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on April 12, 2017
Dead End Girl is a tightly woven, fast-paced, tension-laced thrill ride. How do I know? Because it's 496 pages long and it felt like reading a novella. For pretty much two days I did nothing but read this book and wish it would never end. By the end of the first chapter, Violet felt like an old friend; I just wanted to hang out and watch her solve grisly serial murders forever.

Because of the serial killer and the FBI trainee with the haunted past chasing him, the obvious comparison is Silence of the Lambs—and don't get me wrong, if you liked Silence of the Lambs, you'll love Dead End Girl. But with the story taking an active interest in Violet Darger's life outside of the case, Dead End Girl—and likely all of the Violet Darger series—will also be a favorite among lovers of J.A. Konrath's Jack Daniels mysteries. At the same time, there's so much attention to detail and organic storytelling that this could easily compete with any of Stephen King's longer works. I found myself completely invested in every character, from the authorities to the killer to the victims themselves.

Because blood and gore are great, and tracking down sickos is fun, but the living aren't the only characters who haunt the pages of Dead End Girl—the victims come to life, too. The authors have presented us with people, not Doll Parts, individuals who had names, families, flaws, senses of humor, and dreams before death turned them into front page fodder, clickbait, and short appositives that left more room for sensationalizing their grisly end. At its heart, that's what Dead End Girl is all about—forcing us to reevaluate our own voyeuristic interest in death, as well as the snap judgments about people that we make every day.

Dead End Girl is an intriguing and entertaining start to what I hope is a long, long run of Violet Darger novels. If the whole series was available today, I'd buy them all and binge-read them straight through, but since it's not, I'm waiting on the edge of my favorite reading chair for the next one. If you love the serial killer genre, then this is a must-read for you.
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on April 12, 2017
Wow, just wow! If you like scare you half to death mystery books this is the one for you. This is one of the sickest and scariest serial killers I've ever come across. I love a great murder mystery and this is one not to be missed! It starts with a bang and just doesn't stop. Young FBI Agent Violet has her hands full as she wades her way through a difficult first case. Her mentor is no help, the locals are jerks and she has to literally find her way alone through a grisly case that tests the talents of the most seasoned veteran. If he was any help. But why isn't he helping? It's as big a mystery as the case. Treat yourself to a great read from two authors that just keep getting better with every book. Is there nothing these two can't write?
27 people found this helpful
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on October 31, 2017
Exciting, scary, gut wrenching, what more could any reader want? This is a great reading experience full of great characters and based on a true to life story line. There's nothing about this story that didn't like. It held my interest cover to cover. When I awoke in the middle of the night, did I turn over and go back to sleep? Heck no. Instead I found myself reaching for my Kindle to read a few more chapters. This story is good. Give it a try and you'll have a favorite new author who gave you a favorite new heroin.
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on October 8, 2017
Suspense novels about serial killers are not my usual cup of tea, but I found Dead End Girl fast-paced and gripping. What hooked me into this book and kept me going, though, was Violet Darger: she's believable as an FBI agent, gritty, and determined. It's not easy to create a character who can carry a series, but I think Vargus/McBain have done it with Violet. Kudos especially to the "slice of life" dialogue; the authors have a good ear for how people really talk.
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on June 14, 2017
Don't start this book if you don't have time to finish it. Reading is something I love so to help my health I only allow reading while on a treadmill. I couldn't follow that rule with this book. I have read complaints the book was too long but not for me. I loved that you got to know and care about all the characters in the book. Even knowing they wouldn't start a series about Violet with her dying it had me scared to the last second. I can't wait to read more about this character in future books. Wonderful job!
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on January 5, 2018
Pretty good mystery. A serial killer who likes to keep the heads of his victims as long as he can. FBI agent Violet Darger is a strong woman, but I didn’t particularly like her. I just couldn’t find myself rooting for her. Maybe she will grow on me if I read the next book in the series. A good detail written story though. I did enjoy it.
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on April 12, 2017
McBain and Vargus have captivated me once again with "Dead End Girl."

The book strays a good distance from the type of book I usually look for, lacking the grit and social commentary that bring me to darker, more gruesome tales - but what it lacked in scares and controversy it more than made up for in style, pacing, and suspense.

While I wouldn't go so far as to say that the book is perfect, I will say that it's highly enjoyable and admit that I had trouble putting it down. Violet Darger is a unique, incredible character, and I immensely enjoyed taking this journey with her. I would recommend this title to anyone who likes fast-paced fiction, murder mysteries with disturbing details, or squeamish but sympathetic good guys.

I am waiting on the edge of my seat for the next Darger installation.
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on June 30, 2017
Bought this on a whim, loved it. Scared the heck out of me. Darger and Loshak are great characters, can't wait to read the next one. I bought the audible version, nice narration, closed my eyes and it ran like a movie in my mind. Great to find new authors that grab you like this from the first page.
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on April 12, 2017
Vargus and McBain introduce a new character - Violet Darger - in the guise of an FBI profiler. Once again the authors prove masterful in blending timelines to create a very compelling story.

Dead End Girl is nonstop action and intrigue that will keep you putting off everything until the story is over. This is a must read if you enjoy action & crime genre stories.

I am looking forward to more installments of Violet's adventures as she moves into her profiler role.
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on January 3, 2018
Dead End Girl – Vargas & McBain
There’s nothing I like better than a good mystery/police procedural and these two deliver in spades. I discovered these writers accidently on one of the discounted e-books websites, and I can say that I am now a huge fan and will continue to follow this series as the stories are published. Violet Darger is a newly minted FBI profiler who has just been assigned to her first case; to assist a senior profiler (Loshak) on a serial murder case in small town Ohio. The story is a page turner from the start, the character development is superb – you really get to know Violet as a person as well as an FBI profiler - and the blood, gore and richly graphic details are there for those who enjoy the nitty-gritty murder mysteries (as I do!). Mystery/police procedural fiction at it’s best! If you love Sandford, Slaughter, Kava, Stelljes and Deaver, you’ll LOVE Vargas & McBain!!
3 people found this helpful
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