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The Survivors Club    by Lisa Gardner order for
Survivors Club
by Lisa Gardner
Order:  USA  Can
Bantam, 2003 (2002)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Jillian Hayes, Carol Rosen and Meg Pesaturo have waited one tormenting year for The College Hill Rapist to go to trial. The police, the DA, the media, and most especially Jillian, Carol and Meg, are certain they correctly identified the man who brutalized them and that Eddie Como would get what was coming to him. When that turns out to be a very public execution on the steps of the courthouse, each of the women is overjoyed. Suspicion immediately turns to them. Could the three members of The Survivors Club have hated their attacker enough to orchestrate what police quickly realize was a professional hit?

Detective Roan Griffin has been on leave for the past eighteen months after a particularly brutal pedophile case and the death of his beloved wife Cindy left him on the edge of what he dubbed 'The Big Boom'. Having confronted and gotten his demons under control, he's ready to get back to what he does best - unravel murders. After Eddie Como is gunned down, all eyes and suspicions turn to the Survivors Club, including Griffin's. Could one or all of these women have organized a hit and then gone a step further and eliminated the hit man as well?

Jillian Hayes is the cool, composed, successful marketing executive. She was not actually raped by Como; her younger sister was, and died as a result. Jillian walked in as Como was about to make his escape and suffered a vicious beating. Underneath her frosty and articulate facade, Detective Griffin sees a women not only bent on revenge, but on the edge of losing that icy control. Carol Rosen was brutalized for hours in her own home and does not hide her utter loathing of Eddie Como.

And sweet young Meg Pesaturo has lost all memory of the night she was attacked; in fact, she doesn't remember much about her life at all. When another young woman is killed and all evidence, including DNA samples, point to Eddie Como, this already baffling case takes on a bizarre twist. There is also a renewed urgency, not only for Griffin and his team of investigators, but also for Jillian, Carol and Meg as they realize their attacker may still be out there - and not quite finished with them yet - even if it is somehow, unbelievably, from beyond the grave.

Powerhouse writer, Lisa Gardner, has done it again. Not only has she created a cast of her most dynamic characters yet (especially Roan Griffin), she's crafted a plot that is as meticulous as it is devious. Then she kicks the whole thing up about ten notches as the police find themselves racing against a brilliant madman's demands and time limit to avoid seeing more bodies pile up. Discussing more of the storyline here would ruin the roller coaster ending and various surprise twists and turns Ms. Gardner so craftily presents.

Instead readers are urged to race down to the bookstore or library to buy or reserve their copy of The Survivors Club. One word of warning - DON'T start reading this marvelous thriller on a weeknight - you'll be up into the wee hours to find out not WHO really done it but HOW he done it!

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