The Third Victim (FBI Profiler Series #2)

The Third Victim (FBI Profiler Series #2)

by Lisa Gardner

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553900880
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/28/2004
Series: FBI Profiler Series , #2
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 15,360
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Lisa Gardner is the New York Times bestselling author of thirteen novels. Her Detective D. D. Warren novels include Live to Tell, Hide, Alone, and The Neighbor, winner of the International Thriller Writers’ Award. Her FBI Profiler novels include Say Goodbye, Gone, The Killing Hour, The Next Accident, and The Third Victim. She lives with her family in New England.

Read an Excerpt

Tuesday, May 15, 1:25 p.m.

Officer Lorraine Conner was sitting in a red vinyl booth at Martha's Diner, picking at her tuna salad and listening to Frank and Doug gossip, when the call first came in. She was sitting alone in the booth, eating salad because she'd just turned thirty-one and was beginning to notice that the pounds didn't magically melt away the way they had when she was twenty-one, or hell, even twenty-seven. She could still run a six-minute mile and slip into a size 8, but thirty-one was fundamentally different from thirty. She spent more time arranging her long chestnut hair to earn those second glances. And for lunches, she traded in cheeseburgers for tuna salad, five days a week.

Rainie's partner that day was twenty-two-year-old volunteer police officer Charles Cunningham, aka Chuckie. Known in the lingo of the tiny police department of Bakersville, Oregon as a "green rookie," Chuckie hadn't yet gone to the nine-month-long training school. That meant he was allowed to look but not touch. Full authority would come when he completed the required academy courses and received his certificate. In the meantime, he got to gain experience by going on patrols and writing up reports. He also got to wear the standard tan uniform and carry a gun. Chuckie was a pretty happy guy.

Before the call came in, he was up at the lunch counter, trying to work some magic on a leggy blond waitress named Cindy. He had his chest puffed out, his knee crooked forward, and his hand resting lightly on his sidearm. Cindy, on the other hand, was trying to serve up slices of Martha's homemade blueberry pie to six farmers at once. One cantankerous old man muttered at the rookie to get out of the way. Chuckie grinned harder.

In the booth behind Rainie, retired dairymen Doug Atkens and Frank Winslow started placing their bets.

"Ten dollars says she caves," Doug announced, slapping a crumpled bill on the pink Formica table.

"Twenty says she dumps a glass of ice water over Romeo's head," Frank countered, reaching for his wallet. "I know for a fact that Cindy would rather earn good tips than Clark Gable's heart."

Rainie gave up on her salad and turned around to face the two men. It was a slow afternoon and she had nothing better to do with her time, so she said, "I'll take a piece of that."

"Hello there, Rainie." Frank and Doug, friends for nearly fifty years, smiled as a single unit. Frank had bluer eyes in his sun-weathered face, but Doug had more hair. Both men wore red-checked western shirts with pearl snaps -- their official dress shirts for an afternoon spent out on the town. In the winter, they topped their shirts with brown suede blazers and cream-colored cowboy hats. Rainie once accused them of trying to impersonate the Marlboro Man. At their ages, they took that as a compliment.

"Slow day?" Doug asked.

"Slow month. It's May. The sun is out. Everyone is too damn happy to fight."

"Ahh, no juicy domestic disputes?"

"Not even a quibble over whose dog is depositing what souvenirs in whose yard. If this good weather continues, I'm gonna be out of a job."

"A beautiful woman like you doesn't need a job," Frank said. "You need a man."

"Yeah? And after thirty seconds, what would I do?"

Frank and Doug chortled; Rainie winked. She liked Frank and Doug. Every Tuesday for as long as she could remember, she would find them sitting at that booth in this diner at precisely one p.m. The sun rose, the sun set. Frank and Doug ate Martha's Tuesday meatloaf special. It worked.

Now Rainie tossed ten bucks into the pot in Chuckie's favor. She'd seen the young Don Juan in action before, and Bakersville's young ladies simply loved his dimpled smile.

"So what d'you think of the new volunteer?" Doug asked, jerking his head toward the lunch counter.

"What's there to think? Writing traffic tickets isn't brain surgery."

"Heard you two had a little encounter with a German shepherd last week," Frank said.

Rainie grimaced. "Rabies. Damn fine animal too."

"Did he really charge Romeo?"

"All ninety pounds."

"We heard Chuckie 'bout peed his pants."

"I don't think Chuckie likes dogs."

"Walt said you took the shepherd out. Clean shot to the head."

"That's why they pay me the big bucks -- so I can counsel drunks and shoot household pets."

"Come on, Rainie. Walt said it was a tough shot. Those dogs move fast. Chuckie indebted to you now?"

Rainie eyed the rookie, still puffed up like a rooster at the lunch counter. She said, "I think Chuckie's scared shitless of me now."

Frank and Doug laughed again. Then Frank leaned forward, a gleam in his old blue eyes as he started fishing for real gossip.

"Shep must like having more help," he said meaningfully.

Rainie eyed the bait, then refused the offer. "All sheriffs like getting people willing to work for free," she said neutrally. It was true enough. Bakersville's modest budget allowed for only one full-time sheriff and two full-time officers -- Rainie and Luke Hayes. The other six patrolmen were strictly volunteers. They not only donated their time for free but they paid for their own training, uniforms, vests, and guns. Lots of small towns used this system. After all, the majority of calls dealt with domestic disputes and crimes against property. Nothing a few good people with level heads couldn't handle.

"I hear Shep is cutting back his hours," Doug prompted.

"I don't keep track."

"Come on, Rainie. Everyone knows Shep and Sandy are having their differences. Is he working on patching things up? Getting more comfortable with his wife having a job?"

"I just write up civil incidents, Frank. No spying for the taxpayers here."

"Ahh, give us a hint. We're going to the barbershop next, you know. Walt gives free haircuts if you provide fresh news."

Rainie rolled her eyes. "Walt already knows more than I do. Who do you think we call for information?"

"Walt does know everything," Frank grumbled. "Maybe we should open up a barbershop. Hell, any kind of moron oughtta be able to cut hair."

Rainie looked down at the two men's hands, twisted from a lifetime of hard work and swollen by a decade of arthritis. "I'd come in," she said bravely.

"See there, Doug. We could also pick up chicks."

Doug was impressed. He began contemplating the details, and Rainie decided it was time to exit stage right. She swiveled back around in her booth with a parting smile, then glanced at her watch. 1:30 p.m. No calls coming in, no reports from the morning to be written up. An unusually slow morning in an already slow town. She looked at Chuckie, whose cheeks had to be aching from that smile.

"Wrap it up, rookie," she muttered, and drummed her fingertips restlessly.

Unlike Charles Cunnigham, Rainie had never planned on becoming a cop. When she'd graduated from Bakersville High School, her first thought had been to get the hell out of dairyland. She'd had eighteen years of claustrophobia building up inside her and no family left to keep her chained. Freedom, that's what she needed. No more ghosts, or so she'd thought.

Rainie had boarded the first bus to Portland, where she'd enrolled at Portland State University and studied psychology. She'd liked her classes. She'd liked the young city brimming with cooking schools and art institutes and "alternative lifestyles." She'd gotten involved in a heady affair with a thirty-four-year-old assistant district attorney who'd driven a Porsche.

Nights spent taking over the wheel of the high-performance vehicle with all the windows rolled down. Putting the pedal to the metal and streaking up the sharp corners of Skyline Boulevard with the wind in her hair. Climbing higher, higher, higher, pushing harder, harder, harder. Searching for ... something.

Customer Reviews

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Third Victim 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 415 reviews.
LolitaWalkerBishop More than 1 year ago
I loved this book and dont know if this one was better or the first in the series! They were both so well written and the beauty is that it the author tied Quincy right into this book so seamlessly and even gave us more info on the first murderer. Without giving too much away, this is a must read. It is vivid, well written and definitely keeps you guessing! A great surprise ending as well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lisa gardner is an amazing author! All of her books keep me on the edge if my seat and make me want to read more. The Third Victim was no different. Great twists and great read!
Angela Mapes More than 1 year ago
I do not read much at all.When i purchased the perfect husband,I couldnt stop reading.I am now on my third book.She is an amazing author..
ereaderLW More than 1 year ago
I recently discovered this author and love the stories....on the same level as James Patterson.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Didn't want to put it down..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Shows the vulnerability of teenage youth to extreme behavior and manipulation by others.
KandyCG More than 1 year ago
Like all if Lisa Gardners books, this one was another Winer. Great story and I had trouble putting it down. Keep up the great work.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lisa Gardner's writing style is quick, suspenseful and I couldn't put it down. Read The Third Victim before The Next Accident.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was my first Lisa Gardner book and I have been a huge fan ever since. This is a book you can not put down! A must read.
mamad1pet More than 1 year ago
Loved all her books so far. Started out of order but so riviting I couldn't put them down. Keep the coming.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was Gardner's best novel by far. She just seems to keep on improving. There is a shooting at a small town school and Officer Rainie along with Agent Pierce must solve the murder. What seems obvious at first starts to dissolve. Gardner leaves you in supsence until the end of the novel, you never know what is going to happen next and the ending will shock you. I couldn't put this book down because I wanted to find out the ending.
chrissywest on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One thing I liked about this book was the fact that it had 3 or 4 really good sub-plots, which made the book far from predictable. Lisa Gardner is one of my many favorite authors. When I pick up her books I¿m usually not disappointed. The Third Victim is the 2nd novel in the Quincy/Rainie series. I thought the character development was superb. The plot was very fast-paced. And I think alot of research went into the book. The only thing I didn¿t like about this book was the ending. It seemed very rushed. Other then that, it was a great read!
dawnbirduk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A Pierce Quincy NovelA Brilliant read
caroren on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago

Just another school shooting, or is it really something else.  Officer Rainie Conner thinks something else is going on, and maybe the killer is even stalking her.  A tense page turner, though not her best.  Though still good.

mramos on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A school shooting brings out the best and the worst small town people. The sherriff's son is incremenated from the start. Officer Rainie Conner, leading her first homicide investigation, stands at the center of the controversy. And she has a secret pass, which is coming back to haunt her. With the help of FBI profiler Pierce Quincy, Rainie comes closer to a deadly truth than she can imagine. Because out there in the shadows a man watches her and plots his next move. Will she be able to prove that Shep's 13 year old son did not go on a killing spree? All of the characters are flawed in some way. And there is a very interesting villian.
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