Retribution

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At the heart of Retribution is C. J. Townsend, a brilliant state prosecutor in Miami well-known for keeping her cool while trying even the most horrific cases. The latest suspect is as base as they come: a vicious killer who savors cruelty and considers murder an art. Amid a maelstrom of media attention, C. J. has just begun to build her case when she is struck with a shattering personal blow connected to her past. Now everything will ride on her ability to hold herself together long enough to put the accused ...
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Overview

At the heart of Retribution is C. J. Townsend, a brilliant state prosecutor in Miami well-known for keeping her cool while trying even the most horrific cases. The latest suspect is as base as they come: a vicious killer who savors cruelty and considers murder an art. Amid a maelstrom of media attention, C. J. has just begun to build her case when she is struck with a shattering personal blow connected to her past. Now everything will ride on her ability to hold herself together long enough to put the accused away forever.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
This debut novel by a former assistant state attorney is a crime drama/courtroom thriller offering authentic forensic details, legal quandaries, and a surprising, enthralling plot.

After Chloe Larson is raped and left for dead by a madman in a clown mask, she changes her name, starts a new life in Miami, and becomes a prosecutor for the state attorney. A dozen years later she's given the task of prosecuting William Bantling, who is suspected of being "Cupid," a serial killer who butchers women. Chloe recognizes him as her rapist and begins to slide towards a possible mental breakdown. As she tampers with the case to make sure Bantling pays for his crimes,, she's beset by the question: Even if Bantling is her assailant, does that prove he's also Cupid?

Hoffman provides expert twists throughout a novel that starts off grippingly and never lets up. With smooth prose, and an inviting narrative style, the author creates believable and sympathetic characters, and although Retribution is intensely graphic and unsettling at times, Hoffman brings expertise and street credibility to her work. This is a darkly compelling, often gut-wrenching novel about a victim's attempt to balance the craving for personal revenge with the desire for justice. Tom Piccirilli

New York Daily News
...Retribution delivers.
Rendezvous Magazine
The twists and turns are a suspense lover's dream the climax is chillingly good. An absolutely remarkable first outing.
Library Journal
Strongly recommended.
Publishers Weekly
With this graphic serial killer/courtroom thriller, debut novelist Hoffman joins the lengthening list of high-powered legal ladies whose professional expertise serves as the basis for authentic, insider crime fiction. Blond, beautiful law student Chloe Larson is looking forward to a great future with successful New York businessman Michael Decker. Her expectations are shattered forever after a madman in a clown mask rapes and tortures her until she is near death. She survives physically, but psychologically slips into an extended mental breakdown. Twelve years later she's dyed her hair mousy brown and become unassuming, hardworking C.J. Townsend, assistant chief of the Miami Dade State Attorney's office. A suspiciously lucky break nets serial killer suspect William Bantling, and C.J. takes over the prosecution as part of her normal workload. When Bantling stands up in court and speaks, C.J. realizes he's the man who raped her years ago. C.J. learns that the statute of limitations has run out on her rape and that her involvement in that case might very well cause Bantling to be freed on a technicality. Love interest Special Agent Dominick Falconetti knows there is something seriously wrong as C.J.'s mental state begins to deteriorate, but she brushes off his concern and immerses herself in her work on the case. The far-fetched resolution will throw some readers, but Hoffman compensates with a compellingly horrific villain and an undeniably exciting final confrontation. (Jan. 5) Forecast: Linda Fairstein (whose own novel, The Kills, goes head to head with this one in January) broke the ground and set the standard for this subgenre, and Hoffman fits right in and ups the ante with an original premise and more-graphic-than-usual violence. This was a big, six-figure, two-book deal; the film rights to the novel went for a million bucks. Add a hefty marketing budget, multiple foreign rights sales, Literary Guild, Book of the Month Club and Doubleday Book Club sales, and it all adds up to blockbuster. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
In the late 1980s, law student Chloe Larson was brutally raped and left for dead in her New York apartment. Fast-forward 12 years; Chloe, now known as C.J. Townsend, is one of the top prosecutors in Miami. It is in this capacity that she finds herself face to face with the man who terrorized her. She recognizes the voice of William Bantling, who is now on trial for a string of gruesome murders. C.J. confronts an impossible dilemma: perform her ethical duty and recuse herself from the case, or exact retribution on the man who almost killed her. With this predicament firmly in hand, Hoffman takes the listener on a remarkable ride, one that is fast paced, thrilling, and features extremely interesting characters. The courtroom scenes and legal explanations are especially enjoyable. Martha Plimpton's characterizations for the abridged versions are strong and distinct. Kathe Mazur's performance is natural, more subtle, and not as pronounced or staged as Plimpton's. Either audio edition of Retribution is recommended for public libraries. Nicole A. Cooke, Montclair State Univ. Lib., NJ Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Pedestrian debut thriller about a rape victim who tries her assailant in court. Chloe Larson is a law student on Long Island in 1988, and outside her apartment, a man watches her every move, including her hot trysts with a boyfriend. One stormy night, the watcher breaks into her apartment, rapes her, then brutally carves her up with a serrated blade. She barely survives. So far, so familiar-and so flat, with Hoffman laying on the clichés and brand names as description. Then comes the first of many twists. It's September 2000 and Miami state attorney C.J. Townsend faces defendant William Bantling, who may be "Cupid," a serial killer who rapes his victims, then cuts out their hearts. C.J. spots a scar on Bantling's arm and crumbles: he's the man who raped her when she was Chloe Larson, before she altered her identity and fled Long Island. C.J. decides to nail this vermin and bends the law by hiding this part of her past, even from law enforcement agent Dominick Falconetti, with whom she becomes romantically involved. Hoffman adds a modicum of suspense by throwing several roadblocks in the way of C.J.'s quest for retribution. The FBI wants to usurp the case. The defense attorney has evidence that could derail it. And Bantling slowly realizes C.J. is Chloe. (The tired and offensive notion that Bantling may be a frustrated, woman-hating homosexual comes up, but is wisely scrapped-as the pointless and gratuitous homophobic thoughts of one of the investigators should have been.) C.J. lands her case, but learns she may have convicted the wrong man. In a burst of last-act plotting, Hoffman lets matters unravel, then provides a satisfying tie-up. Although criminal attorney Hoffman devises aninteresting premise and springs some surprises, her flat prose fails to lift her work above the ordinary. First printing of 250,000; $300,000 ad/promo; Book-of-the-Month Club/Doubleday Book Club/Literary Guild main selection; film rights to John Wells Prod./Warner Bros. Agent: Luke Janklow/Janklow & Nesbit
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399151279
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 1/5/2004
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.40 (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.

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Read an Excerpt

1

JUNE 1988 NEW YORK CITY

CHLOE LARSON WAS, as usual, in a mad and blinding rush. She had all of ten minutes to change into something suitable to wear to The Phantom of the Opera-currently sold out a year in advance and the hottest show on Broadway-put on a face, and catch the 6:52 p.m. train out of Bayside into the city, which was, in itself, a three-minute car ride from her apartment to the station. That left her with really only seven minutes. She whipped through her overstuffed closet that she had meant to clean out last winter, and quickly settled on a black crepe skirt and matching jacket with a pink camisole. Clutching one shoe in her hand, she muttered Michael's name under her breath, while she frantically tossed aside shoe after shoe from the pile on the closet floor, at last finally finding the black patent-leather pump's mate.

She hurried down the hall to the bathroom, pulling on her heels as she walked. It was not supposed to happen like this, she thought as she flipped her long blond hair upside down, quickly combing it with one hand, while simultaneously brushing her teeth with the other. She was supposed to be relaxed and carefree, giddy with anticipation, her mind free of distractions when the question to end all questions was finally asked of her. Not rushing to and fro, on almost no sleep, from intense classes and study groups with other really anxious people, the New York State Bar Exam oppressively intruding upon her every thought. She spit out the mouthwash, spritzed on Chanel No. 5, and practically ran to the front door. Four minutes. She had four minutes, or else she would have to catch the 7:22 and then she would probably miss the curtain. An image of a dapper and annoyed Michael, waiting outside the Majestic Theater, rose in hand, box in pocket, checking his watch, flashed into her mind.

It was not supposed to happen like this. She was supposed to be more prepared.

She hurried through the courtyard to her car, her fingers rushing to put on the earrings she had grabbed off the nightstand in her room. From the second story above, she felt the eyes of her strange and reclusive neighbor upon her, moving over her from behind his living room window, as they did every day. Just watching as she made her way through the courtyard into the busy world and on with her life. She shook off the cold, uncomfortable feeling as quickly as it had come and climbed into her car. This was no time to think about Marvin. This was no time to think of the bar exam or bar review classes or study groups. It was time to think only of her answer to the question to end all questions that Michael was surely going to ask her tonight.

Three minutes. She had only three minutes, she thought, as she cheated the corner stop sign, barely making the light up on Northern Boulevard.

The deafening sound of the train whistle was upon her now as she ran up the platform stairs two at a time. The doors closed on her just as she waved a thank you to the conductor for waiting and made her way into the car. She sat back against the ripped red vinyl seat and caught her breath from that last run through the parking lot and up the stairs. The train pulled out of the station, headed for Manhattan. She had barely made it.

Just relax and calm down now, Chloe, she told herself, looking at Queens as it passed her by in the fading light of day. Because tonight, after all, was going to be a very special night. Of that she was certain.

2

JUNE 1988 NEW YORK CITY

THE WIND HAD PICKED UP and the thick evergreen bushes that hid his motionless body from sight began to rustle and sway. Just to the west, lightning lit the sky, and jagged streaks of white and purple flashed behind the brilliant Manhattan skyline. There was little doubt that it was going to pour-and soon. Buried deep in the dark underbrush, his jaw clenched tight and his neck stiffened at the rumble of thunder. Wouldn't that just put the icing on the cake, though? A thunderstorm while he sat out here waiting for that bitch to finally get home.

Crouched low under the thick mange of bushes that surrounded the apartment building there was no breeze, and the heat had become so stifling under the heavy clown mask that he could almost feel the flesh melting off his face. The smell of rotting leaves and moist dirt overwhelmed the evergreen, and he tried hard not to breathe in through his nose. Something small scurried by his ear, and he forced his mind to stop imagining the different kinds of vermin that might, right now, be crawling on his person, up his sleeves, in his work boots. He fingered the sharp, jagged blade anxiously with gloved fingertips.

There were no signs of life in the deserted courtyard. All was quiet, but for the sound of the wind blowing through the branches of the lumbering oak trees, and the constant hum and rattle of a dozen or more air conditioners, precariously suspended up above him from their windowsills. Thick, full hedges practically grew over the entire side of the building, and he knew that, even from the apartments above, he could still not be seen. The carpet of weeds and decaying leaves crunched softly under his weight as he pulled himself up and moved slowly through the bushes toward her window.

She had left her blinds open. The glow from the streetlamp filtered through the hedges, slicing dim ribbons of light across the bedroom. Inside, all was dark and still. Her bed was unmade and her closet door was open. Shoes-high heels, sandals, sneakers-lined the closet floor. Next to her television, a stuffed-bear collection was displayed on the crowded dresser. Dozens of black marble eyes glinted back at him in the amber slivers of light from the window. The red glow on her alarm clock read 12:33 a.m.

His eyes knew exactly where to look. They quickly scanned down the dresser, and he licked his dry lips. Colored bras and matching lacy panties lay tossed about in the open drawer.

His hand went to his jeans and he felt his hard-on rise back to life. His eyes moved fast to the rocking chair where she had hung her white lace nightie. He closed his eyes and stroked himself faster, recalling in his mind exactly how she had looked last night. Her firm, full tits bouncing up and down while she fucked her boyfriend in that see-through white nightie. Her head thrown back in ecstasy, and her curved, full mouth open wide with pleasure. She was a bad girl, leaving her blinds open. Very bad. His hand moved faster still. Now he envisioned how she would look with those long legs wrapped in nylon thigh-highs and strapped into a pair of the high heels from her closet. And his own hands, locked around their black spikes, hoisting her legs up, up, up in the air and then spreading them wide apart while she screamed. First in fear, and then in pleasure. Her blond mane fanned out under her head on the bed, her arms strapped tight to the headboard. The lacy crotch of her pretty pink panties and her thick blond bush, exposed right by his mouth. Yum-yum! He moaned loudly in his head and his breath hissed as it escaped through the tiny slit in the center of his contorted red smile. He stopped himself before he climaxed and opened his eyes again. Her bedroom door sat ajar, and he could see that the rest of the apartment was dark and empty. He sank back down to his spot under the evergreens. Sweat rolled down his face, and the latex suctioned fast to the skin. Thunder rumbled again, and he felt his cock slowly shrivel back down inside his pants.

She was supposed to have been home hours ago. Every single Wednesday night she's home no later then 10:45 p.m. But tonight, tonight, of all nights, she's late. He bit down hard on his lower lip, reopening the cut he had chewed on an hour earlier, tasting the salty blood that flooded his mouth. He fought back the almost overwhelming urge to scream.

Goddamn mother-fucking bitch! He could not help but be disappointed. He had been so excited, so thrilled, just counting off the minutes. At 10:45 she would walk right past him, only steps away, in her tight gym clothes. The lights would go on above him, and he would rise slowly to the window. She would purposely leave the blinds open, and he would watch. Watch as she pulled her sweaty T-shirt over her head and slid her tight shorts over her naked thighs. Watch as she would get herself ready for bed. Ready for him!

Like a giddy schoolboy on his first date, he had giggled to himself merrily in the bushes. How far will we go tonight, my dear? First base? Second? All the way? But those initial, exciting minutes had ticked by and here he still was, two hours later-squatting like a vagrant with unspeakable vermin crawling all over him, probably breeding in his ears. The anticipation that had fueled him, that had fed the fantasy, was now gone. His disappointment had slowly turned into anger, an anger that had grown more intense with each passing minute. He clenched his teeth hard and his breath hissed. No, siree, he was not excited anymore. He was not thrilled. He was beyond annoyed.

He sat chewing his lip in the dark for what seemed like another hour, but really was only a matter of minutes. Lightning lit the sky and the thunder rumbled even louder and he knew then that it was time to go. Grudgingly, he removed his mask, gathered his bag of tricks, and extricated himself from the bushes. He knew that there would be a next time.

Headlights beamed down the dark street just then, and he quickly ducked off the cement pathway back behind the hedges. A sleek silver BMW pulled up fast in front of the complex, double-parking no less than thirty feet from his hiding spot.

Minutes passed like hours, but finally the passenger door opened, and two long and luscious legs, their delicate feet wrapped in high-heeled black patent-leather pumps, swung out. He knew instantly that it was her, and an inexplicable feeling of calm came over him. It must be fate.

Then the Clown sank back under the evergreens. To wait.

—from Retribution by Jilliane Hoffman, copyright © 2003 by Jilliane Hoffman, published by G. P. Putnam's Sons, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 47 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 47 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 29, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    THE FUN BEGINS! FANTASTIC THRILLER!

    The story begins in 1988 as Chloe Larsen, a struggling young law student living in NYC and studying to take the bar exam. The point of view changes in 2000 to C. J. Townsend, an Assistant District Attorney in Miami, who was raped and tortured in 1988, while still in law school in New York, by an assailant she knows only as The Clown. He left her for dead; but she survived, and also managed to survive a nervous breakdown and twelve years of therapy afterward. She has relocated to south Florida, changed her name, and managed to erase her past. Then a man is pulled over for a routine traffic stop, and in the trunk of his car is found the tenth victim of the serial killer known as Cupid. Too many of the details of the case are all too familiar to Townsend, for they remind her of her own violation so many years before. Then, there is a recognizable scar, she notices in court, and knows she's prosecuting her own assailant.
    Fantastic! The fun begins!

    Others I will share, THE REMBRANDT AFFAIR, CRACKED HEARTS, EXPLOSION IN PARIS, 7th VICTIM.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    "To be left alone, face to face with my own crime, had been just retribution." Longfellow

    "Retribution" was nominated for an Anthony Award for best first mystery novel. It begins when a preditor stalks and rapes law student, Chloe Larson and escapes.

    Twelve years later, a string of murders have occurred in the Miami area. A policeman pulls a car over for a traffic violation and when the driver refuses to permit the officer to check his trunk, a K-9 unit is called. The dog senses something. On popping open the trunk, they find the body of a dead girl with a missing heart. William Bantling demands to speak to a lawyer.

    He's brought before the court and prosecutor C.J. Townsend. She wonders is Brantling the serial killer or a copy cat. Then, C.J. hears his voice and remembers it. Even though it's been twelve years, C.J. recalls the attack, the break-up of her relationship, her nervous breakdown. She had moved to Florida, changed her name and passed the Florida bar exam. She's able to survive with drive and periodic visits to her analyst.

    When C.J. recognizes the voice, she becomes more determined than ever, to make sure that the man who raped her and killed the woman in his trunk gets what he deserves. However, she does have to walk a thin line between being impartial and having her retribution.

    This is a wonderful plot driven novel. C.J. Townsend is a first rate protagonist, sympathetic, yet strong in her resolve. The author adds a somewhat predictable plot twist toward the end which heightened the enjoyment.

    Film rights have been sold and the film is currently in development.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2004

    Can't Put This Book Down!

    I could not put this book down. The storyline is gripping! The book pulls the reader in from Chapter One and does not let you go. It has lots of twists and turns and this ex-prosecutor was very impressed by the courtroom scenes and the author's ability to explain the legal arena and relevent caselaw with ease and a dramatic simplicity so that the reader does not need to be a criminal trial attorney to appreciate the story or to be scared out of their wits!.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2003

    Great legal thriller

    Twelve years ago, Chloe was an average person worrying if she will pass the bar examination and hoping her boyfriend will propose to her. The night she thinks he is going to give her a ring; he gives her instead a diamond heart as an anniversary present. He wants to go up to her house but she is angry and tells him to leave her off at her apartment. When she wakes up in the middle of the night, a man wearing a clown costume rapes and tortures Chloe. <P>In the present, the serial killer who has raped, tortured, and killed ten blonde women ages eighteen to twenty five is caught with a dead body in the trunk by a rookie patrol officer in a routine traffic violation. Chloe, now going by the name of C.J. Townsend, is the prosecutor assigned the case. At the first hearing, she lays eyes on the face of William Robert Bantling and recognizes him as her rapist from his voice and a scar on his arm. She doesn¿t tell anyone that she should be excused. She decides to prosecute Robert seeking justice or is it retribution? <P>The new star in the legal horizon is Jilliane Hoffman if RETRIBUTION is any indication of her skills. If the answer is yes and more books as great as this follows, fans will discus her name along side of Patricia Cornwell, Linda Fairstein and Perri O¿Shaugnessy. The characters are well developed (especially the villain and avenging angel), and the storyline is original with spellbinding action. The trial scenes are particularly fabulous and quite polished as RETRIBUTION is on the way to the bestseller lists. <P>Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2008

    A reviewer

    I love it when I find a book that I become obssessed with and I can't think of anything else until I finish reading the last page. I didn't know what to expect at first but the author pulled me into a dark and terrifying world about a brilliant and successful prosecuter who is also a traumatized and haunted woman. The line between right and wrong suddenly becomes blurred when she comes face to face with her worst nightmare and gets a chance at revenge. Dark, thrilling, smart, and there's even romance. LOVED IT. There's a sequel: THE LAST WITNESS, which was also exceptional but not as good as the first book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2006

    One of the best books I have ever read!

    I picked up this book at my mother-in-law's house because I needed something to read. She told me that the book didn't capture her attention so she didn't finish it. I decided to read it anyway. I could not put this book down! I just finished it and immediately checked to see if Jilliane Hoffman had written more books. I cannot wait to read Last Witness.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2005

    AWESOME READ!

    i was enraptured by this book from the very first page to the very last page! i was ill and in bed when i started this one and it only lasted a few days in my hands...i couldn't put it down. it real page turner! the characters are all likable even though they are all suspects at one point or another!! there wasn't one that i didn't think was the killer at some point! i love books like this. i understand that jilliane has a new book coming out on may 5th. i will be first on line! its a sequel! i can't wait! jilliane hoffman is a fresh new author who seriously rivals patterson and rucka! andrea

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2004

    What a refreshing ride!!!

    I went on a long trip & had heard this book was good - so I got it on audio book. Man oh man I wish I could explain how wonderful this book is! I loved the people in this book right away. I did not want my trip to end. I found myself sitting in my car listening to this book. Most people say 'It's a page turner' & it REALLY is, well in my case a 'Can't get out of the car yet' turner! I was on the edge of my seat the whole time! That is hard to do with an audio book sometimes, because your trying to pay attention & drive yet connect with the story line. With this book - NO PROBLEM!!! I can't wait for her next book! I felt so angry about what happened to Chloe then in the end..... Well let¿s just say the title of this book is perfect & so is the ending!! Total gratification!!!!!! Try it - You'll LOVE it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2004

    One of the Five Best Books I've Ever Read!

    I don't normally comment on how good or bad I personally think a book is because it really is just a matter of perspective. But in this case, I felt like I just HAD to say something about this one. I read books more than most people watch TV and of all the books I've read (thousands), this book ranks in my top five! Jilliane Hoffman has captured, in her first book, everything a mystery, thrill-seeking, mind-challenging author can corral in one place. I know you've probably seen this before, but I literally COULD NOT put this book down! I just HAD to know what was coming next! I can honestly say that I believe this book (with very little cursing, by the way) can and SHOULD be made into a movie because no one could stand to NOT watch it. Read it. I PROMISE you you WON'T be disappointed. Jilliane, YOU GO GIRL! MORE, MORE, MORE, MORE......

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2004

    Wonderful Ride!

    I purchased this a while ago based on the reviews of the book. I just had a hard time actually picking it up to start reading. Just wasn't sure if it was a book for me. I finally was ready to start a new book and told my husband to pick something off the shelf for me. Needless to say it was Retribution. FINE. I started the book and was immediatelly captivated by the unfolding story. I have spent 2 evenings up way past my bed time reading and finishing this book. I thought the story was excellent! I was concerned that this would be to technical, about courtroom drama and bore me. Never once was I even close to being bored or feeling overwhelmed with lawyer/courtroom jargon that I didn't understand. This is full of twists, like any suspense novel should be but this is definetly one of those nail biting ones that you can't read fast enough. The many characters you meet in this book all made you wonder if they were a part of this serial killers game. Who was it? One person or two? Do they have the right person? Was someone covering for someone else? Was it a set up? Just read it, it was amazing. WELL WORTH the hardback price!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2004

    retribution is awesome!

    I recently had the pleasure of reading Rebrution by Jilliane Hoffman. This is the best book I've read in a long time and I read a lot of books. My husband is a truck driver and I went on a 5 day trip with him. I brought this book with me and I finished it on day 4. Its 420 pages long and I found myself wishing it was longer. Although I was anxious to see what happens next, at the same time I hated to finish the book. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys detective/lawyer/trial type stories. On a scale of 1-10 I would give this book a 10+ and I hope Ms Hoffman writes another book real soon!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2004

    A suspenseful page-turner.

    C. J. Townsend is the no nonsense prosecutor who never loses her cool during the tough cases, until she meets the accused serial killer¿ C. J.¿s new case should not be anything different from her previous cases, a vicious killer with a thirst for violence. The evidence is overwhelming considering the wealthy young man is found with the body in his trunk. This case should be open and shut, but a shocking discovery unlocks a terrifying secret from C. J.¿s past. As the case twist and turns, C. J. must work overtime to find closure with her past and hold herself together long enough to put a monster away forever. `Retribution¿ is one of the BEST first novels I have read in years. The interesting lead character and fast-paced plot grabbed hold early on and didn¿t let go. Smooth writing and shocking surprises made this page-turner even easier to stay up all night reading until I reached the explosive climax. Jilliane Hoffman has written an instant bestseller that fans of polished courtroom thrillers will love. Expect to see great things from Ms. Hoffman, who may just prove to be a new leader in popular fiction. A MUST read! Nick Gonnella

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2004

    THRILLING!

    Absolutely thrilling. I found myself pacing the house with book in hand - I was so nervous. Much better than Patricia Cornwell (when she was writing good stuff), and can be right up there with James Patterson if she continues to write like this! Looking forward to her next book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2012

    Awesome Book!!

    This book is great. It keeps you going and going. It never gets boring, it doesn't drag. I won't give details about the book cause other reviews have already done so but reading the reviews is nothing like reading the book. I recommended it to my sisters and they were like me they couldn't put it down. You literally have to force yourself to put the book down otherwise you won't get any sleep; that is if you are a night reader like us. Excellent Book.

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  • Posted January 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Rainy Day thriller!

    Interesting story and good pace equals engrossing read. The characters are developed nicely and the story unfolds coherently at its own pace. However, the ending is a letdown having one to many coincidental character intertwining. Hoffman could have taken a more intriguing path to conclude an otherwise good book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2010

    Definitely a "must read"

    I didn't want the book to end; it really held my interest, however, the ending wasn't as good as the rest of the book. I felt that it left the reader "hanging".

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2006

    Retribution is Rivetting

    This book grabbed me on the first page. I am more than halfway through it and really don't want it to end. Hoffman brings C.J's raw emotions, sensitivity alive on each page. You can feel her anger, frustration, and fear. What a page turner!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2005

    What an awesome book

    I was blown away by this book. I am such a sceptic and have been a sidney sheldon fan for years, but boy Juliane really rivals the best of them. I was very impressed with this her first attempt. I cannot wait to read more from her. Very very impressive!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2005

    A Real Page Turner

    This was one of the best books that I have ever read. She keeps you at the edge of your seat from the first page to the last! I can't wait to read her next book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2004

    Great effort

    I almost gave up after about 50 or 60 pages. I'm glad I didn't. Well worth the effort. Once it kicked in, I couldn't put it down. I'm eager to see her next offering. Great bad guys. Be sure not to miss this one.

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