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Have You Seen Her?
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Have You Seen Her?

4.3 54
by Karen Rose

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One by one, the girls disappear from their beds at night. Each one is pretty, with long dark hair. And each one is found brutally murdered.

Special Agent Steven Thatcher has sworn to find the serial killer preying on this small town. As the investigation pulls him one way, his family pulls him in another. A widower haunted by loss, he now worries about his son


One by one, the girls disappear from their beds at night. Each one is pretty, with long dark hair. And each one is found brutally murdered.

Special Agent Steven Thatcher has sworn to find the serial killer preying on this small town. As the investigation pulls him one way, his family pulls him in another. A widower haunted by loss, he now worries about his son Brad slipping away. But there's a bright light in his life: his son's teacher, Jenna Marshall, has reached out to help. She's beautiful, kind, and considerate--and slowly, tentatively, she and Steven are starting to fall in love. But both have been hurt before--badly. And as the two try to find the courage to bare their souls, a murderer who has slain many looks for the real treasure he craves. He sets his traps. And waits. For Jenna...

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Offering heart-racing thrills, both in the bedroom and the forensics lab, this second romantic intrigue from Rose (Don't Tell) showcases her growing talent. Rose has created complex, realistic characters in high school teacher Jenna Marshall and Special Agent Steven Thatcher, whose eldest son, Brad, is in Jenna's class. Though Steven, a widower, is in the midst of a search for a serial killer who targets cheerleaders in their small North Carolina town, he takes time to visit Jenna when she calls to tell him that Brad, who used to be a high achiever, is flunking out of chemistry. When they meet, their own chemistry takes over and they find themselves falling in love, despite their troubled romantic pasts and the fact that Jenna may be next on the killer's list. Rose populates her novel with vivid characters-like Steven's seven-year-old son Nicky, who was a character in Rose's previous novel-and stokes the tension to a fever pitch, throwing in shocking twists each time the story threatens to settle into predictability. Though some of Steven and Jenna's lovers' quarrels deteriorate into melodrama, readers will hardly notice as they rush to the novel's thrilling conclusion. (Feb.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
4.25(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.00(d)

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Have You Seen Her?

By Karen Rose

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Copyright © 2004 Karen Rose Hafer
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-446-61281-2

Chapter One

Present Day, Raleigh, North Carolina, Monday, September 26, 10:00 A.M.

THE FACT THAT HE'D SEEN MORE HORRIFIC SCENES over the course of his career should have made this one easier to mentally process.

Should have.

It didn't.

Special Agent Steven Thatcher loosened his tie, but it didn't do a thing to help the flow of air to his lungs. It didn't do a thing to change what he'd found in the clearing after the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation received an anonymous tip leading them to this place.

It certainly didn't do a thing to bring the poor dead woman back to life.

So Steven centered the knot of his tie right over the lump in his throat. He stepped forward carefully, earning him a glare from the rookie Forensics had sent because the rookie's boss had picked the week they discovered a gruesome, brutal murder to take a cruise to the Caribbean.

Now, looking at the mangled corpse, heavily scavenged by whatever creatures lived in these woods, Steven couldn't help wishing he were on a boat far from civilization, too.

"Watch your feet," the rookie cautioned from his hands-and-knees position on the grass next to the body, irritation in his voice. Kent Thompson was reputed to be quite good, but Steven would hold his judgment. However, the fact Kent hadn't thrown up yet was a stroke in his favor.

"Thank you for the lesson in crime-scene investigation," Steven replied dryly and Kent's cheeks went redder than chili peppers.

Kent sat back on his heels and looked away. "I'm sorry," he said quietly. "I'm frustrated. I've checked this entire area three times. Whoever left her here didn't leave anything else behind."

"Maybe the ME will find something on the body," Steven said.

Kent sighed. "What's left of it." He looked back at the corpse, clinical detachment on his face. But Steven also noted the flicker of controlled compassion in the young man's eyes and was satisfied. Kent would do his job, but still remember the victim. Another stroke in the newbie's favor.

"Sorry, Steven," said a ragged voice behind him and Steven turned to find Agent Harry Grimes taking labored breaths as he slipped a handkerchief in his pocket. Harry's face was pale, although the green tinge had passed along with the Egg McMuffin Harry had downed on his way to the scene.

New to the SBI, Harry had been assigned to Steven for training. Harry showed a lot of promise, except for his very weak stomach. But Steven couldn't blame him too much. He might have lost his own breakfast had he taken the time to eat any. "It's okay, Harry. It happens."

"Have we found anything?" Harry asked.

"Not yet." Steven crouched down next to the body, a pen in his gloved hand. "Nude, no ID or clothing anywhere around. There's enough left of her to know she was female."

"Adolescent female," Kent added and Steven's head shot up.


"Adolescent female is my guess," Kent said, pointing to the corpse's torso. "Pierced navel."

Harry's gulp was audible. "How can you tell?"

Kent's mouth quirked up. "You could see if you put your face a bit closer."

"I don't think so," said Harry in a strangled voice.

Steven balanced himself on the balls of his feet, still crouched. "Okay, an adolescent female. She's been here at least a week. We'll need to run a check through missing persons." He gently rolled the body over and felt his heart skip a beat at the same time Harry cursed softly.

"What?" Kent asked, looking from Steven up to Harry and back at Steven. "What?"

A grimness settled over Steven and he pointed his pen at the remains of the young girl's left buttock. "She had a tattoo."

Kent leaned closer, then looked up, still squinting. "Looks like a peace symbol."

Steven looked up at Harry who wore a look of the same grim acknowledgment. "Lorraine Rush," Steven said and Harry nodded.

"Who was Lorraine Rush?" Kent asked.

"Lorraine was reported missing about two weeks ago," Harry said quietly. "Her parents went in to wake her up for school and found her bed slept in but empty."

"No evidence of forced entry," Steven added, looking at the corpse with new concern. "We had to assume she'd run away. Her parents insisted she never would run, that she'd been kidnapped."

"Parents always insist their kids would never run away," Harry said. "You still don't know that she didn't and just met up with some rough character along the way."

Steven could see in his mind's eye the picture of Lorraine as she'd been, the smiling girl in the photograph on the Rushes' fireplace mantel. "She was sixteen. A year younger than my oldest son." Steven let his thoughts briefly linger on his troubled son who'd undergone such a radical change in personality in the last month. But that was another worry. He'd dwell on his very personal problem of Brad when he'd put Lorraine Rush out of his mind. Whenever that would be.

"Damn shame," said Kent.

Steven pushed himself to his feet and stared down at what was left of what had once been a beautiful, vibrant young woman. Pushed back the primal rage at the monster who could take the life of another so brutally. "We'll need to inform her parents." He didn't look forward to that task.

Breaking the tragic news of a loved one's murder should have been easier after all these years.

Should have been.

It wasn't. (Continues...)

Excerpted from Have You Seen Her? by Karen Rose Copyright © 2004 by Karen Rose Hafer. 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.

Meet the Author

Karen Rose is a RITA Award-winning author who fell in love with books from the time she learned to read, with Jo from Little Women and Nancy Drew becoming close childhood friends. A former chemical engineer and high school chemistry and physics teacher, Karen lives in Florida with her husband of twenty years, their two children, and the family cat, Bella. For more information, visit her website: www.karenrosebooks.com.

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4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 55 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down. The story is captivating and the main characters are likeable. I will be reading more books by Karen Rose.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Have you seen her, like all the other books I've read by Karen Rose, was hard to put down. Karen Rose is quickly becoming my favorite romantic suspense author. This book had drama, suspense, humor and romance all wrapped up in a nice tidy package. Wow!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a great book. Steven and Jenna were perfect for each other. I didn't want to put this one down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is one of my all time favorite. It has everyting. Steven and Jenas relationship was beautiful. He children were great. the whole book was just GREAT.This is a book I will keep for a long time. Don't Tell (her first book) was really good to and I am reading I'm watching you right now and love it. You must read these books, but buy them because you wont want to give them back.
readingislifeTX More than 1 year ago
A page turner. Be prepared to be caught up in the very well written plot and unfolding love story. This book is 1st or 2nd in a series of 6. None of the books in this series disappoints. If you like romantic thrillers Ms. Rose is the author for you. I read all the books in a week and then had withdrawal because I had finished! I wanted to stay with these characters. Ms. rose is a master at her craft.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm new to Karen Rose books. This was the second book I've read by her. I really like it. I like her style of writing. This book kept me interested and was a page turner. Will be reading more from her.
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First half very slow second half was good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book got my attention and kept it. I had a hard time putting my nook down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the second karen rose book i have read and i loved it. Couldnt put it down.
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kaylaandchase More than 1 year ago
I just starting reading Karen Rose's books.. They are wonderful, full of suspense.. I highly recommend reading any of her books..She is a great writer and I can't wait to read more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
frosty1 More than 1 year ago
I have to admit, I had a hard time getting in to this particular book in the series. We met several different people right away, and trying to keep them all straight got a bit trying at times. I also didn't feel any chemistry with really any of the characters. After about 1/3 of the way through, I began to piece it together, and I started to feel for Steven, it wasn't until then that I started to enjoy the book. Several parts of this book stick out in my mind, the relationship between dad and sons. There are two completely different family dynamics that you witness, and they are polar opposites. The way that Steven always seemed to be saying "I'm sorry" to Jenna, and seeming to truly mean it. The meddling Aunt and neighbor were highlights to me. I did figure out "who done it" before it was revealed, but I had quite a hard time deducing the perp until a few things slipped. I wasn't put off by knowing who the bad guy actually was, though. All in all, I would say, this is a good book. It wasn't one of my favorites, but I enjoyed it eventually, and was pulling for some of the main characters. I hope Davies gets his own story. He played a pivotal roll in the investigation and in Steven & Jenna's relationship.
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Ejaygirl More than 1 year ago
Special Agent Steven Thatcher and his family are still recovering from his son's abduction six months ago during one of his cases when he lands another case involving a missing teenager. He soon realizes he's dealing with a serial killer when a second teenage girl goes missing. Meanwhile, he's trying to deal with his problems at home as his oldest son has had a personality change and is failing chemistry. When Steven meets with his teacher, Jenna Marshall, there is plenty chemistry to go around. Jenna Marshall is having her own issues as she's failing the star quarterback, which gets him benched. His father and teammates seek vengeance by vandalizing her car and classroom. She and Steven are trying to explore their feelings in the midst of his career demands and her challenges with the vandalism. The two issues eventually converge as the attacks on her property escalate to her personally. The mystery involving the serial killer has a limited number of suspects but it still was a challenging case with a few red herrings thrown in the mix. The crimes were pretty gruesome and heartbreaking as the victims were only 16 years old. I was able to figure out the killer about halfway through but continued to challenge my choice almost to the end. This is a very suspenseful story with just the right balance of romance. Steven and Jenna are sympathetic characters who seem well suited for each other. His children and Aunt Helen also provide some much needed comic relief to the story. This is another winning book by Karen Rose with all elements working brilliantly in tandem. It's well written with good dialogue and I plan to continue the series.
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