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The Perfect Husband (FBI Profiler 1) [Format Kindle]

Lisa Gardner
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)

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Descriptions du produit


Tess Williams awoke as she'd learned to awaken--slowly, degree by degree, so that she reached consciousness without ever giving herself away.  First her ears woke up, seeking out the sound of another person breathing.  Next, her skin prickled to life, searching for the burning length of her husband's body pressed against her back.  Finally, when her ears registered no sound and her skin found her alone in her bed, her eyes opened, going automatically to the closet and checking the small wooden chair she'd jammed beneath the doorknob in the middle of the night.

The chair was still in place.  She released the breath she'd been holding and sat up.  The empty room was already bright with mid-morning sun, the adobe walls golden and cheery.  The air was hot.  Her T-shirt stuck to her back, but maybe the sweat came from nightmares that never quite went away.  She'd once liked mornings.  They were difficult for her now, but not as difficult as night, when she would lie there and try to force her eyes to give up their vigilant search of shadows in favor of sleep.

You made it, she told herself.  You actually made it.

For the last two years she'd been running, clutching her four-year-old daughter's hand and trying to convince Samantha that everything would be all right.  She'd picked up aliases like decorative accessories and new addresses like spare parts.  But she'd never really escaped.  Late at night, she would sit at the edge of her daughter's bed, stroking Samantha's golden hair, and stare at the closet with fatalistic eyes.

She knew just what kind of monsters hid in the closet.  She had seen the crime scene photos of what they could do.  Three weeks ago, her personal monster had broken out of a maximum security prison by beating two guards to death in under two minutes.

Tess had called Lieutenant Lance Difford.  He'd called Vince.  The wheels were set in motion.  Tess Williams had hidden Samantha safely away, then she had traveled as far as she could travel.  Then she had traveled some more.

First, she'd taken the train, and the train had taken her through New England fields of waving grass and industrial sectors of twisted metal.  Then she'd caught a plane, flying over everything as if that would help her forget and covering so many miles she left behind even fall and returned to summer.

Landing in Phoenix was like arriving in a moon crater: everything was red, dusty, and bordered by distant blue mountains.  She'd never seen palms; here roads were lined with them.  She'd never seen cactus; here they covered the land like an encroaching army.

The bus had only moved her farther into alien terrain.  The red hills had disappeared, the sun had gained fury.  Signs for cities had been replaced by signs reading STATE PRISON IN AREA.  DO NOT STOP FOR HITCHHIKERS.

The reds and browns had seeped away until the bus rolled through sun-baked amber and bleached-out greens.  The mountains no longer followed like kindly grandfathers.  In this strange, harsh land of southern Arizona, even the hills were tormented, flayed alive methodically by mining trucks and bulldozers.

It was the kind of land where you really did expect to turn and see the OK Corral.  The kind of land where lizards were beautiful and coyotes cute.  The kind of land where the hothouse rose died and the prickly cactus lived.

It was perfect.

Tess climbed out of bed.  She moved slowly.  Her right leg was stiff and achy, the jagged scar twitching with ghost pains.  Her left wrist throbbed, ringed by a harsh circle of purple bruises.  She could tell it wasn't anything serious--her father had taught her a lot about broken bones.  As things went in her life these days, a bruised wrist was the least of her concerns.

She turned her attention to the bed.

She made it without thinking, tucking the corners tightly and smoothing the covers with military precision.

I want to be able to bounce a quarter off that bed, Theresa.  Youth is no excuse for sloppiness.  You must always seek to improve.

She caught herself folding back the edge of the sheet over the light blanket and dug her fingertips into her palms.  In a deliberate motion, she ripped off the blanket and dumped it on the floor.

"I will not make the bed this morning," she stated to the empty room.  "I choose not to make the bed."

She wouldn't clean anymore either, or wash dishes or scrub floors.  She remembered too well the scent of ammonia as she rubbed down the windows, the doorknobs, the banisters.  She'd found the pungent odor friendly, a deep-clean sort of scent.

This is my house, and not only does it look clean, but it smells clean.

Once, when she'd taken the initiative to rub down the window casings with ammonia, Jim had even complimented her.  She'd beamed at him, married one year, already eight months pregnant and as eager as a lap dog for his sparing praise.

Later, Lieutenant Difford had explained to her how ammonia was one of the few substances that rid surfaces of fingerprints.

Now she couldn't smell ammonia without feeling ill.

Her gaze was drawn back to the bed, the rumpled sheets, the covers tossed and wilted on the floor.  For a moment, the impulse, the sheer need to make that bed--and make it right because she had to seek to improve herself, you should always seek to improve--nearly overwhelmed her.  Sweat beaded her upper lip.  She fisted her hands to keep them from picking up the blankets.

"Don't give in.  He messed with your mind, Tess, but that's done now.  You belong to yourself and you are tough.  You won, dammit.  You won."

The words didn't soothe her.  She crossed to the bureau to retrieve her gun from her purse.  Only at the last minute did she remember that the .22 had fallen on the patio.

J.T. Dillon had it now.

She froze.  She had to have her gun.  She ate with her gun, slept with her gun, walked with her gun.  She couldn't be weaponless.  Defenseless, vulnerable, weak.

Oh God.  Her breathing accelerated, her stomach plummeted, and her head began to spin.  She walked the edge of the anxiety attack, feeling the shakes and knowing that she either found solid footing now or plunged into the abyss.

Breathe, Tess, breathe.  But the friendly desert air kept flirting with her lungs.  She bent down and forcefully caught a gulp by her knees, squeezing her eyes shut.

"Can I walk you home?"

She was startled.  "You mean me?"  She hugged her school books more tightly against her Mt. Greylock High sweater.  She couldn't believe the police officer was addressing her.  She was not the sort of girl handsome young men addressed.

"No," he teased lightly.  "I'm talking to the grass."  He pushed himself away from the tree, his smile unfurling to reveal two charming dimples.  All the girls in her class talked of those dimples, dreamed of those dimples.  "You're Theresa Matthews, right?"

She nodded stupidly.  She should move.  She knew she should move.  She was already running late for the store and her father did not tolerate tardiness.

She remained standing there, staring at this young man's handsome face.  He looked so strong.  A man of the law.  A man of integrity?  For one moment she found herself thinking,
If I told you everything, would you save me?  Would somebody please save me?

"Well, Theresa Matthews, I'm Officer Beckett.  Jim Beckett.  "

"I know.  " Her gaze fell to the grass.  "Everyone knows who you are."

"May I walk you home, Theresa Matthews?  Would you allow me the privilege?"

She remained uncertain, too overwhelmed to speak.  Her father would kid her.  Only promiscuous young women, evil women, enticed men to walk them home.  But she didn't want to send Jim Beckett away.  She didn't know what to do.

He leaned over and winked at her.  His blue eyes were so clear, so calm.  So steady.

"Come on Theresa, I'm a cop.  If you can't trust me, who can you trust?"

"I won," she muttered by her knees.  "Dammit, I won!"  But she wanted to cry.  She'd won, but the victory remained hollow, the price too high.  He'd done things to her that never should have been done.  He'd taken things from her that she couldn't afford to lose.  Even now, he was still in her head.

Someday soon, he would kill her.  He'd promised to cut out her still-beating heart, and Jim always did what he said.

She forced her head up.  She took a deep breath.  She pressed her fists against her thighs.  "Fight, Tess.  It's all you have left."

She pushed away from the dresser and moved to her suitcase, politely brought to her room by Freddie.  She'd made it here, step one of her plan.  Next, she had to get J.T. to agree to train her.  Dimly, she remembered mentioning her daughter to him.  That had been a mistake.  Never tell them more than you have to, never tell the truth if a lie will suffice.

Maybe J.T. wouldn't remember.  He hadn't seemed too sober.  Vincent should've warned her about his drinking.

She didn't know much about J.T.  Vince had said J.T. was the kind of man who could do anything he wanted to, but who didn't seem to want to do much.  He'd been raised in a wealthy, well-connected family in Virginia, attended West Point, but then left for reasons unknown and joined the Marines.  Then he'd left the Marines and struck out solo, rapidly earning a reputation for a fearlessness bordering on insanity.  As a mercenary, he'd drifted toward doing the impossible and been indifferent to anything less.  He hated politics, loved women.  He was fanatical about fulfilling his word and noncommittal about everything else.

Five years ago, he'd up and left the mercenary business without explanation.  Like the prodigal son, he'd returned to Virginia and in a sudden flurry of unfathomable activity, he'd married, adopted a child, and settled down in the suburbs as if all along he'd really been a shoe salesman.  Later, a sixteen-year-old with a new Camaro and even newer license had killed J.T.'s wife and son in a head-on collision.

And J.T. had disappeared to Arizona.

She hadn't expected him to be drinking.  She hadn't expected him to still appear so strong.  She'd pictured him as being older, maybe soft and overripe around the middle, a man who'd once been in his prime but now was melting around the edges.  Instead, he'd smelled of tequila.  His body had been toned and hard.  He'd moved fast, pinning her without any effort.  He had black hair, covering his head, his arms, his chest.

Jim had had no hair, not on head, not on his body.  He'd been completely hairless, smooth as marble.  Like a swimmer, she'd thought, and only later understood the full depth of her naivetÚ.  Jim's touch had always been cold and dry, as if he was too perfect for such things as sweat.  The first time she'd heard him urinate, she'd felt a vague sense of surprise; he gave the impression of being above such basic biological functions.

Jim had been perfect.  Mannequin perfect.  If only she'd held that thought longer.

She'd stick with J.T. Dillon.  He'd once saved orphans.  He'd been married and had a child.  He'd destroyed things for money.  He sounded skilled, he appeared dangerous.

For her purposes, he would do.

And if helping her cost J.T. Dillon too much?

She already knew the answer, she'd spent years coming to terms with it.

Sometimes, she did wish she was sixteen again.  She'd been a normal girl, once.  She'd dreamed of a white knight who would rescue her.  Someone who would never hit her.  Someone who would hold her close and tell her she was finally safe.

Now, she remembered the feel of her finger tightening around the trigger.  The pull of the trigger, the jerk of the trigger, the roar of the gun and the ringing in her ears.

The acrid smell of gunpowder and the hoarse sound of Jim's cry.  The thud of his body falling down.  The raw scent of fresh blood pooling on her carpet.

She remembered these things.

And she knew she could do anything.


From AudioFile

The title of this mystery is ironic. Jim Beckett is not a perfect husband or even an acceptable human being. He is a serial killer, who has vowed a vendetta against his wife, Tess. She, anticipating his revenge, has engaged the help of a burned-out ex-marine to help her prepare for what she knows will be a grisly confrontation. Jennifer Wydra has a pleasing voice and the ability to build suspense with her pacing and vocal intensity. She does male characters well, and the only jarring note is the exaggerated, peculiar New England accent she puts on for Tess. While the middle of the story drags and you begin to wish the maniac husband would hurry up and find Tess, actress/ reader Jennifer Wydra has the potential of becoming a popular reader of audiobooks. D.L.G. © AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 2191 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 418 pages
  • Editeur : Headline (5 juillet 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0755396170
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755396177
  • ASIN: B0082CXGXQ
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • : Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°37.292 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Really good! 23 juillet 2013
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Even if we know what the end will be, I could not guess how and it is really a page-turning. I am a fan of Ms. Gardner!
Avez-vous trouvé ce commentaire utile ?
5.0 étoiles sur 5 a page Turner 11 novembre 2014
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Well written, complex characters, thrilling plot: a great book, that you might end up reading from cover to cover in one night
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.1 étoiles sur 5  505 commentaires
100 internautes sur 104 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 You will be spellbound.... 21 avril 2003
Par cmiller - Publié sur
Theresa Matthews never knew what hit her when she met Officer Jim Beckett. All she did know was that someone in her life finally loved her. With no complaints, Theresa did everything Jim asked of her. She kept a perfect home, cooked meals on time, and gave him a baby daughter that he appeared to love. Hiding behind his cruel facade, Theresa discovered an evil man with no soul. A killer that she was a part of stopping. After two years of running, and a new identity, Tess Williams emerges. When Jim escapes from prison, Tess find J.T. Dillon, an burntout ex-mercenary whom she talks into training her for one month. All Tess wants is to be able to protect her daughter from the monster that has sworn to return to kill her.
J.T. Dillon has his own demons to fight, and he doesn't need the responsiblity of protecting Tess. Finding his way through a hellish childhood, J.T. came out scarred, especially since he knew that he didn't protect his younger sister, Marion, from their father. Now, after two weeks training with Tess, everything with Beckett comes to head and J.T. knows that he will not lose another woman that he loves.
The Perfect Husband is an exceptional story about a pyshcopath who is not only sly, but intelligent as well. Continually escaping authorities, Beckett knows that no one will ever be able to catch him. Gardner does an extrodinary job of portraying a killer. The romance that was mixed in was intense and erotic, but didn't take away from the suspense of the story.
Pick it up!
39 internautes sur 41 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Disturbing story but doesn't flow well 15 décembre 1999
Par J. Evans - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
I enjoyed the concept of the story of a frightened woman trying to take charge of her life in preparation for a meeting with her serial killer psycho husband, but I found the realtionship between Tess and JT to be pretty shallow and odd. I find it hard to believe that a woman with such a background of violence in relationships would be attracted to a hot-headed drunkard mercenary. I also felt that although the plot could have been really great, that the characters were not developed enough for the reader to care too much about their fates. In short, a decent read but don't expect too much
40 internautes sur 46 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A thrilling, haunting read ... 9 septembre 2001
Par Busy Mom - Publié sur
With Halloween just around the corner, I have to say this is the perfect spooky novel to read during a nighttime thunderstorm! I did do that ~~ read while waiting for my fiance to get home from work ~~ and every creak and moan in the house seems to house Jim Beckett waiting to kill me! Regardless of the hauntings, I still couldn't put this book down. This is my first Lisa Gardner novel and she does have me hooked now!!
Jim Beckett is the husband every woman dreams of having ~~ or so Tess thought. When she turned him in for being a serial killer, Tess takes her daughter Sam and run. Only, Beckett finds her and leads the reader on a merry chase through gruesome murders and mind games. It is a bold novel ~~ and one that will keep you up all night just to finish it. Then it's also one that will keep you up all night listening to every creak and moan in the house. It also explores the mindset of a killer and why he married Tess ~~ and why he chases after her after getting out of prison. It's a terrifying look inside an abuser's mind.
If you're brave enough to read this, I dare you to. If you haven't read Lisa Gardner before, I highly recommend you reading this author. She is talented and will ensare you with her stories. It's a great spooky read and a perfect gift for that Halloween lover in you!
44 internautes sur 52 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 I have never given a 1 star review before. Ouch. 6 octobre 2010
Par A. Rubash - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
I never write reviews on books I love because I never read the good reviews. There's really no way for me to know if my taste will mesh with a 5 star reviewer's taste, so I find those reviews worthless. I skip right to 1 and 2 star reviews for the information I need. I can usually figure out quickly if it's the right book for me.

I almost never read a book that has more than a few 1 star reviews, but I made an exception this time. The beginning of the book had some promise, so the Kindle sample drew me in. Unfortunately, the book went downhill quickly after the sample.

Many of the issues have been mentioned in other reviews, but with all the great reviews of this book, I really felt I needed to review it honestly for the people like me who base their reading on the insights contained in bad reviews.

-- Spoilers from this point...

This book was incredibly implausible. It wasn't just because it's fiction and it's supposed to be a little bit outside of real life, but approaching a big joke. Over and over, this man who is clearly VERY recognizable (and described this way over and over) is able to walk right up to people who have been hunting him and studying him for years without being recognized. Over and over, he is given the resources to be 10 steps ahead, but it's never explained how he comes to have these resources.

How did Jim Beckett come to own the house where he was hiding? Why would he spend some of his 4 phone calls a month talking to the old lady who lives next door to his hideout just to tell her he's away in Florida? How could he POSSIBLY pose as an elderly woman? Why would he hand his daughter over to the neighbor and let her get away? He obviously didn't think he would fail to kill his wife and never come back, so he would have wanted to make sure that his daughter would be waiting for him when he got back.

What happened to JT's "manservant" and why didn't he come back? Are we supposed to assume he was fired for talking to Marion? JT apparently desperately loves Marion and just feels guilty about not saving her from their father, so why would he be mad at his "manservant" for talking to her? Why would I like a man who is having sex with a prostitute and then a few days later, is "in love" with a woman he treats like crap? Where were his redeeming qualities? Name one.

The main female character (of several names) was just... ARGH. Weak, needy, useless, etc. I can't even begin to describe how much this woman annoyed me. She's pointless -- we see nothing of her relationship with her daughter because she left her with the very people she doesn't trust to keep her safe. Honestly, I wanted to hit her with a baseball bat myself. She's known JT for all of 12 seconds and she's telling him he's an alcoholic and making him stop drinking. We're just supposed to take her word for it that he's an alcoholic, even though it's implied that he only drinks heavily on a few certain days a year... but since Tess said so, it becomes the truth and he can no longer have a beer with dinner. Plus, it's always good reading when a 36(ish) year old man takes advantage of a broken and weak 24 year old abused and sheltered girl who comes across more like a desperate lost puppy than a strong woman. She's described as a strong woman several times, but that strength is never actually displayed.

And don't even get me started on the whole Marion storyline -- why was she there?? I guess just to run fingerprints of someone who wouldn't be in any system anyway because she has no record. Oh, and to make herself a human sacrifice for no reason after she was written as someone who was rational and logical and a smart and capable agent -- all of a sudden she decided to give up her big chance to advance her career and instead go after a guy who has killed 13 people because she thinks SHE'S the one who's finally going to be able to stop him single-handedly.

We're supposed to believe that Tess is being trained (mostly they just argue), but absolutely nothing happens there. Though, magically, after a week or two of training, she is developing visible muscle tone. I wish my gym regimen worked half as well!

The bad guy is more than twice her size, has apparent superpowers, and carries a baseball bat, no one could train a 100 pound woman to go up against a man that size. She's already shot him once, but apparently she's lost all ability to shoot without flinching in surprise at the bang. I think that part was just to give them an excuse to grind up against each other for a while. ::::shrug:::: But then, this is a world where the prostitute hangs around to cut and style Tess's hair because she needs a better disguise. Because you know, Jim Beckett is probably out driving around all 48 contiguous states just looking for her and we wouldn't want him to recognize her when he gets to Arizona. Or maybe he'll get a tip that she's with JT and when he shows up at the house, he won't recognize her with brown hair and he'll just leave?

In the end, she just stands there frozen while the bad guy shoots this man she supposedly loves? I guess that training really paid off, huh? Then she apparently gets her daughter back, but that's just an assumption on my part since it wasn't actually in the book. I really, really struggled through this book. I would usually finish a book this size in 2-3 days, tops. This one took me over a week and I really had to work for it. It's getting 1 star because even if I had liked the story, the holes and inconsistencies and lack of explanation of MANY big pieces of the storyline are just not subjective.
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Get plenty of sleep before you read this one!!! 1 mars 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur
A co-worker handed me this book and insisted I read it. Once I started, I didn't put it down until 2AM that night. This is one of the most suspenseful books I have ever read, with a villain so heart-stoppingly evil that you will constantly look over your shoulder as you are reading. It's only shortcoming is in the romance department. Although, Tess Williams and JT Dillon are sexy and strong protagonists, they seem to fall in more in lust than love and their sexual relationship is rougher than one might expect a woman who was physically abused by her father and terrified by her serial killer husband to enjoy. But this slight oversight does not detract from the overall enjoyment of this very well crafted thriller. Highly recommended!!!!!!!
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