Voodoo Doll

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  • Paperback
  • 306 pages
  • Voodoo Doll
  • Leah Giarratano
  • English
  • 21 March 2019
  • 1863256148

About the Author: Leah Giarratano

Dr Leah Giarratano has had a long career as a clinical psychologist Her professional background offers a unique selling point in this genre and gives an authenticity to her writing Leah is an expert in psychological trauma, sex offences and psychopathology and has had many years assessing psychopaths and treating their victims She has worked in psychiatric hospitals, with the defence force, and in the corrections system with offenders who suffer severe personality disorders She has assessed and treated survivors of just about every imaginable psychological trauma, including hostages war veterans rape, assault and accident victims and has worked with police, fire and ambulance officers In 2009 Leah began her television career, presenting Channel 7 s top rating Beyond the Darklands program, on which Leah was the expert psychologist who delved into the psyche of Australia s most fearsome criminals.


Voodoo DollA Year Since The Death Of The Man Who Abducted Her, Sergeant Jill Jackson Has Been Promoted And Is Stronger Than She S Been In Years But With The Promotion Comes A Transfer To A Taskforce Targeting Gang Related Home Invasions In South Western Sydney, A New Partner, A Whole New Team To Work With, And Some Of The Grisliest Cases Jill S Ever EncounteredThe Gang Is Believed To Be Responsible For At Least Five Brutal Home Invasions Over The Past Two Months, With The Most Recent Culminating In A Vicious Machete Attack That Has Left One Of The Victims CrippledWhen The Violence Escalates To Murder, Suddenly Jill And The Team Find Themselves Hunting A Psychopath, And Delving Into The Pasts Of Victims And Witnesses In A Race Against Time To Uncover What Links Them To The KillerThe Thrilling Follow Up To Her Bestselling Debut, Vodka Doesn T Freeze, Voodoo Doll Will Have You Double Checking The Locks On Your Doors

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10 thoughts on “Voodoo Doll

  1. Brenda says:

    Very enjoyable book A bit cringe worthy in places but definitely worth the read Loved the mention of areas that I ve been to, and knew quite well, so it was easy to visualize where events were taking place I think I ll have to read Vodka doesn t freeze which is the book prior to this one Voodoo Doll was recommended to me by my library lady

  2. K.L. Joy says:

    Another book to lose sleep over Literally Stayed up all night reading, in the dark, alone, a little frightened, heart racing Ahhh the simple joys in life.

  3. Bree T says:

    After the events in Vodka Doesn t Freeze and her part in bringing down the pedophile ring, Jill Jackson is promoted and that leads to her being invited to work on a task force based out of Liverpool in south western Sydney A fish out of water, far from her comfort base of Maroubra on the other side of Sydney, Jill also has to meet a whole group of new colleagues and also adjust to having a new partner Her old partner Scotty she d come to trust but Jill doesn t trust people easily and she s fee After the events in Vodka Doesn t Freeze and her part in bringing down the pedophile ring, Jill Jackson is promoted and that leads to her being invited to work on a task force based out of Liverpool in south western Sydney A fish out of water, far from her comfort base of Maroubra on the other side of Sydney, Jill also has to meet a whole group of new colleagues and also adjust to having a new partner Her old partner Scotty she d come to trust but Jill doesn t trust people easily and she s feeling the strain of having to meet and become involved with new people.The task force has been established to apprehend a gang who are subjecting Sydney to home invasions, each onevicious and violent than the last Originally victims were tied up and guarded whilst other members looted the house, then victims were subjected to bashings and cuttings The last home invasion has led to someone being carried out in two body bags, hacked to pieces by the sadistic leader and the pressure is on from the media and the public for the task force to find this gang and bring them all to justice so that residents can feel safe again.In a task force numbering five including the senior officer in charge, Jill is paired with Gabriel Delahunt, a Federal Investigation Officer who specialises in interrogation techniques Despite her past leading her to usually distance herself, even professionally, from people, she finds herself working well with Delahunt and even relaxing around him, something that is almost unheard of for her Her usual strict exercise regime has slipped too, since putting some childhood demons to rest and she finds herself mellowing out inways than one, feeling safer in herself than she has since the fateful day long ago that changed her life forever.It isn t long until the task force is given a name to investigate via an anonymous tip off to the hotline set up for the public to call with information They know who they re looking for, they know his violent past and his connection inadvertent to one of the victims of the home invasions Can the task force find him before he goes after the one person that knows who he is and that he is the one behind these vicious crimes Or will he act out his sadistic need to cut on yet another victim before the police can intervene I always know when I open one of these novels that I m going to be squirming in my seat occasionally They deal with some pretty ugly topics the first being pedophilia, this one being a vicious gangster who likes to slice and dice both himself and others for his sexual pleasure but I also know I m going to get a brilliantly executed story They re compelling, exciting and make you confront theseedier parts of the Australian crime underbelly Giarratano is a criminal psychologist who has worked with both victims and criminals and clearly knows what she s talking about when it comes to portraying both in her novels.Jill experiences some real character growth from the previous novel to this one she s still quiet and socially awkward, reluctant to get close to people and let her guard down but she seems to find herself doing it anyway And no one issurprised than she is when she finds herself doing things like eating meals with her new work partner in her apartment soon after they meet and relaxing enough in his home that she finds herself drifting off to sleep Completely unheard of for her in the past She slikable in this book as she starts to soften up a bit and becomethan just a victim who lives a strict life of control and order in order to feel like she is running her own life However she s bemused and sometimes a bit concerned by these changes within herself, rather than comfortable with them so I m not sure how long they ll last and if she ll continue to relax in further novels I think part of her appeal as a different sort of protagonist is that she is disturbed and still traumatised from her terrible childhood event which makes her instincts honed to a fine point and makes her the cop she is I wouldn t like to see her change so much that she s just like everyone else because her spiky and neurotic character contribute to what makes these novels exceptional.When I first read that this book saw Jill departing to another station with her promotion I felt a bit ripped off because I had come to really like her partner Scotty from Vodka Doesn t Freeze but I was pleased to find Scotty does still pop up here and there and that I also really enjoyed the addition of Gabriel Delahunt, the Fed with a tragedy in his own past He and Jill certainly made a formidable team and it was nice to see them slipping into comfortable roles with each other rather than us getting a whole book of them being awkward and polite while they got to know each other I find myself hoping that Delahunt reappears in future books and we get to spend sometime getting into his head.As always the villain was suitably skin crawling and made me think about making sure my doors were securely locked at night, even though I was reading this in the broad light of day I think that I d have been a bit of a sook if I d been reading this late at night, home on my own while the husband was still at work I m not usually scared in books but I have to admit some of the ideas in this book were quite uncomfortable the ease with which the gang broke into houses and assaulted the occupants was disturbing to say the least.I have the next book in this series, Black Ice which from the title is about drugs, at a guess on my shelf to read at some stage during this month as well Reading Voodoo Doll and then Black Ice will also knock two titles off my TBR pile that have been there for some time so I m happy to be moving books from that shelf to the already read pile

  4. Nada says:

    The crimes in the novel were vicious and the main perpetrator not only vicious but completely insane It was gruesome and the author successfully illustrated this through her writing Although the ending was not completely unexpected it was still exciting.

  5. Susan says:

    I preferred Leah Giarratano s first novel, but this was still good It s great to reading a book set in the area you know So used to American settings that you get used to not knowing the references, so enjoyed it all thejust because it was set in Sydney Australia

  6. Kylie Cosgrave says:

    Took me a bit to get into but got hooked after a bit I enjoyed the style of writing really got what the characters were thinking feeling Took me a bit to get into but got hooked after a bit I enjoyed the style of writing really got what the characters were thinking feeling

  7. Karen says:

    Synopsis Sergeant Jill Jackson has been promoted and is stronger than she s ever been But with the promotion comes a transfer to a taskforce targeting gang related home invasions in south western Sydney, a new partner, a whole new team to work with, and some of the grisliest cases Jill s ever encountered.The gang is believed to be responsible for at least five brutal home invasions over the past two months, with the most recent culminating in a vicious machete attack that has left one of the v Synopsis Sergeant Jill Jackson has been promoted and is stronger than she s ever been But with the promotion comes a transfer to a taskforce targeting gang related home invasions in south western Sydney, a new partner, a whole new team to work with, and some of the grisliest cases Jill s ever encountered.The gang is believed to be responsible for at least five brutal home invasions over the past two months, with the most recent culminating in a vicious machete attack that has left one of the victims crippled.Review VOODOO DOLL is the second book featuring Jill Jackson the first, VODKA DOESN T FREEZE is a worthy nominee on the Best First Crime Fiction novel list for 2008 VODKA DOESN T FREEZE explored very graphically the impact of child abuse, VOODOO DOLL takes us into the violent world of the psychopath.Joss is a Veteran of the Australian Armed Forces he was a bit of a handful as a boy got into a fair bit of trouble He s since done some harrowing tours of duty including one that haunts him still in Rwanda, he saw a lot of things that have left him shattered and emotionally distraught But nothing affects him like the night he is a guest at a party in a house that is invaded by armed thugs one in an increasingly escalating round of violent and horrifying home invasions Joss is one step ahead of the police though because he recognised one of the invaders The problem is that one of the invaders recognised Joss.Jill Jackson has been promoted and transferred from the Maroubra Station out to the task force working on the home invasion case She s coping really well, although she s annoyed and disappointed that she won t be working with Scotty any, and she s a bit scared by the new situation and new colleagues Jill is a lot stronger than she was in the first book, despite being scared and a bit stressed out by the change in circumstances she s coping With her new partner Federal Policeman Gabriel Delahunt, also an outsider, they are immediately thrown into the task of finding this gang of home invaders.There s such a lot to like about VOODOO DOLL it s hard to know where to start So the obvious Jill Jackson was very damaged, very fragile in the first book She s still damaged but she s not as fragile, she s moving on with her life in this one This improvement is not overdone or wrongly pitched, there s a demonstrable understanding of the emotional state of a woman like Jill that shines through in this author s writing It s not surprising there s the understanding but the author has written that understanding with a pitch perfect touch, never overstating the improvement, never underplaying Jill s emotional state There are also some interesting new characters Joss is fascinating, despite everything he has been through in his life up until now, the threat to his wife and daughter causes a reaction which could have been expected or is unexpected, depending upon how you d think it is normal to react in a situation like that Regardless of whether you understand, or agree with his reaction you have to give the man points for determination And guts And the villain of the piece Henry In so many ways he s a victim in his own right, and the difference between he and Joss is used in a clever way, in a way that really highlights how triggers set off a different pattern of behaviour in everyone but a pattern that can dictate how your life will go from here.Dr Leah Giarratano is a clinical psychologist An expert in psychological trauma, sex offences and psychopathology, she has had many years experience working with victims and psychopaths She has worked in psychiatric hospitals, with the Australian Defence Force, and in corrective services She also writes a novel which is obviously heavily influenced by her own knowledge, experience and by a real truth in the story that she tells But she tells it as a story, she is developing a real gift in writing a story that is shocking, that is confronting but is also enlightening and just that bit uplifting

  8. Elusive says:

    In Voodoo Doll , Jill has been promoted and subsequently transferred and is partnered with Gabriel to solve a string of home invasions Apart from catching the perpetrators, she finds herself attracted to Gabriel and thinking of Scott.The author did a good job in writing about the villain, Henry He was evidently a very disturbing person, one who gets off on violence and lacks empathy There s plenty of background given on him, involving his grandfather and this helps in understanding what made In Voodoo Doll , Jill has been promoted and subsequently transferred and is partnered with Gabriel to solve a string of home invasions Apart from catching the perpetrators, she finds herself attracted to Gabriel and thinking of Scott.The author did a good job in writing about the villain, Henry He was evidently a very disturbing person, one who gets off on violence and lacks empathy There s plenty of background given on him, involving his grandfather and this helps in understanding what made Henry the ruthless killer that he became However, the old story about Fuzzy was repeated a couple of times throughout the book and that was completely unnecessary I also found it ridiculous that one of the victims, Joss who knew Henry and vice versa had his life spared What s the logic in that It makes sense to eliminate witnesses, evenso if they know your identity and you know that they know That nonsensical aspect sort of cheapened the process of solving the crimes.Joss reason for not immediately alerting the police was understandable but again, stupid He s the victim and the police would offer protection of some sort While the home invasions were interesting coupled with a well written villain, those little things ruined what could have otherwise been a good crime story Things have to make sense unless there s a twisted explanation there wasn t Besides that, I found the romance element hinted between Jill and Gabriel to be pointless More focus on the crime would be better rather than some strange love triangle in which the two guys seem quite similar There are also constant reminders about Jill s past That happened in the first book and being repeated several times again is really exasperating I know, I know, Jill is supposed to be this tough heroine with a morbid past and now works out regularly it doesn t matter to me The good thing is, the book is a very quick read and it s easy to keep turning the pages because of the author s writing style It s simple and flows well for the most part.Overall, it was a decent book though I think the epilogue could have been omitted

  9. Carol says:

    I met the author at a talk earlier in the year I had my books ready to sign, we talked about the grisly nature of this book, she knew I was only just starting to read these types of novels, so she said to me don t read this one home alone in the dark I thought surely it can t be that bad I left this one until now to started reading I sat down, it was night, I had a few lights on, the doors were locked and I started to read I was getting into the book, that type of a read where you just can I met the author at a talk earlier in the year I had my books ready to sign, we talked about the grisly nature of this book, she knew I was only just starting to read these types of novels, so she said to me don t read this one home alone in the dark I thought surely it can t be that bad I left this one until now to started reading I sat down, it was night, I had a few lights on, the doors were locked and I started to read I was getting into the book, that type of a read where you just can t turn the pages fast enough I m devouring all the words, and then there is a noise at the front door the dogs run to the door barking, they haven t heard the car pull up, I jump and in walks my husband looks at the freaked out look on my face as says what I say you should read this book, it s freaking me out I turned to the dedication from Leah which says Carol, lock your doors I immediately put it away and think, I m going to have to finish reading this in the daylight while sitting in my happy place the chocolate lounge, cause surely nothing bad could happen surrounded by all that yummy chocolate Right The book is set throughout parts of Sydney Jill is newly promoted and seconded to a task force based in Liverpool She is on board to help solve a series of home invasions that are escalating Her new partner Gabriel has had experience in interviewing and together they go over old ground looking for new leads I think because the areas in the book are familiar, Liverpool, Capital Hill, Ryde, Balmain it makes this book that muchreal I m reading about places I know, not about places I haven t been or even heard of The main bad character is a very very bad person and you wouldn t want to come across him cause he will scare the living day lights out of you Thank goodness for Jill and her new partner Gabriel, as they solve the crime, go after the baddie and making the pages safe for us to read Phew Loved it and now for a happy book or two before getting into Black Ice.

  10. Book Addict Shaun says:

    A while ago I was searching for crime fiction set in Australia when I discovered an author called Leah Giarratano I eagerly downloaded the first book in this series called Vodka Doesn t Freeze and had it read after just a few sittings It was probably one of the strongest and most enjoyable crime fiction debuts I have read After finishing this, book number two in the Jill Jackson series I am kicking myself for not having read it sooner This is crime fiction with a psychological element which A while ago I was searching for crime fiction set in Australia when I discovered an author called Leah Giarratano I eagerly downloaded the first book in this series called Vodka Doesn t Freeze and had it read after just a few sittings It was probably one of the strongest and most enjoyable crime fiction debuts I have read After finishing this, book number two in the Jill Jackson series I am kicking myself for not having read it sooner This is crime fiction with a psychological element which for me is the absolute best kind Leah has created one hell of a character in Jill Jackson and I think she s great She is written excellently and believably which makes the book so much better than if she was just another bland detective that any old author could be writing about This time she finds herself promoted with a transfer to a taskforce targeting gang related home invasions on south western Sydney Oddly she finds herself working in Liverpool which was confusing for me as I live in Liverpool, UK which I imagine is a million miles away from the Liverpool here Read the rest of the review on my blog