Archive | March, 2012

Romantic Suspense -Book Annotation

26 Mar

Title: The Third Victim

Author: Lisa Gardner

Publication Date: 2001 by Bantam Books

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Number of Pages: 302

What makes this story authentic to the genre is the increasing tension between characters, the mystery driven plot, and the threatened heroine faced with a dilemma concerning the hero. Written during a time when school shootings were growing rampant, this story shows how one tug at a loose thread can cause a once quiet town to unravel in disaster. Beyond a “romance with an element of danger,” this story introduces violence early on. As word spreads about the shooting, the characters are shocked and in fear of the pure evil that would do something like this. The story is unique in that it references real cases and compares story characters to real criminal profiles. Gardner invites the reader into the minds of the investigation team, as they are forced to face their own demons in order to solve the case.

Central character:

  • Officer Lorraine ‘Rainie’ Conner

Other significant characters (as they appear in the story):

  • Sheriff Shep O’Grady (Suspect’s father)
  • Danny O’Grady (Suspect)
  • Sandy O’Grady (Suspect’s mother)
  • Becky O’Grady (Suspect’s younger sister)
  • Abe Sanders (Detective)
  • Pierce Quincy (FBI)
  • the Man (Mysterious character)
  • Alice (Victim)
  • Sally (Victim)
  • Ms. Avalon (Victim)

Geographical Setting: Bakersville, Oregon.

Time Period: Post December 20, 1999 Columbine school shooting.

Plot Summary: The story takes place in year 2000, a time when school shootings started happening across the U.S. In the small, friendly town of Bakersville, Oregon a 3-officer police department is faced with the biggest and most heinous crime it has ever seen. The town Sherriff has to choose sides when he learns that his son is the primary suspect in the case of a school shooting. Rainie, his lead officer, is the first to report to the crime scene but has no experience with such major cases and accidently contaminates most of the evidence. The characters face a great deal of difficulty solving the case because the evidence is destroyed and the eyewitnesses are keeping silent. Discrepancies in the case lead Rainie to believe that Danny, the prime suspect, could be innocent. Rainie finds herself torn between doing her job with integrity and proving her loyalty to the family and boss who gave her everything.

Series: #2 in Gardner’s FBI Profiler series

Subject Headings:

  • Mystery and detective stories
  • School stories


  • Fast Pacing
  • Threatened Heroine
  • Uneasy Mood

Similar Authors and Works:

  • Sandra Brown focuses on strong heroines and heroes, atmosphere, and complex plot, in the novel Ricochet.
  • Kay Hooper focuses on threatened heroines point of view, sense of uneasiness, and a graphically detailed story line, in the novel After Caroline.
  • Lisa Jackson focuses on dysfunctional family, fast pacing, and explicit sexual description, in the novel Running Scared.

-A Teaching Librarian


Women’s Lives & Relationships -Book Annotation

2 Mar

Title: The Secret Between Us

Author: Barbra Delinsky

Publication Date: 2008 by Anchor

Genre: Women’s Lives and Relationships

Number of Pages: 343

What makes this story authentic to the genre is the female support group that moves the characters through difficult issues like repairing relationships, facing the truth about a lie, and taking responsibility. This is a modern-day tale about the strength of a mother’s love and the determination of a daughters’ conscience as they stretch the idea of trust to its limits. These characters are dealing with the serious issue of family tension and sacrificing one’s reputation to protect another’s. The characters’ major roadblock to success is their conscience. The main objective is to maintain the lie until the police investigation is complete. Delinsky delves deep into the thoughts of the characters’ and shows an emotional struggle with doing the wrong thing for the right reasons.

Central Character:

  • Deborah Monroe

Other significant Characters (as they appear in the story):

  • Grace Monroe (Deborah’s daughter)
  • Dylan Monroe (Deborah’s son)
  • Jill Barr (Deborah’s sister)
  • Michael Barr (Deborah’s Father)
  • John Colby (Leyland Police Chief)
  • Hal Trutter (Deborah’s lawyer)
  • Calvin McKenna (victim)
  • Tom McKenna (victim’s brother)
  • Selena McKenna (victim’s wife)

Geographical Setting: Set in a small town with dark wooded roads.

Time Period: Contemporary

Plot Summary:  A heartwarming story about a woman sacrificing her reputation to preserve her daughter’s. Deborah Monroe and her 16 year old daughter switch the story before police arrive at the scene of a vehicular homicide. Delinsky tells the story of a contemporary issue that almost always ends in disaster. The reader is able to feel the emotional strain that is put on Deborah and Grace’s relationship in the days after they switch responsibility for the accident. The story follows Deborah as she handles her family, friends, work, and home, while the police investigation develops and her family’s freedoms are threatened. As the story unfolds, important details about that night and alternative solutions to the case are revealed to keep the reader hopeful for how it will all turnout.

Subject Headings:

  • Mother-daughter relationship
  • Reputation
  • Family conflict


  • Unhurried Pacing
  • Strong Female Protagonist
  • Optimistic Tone

Similar Authors and Works:

  • Kristin Hannah focuses on leisurely pacing, serene settings, and sympathetic characters who resolve conflicts, in the novel The Things We Do for Love.
  • Danielle Steel focuses on women’s lives and relationships, heartwarming tale, and crisis, in the novel Sisters.
  • Patricia Gaffney focuses on emotionally linked characters, upbeat and heartwarming tale, and personal family crisis, in the novel Circle of Three.

         (Borrowed from findings on NoveList and Lancaster Public Library)

-A Teaching Librarian