Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

I'm Watching You

I'm Watching You

4.6 48
by Karen Rose

See All Formats & Editions

I Know Their Crimes. Star prosecutor Kristen Mayhew has a dangerous secret admirer. He seems to know her every thought, her every move. He sends her letters. And he kills the criminals she herself is powerless to stop. I Hunt Down the Guilty. This avenger even knows Kristen's deepest secret-the one that has kept her from surrendering her heart to Abe Reagan, the


I Know Their Crimes. Star prosecutor Kristen Mayhew has a dangerous secret admirer. He seems to know her every thought, her every move. He sends her letters. And he kills the criminals she herself is powerless to stop. I Hunt Down the Guilty. This avenger even knows Kristen's deepest secret-the one that has kept her from surrendering her heart to Abe Reagan, the police detective sworn to protect her. Like Kristen, Reagan is haunted by the loss of something precious that can never be regained. But in the shadow of a calculating serial killer, the two turn to each other and dare to rediscover passion...even as the messages and vicious murders continue. Even as the killer's thirst for retribution makes Kristen a target for murder.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A dark secret keeps Chicago assistant state's attorney Kristen Mayhew as tightly wound as the springy red curls she works to pin down. Meals at the nearby diner, sleepless nights renovating her empty house and days in court where the bad guy more often than not doesn't face justice make up her life-until she finds the bodies of three criminals she failed to convict in the trunk of her car. Each dead body comes accompanied by a sinister letter, the writer informing "Dearest Kristen" that justice has been done on her behalf. An unusual twist for a suspense novel, to be sure, but because the murderer preys on rapists, gang members and pedophiles, Rose's trademark tentacles of fear never fully extend (as they did in her earlier books, Don't Tell and Have You Seen Her). Instead, this book's greatest strength lies in the romance between Kristen and handsome detective Abe Reagan, who's still reeling from the death of his wife. Abundant side characters, including Abe's entire jovial clan, clutter the plot and diminish the story's tension, especially when minor players suddenly step forward to play major roles. But readers will appreciate Rose's sensitive portrayal of Kristen's hesitancy to trust and Abe's gentle perseverance in uncoiling the vibrant woman within. Agent, Karen Solem at Spencerhill Assoc. (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.37(d)

Read an Excerpt

I'm Watching You

By Karen Rose

Warner Forever

Copyright © 2004 Karen Rose Hafer
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-446-61447-5

Chapter One

Chicago, Wednesday, February 18, 2:00 P.M.

"You've got company, Kristen." Owen Madden pointed toward the window to the street where a man stood in a heavy winter coat, his head tilted in question.

Kristen Mayhew gave him a brief nod and he entered the diner where she'd escaped the enraged protests inside the courtroom and the barrage of questions from the press outside its doors. She stared into her soup as her boss, Executive Assistant State's Attorney John Alden sat on the stool beside her. "Coffee, please," he said and Owen got him a cup.

"How did you know I was here?" she asked, very quietly. "Lois told me that this is where you come for lunch." And breakfast and dinner, too, Kristen thought. If it didn't come in a microwavable carton, it came from Owen's. John's secretary knew her habits well. "The local station interrupted programming for the verdict and reaction," John said. "But you held your own with the press. Even that Richardson woman."

Kristen bit the inside of her cheek, anger roiling at the memory of the platinum blond's microphone in her face. She'd so wanted to shove that microphone up Zoe Richardson's ... "She wanted to know if there would be 'repercussions' in your office because of this loss."

"You know this is not a performance issue. You've got the best conviction record in the office." John shivered. "Damn, I'm cold. You want to tell me what happened in there?"

Kristen pulled the pins from the twist that held her hair in severe check, a raging headache the price of curl control. There was enough compressed energy in her bobby pins to fuel downtown Chicago for a year. Her hair sprang free and she knew she was now Little Orphan Annie. With eyes. And no dog named Sandy. And certainly no Daddy Warbucks watching over her. Kristen was on her own.

She massaged her head wearily. "They hung. Eleven guilties, one innocent. Juror three. Bought lock, stock, barrel, and soul by the money of wealthy industrialist, Jacob Conti." She singsonged the last, the press's description of Angelo Conti's father. The man she knew had corrupted the system and denied a grieving family justice.

John's eyes darkened abruptly and his jaw tightened. "You're sure?"

She remembered the way the man who sat in chair number three wouldn't meet her eyes when the jury filed back in after four days of deliberations. How the other jury members looked at him with such contempt. "Sure I'm sure.

He's got a young family, lots of bills. He's a prime target for a man like Jacob Conti. We all knew Conti was prepared to do anything to get his son off. Can I prove Juror Three took money from Conti in exchange for a hung jury?" She shook her head. "No, I can't."

John's fist clenched on the countertop. "So we've basically got nothing."

Kristen shrugged. Exhaustion was beginning to set in. One too many sleepless nights before the culmination of a critical trial. And she knew she wouldn't sleep tonight either. She knew that as soon as she laid her head on her pillow she'd hear the tortured cries of Paula Garcia's young husband as the jury disbanded and Jacob Conti's son walked away a free man. At least until they could try him again. "I'll get started tracking Juror Three's spending habits. Sooner or later he'll spend the money to pay off his bills. It's just a matter of time."

"And in the meantime?"

"I'll start a new trial. Angelo Conti will go back to Northwestern and resume his drinking and Thomas Garcia will go back to his empty apartment and stare at an empty crib."

John sighed. "You did your best, Kristen. Sometimes that's all we can do. If only ..."

"If only he'd wrapped his Mercedes around a tree and not Paula Garcia," Kristen said bitterly. "If only he hadn't been so drunk that pulling Paula Garcia from her wrecked car and beating her to death with a tire iron to keep her quiet seemed like a good idea." She was shaking now, a combination of exhaustion and grief for the woman and the unborn child that had died with her. "If only Jacob Conti was more concerned about teaching his son responsibility than keeping him out of prison."

"If only Jacob Conti had taught his son responsibility before giving him the keys to a hundred-thousand-dollar sports car. Kristen, go home. You look like shit."

Her laugh was wobbly. "You sure know how to charm a girl."

He didn't smile back. "I'm serious. You look like you're about to drop right off your feet. I need you back here tomorrow ready to go again."

She glanced up, her mouth bent in a wry grimace. "You sweet-talker, you."

He did smile at that, briefly. Then he was sober once again. "I want Conti, Kristen. He's corrupted the system, tainted the jury pool. I want him to pay."

Kristen forced her body to slide off the stool, forced her legs to hold her up, fighting gravity and exhaustion. She met John's eyes with grim determination. "No more than I do."

Wednesday, February 18, 6:45 P.M.

Abe Reagan walked through the maze of detectives' desks, well aware of the curious stares that followed him as he searched for Lieutenant Marc Spinnelli. His new CO.

He heard the conversation inside when he was three feet from Spinnelli's cracked-open door. "Why him?" a female voice demanded. "Why not Wellinski or Murphy? Dammit, Marc, I want a partner I can trust, not some new guy nobody knows about."

Abe waited for Spinnelli's response. He had no doubt the woman was his new partner and based on her recent loss, he couldn't say he blamed Mia Mitchell for her attitude.

"You don't want a new partner at all, Mia," came the level answer, and Abe figured that was true enough. "But you're going to have a partner," Spinnelli continued, "and since last I looked I was your superior officer, I get to pick who that partner is."

"But he's never done Homicide. I gotta have someone with some experience here."

"He's got experience, Mia." Spinnelli's voice was soothing without being condescending. Abe liked that. "He's been undercover in Narcotics for the last five years."

Five years. He'd gone under a year after Debra was shot, hoping the added risk would dull the pain of watching his wife exist in the life-support-induced limbo doctors called a persistent vegetative state. It hadn't. A year ago she'd died and he stayed with his cover, hoping the risk would dull the pain of losing her completely. That it had done.

Mitchell was silent and Abe had started to knock when Spinnelli's voice cut through once again, this time reproachful. "Did you read any of the information I gave you?"

Another half beat of silence, followed by Mitchell's defensive answer. "I didn't have time. I was making sure Cindy and the kids had food on the table."

Cindy would be Mrs. Ray Rawlston, the widow of Mitchell's former partner who'd been killed in an ambush that left Mitchell with a scar just above her ribs where a bullet narrowly missed every major organ. It would appear Mitchell was a lucky cop. It would also appear that Abe knew a lot more about her than she knew about him. No longer compelled to eavesdrop, he lifted his knuckles to the door in a hard knock.

"Come." Spinnelli sat behind his desk and Mitchell leaned against a wall, arms crossed over her chest, eyeing him sharply. At five-four, her 125 pounds was a well-distributed muscled mass. Her file said she was single, never been married, thirty-one years old. Her face looked a good deal younger. Her eyes, on the other hand ... She might as well have been coming up for her retirement Timex. Abe knew the feeling.

Spinnelli stood, his hand extended in greeting. "Abe, so good to see you again."

Abe met Spinnelli's eyes briefly as he shook his hand, but quickly resumed his study of his new partner. Her eyes met his even though she had to bend her neck to look up. She didn't blink as she continued to lean against the wall, every muscle visibly tensed.

"Good to see you, too, Lieutenant." He returned her stare. "You're Mitchell."

She nodded coolly. "Last I checked, that was the name on my locker." Well, at least this won't be boring, he thought. He stuck his hand out. "Abe Reagan."

She shook his hand fast, as if sustaining physical contact was a painful thing. Maybe it was. "I figured that out myself." She shot him a hostile look. "Why'd you leave Narcotics?"


Abe shook his head. "It's okay. I can give Detective Mitchell the Reader's Digest version since she's been too busy to read my file." Mitchell's eyes narrowed but she said nothing. "We closed a five-year sting operation, nabbing the bad guys and 50 million in pure heroin, but my cover was blown in the process." He shrugged. "Time to move on."

Her stare never wavered. "Okay, Reagan, you made your point. When do you start?"

"Today," Spinnelli said. "Everything finished up in Narcotics, Abe?"

"Almost. I have to tie up a few loose ends at the prosecutor's office, so I'll head over there when we're done." His grin was rueful. "I've been under so long, it'll be an adjustment, walking in the front door of the SA's office, introducing myself as a detective again." Abe sobered. "Do I get a desk?" he asked and saw the pain that flashed in Mitchell's eyes.

She swallowed hard. "Yeah. I still have to clean it out, but-"

"It's okay," Abe interrupted. "I can do that." Mitchell shook her head hard. "No," she bit out. "I'll do it. Go tie up your loose ends. The desk will be yours when you get back." Turning on her heel, she headed for the door. Spinnelli faltered. "Mia ..."

She spun around, rage supplanting the pain. "I said I'd do it, Marc." She was breathing hard as she fought for control.

"Did they, Mitchell?" Abe asked softly. Her eyes flew up to meet his. "Did they what?" "Did Ray's wife and kids have food on the table?" Her breath shuddered out. "Yeah. They did."

"Good." Abe saw he'd scored a point with his new partner. Her nod of response was jerky, but she was back in enough control that she didn't slam the door behind her. Still, the blinds on the window clattered and shook. Spinnelli drew a breath. "She's not over him yet. He was her mentor." Spinnelli shrugged, and Abe could see he still had unresolved grief of his own. "He was her friend."

"Yours, too."

Spinnelli managed a smile before sinking back down into the chair behind his desk. "Mine, too. Mia's a good cop." His eyes sharpened and Abe had the sudden, uncomfortable feeling Spinnelli was looking straight into his own soul. "I think you'll be good for each other."

Abe was the first to look away. He jangled his car keys. "I need to be getting over to the prosecutor's office." He'd made it to the door before Spinnelli stopped him again. "Abe, I have read your file. You were lucky to be alive at the end of that last sting."

Abe shrugged. It was the story of his sorry life. Lucky, lucky, lucky. If they only knew the truth. "Looks like Mitchell and I have something in common after all." Spinnelli's jaw tightened. "Mia went down guarding Ray's back. You have the reputation of taking chances, riding in to save the day." Spinnelli's expression was severe.

"Leave your death wish in Narcotics. I don't want to go to any more funerals. Yours or Mia's."

Easier said than done. But knowing what was expected, Abe nodded stiffly. "Yes, sir."


Excerpted from I'm Watching You 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.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

I'm Watching You 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 48 reviews.
Ejaygirl More than 1 year ago
Kristen Mayhew has a secret admirer of the worst kind...a serial killer who dispenses his form of justice to the criminals she was unsuccessful in prosecuting. She's an assistant State's Attorney in Chicago and those defendants in her losing efforts are being murdered. Homicide Detective Abe Reagan, along with his new partner, is assigned to the case and he has an immediate attraction to Kristen, as does she for him. But, they both have serious issues from their pasts that stand in the way to their forming a relationship. It's an interesting case, one that tests your concept of justice as those being murdered have behaved deplorably in life. These aren't sympathetic characters but they, too, deserve to have the killer atone for their deaths. The public reactions are also predictable and those who were unsuccessfully tried by Kristen now live in fear. Her life is threatened and Abe becomes part of her protection, which serves to accelerate their romance. This is another solid story that meets the expectations set by the previous two books in the series. The cast of characters has dimension...the "good guys" are extremely likable and the "baddies" are deliciously evil, which really heightens the tension between defining good and evil behavior. This is such a good story, even though I correctly pinpointed the killer early on. Rose is good at weaving romance and suspense and I'm anxious to continue with the next book in the series. You'll want to settle back and just immerse yourself in this suspenseful mystery and enjoy the writing.
Brionglaid More than 1 year ago
I love Karen Rose. I love this story. I was hooked from the first page and I couldn't stop reading it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've not been disappointed in any book by Ms. Rose and I'm watching you was no exception. Karen Rose is pure genius. This was a well written, solid story. The interaction between the characters was believable. The chemistry between Abe and Kristen jumped off the pages. I loved this book and couldn't put it down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Karen Rose is the best romantic suspence writer I have ever had the honor of reading. The plots face paced. The romance is wonderful. The storylines are unique. I just can't say enough. I'm Watching You is a great book. If you're reading this to get some insite on weather or not to read it...Read it! You won't be disapointed. Just, don't read You Can't Hide, first. I did. It will give away the ending to I'm Watching You...Even knowing the ending in advance, I still loved this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was my first Karen Rose book. I read it at the suggestion of several reviewers from this web site who recommended this author, and I was not disappointed!! I loved the characters and the storyline and the relationship between Kristen and Abe. I plan to read other books by this author. She was a great find!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best Romantic Suspense, i have ever read and read and read for more than 6 times, i don't usually read novels more than once, the characters oooh the characters.... i simply fell in love with them! God i want moooore why won't The Master of all romantic suspense write faster?!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a really good suspence story. I recommend it to anyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a single mom who works a full and a part time job so I don't have alot of time to read, but I have to say I made time! Not one boring page is in this book. I've been a very avid reader since I was about seven, and I think this was the best book I have EVER read. If you like romantic suspense books pick this one up you will not be disappointed. I can't wait to read Karen Rose's other books. I think I have a new favorite author.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have now read all three of Karens books and loved everyone of them. I'm watching you was great I read it in three days (keep in mind I am a single mom of a four year old and work full time). I will now buy any book that has her name on it. Which you should do also because once you read one of her books you wont want to give it back.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing I was absolutley glued from the start. I have read all three of Karens books and she just keeps getting better (which is hard to believe she could get any better) I will now buy any book with her name on it. Start with Don't Tell but do read ALL her books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book started off slow for me. I put it down twice because I had a hard time getting into it. But on the third try I stuck it out and I am so happy I did. After the the first few chapters it started to get interesting and then I couldn't put it down. I loved the romance between Abe and Kristen and Abe's family. It was suspenseful and a lot of action. This is the second book by ths author I have read and I am looking forward to reading her other books. She writes romance/suspense very well. I enjoy her writing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I¿m Watching You delivers a suspenseful tale of murder, who done it and a no holds bar romance. Kristen Mayhew a leading prosecutor in Chicago makes a grizzly discovery late one night in the trunk of her car. Seems Kristen has an avenger, someone who is bringing to justice those that got away with their crimes. She turns to the police for help and protection. Abe Reagan gets Kristen¿s case. He is back as a detective after being undercover for 5 years. Abe went undercover to forget about a deeply personal tragedy. As more dead bodies pile up at Kristen¿s door, others start to threaten her. Abe is drawn to Kristen¿s quiet strength. They are both two injured souls in search of something to bring them joy. Kristen has to let down her guard around Abe. She didn¿t have the best family life growing up and meeting Abe¿s family makes her yearn. Karen Rose excels again with her writing career. I¿m watching you will have you glued to your seat. It will make you jump in terror and sigh with the love and tenderness.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Late at night and seemingly alone, Chicago prosecutor Kristen Mayhew waits for the elevator when a stranger arrives and inadvertently frightens her. The newcomer introduces himself as Detective Abe Reagan recently transferred from five years undercover on drugs to homicide. They ride down together and he escorts her to her car only to see she has a flat. Abe goes to change the tire, but the opened trunk reveals a corpse and several boxes.............................. The police arrive including Abe¿s new partner Mia Mitchell, who just lost her partner and fears that Abe has a death wish. As the boxes are methodically opened, letters with articles of clothing are in each. The letters are addressed to Kristen informing her that a degenerate has been killed, where the body is buried, and personal information on her home improvement efforts. As Abe and Mia accompanied by Kristen track the evidence, each wonders if one of their kind has gone rogue and become an avenging serial killer. While the inquiries lead from one grave to another, Abe and Kristen begin to fall in love, but he fears commitment having failed to be there even when a loved one died............................. This exciting police procedural romance emphasizes the tense suspense in which everyone trying to stop the avenger actually feels the ¿victims¿ deserve what they get, but also fear that the killer is so knowledgeable he has to be an insider, but who went over the edge. The story line is action packed gripping the audience into wondering who the killer could be. Though the romance takes a back seat to the investigation, fans will appreciate this thriller while watching for future novels from Karen Rose........................ Harriet klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Karen Rose is fast becoming one of my very favorite romance suspense authors. This book is the third in the series and I loved it. Enjoyed the characters and story. It was a page turner. Can't wait to read the others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ehaney578 More than 1 year ago
Karen sure knows how to write suspense. I love trying to solve the who-dun-it’s. Karen’s stories are deeply engrossing and very hard to put down. She is a methodical plotter and a brilliant writer. A warning though, many of her stories do address adult themes much like an episode of Law & Order: SVU that some readers may have a difficult time reading. I didn’t like this book as much as I did the first two, but it was still exhilarating! I love Abe and Kristen and their struggles to solve the case and put past demons aside, learning to love again. The mystery was brilliant! I thought I knew who the bad guy was but the author’s misdirection’s had me second-guessing my conclusions at every turn! Another great read from Karen Rose! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Almost as good as JD Robb
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great srory. Can't put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago