The Perfect Husband: An Fbi Profiler Novel by Lisa GardnerThe Perfect Husband: An Fbi Profiler Novel by Lisa Gardner

The Perfect Husband: An Fbi Profiler Novel

byLisa Gardner

Mass Market Paperback | December 1, 1997

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What would you do if the man of your dreams hides the soul of a killer?

Jim Beckett was everything she'd ever dreamed of...But two years after Tess married the decorated cop and bore his child, she helped put him behind bars for savagely murdering ten women. Even locked up in a maximum security prison, he vowed he would come after her and make her pay. Now the cunning killer has escaped—and the most dangerous game of all begins....

After a lifetime of fear, Tess will do something she's never done before. She's going to learn to protect her daughter and fight back, with the help of a burned-out ex-marine. As the largest manhunt four states have ever seen mobilizes to catch Beckett, the clock winds down to the terrifying reunion between husband and wife. And Tess knows that this time, her only choices are to kill—or be killed.
Lisa Gardner is the New York Times bestselling author of thirteen novels. Her Detective D. D. Warren novels include Live to Tell, Hide, Alone, and The Neighbor, winner of the International Thriller Writers’ Award. Her FBI Profiler novels include Say Goodbye, Gone, The Killing Hour, The Next Accident, and The Third Victim. She lives wit...
Title:The Perfect Husband: An Fbi Profiler NovelFormat:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:432 pages, 6.88 × 4.15 × 1.17 inPublished:December 1, 1997Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0553576801

ISBN - 13:9780553576801

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Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointing #plumreview I have read several books by this author and have always enjoyed the plot and characters. I have always given them good reviews. Unfortunately, this book wasn’t as good as I expected. The characters weren’t has well written and I didn’t really connect with any of them. The plot was interesting but quite gruesome. I was disappointed in the ending.
Date published: 2018-01-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Lisa Gardner created an absolutely horrifying villain with Jim Beckett. The idea that he's a dangerous, disgusting killer that could pass as the handsome, polite gentleman on the street is a nightmare. And he's a cop, too! Noooo thank you. J. T. and Tess are opposites. J. T. is very much an alpha male, who is sensitive deep down, while Tess is an abused housewife, who learns how to find her inner strength and stand on her own. Their bond is one built on the unfortunate amount of tragedies they've had to endure throughout their lives. Their relationship progresses pretty quickly, but the intensity of their situation tends to lend to a passionate relationship. I had some problems with the two prominent female characters (Tess and J. T.'s sister Marion) making rash decisions that, in their eyes, were brave. Both of these decisions caused a lot of unnecessary, and often, deadly, shit to happen and I disliked that these were supposed to better or strengthen their characters. BE SMARTER PLEASE.
Date published: 2017-09-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A good read A good suspenseful page turner which will keep you reading and awake into the wee hours.
Date published: 2017-06-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A good read overall I did really like this book. It kept me interested and I read it within a couple of days, but the relationship between Tess and J.T. was weird. Also, after all this build up through the whole story, the ending seemed kind of rushed.
Date published: 2017-02-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Extremely Good How do you cope when the unthinkable happens? The tough get going and that is what happens in this bang-up novel by Lisa Gardner. She is a terrific writer along the lines of Tami Hoag and can certainly be compared to her if you like that line of suspense/thriller. Found this to be a book that kept me up into the night and there are twists and turns as well, some quite shocking. Enjoy.
Date published: 2017-02-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Perfect Husband One of the best suspense stories I've ever read. Keeps you on the end of your seat till the end. The psychopathic killer is something. He outdoes the police every time and we just keep hoping till the end that they'll catch him. This is a 5 star book. Great suspense story. All the characters are interesting. Lisa Gardner sure knows how to keep you on the edge of your seat until the end. A great page turner.
Date published: 2015-03-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Perfect Husband One of this author's better books in my opinion. I enjoyed how the book portrayed Tess and her development into a stronger woman despite or perhaps because of her relationship with J.T. I certainly didn't see it coming when Marion (J.T.'s sister) walked out into the street and was shot, I had expected a better resolution for her issues but it added to the plot so I guess the author knew what she was doing.
Date published: 2014-08-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Perfect Husband As always, she's outstanding. Couldn't put the book down. I have read all of her books. Suspenseful, thrilling, hold your breath.
Date published: 2014-08-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Perfect Husband This was the first Lisa Gardner book I ever read...and I have been hooked ever since. Twists and turns keep you turning the pages long into the night. Always eagerly awaiting the next book to get lost in!
Date published: 2014-08-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Perfect Husband Awesome. One of the best. Read the D.D. Warren series first though which means I knew a little more of the three characters ut still awesome.
Date published: 2014-01-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Perfect Husband I really enjoyed this book, it was the first book I've read but the author. The story gripped me and I couldn't put it down, which wasn't so good when I had to get up for work the next day!
Date published: 2014-01-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Perfect Husband Good book, well written, couldn't put it down
Date published: 2014-01-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Perfect Husband Great book, couldn't put it down.
Date published: 2014-01-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Perfect Husband I loved this book......could not put it down, turning page after page. It introduces so many characters and you really get involved with them. Only thing bad about it is it ended too soon but I am looking forward to reading all of Lisa Gardner's other books now. I like books that get straight into the nitty gritty of it....not messing around...and this does that, the story begins straight away!
Date published: 2014-01-22
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Terrible This was the first book that I had read by this author and after reading this one I won't be reading another one. There was very little suspense and was gruesome .The author is no Harlan Coben.
Date published: 2006-06-14
Rated 2 out of 5 by from A disappointment I found this book very boring. The Jim Beckett part was good, the sister/brother part boring. The characters aren't very likable. Read the Other Daughter if you want a great book.
Date published: 2006-02-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent This is the only book that has absolutely scared me. The best suspense novel I have ever read
Date published: 2005-08-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from OK I had read her other book, The Other Daughter. I really liked the other one, this one I just read because I hate to stop reading a book in the middle. This was not as good as her other one.
Date published: 2001-02-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Can't put it down I love this book! I have read it more than once and I am always finding that I can't put it down. I just want to read it more and more. It keeps you in suspence and the action just keeps going. Keeps you on the edge of you seat :)
Date published: 2001-01-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Perfect Husband This is Gardner’s first novel, and while it has a few spelling mistakes, it is the best suspense novel I have ever read. It is the story of Tess, a woman who sent her serial killer husband to prison. When he escapes, she must learn to protect herself from her ex and the revenge he is seeking. I recommend this book to fans of Tami Hoag and Iris Johansen. An extremely exciting and nerve-wracking book that will keep you up at night.
Date published: 2000-01-26

Read from the Book

Tess Williams awoke as she'd learned to awaken--slowly, degree by degree, so that she reached consciousness without ever giving herself away.  First her ears woke up, seeking out the sound of another person breathing.  Next, her skin prickled to life, searching for the burning length of her husband's body pressed against her back.  Finally, when her ears registered no sound and her skin found her alone in her bed, her eyes opened, going automatically to the closet and checking the small wooden chair she'd jammed beneath the doorknob in the middle of the night.The chair was still in place.  She released the breath she'd been holding and sat up.  The empty room was already bright with mid-morning sun, the adobe walls golden and cheery.  The air was hot.  Her T-shirt stuck to her back, but maybe the sweat came from nightmares that never quite went away.  She'd once liked mornings.  They were difficult for her now, but not as difficult as night, when she would lie there and try to force her eyes to give up their vigilant search of shadows in favor of sleep.You made it, she told herself.  You actually made it.For the last two years she'd been running, clutching her four-year-old daughter's hand and trying to convince Samantha that everything would be all right.  She'd picked up aliases like decorative accessories and new addresses like spare parts.  But she'd never really escaped.  Late at night, she would sit at the edge of her daughter's bed, stroking Samantha's golden hair, and stare at the closet with fatalistic eyes.She knew just what kind of monsters hid in the closet.  She had seen the crime scene photos of what they could do.  Three weeks ago, her personal monster had broken out of a maximum security prison by beating two guards to death in under two minutes.Tess had called Lieutenant Lance Difford.  He'd called Vince.  The wheels were set in motion.  Tess Williams had hidden Samantha safely away, then she had traveled as far as she could travel.  Then she had traveled some more.First, she'd taken the train, and the train had taken her through New England fields of waving grass and industrial sectors of twisted metal.  Then she'd caught a plane, flying over everything as if that would help her forget and covering so many miles she left behind even fall and returned to summer.Landing in Phoenix was like arriving in a moon crater: everything was red, dusty, and bordered by distant blue mountains.  She'd never seen palms; here roads were lined with them.  She'd never seen cactus; here they covered the land like an encroaching army.The bus had only moved her farther into alien terrain.  The red hills had disappeared, the sun had gained fury.  Signs for cities had been replaced by signs reading STATE PRISON IN AREA.  DO NOT STOP FOR HITCHHIKERS.The reds and browns had seeped away until the bus rolled through sun-baked amber and bleached-out greens.  The mountains no longer followed like kindly grandfathers.  In this strange, harsh land of southern Arizona, even the hills were tormented, flayed alive methodically by mining trucks and bulldozers.It was the kind of land where you really did expect to turn and see the OK Corral.  The kind of land where lizards were beautiful and coyotes cute.  The kind of land where the hothouse rose died and the prickly cactus lived.It was perfect.Tess climbed out of bed.  She moved slowly.  Her right leg was stiff and achy, the jagged scar twitching with ghost pains.  Her left wrist throbbed, ringed by a harsh circle of purple bruises.  She could tell it wasn't anything serious--her father had taught her a lot about broken bones.  As things went in her life these days, a bruised wrist was the least of her concerns.She turned her attention to the bed.She made it without thinking, tucking the corners tightly and smoothing the covers with military precision.I want to be able to bounce a quarter off that bed, Theresa.  Youth is no excuse for sloppiness.  You must always seek to improve.She caught herself folding back the edge of the sheet over the light blanket and dug her fingertips into her palms.  In a deliberate motion, she ripped off the blanket and dumped it on the floor."I will not make the bed this morning," she stated to the empty room.  "I choose not to make the bed."She wouldn't clean anymore either, or wash dishes or scrub floors.  She remembered too well the scent of ammonia as she rubbed down the windows, the doorknobs, the banisters.  She'd found the pungent odor friendly, a deep-clean sort of scent.This is my house, and not only does it look clean, but it smells clean.Once, when she'd taken the initiative to rub down the window casings with ammonia, Jim had even complimented her.  She'd beamed at him, married one year, already eight months pregnant and as eager as a lap dog for his sparing praise.Later, Lieutenant Difford had explained to her how ammonia was one of the few substances that rid surfaces of fingerprints.Now she couldn't smell ammonia without feeling ill.Her gaze was drawn back to the bed, the rumpled sheets, the covers tossed and wilted on the floor.  For a moment, the impulse, the sheer need to make that bed--and make it right because she had to seek to improve herself, you should always seek to improve--nearly overwhelmed her.  Sweat beaded her upper lip.  She fisted her hands to keep them from picking up the blankets."Don't give in.  He messed with your mind, Tess, but that's done now.  You belong to yourself and you are tough.  You won, dammit.  You won."The words didn't soothe her.  She crossed to the bureau to retrieve her gun from her purse.  Only at the last minute did she remember that the .22 had fallen on the patio.J.T. Dillon had it now.She froze.  She had to have her gun.  She ate with her gun, slept with her gun, walked with her gun.  She couldn't be weaponless.  Defenseless, vulnerable, weak.Oh God.  Her breathing accelerated, her stomach plummeted, and her head began to spin.  She walked the edge of the anxiety attack, feeling the shakes and knowing that she either found solid footing now or plunged into the abyss.Breathe, Tess, breathe.  But the friendly desert air kept flirting with her lungs.  She bent down and forcefully caught a gulp by her knees, squeezing her eyes shut."Can I walk you home?"She was startled.  "You mean me?"  She hugged her school books more tightly against her Mt. Greylock High sweater.  She couldn't believe the police officer was addressing her.  She was not the sort of girl handsome young men addressed."No," he teased lightly.  "I'm talking to the grass."  He pushed himself away from the tree, his smile unfurling to reveal two charming dimples.  All the girls in her class talked of those dimples, dreamed of those dimples.  "You're Theresa Matthews, right?"She nodded stupidly.  She should move.  She knew she should move.  She was already running late for the store and her father did not tolerate tardiness.She remained standing there, staring at this young man's handsome face.  He looked so strong.  A man of the law.  A man of integrity?  For one moment she found herself thinking, If I told you everything, would you save me?  Would somebody please save me?"Well, Theresa Matthews, I'm Officer Beckett.  Jim Beckett.  ""I know.  " Her gaze fell to the grass.  "Everyone knows who you are.""May I walk you home, Theresa Matthews?  Would you allow me the privilege?"She remained uncertain, too overwhelmed to speak.  Her father would kid her.  Only promiscuous young women, evil women, enticed men to walk them home.  But she didn't want to send Jim Beckett away.  She didn't know what to do.He leaned over and winked at her.  His blue eyes were so clear, so calm.  So steady."Come on Theresa, I'm a cop.  If you can't trust me, who can you trust?""I won," she muttered by her knees.  "Dammit, I won!"  But she wanted to cry.  She'd won, but the victory remained hollow, the price too high.  He'd done things to her that never should have been done.  He'd taken things from her that she couldn't afford to lose.  Even now, he was still in her head.Someday soon, he would kill her.  He'd promised to cut out her still-beating heart, and Jim always did what he said.She forced her head up.  She took a deep breath.  She pressed her fists against her thighs.  "Fight, Tess.  It's all you have left."She pushed away from the dresser and moved to her suitcase, politely brought to her room by Freddie.  She'd made it here, step one of her plan.  Next, she had to get J.T. to agree to train her.  Dimly, she remembered mentioning her daughter to him.  That had been a mistake.  Never tell them more than you have to, never tell the truth if a lie will suffice.Maybe J.T. wouldn't remember.  He hadn't seemed too sober.  Vincent should've warned her about his drinking.She didn't know much about J.T.  Vince had said J.T. was the kind of man who could do anything he wanted to, but who didn't seem to want to do much.  He'd been raised in a wealthy, well-connected family in Virginia, attended West Point, but then left for reasons unknown and joined the Marines.  Then he'd left the Marines and struck out solo, rapidly earning a reputation for a fearlessness bordering on insanity.  As a mercenary, he'd drifted toward doing the impossible and been indifferent to anything less.  He hated politics, loved women.  He was fanatical about fulfilling his word and noncommittal about everything else.Five years ago, he'd up and left the mercenary business without explanation.  Like the prodigal son, he'd returned to Virginia and in a sudden flurry of unfathomable activity, he'd married, adopted a child, and settled down in the suburbs as if all along he'd really been a shoe salesman.  Later, a sixteen-year-old with a new Camaro and even newer license had killed J.T.'s wife and son in a head-on collision.And J.T. had disappeared to Arizona.She hadn't expected him to be drinking.  She hadn't expected him to still appear so strong.  She'd pictured him as being older, maybe soft and overripe around the middle, a man who'd once been in his prime but now was melting around the edges.  Instead, he'd smelled of tequila.  His body had been toned and hard.  He'd moved fast, pinning her without any effort.  He had black hair, covering his head, his arms, his chest.Jim had had no hair, not on head, not on his body.  He'd been completely hairless, smooth as marble.  Like a swimmer, she'd thought, and only later understood the full depth of her naivetÚ.  Jim's touch had always been cold and dry, as if he was too perfect for such things as sweat.  The first time she'd heard him urinate, she'd felt a vague sense of surprise; he gave the impression of being above such basic biological functions.Jim had been perfect.  Mannequin perfect.  If only she'd held that thought longer.She'd stick with J.T. Dillon.  He'd once saved orphans.  He'd been married and had a child.  He'd destroyed things for money.  He sounded skilled, he appeared dangerous.For her purposes, he would do.And if helping her cost J.T. Dillon too much?She already knew the answer, she'd spent years coming to terms with it.Sometimes, she did wish she was sixteen again.  She'd been a normal girl, once.  She'd dreamed of a white knight who would rescue her.  Someone who would never hit her.  Someone who would hold her close and tell her she was finally safe.Now, she remembered the feel of her finger tightening around the trigger.  The pull of the trigger, the jerk of the trigger, the roar of the gun and the ringing in her ears.The acrid smell of gunpowder and the hoarse sound of Jim's cry.  The thud of his body falling down.  The raw scent of fresh blood pooling on her carpet.She remembered these things.And she knew she could do anything.

From Our Editors

Jim Beckett was everything she'd ever dreamed of in a man and a husband. But two years after Tess married the decorated cop and bore his child, she helped put him behind bars for savagely murdering 10 women. Even locked up in a maximum security prison, he vowed he would come after her and make her pay. Now the cunning killer has escaped--and the most dangerous and terrifying game of all is about to begin. Original.

Editorial Reviews

"A streamlined bang-up addition to the oeuvre of Tami Hoag, Karen Robards, Elizabeth Powell and, these days, even Nora Roberts." —Publishers Weekly"A dark, powerful tale of nerve-shattering suspense."—Tami Hoag"A chilling story of revenge and betrayal, with one of the creepiest villains I've ever read."—Iris Johansen, author of The Ugly Duckling"An unforgettably evil villain and a throat-gripping climax make The Perfect Husband a real page-turner!"—Tess Gerritsen, author of Harvest"I loved this book! I was up till 2 a.m. finishing it!"—Karen Robards, author of Walking After Midnight and Hunter's Moon"Nail-biting suspense...a taut roller coaster of a story that kept me up very, very late."—Kay Hooper, author of Amanda and After Caroline"A superlative read, with vivid characters, faultless procedure, and a villain who will whisper in the dark evertime you turn off the light."—Eileen Dreyer, author of Brain Dead

Employee Review

FROM: The Best Book I Have Ever ReadThis is Gardner's first novel, and while it has a few spelling mistakes, it is the best suspense novel I have ever read. It is the story of Tess, a woman who sent her serial killer husband to prison. When he escapes, she must learn to protect herself from her ex and the revenge he is seeking. I recommend this book to fans of Tami Hoag and Iris Johansen. An extremely exciting and nerve-wracking book that will keep you up at night.