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A Face at the Window by Sarah Graves
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18212105,582 (3.29)1
After more than three decades eluding justice, the man who murdered Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree's mother is finally about to stand trial--until he vanishes into thin air. Jake has a terrible foreboding of where Ozzie Campbell will turn up next. And while the local police chief is sure she's overreacting, the truth is far worse than even Jake's worst fears.… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
A Face at the Window is the 12th book in Sarah Graves' Home Repair is Homicide series. In this one, Ms. Graves has gone out of her way to make sure that her heroine, Jacobia 'Jake' Tiptree is alone at a vulnerable time. Jake's husband, harbor pilot Wade Sorenson, spends most of the book away helping a ship in distress. Jake's son, Sam, is in Portland. Jake's father, Jacob Tiptree, has gone off for a trip to another island with his new wife, Jake's housekeeper, Bella Diamond. Monday the elderly Labrador retriever and Prill the red Doberman are away getting trained for the upcoming hunting season. Even Ellie White, Jake's best friend, and her husband, George Valentine, are off on a trip to Italy. Ellie and George's lovely daughter, Lee (short for 'Leonora'), is staying with Jake. Ellie is anxious that Lee's normal routine be maintained, so Lee still spends time at her babysitter's house. Young Helen lives with her mother and stepfather.

Why is this a vulnerable time? Jake's mother, Leonora, was murdered when she was Lee's age. For most of Jake's life, Jacob was the main murder suspect. A deathbed confession has cleared Jacob. The real killer, Ozzie Campbell, is going to be tried for the murder. Leonora wore beautiful ruby stud earrings. Jacob wears one of them. Ozzie wears the other, which he has long claimed that Leonora gave to him. Ozzie has maintained an air of confidence, but is apparently upset about Jake's victim impact statement. Jake has no idea why, but she's nervous that Ozzie has left New Jersey. She can't help feeling Ozzie is up to something. Unfortunately, her police chief friend, Bob Arnold, thinks she's overreacting.

The book switches between three viewpoints: Jake, Helen, and Anthony. Anthony is a New Jersey thief who grew up in a home who would like to know what a real home is. He and Markie were hired to kidnap Lee. Compared to Markie, Anthony is the soul of decency and kindness. Markie carries a gun and is fond of patting the pocket where he keeps it. Markie is subject to fits of temper. Be grateful if he destroys only objects during one of his fits. The young men took Helen as well as Lee, Anthony wanted them to wear masks during the kidnapping, but Markie refused. Helen and Anthony both think Markie wanted an excuse to murder Helen all along. The truth is a bit different, but just as terrible.

Ozzie calls Jake a few times. She's absolutely certain he's behind the kidnapping. To her frustration, neither Bob nor any other police officer involve believe her. They're certain that the kidnapping was done by two friends of Helen's abusive ex-boyfriend. (The ex-boyfriend has a great alibi -- after he hit Helen, Helen's stepfather Jodie beat up the creepy dastard so thoroughly that the boy is in traction in the hospital.) There's a warrant out for Jodie's arrest for assault. Helen's mother thinks that's unfair. I was hit enough as child and girl that I agree with her. Still, Jodie isn't going to let a little thing like having to hide from the police keep him from helping Jake to rescue Helen and Lee.

There's a suspenseful scene where Jake falls for a trap Campbell set. A text message is sent to Bob Arnold that's supposed to be.from Jake. However, the name on the text was 'Jacobia,' and hardly anyone uses her full first name, including Jake. Helen is in deadly peril. Can the lessons Jodie taught her, which she didn't appreciate at the time, save her life? Anthony must deal with an increasingly unstable Markie. Even little Lee is frightened, though she's trying not to show it.

Ms. Graves really piles on the danger. I was listening to an audio edition from my local library, and the only CD in the set that was skipping did so during an extremely suspenseful scene involving the whirlpool known as 'Old Sow'. How frustrating! (That scene wasn't even the climax.) I can't recommend listening if you're feeling stressed out, unless you think what the characters go through will make your life seem tranquil.

Dog lovers, I'm afraid you'll have to settle for cameo appearances of Monday the Labrador Retriever and Prill the Red Doberman. ( )
  JalenV | Jul 17, 2019 |
This was an exciting read. We learn more about Jake's childhood and what happened to her mother. There are some very bad guys in the book. They are after Jake, and are willing to hurt her friends in order to get to her. The book held my interest throughout. The home repair covered in this one is sidewalk repair.

This series seems to get better the more it goes on. I can't wait to read the next one. ( )
  readingover50 | Jun 11, 2019 |
I Absolutely HATED this book!

I have read the rest of the series and have purchased it for the library. But I'll tell you, after reading this book, I'll never read nor purchase another one again.

These use to be a "nice" sort of "homey" mystery with a good story line about family, friends, and good neighbors. However, this is a nightmare turned bad.

There was little if any story line, it was all about kidnapping, terror, violence, hatred, maliciousness, just bad stuff and the worse part, it was unrelenting...right up till near the end.

This left a bad taste in my mouth. ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 18, 2016 |
Wow! I've enjoyed all the Home Repair is Homicide books but this one is outstanding. Jake's past rears up again, this time the man she saw kill her mother is finally facing a trial. When he disappears while on bail Jake is convinced that he is coming to get her. Her "witness statement" seems to have worried him, a lot. Considering she was only 3-years-old, what was in the statement that was so worrying?

There is so much packed into this story, the tension just keeps building and building. Heart-stopping in places and wow, what an ending!

I'm not sure what Graves will come up with next but I'm looking forward to finding out. ( )
  bookswoman | Sep 15, 2015 |
I admit it. I didn't want to like this book. For one thing, I've done my share of home renovations and I'm pretty handy with power tools. My first thought was that Ms. Graves was using the home improvement tips as a gimmick. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the main character, Jake Tiptree, actually was adept at repairs. Even more satisfying, she didn't mind admitting she didn't know it all -- she was willing to learn.

The rugged setting of Eastport, Maine was a great backdrop for all the action and an integral part of the storyline. When Jake is pursued by Ozzie Campbell, the man who long ago murdered her mother, he doesn't just come after her by himself. He sends a couple of former "juvies", Marky Larson and Anthony Colapietro, to kidnap hostages in his effort to menace Jake. From the biting toddler, Lee, to the teenage sitter, Helen, the victims try their best to fight off their attackers, even as Marky and Anthony apply their own special ruthlessness in their quest to complete the job and get paid. As someone who worked with "juvies", I found the characterizations of both Marky and Anthony well done. Ms. Graves doesn't clone the boys -- instead, each has his own demons and desires that drive the bad behavior, and their own battles with each other increase the danger for Jake, Lee, and Helen as things spiral out of control.

For Jake, the guilt of knowing her own past has brought this danger to the people who matter to her almost proves too much to bear, making her even more determined to save them. Those home improvement skills she's been honing since she moved from New York to Maine serve her well. Logical, determined, and even courageous against the odds, she's an enjoyable heroine. It's hard not to root for her as she's facing what seem to be insurmountable odds, whether she's out to rescue Lee from the men who snatched her or in a leaky boat in rough waters with passengers who would sooner kill her than help her get to shore safely. Jake is the kind of character to restore your faith in your fellow human beings, the friend or neighbor we all would like to have. ( )
  sarambarton | Aug 16, 2013 |
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