Pretty Little Things

( 4 )


Thirteen-year-old Lainey Emerson is the middle child in a home police are already familiar with: her mom works too much and her stepfather favors his own blood over another man’s problems—namely Lainey and her wild older sister. When Lainey fails to come home from a night out with friends, her disappearance is dismissed by the Coral Springs Police Department as just another disillusioned South Florida teen running away from suburban drama and an unhappy home life.

But Florida ...

See more details below
$10.56 price
(Save 29%)$14.95 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (10) from $7.48   
  • New (7) from $8.25   
  • Used (3) from $7.48   
Sending request ...


Thirteen-year-old Lainey Emerson is the middle child in a home police are already familiar with: her mom works too much and her stepfather favors his own blood over another man’s problems—namely Lainey and her wild older sister. When Lainey fails to come home from a night out with friends, her disappearance is dismissed by the Coral Springs Police Department as just another disillusioned South Florida teen running away from suburban drama and an unhappy home life.

But Florida Department of Law Enforcement Special Agent Bobby Dees, who heads up the department’s difficult Crimes Against Children squad, is not quite so sure. Nicknamed “The Shepherd” by colleagues, he has an uncanny ability to find the missing and bring them back home—dead or alive. After a search of Lainey’s computer and a frank talk with her best friend reveal the teen was involved in a secret internet relationship, Bobby suspects she may be the victim of an online predator. And when chilling evidence of other possible victims is sent to a local Miami television station, he fears she may not be the only one.

The faceless monster from cyberspace, who has gone to remarkable lengths to stay invisible, now seeks a captive audience. And it’s Bobby Dees he wants watching. Haunted by the still-unsolved disappearance of his own teenage daughter, Bobby will find himself pulled into a deadly game of cat and mouse with the most prolific killer he’s ever encountered. But will he be able to save Lainey and the others before it’s too late?

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Some twists and turns in Hoffman's stand-alone thriller may leave readers scratching their heads, but the suspense ratchets up to such a high pitch that most will keep flipping pages till the end. Coincidentally, the 16-year-old daughter of Bobby Dees, a Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) special agent supervisor, a leading expert on discovering the fate of missing children, has been gone without a trace for almost a year. But that doesn't keep Bobby from being one of the best at his job. His immediate concern is the fate of 13-year-old Lainey Emerson, who's in the hands of a sadistic serial kidnapper known as "Picasso" for his bizarre depictions of his victims delivered to TV reporter Mark Felding. While Picasso taunts Bobby, Felding turns up the media heat on the investigation. Hoffman (Plea of Insanity) paints a scary picture of sexual predators, vulnerable teens, and the shared hunting ground/playground that the Internet provides. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Hoffman's (Last Witness; Plea of Insanity) fourth Florida thriller switches from the courtroom to the squad room as Special Agent Bobby Dees tracks a killer targeting "throwaway kids"—troubled teens who might easily be mistaken for runaways. As news coverage grows, the killer taunts the cops and the media by sending a local TV reporter hand-painted portraits of missing teens—and possible victims. As the police build a profile of "Picasso," who appears to be posing in online chat rooms as a teenage boy and winning the trust of insecure and unhappy girls, alternate scenes show Picasso planning his gruesome crimes. These cases resonate with Dees, as his own daughter disappeared a year ago, and he and his wife continue to hope that she's "just" a runaway who will call one day asking to come home. VERDICT A fast-paced thriller sure to please fans of James Patterson and John Sandford. [Six-city author tour.]—Karen Kleckner, Deerfield P.L., IL
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781477849521
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
  • Publication date: 2/25/2014
  • Pages: 415
  • Sales rank: 528,442
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Jilliane Hoffman began her professional career as an Assistant State Attorney prosecuting felonies in Florida, with special assignments to the Domestic Violence Unit and the Legal Extradition Unit. She has advised more than one hundred special agents on criminal and civil matters in complex investigations involving narcotics, homicide, and organized crime.

Her novels include the bestselling Retribution, Last Witness, The Cutting Room, Plea of Insanity, and Pretty Little Things. Originally from Long Island, New York, she presently resides in South Florida with her husband and two children.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 31, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    terrific cautionary tale

    Thirteen years old Lainey Emerson loves MySpace, especially keeping her page current. Her biggest peeve at the moment is relocating with her family, which means a new school and finding new friends.

    However Lainey becomes excited when she meets El Capitan online. She agrees to go out with the boy, but conceals her date from her family. A couple days pass before her mother reports her missing, as she assumed Lainey was behaving just like her older sister, a serial runaway. Florida's Crimes Against Children Special Agent Bobby Dees leads the search for the missing teen even as he fears she is the victim of a serial killer, who uses the net to lure victims and then after killing them sends drawings of his kills to the media.

    Rotating perspective between the missing teen, the agent (his daughter vanished last year) and the killer in chapters not much longer than Twitter, Pretty Little Things is a terrific cautionary tale that warns readers beware of internet social networks especially what you tell of yourself and the contacts you make. The story line is loaded with twists that enhance the growing tension, which the agent and the teen especially emote. Although the ending feels weak especially with the taut story line that brilliantly leads to the climax, fans will appreciate Pretty Little Things while wondering how to allow their youngsters to enjoy the net yet avoid stalking cyber predators.

    Harriet Klausner

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Thriller With a Timely Subject

    I read Jilliane Hoffman's Retribution several years ago, found the book engrossing enough to mentally put Ms. Hoffman on my "must read" list but somehow have missed picking up any of her follow up books until I was sent Pretty Little Things. Ms. Hoffman, herself the parent of teens, takes a timely and concerning subject in internet preying and runs with it.

    In the book, I liked the character of detective Bobby Dees the best. He was written as a complex cop, with many layers of depth, but without being a stereotype, which many characters of this type fall victim to. I appreciated his back story and, honestly, would enjoy having more books devoted to him. Here's hoping that Ms. Hoffman will feature him in a future book.

    The character of Lainey was realistic, acting as a teen girl would, complete with the self esteem issues present with most teen girls. As a parent, it was frightening to read of Lainey unknowingly setting herself up as the perfect victim for such a predator, thinking she was talking to a teen boy who was interested in a date with her when she was in fact speaking with a maniuplator finessing her into leaving the relative security of her home.

    The mystery was a good one, leaving me guessing until the end - - nothing frustrates me more with mysteries and thrillers than figuring it all out too soon. Well, that and heroes/heroines that do crazy, unrealistic things simply for the purpose of moving the plot forward. The killer was appropriately creepy, with Ms. Hoffman providing enough details to visualize the killer without giving away his identity.

    As much as I enjoyed Bobby Dees, I was let down with the almost tidy resolution at the end of the book. Call me a pessimist but I found the trauma to add layers of depth to his character and his relationship and felt it could have continued unresolved. It didn't change the overall feel of the book or my satisfaction with the story but it did let me down at the resolution.

    In all, I enjoyed Pretty Little Things and the story kept me guessing and flipping the pages. I would not hesitate to recommend it, and Jilliane Hoffman, to mystery and thriller lovers.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Bridget's Review

    This book is awesome!! I read a lot, and most of the time I can figure out what is going to happen before it happens. That was not the case with this book. Jilliane knows how to keep a reader on her toes and deliver an outstanding story.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)