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It Takes One (An Audrey Harte novel) by Kate…
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It Takes One (An Audrey Harte novel)

by Kate Kessler

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It Takes One is the first in Kate Kessler's Audrey Harte series about a criminal psychiatrist who knows first hand about committing murder as a teenager.

Kessler devotes a good portion of this book to descriptions of her home town as well as most of the people in it. While I did not find this particularly off-putting it did seem that at least some of the work was for the benefit of future volumes in the series. Unless a book is intentionally minimalist I also tend toward not minding description that adds to the atmosphere of the location. In It Takes One the town is very much like an additional character so the description served to help me understand the role place represents in the decisions many of these characters make and have made.

This is one of those mysteries where almost everyone can lay claim to having figured out the killer. Not so much because they definitively did so but because there were so many possibilities that at some point the reader probably did land on the right one. Like most readers, and hopefully police investigators, you keep these suspicions bracketed while you continue to learn more, even if you are pretty sure you're right. Kessler provides both suspects and motives aplenty, and the fun is watching the story unfold as much as in pretending to solve it by page 5. Some readers remind me of that old game show, Name That Tune, you know, "I can name that song in 3 notes." That is so foreign to the way I read a novel, I like to let the writer unfold the narrative and present the plot, even if I am almost certain of the criminal. But that is just me, my reading is more about my enjoyment than what I can claim to others. Such is life.

I would recommend this to readers of suspense crime books as compared to procedural crime stories. Also to readers who like location to play a role (as compared to many procedurals that could just as easily have taken place in NYC or LA or any other significant size city).

Reviewed from a copy made available through Goodreads First Reads. ( )
  pomo58 | Apr 11, 2017 |
At the age of 13, Audrey and her best friend Maggie killed Maggie's father who had been sexually abusing Maggie. After her detention, Audrey turned her life around, left her hometown and became a criminal psychologist who has specialized in working with young offenders. Years later, she returns home for her mother's birthday and ends up becoming a murder suspect.
This started out really strongly and had all the trademarks of a dark and gripping mystery. But some way into the story, it turned into overkill. EVERY single character had issues. For a tiny place somewhere in Maine, this town's inhabitants had an over-proportionate amount of problems. When Audrey started diagnosing Maggie with Dissociative Identity Disorder it became a bit too much for me.
Audrey herself was a great character. I liked the clear-cut way she talked and behaved. But I had a hard time believing how Audrey's father and the relationship between him and Audrey changed so abruptly.
The most captivating part for me was the relationship between Audrey and Jake. Jake was a really mysterious and intriguing character, and I really enjoyed the banter between him and Audrey.
The actual whodunit wasn't very suspenseful. If you took into account the title of the book, Audrey's job focus and the hints that were dropped about the victim, there was really only one solution. So it was more about following Audrey to see how she would work it out.
The plot moved along at a steady pace and the prose was pretty good, but I felt some tighter editing could have improved it. Some points were made repeatedly.
This is a debut novel and as such, there is lots of potential here for some dark and twisted mysteries in the future. Audrey and Jake were certainly intriguing enough to follow their progress in the second book Two Can Play.
I'm curious to see whether there will be further revelations about Jake and his dealings.
Many thanks to Redhook Books who provided me with a copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  Pet12 | Apr 22, 2016 |
While I enjoyed this book as a whole, my favorite aspect was the setting. I grew up in Massachusetts, just a few hours drive from Maine. Much of New England feels tied together, and we'd drive from one state to another just for a day's outing. But Maine always felt more like it had its own thing, slightly removed from the rest of New England, particularly in the less populated areas. The author captures this culture perfectly.

The characters are an interesting mix of broken and damaged and dangerous. I enjoyed the interplay between them all. The family dynamics and the friendships felt real, as did the complicated attraction between Maggie and Jake.

As for the mystery aspects, for the most part I wasn't surprised by the twists. I expected one of the major twists from the very beginning, and I figured out the killer's identity early on. But, in fairness, these aspects are well done. My lack of surprise is likely due to reading a lot within this genre, as well as writing within this genre myself.

Overall, this is a great start to a new series. I'm looking forward to spending more time with these characters.

*I received an advance ebook copy from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.* ( )
  Darcia | Apr 3, 2016 |
You can find all my reviews here
*Disclaimer: I received a copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Audrey Harte is a criminal psychologist who often provides her professional opinions on the tv show, When Kids Kill. And no one is more qualified to defend the kids that have killed as Aubrey herself. When they were kids Aubrey and her best friend Maggie killed someone. As is life in a small town no one ever forgot. When Aubrey returns home for the first time in seven years Maggie turns up dead and most are quick to assume it was Aubrey's doing. Can Aubrey catch the real killer before she goes down for the crime?

This book wasn't one I could have possibly passed up, not when it features criminal psychology and small town life. Kate Kessler hit the nail on the head with both. The psychological observations seemed dead on. She really managed to get into every character'3s head with what motivates them, their biggest flaws, etc. The depiction of small town life was perfect, so simply complex. I've never been able to describe it, the hanging out late at night drinking with friends and nobody caring while on the other hand all the drama and nosiness that goes with it. As someone who grew up in a small town and has always wanted to study criminal psychology I jumped at the chance to read this.

I had one complaint that i don't even think is really a complaint. I figured out who did it way too soon, though I got the why wrong. Some people would complain on that note but I don't see it that way. It was a great story being told and Kessler was aware enough to leave hints here and there. I much prefer this nicely done and clearly valid type of mystery over the fast paced but the answer at the end is someone random you'd never expect. Actually I was watching Alfred Hitchcock Presents the other night and they told this story where at the end the person who did it was someone you had never seen or heard of before. Like okay yes, it was entertaining but also stupid the big "twist/reveal" should never be something so unpredictable it makes no sense.

All in all I really enjoyed the book. I loved the characters and the romance. I enjoyed the setting and the plausibility of the book as a whole. I will most definitely pick up the second book in the series when I can. Thank you Redhook and Kate Kessler for allowing me to read this book early and tell everyone how great I found it. ( )
  MarandaNicole | Jan 27, 2016 |
You can find all my reviews here
*Disclaimer: I received a copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Audrey Harte is a criminal psychologist who often provides her professional opinions on the tv show, When Kids Kill. And no one is more qualified to defend the kids that have killed as Aubrey herself. When they were kids Aubrey and her best friend Maggie killed someone. As is life in a small town no one ever forgot. When Aubrey returns home for the first time in seven years Maggie turns up dead and most are quick to assume it was Aubrey's doing. Can Aubrey catch the real killer before she goes down for the crime?

This book wasn't one I could have possibly passed up, not when it features criminal psychology and small town life. Kate Kessler hit the nail on the head with both. The psychological observations seemed dead on. She really managed to get into every character'3s head with what motivates them, their biggest flaws, etc. The depiction of small town life was perfect, so simply complex. I've never been able to describe it, the hanging out late at night drinking with friends and nobody caring while on the other hand all the drama and nosiness that goes with it. As someone who grew up in a small town and has always wanted to study criminal psychology I jumped at the chance to read this.

I had one complaint that i don't even think is really a complaint. I figured out who did it way too soon, though I got the why wrong. Some people would complain on that note but I don't see it that way. It was a great story being told and Kessler was aware enough to leave hints here and there. I much prefer this nicely done and clearly valid type of mystery over the fast paced but the answer at the end is someone random you'd never expect. Actually I was watching Alfred Hitchcock Presents the other night and they told this story where at the end the person who did it was someone you had never seen or heard of before. Like okay yes, it was entertaining but also stupid the big "twist/reveal" should never be something so unpredictable it makes no sense.

All in all I really enjoyed the book. I loved the characters and the romance. I enjoyed the setting and the plausibility of the book as a whole. I will most definitely pick up the second book in the series when I can. Thank you Redhook and Kate Kessler for allowing me to read this book early and tell everyone how great I found it. ( )
  MarandaNicole | Jan 27, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316302503, Paperback)

It Takes One is the first in a brand new thriller series where a criminal psychologist uses her own dark past to help law enforcement catch dangerous killers.

"Deliciously twisted." --Sara Blaedel

Criminal psychologist Audrey Harte is returning home after seven years.

Less than 24 hours later, her best friend is murdered.

Audrey is both the prime suspect and the only person who can solve the case. . .

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 08 Feb 2016 20:51:02 -0500)

"They say there are no secrets in a small town ... Criminal psychologist Audrey Harte is returning home after seven years. She'll have to face the whispers and the rumors that have haunted her family since she left. Because when Audrey was thirteen, she and her best friend Maggie killed Maggie's abusive father. Her first night back in town ends in a fight with a drunken Maggie, with her old crush Jake to witness it all. Audrey can't believe it can get worse. Then Maggie turns up dead. Now, Audrey has to find out who the murderer is - before everyone decides that she is to blame. And before the murderer can set their sights on her. It Takes One is the first in a brand new thriller series where a criminal psychologist uses her own dark past to help law enforcement catch dangerous killers"--… (more)

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