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Karen Vail Books In Order

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Publication Order of Karen Vail Books

Having been writing the Karen Vail series for a number of years now, American author Alan Jacobson is currently in his element as a thriller writer. Producing bestsellers on multiple occasions, he’s well-regarded for his unique and insightful take on the mystery genre. Creating compelling characters as well, he ensures that his audience continue to come back for more time and time again. With this particular series he’s created the highly popular character of Karen Vail; an extremely competent FBI profiler who’s determined and resourceful. Dealing with some of the most heinous killers, criminals and dangerous people, she looks to get the job done whatever it takes. Serving justice through her brilliant skills of deduction, she also has to deal with her own issues and skeletons in the closet, as she seeks to overcome them and get on with the case in hand.

With over six books in the series so far and counting, this popular line of novels has successfully been running for some time now. The first one was published in 2008 and they’ve been receiving both critical and commercial acclaim ever since. Well thought out and easily accessible, the character of Karen Vail will continue to enthrall readers for years to come.

The 7th Victim

Starting the Karen Vail series off, this was to be the first book in the franchise beginning the overall narrative, it originally being published in 2008 on the 22nd of September. Setting up the central character and establishing the main crux of the action, it was to successfully introduce the protagonist of Karen Vail to her band of loyal readers for the first time. Providing the tone for the books as well, it managed to create a sense of ambiance that was to surround the rest of the books to come in the following years.

The character of Karen Vail herself is a highly believable one in that, whilst she is ever the pragmatist with a keen eye for detail who’s able to analyse indepth the situation at hand, she’s also funny and loyal. With her tough-talking ways, she is independently resourceful and single-minded, always willing to get the job done whatever it takes and make sure justice prevails. Compelling on a number of counts, she works as an FBI profiler with an extreme aptitude for the job and has been found to be very relatable by her many readers. Meeting a variety of nasty characters along the way, she is constantly put to the test by various criminals and killers with a warped mindset and worldview. Constantly posing a challenge for her, they work to put her to the test as she must get inside the mind of another and find out how best to stop them causing anymore harm. This isn’t always easy and can be quite taxing for her, thus taking a toll on her personal life and for those closest to her, as she’s dedicated to her job and doing the right thing. As an author, Alan Jacobson has had a unique insight into her line of work as he’s been able to access the Behavioral Analysis Unit at the FBI, thus ensuring that all his research is extremely comprehensive.

With the ‘Dead Eyes Killer’ currently on the loose, the FBI have been pushed and pressured to catch him, as he’s been constantly evading them. Stepping onto the scene is expert profiler Karen Vail who will do whatever it takes to get the job done however she can and stop him killing again. She’d be able to focus on the case more easily if it wasn’t for her own problems in her personal life, though, as she’s been placed on leave after defending herself from an abusive ex-boyfriend who she attacked back. Murdering scores of women, the killer needs to be taken down, and Vail is determined to get back on the case and deal with him before it’s too late. Will she able to find the killer in time, or will it be to late allowing him to take more innocent lives? Can she defend her case and maintain her personal life whilst preventing it from intruding upon her work? What will become of the killer as he goes out looking for the 7th victim?


Published initially on the 1st of September, 2009, this novel marked the successful second novel after the bestselling first, as it picked up where the last left off. With the character of Karen Vail already firmly established, it manages to get deeper involved in the story as she digs deeper into the latest crime. Building upon the style and tone of the previous novel, it manages to capture the essential essence once again further enhancing and evolving that.

Finding the bodies of a serial killer discarded in vineyards and caves, Karen Vail learns that this killer likes to crush their victims windpipes. That is when he, who is now known as the ‘Crush Killer’, then decides to play cat and mouse with Karen Vail once he realizes she is on his case. Working against the clock she must then figure out he clues fast if she is ever to catch him in time and prevent any more murders from taking place. Will she be able to find him in time, or will it be too late? Why is the killer killing his victims in such a manner? What will become of them all in what many critics have called a ‘shocking conclusion’ as Karen Vail finds the man that likes to crush?

The Karen Vail Series

Set within the profiling unit of the FBI, this collection of books work well at establishing their environment with a clearly well researched and defined handling of the subject matter. Karen Vail comes alive for her many readers who have followed her career throughout the years that this franchise has been running for. As a series it works to establish a realistic portrayal of life in the FBI and how people operate there on a whole. With more set to come from this series, as Jacobson plans more novels for future release, this series is definitely worth keeping an eye on for any fans of the mystery and thriller genres.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Karen Vail

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