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Without Warning
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Without Warning

4.4 10
by David Rosenfelt

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Years ago, Katie Sanford's husband was convicted of the murder of Jenny Robbins, then died himself in prison. Katie and Jenny's husband, Chief of Police Jake Robbins, have had to work at putting the tragedy behind them. But it's all brought up again in the wake of a hurricane which has just wreaked havoc on their



Years ago, Katie Sanford's husband was convicted of the murder of Jenny Robbins, then died himself in prison. Katie and Jenny's husband, Chief of Police Jake Robbins, have had to work at putting the tragedy behind them. But it's all brought up again in the wake of a hurricane which has just wreaked havoc on their quiet New England town.


Since its founding, Wilton, Maine, has had a quaint tradition of creating a time capsule every fifty years, and the storm unearthed the most recent capsule. As the editor of the local paper, Katie joins Chief Robbins to supervise its opening. Neither of them is prepared for the macabre set of predictions—dating back to months before Jenny's murder—that they find inside. Someone predicted her death, as well as eleven other tragedies, which are still occurring even long after the death of Katie's husband…who might have been innocent all along. But as Katie and Jake race to stop the next predictions from coming true, they find themselves caught in a terrifying mind game with no rules…and life or death consequences.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
At the start of this riveting standalone from Edgar-finalist Rosenfelt (Airtight), a hurricane destroys a Wilton, Maine, dam. When newspaper publisher Katie Sanford and her staff unearth the time capsule they buried nearly five years earlier to check for water damage, they discover skeletal remains and a set of predictions about future crimes, including the murder of the wife of police chief Jake Robbins. Months after the capsule’s burial, Katie’s husband allegedly killed Jake’s wife, with whom he’d had an affair. Other predictions correlate to an unsolved arson case and a string of murders. When Jake realizes he’s the common denominator among the crimes, he races to piece together the cryptic clues, identify potential victims, and delve into his own past to discover who wants to frame him and why. His feelings for Katie—the high school sweetheart with whom he’s starting to rekindle romance, but who represents the potentially antagonistic press—add complexity and nuance. Only some minor chronological discrepancies mar this suspenseful page-turner. Agent: Robin Rue, Writers House. (Mar.)
Kirkus Reviews
A methodical serial killer is on the loose in a small Maine town, and it's up to the police chief to resolve the case before more people die in Rosenfelt's latest police thriller. Jake Robbins is a war hero, but it's a role he neither likes nor covets. While in Afghanistan, he was involved in an incident that won him the Navy Cross, but though he saved lives that day, others were lost, and it's something he has a hard time reconciling. When he returned to Wilton, where he grew up, he worked his way up to chief of police, but life there has its own price: His wife, Jenny, was murdered by Roger, the publisher of the local paper, with whom she was having an affair. Roger was murdered in prison, leaving his wife, Katie, to assume control of the paper. After Wilton suffers damage from a devastating hurricane, Katie decides to dig up the town's time capsule, something that's buried every 50 years, to make sure it's not damaged; when workers open the hole, they find the skeletonized body of a man who apparently died about the same time the capsule ceremony took place. Even more disturbing is the fact that the capsule, which in addition to artifacts holds predictions written by local dignitaries, now contains an extra box of predictions—each of which addresses a murder. Some of those murders—like Jenny's—have already taken place, but others have not, and Jake must resolve the mystery before more people are killed. Rosenfelt's staccato writing style is clean if a bit abrupt. While the action moves along at a rapid pace, he fails to flesh out the characters, making the ensuing romance between Jake and Katie seem both forced and predictable. A romance camouflaged as a thriller but a short, smooth read most will enjoy.
From the Publisher

“Riveting.” —Publishers Weekly

“Relentless.” —RT Book Reviews (4 stars)

“Creepy. Edgy. Shuddery. What more could anyone want?” —Booklist

Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.20(d)

Read an Excerpt





The dam broke at three AM, four hours after the storm hit. Fortunately, only the North Dam was affected, leaving the other two intact. Had they been breached as well, the eighteen thousand residents of Wilton, Maine, would be former residents of a town that no longer existed.

The destruction came as a surprise to everyone, especially the engineers that had certified the dams as “low risk” just eighteen months before. Certainly Hurricane Nicholas was a powerful storm, especially for early August, but no more so than others that had struck the area in recent years.

But the dam completely came apart from the pressure and flooded the areas in Wilton it had sworn to protect. Because it was the least important dam of the three, this meant that three streets on the outskirts of Wilton were flooded and badly damaged, as was the park and the small, private airport.

The only citizen to lose his life was seventy-three-year-old Warren Simpson, who suffered a heart attack during the chaotic evacuation process. He was flown to Bangor Hospital, but was pronounced dead on arrival.

The people of Wilton were resilient and had no doubt they would bounce back from the storm damage. It would cost money and take time, but the town whose charter had been ratified in eighteen forty-eight made plans to persevere and overcome.

Of course, they had no idea what was coming.



I have a lot of anniversaries. I try not to pay attention to them, but sometimes it’s hard. Dates are everywhere, from the TV when you switch channels, to the front of cell phones.

March thirty-first is my birthday. January fourteenth is the day that Jenny and I were married. September seventeenth is the day I joined the force. April first is the day I was promoted and officially became Chief Jake Robbins. My real name is Jason Robbins, but how Jason became Jake is a puzzle my parents never adequately explained.

August seventh is the day Jenny was murdered; I try not to change channels or look at my cell phone that day.

Of course, there are some anniversaries whose actual date I don’t even know. For instance, I have no idea when I got to Afghanistan, or when I left. I don’t have a clue when our old friend Katie Sanford introduced us to Roger Hagel, the guy she would eventually marry. Nor do I know the date that Jenny and I first went out with them, although I do remember that the four of us went bowling and then to dinner.

While I know the date Roger murdered Jenny, and even know that it happened at 3:00 PM, I don’t know the date he was convicted, nor the date a few months later when he was murdered in prison. I know that I learned of their affair on June nineteenth, but I don’t know exactly when it began.

I was tempted to leave Wilton after Jenny died, but I never took any action toward that end. I had the job I always wanted, more good friends than I could ever need, and was living in a town that I liked a great deal. For a person who never had much of an interest in putting down roots, I somehow found myself rooted.

All I didn’t have was Jenny, but no matter where I went, she would never be with me. Roger Hagel saw to that.

Pretty much everything in Wilton reminds me of Jenny, but that’s okay. I want to remember her, the good times and the bad. Especially the good.

So I stayed, and life went on.


Copyright © 2014 by Tara Productions, Inc.

Meet the Author

David Rosenfelt is the Edgar and Shamus Award--nominated author of the Andy Carpenter novels, including Leader of the Pack, and several previous stand-alone thrillers. He and his wife live in Maine with the twenty-seven golden retrievers they've rescued and rehabilitated over the years.

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Without Warning 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Kataman1 More than 1 year ago
This is one of Rosenfelt's best standalone books (standalone from his Andy Carpenter series). Jake Robbins is a decorated war hero and the sheriff of a small Maine town. A sudden storm causes a flood that may have damaged a time capsule buried a few years before. The town decides to dig it up to check for damage. They find a skeletonized body buried with it along with a bunch of predictions. As Jake starts reviewing the predictions he finds that they are tied to recent deaths. This makes Jake take notice and he must do all he can to solve the other predictions before more deaths occurs. With each passing victim, the one thing they all seem to have in common is that they are somehow tied to Jake. Jake realizes this early on and knows that he is the only one who can guess who the next victims may be. The mystery is intense as the reader has a hard time wondering how someone could have hidden predictions in a time capsule that wouldn't be opened for 50 years. Also, each prediction is an interesting play on words so it is fun guessing along with Jake as to who is the next possible victim. This book had me right from the start and I didn't want to put it down. The author has an amazing way of drawing the reader into the mystery and making the reader hungry to solve the puzzle immediately. Jake is another interesting character, having survived a dangerous situation in Afghanistan and then had to deal with his wife getting murdered by possibly a close friend. I hope Rosenfelt decides to bring back Jack in a future novel.
s-charlie_1 More than 1 year ago
Excellent, keeps you quessing till the end
m2j2013 More than 1 year ago
I am 3/4 of the way through &quot;Without Warning&quot; and enjoying every page of it. I purchased this book because I have been enjoying David Rosenfelt's &quot;Andy Carpenter&quot; Series. Looking forward to the next &quot;Andy&quot; book.
LoveToReadJFE More than 1 year ago
Wilton, Maine is a small town with an unexpected problem. A hurricane has caused damage and a time capsule buried four years ago must be dug up to make certain its contents have not been waterlogged. Only there&rsquo;s a skeleton lying on top of the time capsule . . . . So begins the story of WITHOUT WARNING. Jake Robbins, Wilton&rsquo;s Chief of Police, tells the story and, although the clever plot proceeds along a very predictable path, the reader is in for a surprise as a sinister plan unravels and the mystery is finally solved. It&rsquo;s a fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat thriller that will keep the pages turning far into the night. Recommended.
heyjudeJM More than 1 year ago
I love this author. Humor with a great story.
tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
It must be satisfying for an author of a popular series like the Andy Carpenter novels to write not one but two well-received standalones. This, of course, is the second, and is a thriller of the first order. While the concept, predictions in an unearthed time capsule, is not novel, the execution of this story is. It seems that burying a time capsule by the town&rsquo;s newspaper every 50 years is a tradition. But four years after its burial a hurricane flooded the area, and fear that the contents might be damaged led to its being unearthed. When the dirt burying the time capsule was removed, a skeleton was found on top of it. Then when the contents were exposed, a series of bizarre predictions not originally included were discovered. Thus begins an intense investigation led by Chief of Police Jake Robbins and deep investigative reporting by the local paper, complicated by the fact that the husband of Katie Sanford, the editor and publisher, was convicted years before of killing Jake&rsquo;s wife. To further muddy the waters, Jake and Katie had a one-night stand before he was married and they seem still attracted to each other. The plot and writing are top-notch, and the twists and turns keep the reader&rsquo;s interest at a maximum. And even once in a while, the humor of such a character as Andy Carpenter sporadically shines. The tension mounts page by page and in wrapping the story up, the author concludes in a manner so completely unexpected that the reader has to wonder what was missed along the way. Recommended.
utdelilah More than 1 year ago
I bought this book because I love the Andy Carpenter books. I couldn't put it down! The plot twists and turns. I highly recommend!
quaintinns More than 1 year ago
WITHOUT WARNING by David Rosenfelt is one with a smart serial killer in a small town of Maine, and a time capsule containing buried secrets which predict crimes in the future, which some have come true. Jake Robbins, a war hero and police chief of this small town&mdash; after returning from Afghanistan to Wilton, where he grew up. His wife, Jenny, was murdered by Roger, the publisher of the local paper, with whom she was having an affair. Roger was murdered in prison, leaving his wife, Katie, to assume control of the paper. After a hurricane destroys a Wilton, Maine dam and Katie, and her staff unearth a time capsule which was buried nearly five years earlier to check for water damage (was not to be opened until 50 yrs. later in the future). They are shocked to discover skeletal remains and a set of predictions about future crimes, including the murder of the wife of police chief, Jake Robbins. Some of those murders&mdash;like Jenny's&mdash;have already taken place, but others have not, and Jake must resolve the mystery before more people are killed. To further complicate the suspense, months after the capsule&rsquo;s burial, Katie&rsquo;s husband allegedly killed Jake&rsquo;s wife. There are many other weird predictions about an unsolved arson case and murders. In addition, Katie and Jake were high school sweethearts so they have a past. The clues turn to Jake, as he seems to be front and center and main suspect in the crimes (people are getting killed and the hits are targeting himself, when other people step in the way). Someone is out to frame him as he attempts to put together the cryptic clues in order to remain alive and solve this crime mystery. While investigating these clues offer proof a murder could not be committed by the person charged, as this man was killed in prison. Some of the murders have not taken place, so a race to find the real killer before more devastation. While this was my first book by Rosenfelt&mdash; the audiobook narrated by Jeff Steitzer was engaging; with a bit of humor mixed in. However, a negative&mdash;the women&rsquo;s voices were hard to differentiate and not a lot of character depth or development, so did not connect fully. Kate was totally lacking a personality leaving it a little forced.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago