The Last Victim (Dr. Charlotte Stone #1)

Author: Karen Robards
Publisher: Ballantinelast
Date: 2012
Genre: Paranormal Romance
ISBN: 9780345535405
Price: 26.00
Number of Pages: 336
Available Formats: Hardcover, paperback, E-Book, Audio

Rating Scale: 4Q, 4P

Links to Author’s Website and Interviews

Links to Reviews

Reader’s Annotation

Dr. Charlotte Stone must face the serial killer who has haunted her dreams. Can she survive?


This is a fast-paced, suspenseful paranormal romance and the beginning of a series. Dr. Charlotte Stone is an expert in the field of criminal pathology. Ever since witnessing a family’s brutal murder by the hands of the Boardwalk serial killer, she has had a mysterious connection with the dead. Sometimes she can see ghosts of the nearly departed, including the family she witnessed being murdered. Even though Charlotte was a witness, the killer managed to get away and it has haunted her ever since. As a consequence, she has made it her life’s mission to become an expert in serial killers. She works inside a prison, where she questions former serial killer death row inmates. One such inmate is Garland, who was accused of brutally murdering prostitutes. One day she is approached by two FBI agents about consulting on a case that is suspiciously similar to Boardwalk killings, both in M.O and area. While Charlotte is discussing the matter with the agents, Garland is stabbed by another inmate. Charlotte runs to help, but is unsuccessful in saving his life. As he dies, she immediately sees his ghost. Even though she tries to ignore him, he begins to follow her with no intention of leaving. The FBI agents, once again tries to convince Charlotte to help and even though Charlotte is scared that it is the same killer she witnessed, she decides to take on the case. Charlotte travels to the town she thought she left behind and must face the new brutal killings while hunting for the killer, all the while she is being haunted by Gordon, whom she begins to feel a connection with despite her misgivings.

Critical Evaluation

For the most part I very much enjoyed this book. I enjoyed the mystery of who the killer was and I especially liked Charlotte’s medium capabilities aiding her in the case.Charlotte was a likable and relatable character and all of the side characters were interesting as well. I especially liked Lena Kaminsky and the tension between her and Charlotte. Agent Bartoli was another interesting character and possible love interest for Charlotte, although I would have liked to have seen a little more development for this character. His character development was pushed aside in favor of Garland, who became the number one love interest for Charlotte. The two shared a fascinating chemistry that while was fun to read, was also a little disturbing. I loved the fact that he was a ghost, I thought it provided a very interesting and different dynamic to the romance part of the book. However, it was a little disturbing to me that he was a convicted serial killer. The only saving grace for me is that the reader can pretty much infer from the beginning that he is innocent, but the fact that Charlotte is unsure of his innocence and still drawn to him is a little creepy. I am very curious as to where Robards is going to take this relationship, so I will definitely be reading the next two books.

Significance of Book

Karen Robards is a bestselling, award-winning author. The Last Victim is the start of a new series that has earned quite a bit of buzz. It combines Robards’ usual romantic suspense storyline, but adds a paranormal twist. It even goes as far as having a ghost as a romantic lead, which is something you don’t see very often in romances.


The Fifth Victim by Beverly Barton

Chill Factor by Sandra Brown

Deadly Game by Christine Feehan

Awards and Lists


Discussion Ideas

  • Discuss Dr. Charlotte Stone’s tragic past and how it has shaped her
  • Discuss Garland’s and Charlotte’s unusual relationship

Justification of Selection

The paranormal aspect of this book made me very interested in reading it. I thought a character who was a serial killer expert as well as a medium sounded very interesting.