Cover Image: First Victim

First Victim

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Member Reviews

Good mystery with a few twists.  
First Victim will keep you turning pages from start to finish.  
A must read for those who like a good solid mystery.
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Thanks to NetGalley for this novel to review.  The book was okay.  I like courtroom thrillers but this one was just okay.  I did not like the writing really so. it made the book less enjoyable.
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Twisty thriller that’ll keep you guessing until the last page! Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advanced copy.
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Intriguing premise, characters to root for, and fast-paced plotting.

Thanks to Penzler Publishers for a free digital galley via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review!
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This is a really tough book for me to rate…I really liked the first half—didn’t care for the second. 🥴

What I liked:
* the courtroom/legal scenes were really well done
* the psychological & suspense aspects
* the author’s overall writing style 
* Charlie’s POV, although I’m not sure it did anything to drive the plot forward

What I didn’t like:
* the flashbacks were hard to follow at times
* would have appreciated something at the start of the chapters to indicate whose POV it was; toward the end the POVs changed rather chaotically and it was kind of all over the place. 
* the entire second half 😩 it just derailed so much and felt so disconnected from the first half of the book. 

Thank you to NetGalley, Scarlet Publishing, and the author for the #gifted eARC in exchange for the honest review.
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First Victim reminded me a lot of a Karin Slaughter book, which is about the highest praise I can give a thriller. It had the grisly, twisted scenes I love, and the plot took a handful of unexpected turns. Things aren’t as they seem in this story, starting with the very first scene. This book is full of lies, deception, past trauma, and revenge.

Alice is such an interesting character. Her home life isn’t easy. She’s hiding her husband’s early-onset Alzheimers from the world, and she has a 29-year-old daughter living at home who acts more like a 16-year-old. She has some pretty heavy trauma from her past that she’s never confronted, and she has a very high-stress job that needs her constant full attention. Alice’s POV was by far my favorite. Connie’s provided some important backstory, but I wasn’t a fan of Alexis at all.

I’m such a fan of Debbie Babitt’s prose. First Victim was very well-written, with short chapters that flowed nicely and at a good pace. The book was thrilling from the start–I love a courtroom setting and was eager to hear about Young’s case, and was even more hooked once things took a turn for the worse for Alice.

Make sure you’re paying attention when you get to the end: I needed to re-read a few sections to make sure I was understanding how the threads came together. A certain flashback of Alice’s is repeated a few times, with more information at each pass. At some points it was hard to tell which was actually happening, but I thought that was a great way of illustrating Alice’s confusion.

There were a couple of questions that were left unanswered for me at the very end, but overall the story was enjoyable and engaging.
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If you're into legal thrillers, this book is for you! It's told from multiple POVs and timelines, and is well put together. Judge Alice McKerrity presides over a murder case while simultaneously her life is falling apart. It's a strong thriller I would recommend esp to anyone who likes legal/courtroom based books. Not 100% my fav cup of tea, but really good.
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A twisty and dark thriller, a story that makes wonder if what you are reading is a dream or reality.
Fast paced and gripping, and excellent thriler that kept me on the edge.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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This book was all over the place! There were too many plotlines, the flashbacks were annoyingly repetitive, and the multiple POVs were confusing at times. The daughter actually bugged me the most. Her character was 29 years old, but written like a 16 year old.

The overall premise of this book was good, it just didn't do it for me.

Thank you @netgalley and @penzlerpub for the advanced copy of this book!
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This book was dark, grim, and right up my alley. It's so well written, and the pace was go, go, go! You literally won't be able to put this one down. I was so tense reading this, because I just had to know what was coming next! You will not be disappointed in this one.
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This is a fast paced book about a defendant and a judge. The judge is dealing with a lot in her personal life and this case is bringing back memories of her past she would rather forget. It is a very quick read, less than 3 hours. My favorite character was the judge for many reasons you’ll find out when you read the book.
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This book has a lot of potential for a debut. I can see it
turning into a show/movie even. Sometimes we come
across books that does not check all the expectation
boxes and that's absolutely okay! This was one thriller
that didn't do it for me. I enjoyed the multiple POVs and
the storyline just fell flat a bit for my liking. Maybe the
court room drama after all the Johnny Depp trail felt
overdone for me. I absolutely loved the mother-
daughter relationship. Overall good book & would still
recommend to anyone who enjoys legal thrillers
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This is my first exposure to this author and it definitely did not disappoint! This is a well-written, suspenseful, complex, edge-of-your-seat thriller that will leave you breathless at times in anticipation of the next twist in the plot of which there are many. Her characters are well-developed though not necessarily likeable. None of them are whom they appear to be. This provocative, somewhat dark and twisted story grabs you from the first page and keeps you guessing until the very end where the author inserts a deliciously wicked twist.

Thank you to NetGalley and Penzler Publishers who provided me with a copy of this book. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.
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Thank you Netgalley & Scarlet Suspense for my eARC copy of First Victim! Alice, a judge who has a troubled past, decides to take the law into her own hands. A defendant is charged with the murder of a pregnant woman, and it has an impact on her that she’s never experienced before, despite her tenure. Her home life is chaotic, she’s harboring a secret from her past and her daughter is searching for her biological father. Everything comes to a head when Alice makes a shocking discovery her life unravels.

I enjoyed the multiple POVs here (Alice, her daughter, and Alice’s childhood friend), but at times found myself confused as it was hard to follow with so many flashbacks. I was underwhelmed by the ending and found myself wanting more from it. That being said, the book is well written and gave me total Law & Order SVU vibes with the courtroom setting - Something I need to read more of!
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𝔽𝕚𝕣𝕤𝕥 𝕍𝕚𝕔𝕥𝕚𝕞

Author - Debbie Babitt 
Rating - ⭐️ ⭐️  / 5
Genre - Mystery & Thrillers 
PUB Date - 06/14/22

Not sure if I have ever given a book a 2 ⭐️ on here before….but I guess there’s a first for everything…

I do however want to start out by saying that this book had A LOT of potential. Did I guess who the father was of Alice’s daughter? Nope! But was this book all over the place? YES!!

*may contain some spoilers*


What I liked : 
✨I didn’t guess who the father was (probably because he was only introduced in the last 10% of the book 🙃 )
✨ The potential. Debbie has some great ideas, just maybe didn’t need them all compacted in 1 books…

What I disliked : 
👎🏻 I think this may be only the second time I have said this but, the multiple POVs! I am a sucker for multiple POVs it just wasn’t well done. There was no indication at the beginning of a chapter whose POV you would be reading about…
👎🏻 The detail. Clearly this author did her research and knows a lot about how a trial works…however, for someone who doesn’t, it can get real confusing, real fast…
👎🏻 Too many plots. There was a bunch of different stories and plots playing out all throughout the book
👎🏻 There were times I had to go back an read a passage to understand who a character was talking to or about. 
👎🏻 Missing details. While some parts of the book are overly detailed, some were not detailed enough. Again, to the point where I had it go and reread a passage multiple times to understand what was happening and who was involved…

In my opinion, this book needs a lot of work. On top of all my dislikes, there were numerous grammar and spelling errors as well (but it was an ARC, so that part is still a WIP)! It was a great idea that unfortunately ran flat…

But nonetheless, thank you @netgalley and @penzlerpublishers and Debbie Babbitt for this ARC!!!
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This was quite a dark and grim story. Alice D. McKerrity has worked hard to get somewhere after having a child at 17 and dropping out of school. She finished her schooling at 20, went to law school and is now a respected judge. On the down side her 29 year old daughter, Alexis,  is moody and secretive and her older husband (not Alexis’s father) is suffering from the increasing ravages of dementia.

Alice is to preside over a murder case, William Henry Young is accused of brutally raping and torturing and killing a young pregnant woman. A repugnant crime. He’s already on his second lawyer. When that lawyer quits he elects to represent himself. From the start of the trial Alice has been nervy and anxious and having weird flashbacks to a terrible event from her past. You may be able to guess where this is going but, sheesh, it’s a dark, unnerving read.
I don’t want to say any more but Alice must soon face her demons and fight for her life. It was hard to read this as the bad guy was pure evil. The characters felt so real, which was quite discomforting. The tension was so thick you could cut it with a knife. The pace was relentless and there were no flat spots. I haven’t read anything from this author before but I was impressed with the writing of this book, it kept my nerves as taut as a bowstring! Many thanks to Netgalley and Penzler Publishers for the much appreciated arc which I reviewed voluntarily and honestly.
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What starts out as a legal courtroom drama soon turns into a really good crime thriller with more than a few touches of the psychological. What happens when a judge takes the law into her own hands???. This would have been a five star read except the ending left me feeling flat. 
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC.
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A legal, courtroom based drama with a thrilling backstory. Let me begin by saying this would make a great movie or tv show. It’s a well written book and fast paced. This is my first book from this author and I can’t wait to read more.
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Loved this book! Cover is awesome! Will share with friends. Must read more by this author in the future!
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"First Victim" combines two of my favorite genres, psychological thriller and courtroom drama, in a brilliant way.  Judge Alice McKerrity is presiding over the murder trial of a creepy, disturbing man who has decided to represent himself pro se and delights in getting under the judge's skin.  Alice is also undergoing turmoil in her personal life.  Her husband Charles has early onset Alzheimer's and her grown up daughter is living with her and interested in finding her biological father.  Alice starts to unravel, suffering from nightmares hinting at a past trauma and from paranoid feelings she is being watched and followed.  This is a suspenseful read to find out what happened in the past, and what will happen with the trial.  One star taken off for the ending, which fell flat.
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