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Heartbreaker [Anglais] [Broché]

Julie Garwood
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Description de l'ouvrage

juillet 2003
In the still shadows of the confessional, the penitent kneels and makes a bone-chilling disclosure: 'Bless me, Father, for I will sin.' Slowly, tauntingly, the man describes his murderous past - how he stalked his victim, worked his way into her life, and then took that life in a violent rage - and his plan to kill again. Only this time, he has raised the stakes in his twisted game, daring authorities to catch him if they can. This time, he has revealed the name of his next intended victim. 'I'm a heartbreaker. And I do so love a challenge.'
Agent Nick Buchanan has come face-to-face with society's worst monsters and depraved minds in his work for one of the FBI's most elite units. He's about to take a much-needed vacation from his high-stress job, when he's called on to stop the killer who has mockingly confessed to the deadly crime he's going to commit. Nick can't refuse - for this time the threat has hit close to home. The intended victim is his best friend's sister. Soon he is caught up in an intricate chase with one of the most devious psychopaths of his career - in a case that suddenly, unexpectedly, pulls him in like no other.
--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Poche .

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Extrait

Chapter One

It was hotter than hell inside the confessional. A thick black curtain, dusty with age and neglect, covered the narrow opening from the ceiling of the box to the scarred hardwood floor, blocking out both the daylight and the air.

It was like being inside a coffin someone had absentmindedly left propped up against the wall, and Father Thomas Madden thanked God he wasn't claustrophobic. He was rapidly becoming miserable though. The air was heavy and ripe with mildew, making his breathing as labored as when he was back at Penn State running that last yard to the goalposts with the football tucked neatly in his arm. He hadn't minded the pain in his lungs then, and he certainly didn't mind it now. It was all simply part of the job.

The old priests would tell him to offer his discomfort up to God for the poor souls in purgatory. Tom didn't see any harm in doing that, even though he wondered how his own misery was going to relieve anyone else's.

He shifted position on the hard oak chair, fidgeting like a choirboy at Sunday practice. He could feel the sweat dripping down the sides of his face and neck into his cassock. The long black robe was soaked through with perspiration, and he sincerely doubted he smelled at all like the hint of Irish Spring soap he'd used in the shower this morning.

The temperature outside hovered between ninety-four and ninety-five in the shade of the rectory porch where the thermostat was nailed to the whitewashed stone wall. The humidity made the heat so oppressive, those unfortunate souls who were forced to leave their air-conditioned homes and venture outside did so with a slow shuffle and a quick temper.

It was a lousy day for the compressor to bite the dust. There were windows in the church, of course, but the ones that could have been opened had been sealed shut long ago in a futile attempt to keep vandals out. The two others were high up in the gold, domed ceiling. They were stained glass depictions of the archangels Gabriel and Michael holding gleaming swords in their fists. Gabriel was looking up toward heaven, a beatified expression on his face, while Michael scowled at the snakes he held pinned down at his bare feet. The colored windows were considered priceless, prayer-inspiring works of art by the congregation, but they were useless in combating the heat. They had been added for decoration, not ventilation.

Tom was a big, strapping man with a seventeen-and-a-half-inch neck left over from his glory days, but he was cursed with baby sensitive skin. The heat was giving him a prickly rash. He hiked the cassock up to his thighs, revealing the yellow and black happy-face boxer shorts his sister, Laurant, had given him, kicked off his paint-splattered Wal-Mart rubber thongs, and popped a piece of Dubble Bubble into his mouth.

An act of kindness had landed him in the sweatbox. While waiting for the test results that would determine if he needed another round of chemotherapy at Kansas University Medical Center, he was a guest of Monsignor McKindry, pastor of Our Lady of Mercy Church. The parish was located in the forgotten sector of Kansas City, several hundred miles south of Holy Oaks, Iowa, where Tom was stationed. The neighborhood had been officially designated by a former mayor's task force as the gang zone. Monsignor always took Saturday afternoon confession, but because of the blistering heat, his advanced age, the broken air conditioner, and a conflict in his schedule -- the pastor was busy preparing for his reunion with two friends from his seminary days at Assumption Abbey -- Tom had volunteered for the duty. He had assumed he'd sit face-to-face with his penitent in a room with a couple of windows open for fresh air. McKindry, however, bowed to the preferences of his faithful parishioners, who stubbornly clung to the old-fashioned way of hearing confessions, a fact Tom learned only after he'd offered his services, and Lewis, the parish handyman, had directed him to the oven he would sit in for the next ninety minutes.

In appreciation Monsignor had loaned him a thoroughly inadequate, battery-operated fan that one of his flock had put in the collection basket. The thing was no bigger than the size of a man's hand. Tom adjusted the angle of the fan so that the air would blow directly on his face, leaned back against the wall, and began to read the Holy Oaks Gazette he'd brought along to Kansas City with him.

He turned to the society page on the back first, because he got such a kick out of it. He glanced over the usual club news and the smattering of announcements -- two births, three engagements, and a wedding -- and then he found his favorite column, called "About Town." The headline was always the same: the bingo game. The number of people who attended the community center bingo night was reported along with the names of the winners of the twenty-five-dollar jackpots. Interviews with the lucky recipients followed, telling what each of them planned to do with his or her windfall. And there was always a comment from Rabbi David Spears, who organized the weekly event, about what a good time everyone had. Tom was suspicious that the society editor, Lorna Hamburg, secretly had a crush on Rabbi Dave, a widower, and that was why the bingo game was so prominently featured in the paper. The rabbi said the same thing every week, and Tom invariably ribbed him about that when they played golf together on Wednesday afternoons. Since Dave usually beat the socks off him, he didn't mind the teasing, but he did accuse Tom of trying to divert attention from his appalling game.

The rest of the column was dedicated to letting everyone in town know who was entertaining company and what they were feeding them. If the news that week was hard to come by, Lorna filled in the space with popular recipes.

There weren't any secrets in Holy Oaks. The front page was full of news about the proposed town square development and the upcoming one-hundred-year celebration at Assumption Abbey. And there was a nice mention about his sister helping out at the abbey. The reporter called her a tireless and cheerful volunteer and went into some detail describing all the projects she had taken on. Not only was she going to organize all the clutter in the attic for a garage sale, but she was also going to transfer all the information from the old dusty files onto the newly donated computer, and when she had a few minutes to spare, she would be translating the French journals of Father Henri VanKirk, a priest who had died recently. Tom chuckled to himself as he finished reading the glowing testimonial to his sister. Laurant hadn't actually volunteered for any of the jobs. She just happened to be walking past the abbot at the moment he came up with the ideas, and gracious to a fault, she hadn't refused.

By the time Tom finished reading the rest of the Gazette, his soaked collar was sticking to his neck. He put the paper on the seat next to him, mopped his brow again, and contemplated closing shop fifteen minutes early.

He gave up the idea almost as soon as it entered his mind. He knew that if he left the confessional early, he'd catch hell from Monsignor, and after the hard day of manual labor he'd put in, he simply wasn't up to a lecture. On the first Wednesday of every third month -- Ash Wednesday he silently called it -- Tom moved in with Monsignor McKindry, an old, broken-nosed, crackled-skinned Irishman who never missed an opportunity to get as much physical labor as he could possibly squeeze out of his houseguest in seven days. McKindry was crusty and gruff, but he had a heart of gold and a compassionate nature that wasn't compromised by sentimentality. He firmly believed that idle hands were the devil's workshop, especially when the rectory was in dire need of a fresh coat of paint. Hard work, he pontificated, would cure anything, even cancer.

Some days Tom had a hard time remembering why he liked the monsignor so much or felt a kinship with him. Maybe it was because they both had a bit of Irish in them. Or maybe it was because the old man's philosophy, that only a fool cried over spilled milk, had sustained him through more hardships than Job. Tom's battle was child's play compared to McKindry's life.

He would do whatever he could to help lighten McKindry's burdens. Monsignor was looking forward to visiting with his old friends again. One of them was Abbot James Rockhill, Tom's superior at Assumption Abbey, and the other, Vincent Moreno, was a priest Tom had never met. Neither Rockhill nor Moreno would be staying at Mercy house with McKindry and Tom, for they much preferred the luxuries provided by the staff at Holy Trinity parish, luxuries like hot water that lasted longer than five minutes and central air-conditioning. Trinity was located in the heart of a bedroom community on the other side of the state line separating Missouri from Kansas. McKindry jokingly referred to it as "Our Lady of the Lexus," and from the number of designer cars parked in the church's lot on Sunday mornings, the label was right on the mark. Most of the parishioners at Mercy didn't own cars. They walked to church.

Tom's stomach began to rumble. He was hot and sticky and thirsty. He needed another shower, and he wanted a cold Bud Light. There hadn't been a single taker in all the while he'd been sitting there roasting like a turkey. He didn't think anyone else was even inside the church now, except maybe Lewis, who liked to hide in the cloakroom behind the vestibule and sneak sips of rot whiskey from the bottle in his toolbox. Tom checked his watch, saw he only had a couple of minutes left, and decided he'd had enough. He switched off the light above the confessional and was reaching for the curtain when he heard the swoosh of air the leather kneeler expelled when weight was placed upon it. The sound was followed by a discreet cough from the confessor's cell next to him.

Tom immediately straightened in his chair, took the gum out of his mouth and put it back in the wrapper, then bowed his head in prayer and slid the wood... --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Poche .

Revue de presse

'A crackling good thriller' New York Post
'Entertaining' USA Today
'Frightening…keeps you guessing until the end' San Antonion Express-News
'Will leave your heart pounding…the suspense builds nonstop' The Kansas City Star
'Riveting' BookPage --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Poche .

Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 544 pages
  • Editeur : Pocket Books (juillet 2003)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0743474198
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743474191
  • Dimensions du produit: 20,8 x 13,4 x 3,6 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 1.276.041 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Le meilleur de la série contemporaine 8 juillet 2010
Par Anne
Format:Poche|Achat vérifié
J'avais lu le résumé, et je n'avais pas envie de lire l'histoire. Après avoir lu un bouquin de Karen Rose sur un serial killer, j'étais un peu froide pour en lire un autre.

Mais avec Julie Garwood, c'est surtout de la romance et de l'interaction entre les personnages. Attention, cela ne veut pas dire qu'il n'y a pas de suspense et d'histoire.

Nick (policier FBI) et Laurant (victime annoncée d'un serial killer) sont obligés de se faire passer pour un couple. Ils sont attirés l'un par l'autre, mais parce que les événements les y obligent, ils ne veulent pas se laisser faire et luttent contre cette attraction.

L'histoire est suffisamment mouvementée pour apporter du piment à la relation, et jusqu'au bout, on se sait pas qui est le serial killer qui s'en prend à Laurant. Les personnages secondaires sont très poussés, et la personnalité de chacun est très agréable. (Nick Buchanan - descendant de des Buchanan de la série des Highland) - (Noah Clayborme - descendant des Clayborne de la série Western) Julie s'amuse à faire une passerelle entre ses anciens héros et l'époque contemporaine.

Bref un très bon livre, bien meilleur que Mercy ou Killjoy.

On peut d'ailleurs facilement reconnaitre les bons livres de Julie :ils sont plus gros et plus long que les autres, car elle a eu le temps de pousser l'analyse des ses personnages. C'est le cas de Secret, Ransom, Heartbreaker. Ces autres livres sont aussi attrayants et agréables à lire, mais plus légers.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 étoiles sur 5  310 commentaires
121 internautes sur 129 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Heartbreaker won't break JG's fans' hearts.... 25 juin 2000
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Julie Garwood's first contemporary chiller is a must read for any Garwood fan. Like many, I was sceptical and wondered if I would like this "new" type of book.
It's wonderful. Ms. Garwood stays true to her writing style with real life hero and heroine characters, along with her always perfect secondary characters. The suspense and tension is believable and scary, but there's humor, too. Nick's reactions when Laurent agrees with him after he tries to explain to her that she couldn't possibly love him, that it's just the situation they're in is hilarious - "Of course you don't love me.....what do you mean, you don't love me?". Vintage Garwood bantering and I just put the book down and laughed.
I also know I'm not alone in falling for Father Tom and Noah Clayborne (yes, Clayborne) and am hoping (demanding?) that Noah get his own book as soon as possible.
It's been rumored that each of the so-called FBI "Apostles", Noah among them, will be getting their own books, but for now, one of Nick's brothers is the next to get his own book. Theo? Please, please let Noah be next.
Anyway, run, do not walk to your bookstore / internet site to get this book. You WON'T be disappointed.
32 internautes sur 34 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Garwood takes the high road and travels it with flash & dash 16 août 2000
Par Kay Lewis - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
What? Julie Garwood's "Heartbreaker" is a contemporary romance/mystery? My words when I discovered my favorite writer was stepping out of the mold I associated with her of dark, brooding Earls and fair, fancy Ladies! My next sentence was a half-hearted....."Okay, I'll lay down my money and give it a shot". Thank goodness I did or I'd have missed out on my favorite Garwood book to date!
Her characters, Nick and Laurant jump at your from the pages...and fill your imagination with fanciful thoughts of actually knowing them along with Laurant's brother, Father Tom and the exciting Noah Clayborne (please let there be a book on Noah...please, please, please?).
Oh, did I mention the psycho that has designs on Larant....as his next victim? The plot is so intricatly woven by Garwood you'll drive yourself nuts trying to figure out who the "Heartbreaker" is. Great read! Can't wait for her next book....I'm betting it's a sequel to this one.
20 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 What a great transition..... 27 juillet 2000
Par Kimberly Archer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I'm a longtime fan of Julie Garwood's historicals. When I first read that her newest book was a Romantic Suspense novel, I was ready for disappointment. I just couldn't see how she could make the transition from very sweet and humorous to gritty and suspenseful. I was VERY surprised and pleased with the transition. Ms. Garwood has brilliantly plotted a suspense novel full of twists and turns that keeps the reader guessing until the very end. Even when you know who the killer really is, you have to figure out who he has become. At the same time Ms. Garwood has woven a very nice love story between Nick and Laurent. The tension from the suspense is relieved with classic Garwood one-liners that make you want to laugh. Secondary characters, such as Laurent's brother the priest and Nick's friend Noah, are well developed and add to lightening the dark side of the novel. All in all, a very good book from a favorite author. Hopefully she will write Noah's story next.....
14 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Entertaining, yet lacking 11 novembre 2000
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I enjoyed Heartbreaker, however, I did not feel it was in "Julie Garwood Style". I am a diehard fan of Ms. Garwood's. I own all of her books, and have read each one at least four times. I also read contemporary romance, however. My first love, though, is Ms. Garwood's historical romance. The one thing about her books that I have always loved is my ability to feel a part of the characters, that is why I am able to read them over and over again. My heart is with Jamie and Alec first and foremost, and I was hoping to feel the same about her new novel. I wasn't able to make the connection though. I thoroughly enjoy Ms. Garwood's style of writing, and was somewhat disappointed to read Heartbreaker because it reads very much like a Mary Higgins Clark novel. Not that that is an insult, she also happens to be one of my favorites. However, I read Garwood novels, and always eagerly await the next novel because she makes the reader feel a part of the story. I have cried over many of her novels. I just didn't feel that way with this novel. I truly feel that Ms. Garwood's forte is in the historical romance department. I not only enjoy reading her historical fiction, but I have picked up many historical facts from her books, which is like an added bonus. My hope is to see another novel, or two, in the line of Jamie and Alec! They are by far the best couple Ms. Garwood wrote about, and that book, The Bride (for those who are not as familiar), has been read more than 15 times and is looking a little worse for the wear. Sincerely, A devoted fan
59 internautes sur 73 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Expected Better 21 juin 2000
Par paula_k_98 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
A murderer goes to confession asking for absolution for a crime he is going to commit. He chillingly describes how he tortured and killed his last victim. He challenges the priest to notify the authorities. The priest refuses to knowing the he can't reveal what is said in confession. The killer plays mind games with the priest letting him know he has already selected his next victim. This killing will be better, after all, practice makes perfect. The killer is convinced no one can stop him. He wants a challenge. He tells the priest to call his FBI friend to come and take the next victim into hiding. The killer will either follow or look for a new victim. He describes his next victim in such terms that the priest is shocked to realize it is his sister.
The priest, Tommy Madden, panics and calls in his childhood friend to protect his sister. Nick Buchanan belongs to an elite division of the FBI. He works in a specialized division called the "lost and found." His talent is in tracking the most difficult cases involving lost and abducted children. He comes to his old friend's aid by promising to take care of Laurant Madden. Laurant Madden takes matters into her own hands. She refuses to hide and instead taunts the killer into striking out at her. The FBI agree with what she is doing and provide around the clock protection for her. There are several secondary story lines that are interesting to go along with the plot.
I have always admired Julie Garwood's writing style. She generally has strong, independent heroines and dashing, brooding heros. I was excited to see her switch over to suspense. The synopsis I read had me hooked on this book long before it came out. In fact, this book was advertised as being released in February, 2000, and was then pushed back. This should tell you how long I've waited for it. Was it worth the wait? No, not really.
For some reason this story doesn't work. It has its moments, some scary and some funny, but didn't captivate me like I expected which is why I gave it a 3. Laurant is not a believable character. She reminds me of those wimpy heroines from earlier romance novels in the 70s and 80s. Nick, who should have been a strong presence as the tortured FBI agent who has seen too much wasn't much better. I did enjoy the secondary story line with Father Tommy and Noah, the second FBI agent who helps Nick.
Read or buy this book at your own risk. When I see Ms. Garwood's name on a book, I expect more. I know it can't be easy switching styles of writng, but I expected better.
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