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Pretty Little Things

Pretty Little Things

4.0 4
by Perseus

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From international bestselling author Jilliane Hoffman comes a riveting thriller that explores the highly topical, real-life threat of online predators.


From international bestselling author Jilliane Hoffman comes a riveting thriller that explores the highly topical, real-life threat of online predators.

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

Product Details

Vanguard Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.98(w) x 11.66(h) x 1.18(d)

Meet the Author

Jilliane Hoffman was an Assistant State Attorney in Miami between 1992 and 1996. Pretty Little Things is her fourth novel, following the international bestsellers Retribution, Last Witness, and Plea of Insanity. She lives in Florida.

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Pretty Little Things 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
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
LHedgpeth More than 1 year ago
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.
bridget3420 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago