that was going to be, was waiting.
* * *
"Get me the hell out of here!" Cole Dennis paced from one end of the small holding cell to the other. He was tense. Agitated. This tiny room, with its scarred cinder-block walls and steel bars, smelled of must, dirt, and broken dreams. Worse yet, beneath the strong odor of some pine-scented cleaner was the whiff of ammonia and urine, as if the someone who'd been here last had been scared enough to lose control of his bladder. Or maybe he'd pissed on purpose to mark his territory or just make a defiant, in-your-face point to the cops.
Cole's attorney, Sam Deeds, was seated at the simple table that was bolted to the floor. Impeccable in an Armani suit, a silk tie, and a haircut that cost what some men made in a month, Deeds looked the part of the slick attorney: clean shaven and hawkeyed, his expression serious, his dark eyes missing nothing as Cole paced from one end of the cell to the other.
How many times had Cole himself sat in that very chair, dressed like Deeds, telling his client not to sweat, never once noticing the odor of desperation that clung to these chipped walls?
"We're just waiting for all the paperwork. You know the drill," Deeds said.
"Like hell. They're stalling. And why am I locked in here? I'm supposed to be getting out. This is an interrogation room, for God's sake."
"Your case is high profile."
"So this is for my protection? So that I'm hidden from the press?" Cole snorted his contempt. "Bullshit!"
"Cool it." Deeds tossed a look to the large mirror on one side of the room as if in silent reminder about the two-way glass.
Cole shut up. He knew all about the mirror and about the pricks standing on the other side watching him squirm, hoping against hope that there was some way to nail his hide for the Royal Kajak murder. Jesus, what a mess. He shoved one hand through his hair and felt warm drops of sweat on his scalp. Just like he'd seen hundreds of times on the poor sons of bitches that he'd represented.
Excerpted from Absolute Fear by LISA JACKSON Copyright © 2007 by Susan Lisa Jackson. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I have not read any of the other Lisa Jackson books in this series, so I was new to everything, the characters, the mental hospital. I picked this book up just because I have heard Lisa Jackson is a good author and I decided to give her a try. Once I started I could not put it down. I read it in a day. True, I was a little disgusted at the "soap operish" conclusion of everyone turning out to be related to each other. And yes, I thought both Kristi and Eve were very stupid to roam around the hospital at night, but in real life there are people out there who are like that. They look at the people who don't lock their car doors or make sure windows and doors are locked at night or who jog at 3 am in cities where rape and murder are prevelant. It does happen. The story kept me turning the pages and not wanting to put the book down pining to find out how things turned out in the end. The author accomplished what she set out to do. I will contnue to read more from Lisa Jackson.
Three months have passed since that fatal night that still haunts Eve Renner, the adopted daughter of Dr. Terrence Renner, former chief psychiatrist at the now closed Our Lady of Virtues Mental Hospital. That evening her borderline paranoid childhood friend Roy demanded Eve meet him at his Uncle Vernon Kajak¿s remote fishing cabin as he has evidence. Instead the serial killer the Reviver murdered Roy Eve saw her boyfriend Cole¿s face just before going unconscious. She suffers from amnesia, but fears Cole is this number tattooing psychopath avenging an apparent affront received at the asylum. --- Detectives Reuben Montoya and Rick Bentz lead the investigation but though they question Cole, they lack evidence to hold him. As the cops try to stop a deranged killer from adding new numbers to the body count, Eve believes answers to the murderer¿s identity and why can be found in Our Lady of Virtues Mental Hospital where she grew up. However, she needs help so she wonders whether she should turn to Cole, who just might be the killer. --- ABSOLUTE FEAR will bring shivers up and down the spine of the audience every time the Reviver leaves his tattoo numbers behind on the latest corpse. Eve is a terrific central character as she wonders if the man she loves is the killer while deciding to uncover the truth by going into the asylum where she knows ¿hell¿ awaits her. On a personal side note for those fans following these Bayou thrillers, Reuben¿s fiancée Abby Chastain thinks Eve might be her half-sister. Though asylum serial killers and heroines with amnesia can be trite devices, Lisa Jackson keeps her plot brisk and fresh as the action-pack twisting story line thoroughly entertains readers. --- Harriet Klausner
I love Lisa Jackson's books. This is a book in a series or has other related books with the same characters. It does keep you thinking until the end, trying to figure out who the serial killer is and how he is related to the other characters in the book. It does answer a lot of questions that were left "OPEN" from the previous book "SHIVER" that was also one of those books I just could not put down! The book is able to pull you into it and make you feel like you are living the experience with the other characters, your pulse pounding and your heart racing!
The plot is contrived, the dialog very, very stilted, and the characters ring false. There are way too many extremely poorly written graphic sex scene descriptions which detract from what little plot there is. I do not recommend this book. I almost feel like sending Ms. Jackson a bill for wasting my time in reading this.
Being a devoted fan of this author, it hard to believe LJ wrote this. Way to simplistic to hold my attention. All her other romantic/suspense books are truly page turners----not this one.So sorry,but will continue to buy her future books!!!!!!
Eve renner and cole dennis are a great couple.Their inteplay durnig the killings is great,bone chilling fear coupled with intense passion. Also brining back montoya and abby is great touch. Great characters,,,
'Cold-Blooded' and 'Shiver', the previous two books in this series, were very good. This one, not so much. Not enough info on: *Eve¿s relationship with Cole before the shooting. *What happened to Eve and Cole in the three months after the shooting. *What really happened with Cole on the night of the shooting, because the few lines it was covered in were unclear. Not enough development of the male and female leads. Ex: Did Eve work? If not how did she get her money? As someone else pointed out why did Cole lose his house, car, job, money and possessions when he hadn¿t even been indicted yet? His attorney was a friend so he would have gotten a break on that fee and Cole was an attorney also so he would have been able to do a lot of the work on his own. Now we have two women in the TSTL 'too stupid to live', dumber than a box of rocks, don¿t have two brain cells to rub together category. Eve had found her friend brutally murdered with a tattoo carved into him, she¿d been shot and almost died. Then her father was murdered in the same manner as her friend 'also with a tattoo' and Eve has been targeted by the killer. Yet she went running around on her own, meeting a friend at a restaurant and then into a deserted insane asylum. TSTL Kristi's dad is a cop and she's mad at him because he won't give her privileged details on a current investigation so she can write a true crime book. Kristi had been kidnapped, chained to a wall, and almost died because of the serial killer that had been after her. Yet there she is, a year or so later, wandering alone around the same insane asylum as Eve, not at the same time, taking pictures of the area where a nun had just been found also carved up and dead. TSTL Other reviewers have brought up the fact that the insane asylum plot is getting really old and I agree its way past time for it to go away. Then there¿s the now dead priest who was taking advantage of women and fathering kids all over the place. This is just plain insulting! There have been cases of abuse by priests lately, but the vast majority of priests are good, spiritual people who believe in their calling. This part of the plot was particularly distasteful! I realize New Orleans is not a huge city but it¿s not Mayberry so having all these people related to each other goes way past the bounds of being even slightly credible. Fortunately I bought this book used!
In her stunning follow up to the 2006 best seller 'Shiver,' Lisa Jackson has proven that there's room for a little romance amid all the death and depravity. Absolute Fear is part of the Bayou series, which includes, 'Hot Blooded, Cold Blooded, and Shiver.' The plot line is in depth and complicated yet developed simultaneously with the characters, in such a way that Absolute Fear stands on its own. This book has it all, child abuse, scandalous behavior within the church, unethical medical practices, sex, murder and mayhem. Having enjoyed this novel on every conceivable level, I have added all three previous titles to my list of must reads. Absolute Fear opens three months after the ritualistic murder of Roy Kajak and the attempted murder of Eve Renner. Eve, still suffering from amnesia, returns to New Orleans.That very day, Cole Dennis was set free. It seemed like a life time ago that she had met Cole at her fathers farm house. A hot shot attorney that successfully represented Dr. Renner after his patient committed suicide. There was a part of her that had never been convinced that he had tried to kill her. On the night of her return, this belief would be tested, when Cole appears at her door. They had to find a way to trust each other and work together. The irony of this uneasy alliance is yet another twist leading the reader deeper into the story. Everything that was happening was related to the asylum, where her father had been the head psychiatrist. As an adult she had heard rumors about Our Lady of Virtues and the horrors that occurred there. Now in order to regain control of her life she would have to go back where it all began. Because somewhere in the midst of that crumbling building were the shattered pieces of her memory. The key to the murders wasn't the only secret Our Lady held. Oh no, there was more, much more. The subtle innuendos quickly place the reader into a frenzied state of near panic. Frantically reading as quickly as possible in hopes of finding a calm place to slow down and breathe. Unspeakable madness had once been perpetrated behind the walls of Our Lady of Virtues - and he intended to revive that madness, just for Eve. She would pay for her sins, he would make sure of that. Then he would be deified, his god had said. The 'Reviver' is a sick, twisted, ritualistic murderer. The tattooing, cryptic clues and murders are all part of his elaborate revenge. He knew they were all so blinded by sin that they were unable to interpret that which he had written in blood for all to see? He wouldn't just spell it out for them - and yet that is exactly what he had done. As the true nature of his actions and extent of his manipulations are revealed, the skillfully coded clues scattered throughout become crystal clear. Absolute Fear is an Absolute Best Seller! Lisa Jackson has continued her series, while creating a novel that stands tall on its own merit. Jackson's ability to explore the inner workings of this characters depraved mind is an astonishing literary feat, that should not be overlooked. Successfully delivering to the reader a fright filled journey into the dark recesses of a madman's desires, while maintaining a relationship filled with explosive passion places Lisa Jackson in the company of the best! This book has the perfect mix of secrets, lust and murder to keep readers coming back again and again. And with the door left open at the conclusion, we can hope that there will be another installment.
Another Page Turner! - Eve Renner has been recovering from gunshot wounds after having being lured to the crime scene where a good friend was killed. She's lost part of her memory of that night, so she can't be sure that her boyfriend was the one who shot her. On the very day she moves back into her house, he is released from jail. Eve hopes not to see Cole at all, but he is lured to Eve's father's house and arrives at another crime scene. Everything is the same as the first: throats are slit, messages are written in blood, and the victims have been tattooed. Madness and evil are at play as Eve's past and present coalesce, and the asylum where her father worked and Eve played as a child emerges as a key to the mystery. Wonderfully written, tense, and suspenseful with shocking revelations at every turn, Jackson's disturbing tale will leave readers on the edges of their seats.
When Eve Renner gets a phone call from an old friend with a mysterious message, she rushes to meet him and instead finds him brutally murdered, and the killer still lurking in the house. Minutes later, she sees her boyfriend¿s face through a window, and is stunned to see him pointing a gun at her. That¿s all she remembers when she wakes up in the hospital, the rest of her memory taken by temporary amnesia. As she tries to rebuild her life, Eve is about to be thrust into a murderer¿s treacherous game and things get quite a bit worse before they get better. Eve has always known that she was adopted, but never knew who her parents were. Now someone is leaving old newspaper clippings in her car about a woman who jumped to her death at the mental hospital Eve¿s father, a psychiatrist, worked in, and a string of savage murders that seem to be connected somehow to the old asylum are keeping the police and coroner¿s office busy. Meanwhile, Eve¿s ex-boyfriend is out of jail and doing his best to convince Eve that he didn¿t try to kill her that night, and something in Eve believes him although her eyes and memory tell her differently. This is your standard romantic suspense thriller, I guess, although I probably don¿t read enough in the genre to say that with certainty. It¿s pretty well done, at any rate. There are many points of view used ¿ Eve¿s, the killer¿s, Cole¿s (the boyfriend), and the two detectives working the case. This is the first thing of Lisa Jackson¿s that I¿ve read, but she¿s published many books as far as I know (not a rookie, in other words). Although I¿m not a big reader of this particular kind of novel, if I had to guess I¿d say it¿s probably one of the better ones and Jackson more talented than many of her colleagues. The story is fast-paced and well-structured, and Jackson seems to be a pretty seasoned pro.
Horrible. Will not be reading anymore Lisa Jackson books. Overrated. The writing, to me, was one step above V.C. Andrews.
Lisa Jackson¿s newest release, Absolute Fear, is a real page-turner. The most shocking aspect of this book was the ending. It definitely leaves the possibility of a sequel. If you have read Lisa¿s previous books, you¿ll be reacquainted with Detectives Bentz and Montoya. While this is a stand-alone novel, I would suggest reading Shiver first. It will give you more background into the characters. I totally recommend this book!
In her stunning follow up to the 2006 best seller ¿Shiver,¿ Lisa Jackson has proven that there¿s room for a little romance amid all the death and depravity. Absolute Fear is part of the Bayou series, which includes, ¿Hot Blooded, Cold Blooded, and Shiver.¿ The plot line is in depth and complicated yet developed simultaneously with the characters, in such a way that Absolute Fear stands on its own. This book has it all, child abuse, scandalous behavior within the church, unethical medical practices, sex, murder and mayhem. Having enjoyed this novel on every conceivable level, I have added all three previous titles to my list of must reads.Absolute Fear opens three months after the ritualistic murder of Roy Kajak and the attempted murder of Eve Renner. Eve, still suffering from amnesia, returns to New Orleans. That very day, Cole Dennis was set free. It seemed like a life time ago that she had met Cole at her fathers farm house. A hot shot attorney that successfully represented Dr. Renner after his patient committed suicide. There was a part of her that had never been convinced that he had tried to kill her. On the night of her return, this belief would be tested, when Cole appears at her door.Unspeakable madness had once been perpetrated behind the walls of Our Lady of Virtues - and he intended to revive that madness, just for Eve. She would pay for her sins, he would make sure of that. Then he would be deified, his god had said. The ¿Reviver¿ is a sick, twisted, ritualistic murderer. The tattooing, cryptic clues and murders are all part of his elaborate revenge. He knew they were all so blinded by sin that they were unable to interpret that which he had written in blood for all to see? He wouldn¿t just spell it out for them - and yet that is exactly what he had done. As the true nature of his actions and extent of his manipulations are revealed, the skillfully coded clues scattered throughout become crystal clear.Absolute Fear is an Absolute Best Seller! Lisa Jackson has continued her series, while creating a novel that stands tall on its own merit. Jackson¿s ability to explore the inner workings of this characters depraved mind is an astonishing literary feat, that should not be overlooked. Successfully delivering to the reader a fright filled journey into the dark recesses of a madman¿s desires, while maintaining a relationship filled with explosive passion places Lisa Jackson in the company of the best! This book has the perfect mix of secrets, lust and murder to keep readers coming back again and again. And with the door left open at the conclusion, we can hope that there will be another installment.Happy Reading!RJ xx
Great edge of your seat romantic suspense story. Continues from the previous novel "Shiver".
I truly enjoyed reading this one, I couldn't put the book down once I started reading it. I loved the the flow of the book.
First let me say that this is fiction and people that feel that they must say disgusting things please dont put your thoughts where others and the writers can see them b and n should be able to do something about this once and for all
This was my second book by Lisa Jackson (her latest Tell Me was excellent). I read the audio version of Absolute Fear (and have not read the others in the series, which I will read later as sure would be helpful). This could be a standalone; however, looking forward to reading Shiver. As her other book, this was definitely a thriller filled with suspense – the narrator did an outstanding job with the characters. The setting was a mental hospital with lots of secrets to uncover and bad deeds. Eve was the main character who spied on mental patients when she was a child with her best friend Roy. Eve/Cole was a good combo and the book was very intriguing; however, the ending was rather strange as replayed it a few times to make sure I had not missed anything. Assume it will pick up with the following book (New Orleans 5 & 6). A thrilling mystery with lots of twists, and turns and dead bodies along the way. You just never know who is out for revenge and the lengths they will go to get their way!
Enjoyed the book. Was entirely wrong on who the killer was. Have to read the next one.