The 7th Victim (Karen Vail Series #1)

The 7th Victim (Karen Vail Series #1)

3.8 1222
by Alan Jacobson

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Karen Vail is no ordinary FBI agent. She’s a profiler, brought to life by national bestselling author Alan Jacobson’s seven years of unprecedented access to the FBI’s vaunted profiling unit. The Karen Vail Series has been raved about by reviewers, readers, law enforcement officers of all stripes, real FBI profilers . . . even one of


Karen Vail is no ordinary FBI agent. She’s a profiler, brought to life by national bestselling author Alan Jacobson’s seven years of unprecedented access to the FBI’s vaunted profiling unit. The Karen Vail Series has been raved about by reviewers, readers, law enforcement officers of all stripes, real FBI profilers . . . even one of the legendary founding fathers of the Behavioral Analysis Unit.

And it all started with The 7th Victim. With a dry sense of humor and a closet full of skeletons, Karen Vail leads the Dead Eyes Task Force in its search for a serial killer who is not only murdering young women but who has an intimate knowledge of their cases—and their plan for catching him.

When the task force is unable to decipher a string of cryptic clues left behind at the crime scenes, Vail leans on a controversial profile she has drawn up—which leads her to believe that the seventh victim holds the key to finding the killer. But there’s no way she could be prepared for what she discovers as the story builds to a powerful ending no reader will see coming.

Blockbuster author Nelson DeMille described FBI profiler Karen Vail as “tough, smart, funny, [and] very believable,” and literary icon Michael Connelly called her “my kind of hero.” Named one of the top five books of the year by Library Journal, The 7th Victim gets the critically acclaimed, bestselling Karen Vail Series off to a groundbreaking start.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In Jacobson's tepid third thriller (after Hunted and False Accusations), FBI profiler Karen Vail is obsessed with bringing to justice the Dead Eyes Killer, who's gruesomely slain several women in Virginia. The action alternates between Karen's attempts to unravel the clues left behind at the crime scenes and glimpses of the Dead Eyes Killer himself as he stalks future victims. A messy divorce and custody battle threaten to distract Karen, as do her tentative relationship with a local detective and disturbing revelations about her family history. The author fails to put a fresh spin on any of the genre's clichés-the serial killer who taunts law enforcement, the FBI agent with an implausible connection to the case, the chaotic crime scene that contains clues only the hero can crack. Though Jacobson's research into the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit is evident, he overloads his story with too much information and unbelievable coincidences. 5-city author tour. (Nov.)

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Library Journal

In Jacobson's (The Hunted) enthralling and fast-paced thriller, FBI agent Karen Vail must ID a deranged serial killer while grappling with an abusive ex-husband, a custody battle for her teenage son, and the expected professional conflicts. The story reaches an incredulous conclusion but should keep suspense fans pleased. Actress/voice-over artist Lila Wellesley's expert, steady reading sustains the tension. Recommended for mystery and suspense collections in public libraries. [The Vanguard hc, recently optioned for film, was "strongly recommended for all popular fiction collections," LJ9/15/08.-Ed.]
—Phillip Oliver

From the Publisher
“As one of the founding fathers of the FBI profiling unit, I can unequivocally state that The Seventh Victim sets a new standard for serial killer novels. Like Silence of the Lambs did twenty years ago, The Seventh Victim redefines the genre and brings it into the twenty-first century. With meticulous research and dead-on accuracy, Alan Jacobson has not only written a gripping, twisting thriller, he’s created a must-read book.” —Robert Ressler, world renowned FBI profiler (retired), founder of the FBI’s VICAP (Violent Criminal Apprehension Program), recognized “father” of serial killer research, international lecturer, and bestselling author

“There are thrillers which you read once, then throw away. Alan Jacobson has written a book that is fast paced and intense and will make sure you’ll read it over and over again. A masterful work—dark, creepy, yet at the same time you won’t be able to put it down.” —The Strand Magazine

“[The 7th Victim] has all the ingredients for a best-selling psychological thriller: strong female lead, multifaceted serial killer, compelling plot, and just enough secrets and surprises to keep the adrenaline racing.” —School Library Journal

Product Details

Vanguard Press
Publication date:
Karen Vail Series, #1
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.50(d)


Meet the Author

Alan Jacobson is the national bestselling author of several critically acclaimed novels. In order to take readers behind the scenes to places they might never go, Jacobson has embedded himself in many federal agencies, including spending several years working with two senior profilers at the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s vaunted Behavioral Analysis Unit in Quantico. During that time, Jacobson edited four published FBI research papers on serial offenders, attended numerous FBI training courses, worked with the head firearms instructor at the academy, and received ongoing personalized instruction on serial killers—which continues to this day. He has also worked with high-ranking members of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the US Marshals Service, the New York Police Department, SWAT teams, local bomb squads, branches of the US military, chief superintendents and detective sergeants at Scotland Yard, criminals, armorers, helicopter pilots, chief executive officers, historians, and Special Forces operators. These experiences have helped him to create gripping, realistic stories and characters. His series protagonist, FBI profiler Karen Vail, resonates with both female and male readers, and writers such as Nelson DeMille, James Patterson, and Michael Connelly have called Vail one of the most compelling heroes in suspense fiction.

Jacobson’s books have been published internationally, and several have been optioned for film and television. A number have been named to Best of the Year lists.

Jacobson has been interviewed extensively on television and radio, including on CNN, NPR, and multiple ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox network affiliates.

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7th Victim 3.8 out of 5 based on 2 ratings. 1222 reviews.
RDG58 More than 1 year ago
Alan is on the same plateau as John Grisham. Hard to put the book down. It was very easy to get to know the characters by his thorough description of each. The story was gripping and very descriptive. I am looking forward to reading his next novel, Velocity.
pinkCricket More than 1 year ago
WOW!This book sucked me in from the very first page.Found myself up until 3:00 in the morning for 2 nights because I could not put it down.Everytime I thought I knew what was going to happen next I was wrong.It kept my attention til the very end with some unexpected twist thrown in for good measure.For a free book this is worth every second of your time.Was a little sad to be done with the book!This is one of those books I felt was glued to my hands,I did not want to put it down!
lovemynookFL More than 1 year ago
This book had so much going on that it was like several mysteries rolled into one. But it all came together at the end to make a very satisfying thriller.
bobertpope More than 1 year ago
Alan really pushed the limit in the most boring book since the dictionary. After reading the first chapter I wished that I was the first victim.
rkoback More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love this book! I couldn't stop reading it once I started. This is definitely a must read!
redhddgrl More than 1 year ago
downloaded another one by Alan Jacobson. I don't like his style or his storylines.
mln63 More than 1 year ago
I got this on a free Friday so I am not complaing. I had a lot of problems with the characters in this book. The main character is the most selfish mother I have ever read about. Her son is in a coma so she has to get away, with her future boyfriend, to her mother's house, who is getting senile. She then finds out she her real mother makes her a relative to the killer she is trying to capture. That is just the beginning of a whole lot of unbelivable plot twists they want us to believe,
EG_John More than 1 year ago
To make fiction work, one must suspend disbelief. I know this. I go into every novel hoping to be entertained and I don't spend a lot of time picking apart the "inaccurate" details of the story. But this book had me saying, "Oh, come on!" entirely too much. The lead character, while trying to profile a serial killer, had SEVEN personal tragedies. The "surprising" tie-ins between characters piled on, one after another. Just when I couldn't take any more, the author actually surprised me with the ending. This helped to make me feel like I hadn't wasted my 400+ pages.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The 7th Victim is a masterpiece! Having read every James Patterson and several Jonathan Kellerman, JD Robb and other spy/murder novels, the 7th Victim ranks up there at the top. Super character development for the lead profiler, Karen. Lots of suspense, turns and twists, and non-stop action --- very difficult to put down. Jacobson has succeeded in creating an unsettling and suspenseful edge throughout the book --- everything that could go wrong, did go wrong for Karen until it righted itself at the very end. So many family twists that we got to know the whole family intimately by the end, like peeling back an onion, it was done layer by layer - surprise! I can see the quality attention to detail about profiling, SWAT teams, with the appropriate language and procedures. All genuine and seemed realistic. Very enjoyable and I can see how it could be a great movie! I also reread The Hunted and enjoyed it again!
Guest More than 1 year ago
She is an FBI profiler assigned to the Behavioral Analysis Unit and after dealing with a bank robbery, Karen Vail goes straight to the house of the victim of the Dead Eyes Killer. This brutal psychopath earned the moniker by putting steak knives into the eyes of the women he mutilated. This maniac eviscerates his female prey and uses their left hands as paint brushes to paint murals with their blood.-------------- The latest victim is his fourth Vail is part of a task force trying to end his spree before another deceased disfigured corpse surfaces. She is also having problems with her soon to be ex husband and their son Jonathan, who refuses to live with him insisting he is an abusive drunk. When she tries to talk to her ex, he knocks her unconscious. The next time they meet, she uses him as a punching bag, ending up in jail. After being released, her boss puts her on paid suspension pending the outcome of her assault trial. Jonathan ends up in a coma and Vail believes her spouse pushed him leading to his hitting his head. Still dealing with that trauma, she soon learns her mother is her aunt they get into a fight. A disgruntled former FBI agent insists Vail should be considered a suspect in the Dead Eyes serial killer case as she has a record of violence and the murderer seems to have insider information. Vail knows she must is riding on her finding the killer. ----------- Although some serial killer fanatics will insist Vail¿s personal problems are overwhelming especially the mama segue, fans will enjoy this enthralling entertaining thriller because her issues realistically intrude on her investigation. The author makes this work into a one sitting read mainly due to the complex stubborn yet vulnerable (though her son) heroine. Alan Jacobson provides a chilling police procedural as the heroine¿s personal life infringes on her professional life.---------- Harriet Klausner
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The headline says it all. There is far to much discussion of profiling and other law enforcement procedures. Great plot, but just too much info. Should have been 100 pages less.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was my first by this author and I really liked this book.
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acorley84 More than 1 year ago
The 7th Victim - Devouring Psychological Thriller For a more in depth review, please visit my blog, Chorley Chronicals! I was actually looking for Mary Burton's "The Seventh Victim" and came across this book and said what the heck, I am going to give it a try, and I am certainly glad that I did! This was such an exciting and suspenseful thriller full of information, twists and turns, that kept me on the edge of my seat, and reading late into the night just to finish it! The narrator, Lila Wellesley, did a great job of reading The 7th Victim, and seemed to be a good fit for Karen Vail.  As with any strong female character, I instantly fell in love with Special Agent Karen Vail, a Profiler with the Behavior Analysis Unit of the FBI! She is the very first female Profiler introduced to the group, and many of the other characters do not feel that she belongs there, so she really had to work hard to earn her place on the team, and she did! There was a diverse group of characters that kept you interested throughout the story! I felt that Alan Jacobson really knew his stuff when he wrote The 7th Victim. He was very informative in his writing, which seems to help at least me, get a bigger and better picture of what he is actually writing about! It makes it easier for me to escape within the story and feel like I know what is going on! The story was very dramatic and full of psychological suspense, chilling, and leaves you guessing clear to the very end! Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and will continue with the Karen Vail series, and will check out Crush to see if I want to go any further. If it is anything like this book, this will be one of my new favorite series without a shadow of a doubt!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed the read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was very good and alot of things was going on. I was surprised that a at the end they all came togather. This book had 431 pages.
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