Pieces

Adult
Rated 4.63/5 based on 16 reviews
Angelique isn’t a killer, not truly—but witnessing the murder of her best friend and discovering that the killer’s identity is missing from her memory sends her moral compass spinning wildly out of control. She must remember-before Det. Ben Marsden learns that the person behind the city’s string of bizarre killings, and the woman he's fallen helplessly in love with, are one and the same.

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About Julia Dudek

Julia Dudek lives with her fiance and two wonderful children in New Jersey. She graduated from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey with a degree in Historical Studies, and from Monmouth University with a Master of Arts in Teaching.

Julia has received numerous awards for her writing while in college, most notably The Ignie LaFluer Endowed Scholarship Award for her short story, “The Color of Homage.” Pieces, her first novel, spent multiple months as a best-selling thriller on Smashwords. Falling in Two is the sequel to Pieces, and Julia is currently working on another stand-alone project to be released next year.

Julia has been a professional writer for twelve years, and currently writes marketing content for an engineering firm when she's not writing fiction. You can follow her on Twitter @JuliaDudek.

Also by This Author

Reviews

Review by: Mirella Banfi on Oct. 18, 2011 :
Dark and interesting, I recommend it.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Michele on Sep. 27, 2011 :
Pathetic
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Donna D. on Aug. 11, 2011 :
While many mystery and suspense novels are just the same stories being told and retold, it isn't often I come across a novel that does something so "original". Dudek takes a dark new approach to the "forbidden love story" with a colorful and fluid writing style that paints every scene in vivid detail. I absolutely could not put it down. Emotional, vibrant, tragic and beautiful. A stunning piece, and I look forward to the sequel.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Mike Gill on Oct. 16, 2010 :
Overall a good book and worth the read. The whole "beauty queen genius" befriends "hard-working and struggling wall flower" was a little too much stretch for me. Still worth the read, though.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: phyreskull on July 13, 2010 :
Very well-written book. I'm definitely looking forward to a sequel. Absolutely flawless and highly recommended!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Angeldove on May 29, 2010 :
Great book, intriguing!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Wordy Bob on April 23, 2010 :
Pieces was a great book. The story was quite intriguing and original. I can't wait to read the sequel!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: The1silverwolf on Jan. 31, 2010 :
Fantastic book. First class writing. I couldn't stop reading. Now I can't wait for the sequel!!! If you are considering buying this book do yourself a favor and get it now!
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: amelia bruszewski on Jan. 27, 2010 :
I couldn't put this bookdown. It almost cost me my job. This has the most suspenseful storyline. I am at awe with this writer and it leaves me wanting more.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Dan Fitzpatrick on Jan. 18, 2010 :
In one of the best ‘vengeance’ stories I have ever read, Julia Dudek introduces us to the fascinating, yet haunting life of Angelique McCourt; a beautiful, intelligent first year med student who has spent her life dealing with issues of self-esteem due to her extensive photographic memory. After initially struggling with the rigors of a new life; a new home, a new roommate, and the overwhelming feeling of being a ‘cheater’, Angelique witnesses the brutal murder of her best friend. Now she is faced with a challenge that has never been bestowed upon her – although the only witness to the heinous crime, she loses her biggest asset … her memory, which inhibits her ability to identify the killer. Unable to help the lovesick Detective Ben Mardsen track the killer, Angelique must now face the demons of her own subconscious and start her own lethal investigation in order to bring her memory back, and bring her best friend’s killer to justice.

One of the greatest strengths a writer can have is the ability to bring the book to life. It’s important to find a way to enable the reader to become part of the story and actually feel like they’re a part of it. Julia Dudek makes this happen brilliantly in her debut novel. Her attention to detail is some of the best I’ve ever read. It’s unfortunate that this story has a final page because I can’t remember the last time I read a book that I didn’t want to end ... eventually. This is the type of story that completely sucks you in to the point where you can actually feel the emotions of all the characters, both main and supporting - the love, the hate, the anger, the humor, the mental anguish, the sadness, and even the need for vengeance after a brutal attack on a loved one.

Julia is a wonderful story teller and her writing is nothing short of extraordinary. If you only have a few dollars left in your pocket and you really feel the need to buy something … buy this book. You won’t regret it. 5 huge stars for Julia Dudek’s debut novel, ‘Pieces’.


Dan Fitzpatrick (aka, The Visionchild)
Author of Vision Evan’s Book and VisionII: The Black Skull
www.dansvisionproductions.com
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Erica Kirwan on Jan. 02, 2010 :
Gripping, jaw-dropping, intense...this book totally lived up to its reviews and more! Incredible!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Jason G on Jan. 02, 2010 :
This story of Angelique, the gifted yet misguided medical student turned reluctant martyr and killer, is one that is riveting and quite accessible. It's extremely well written, and the characters are well-drawn and easy to identify with. A detailed and mature story unfolds as you get to know Angelique, her ill-fated friend, and the complicated love interest that is beautifully crafted and executed. The author has done her homework, and Angelique's weapon is a fascinating construct like nothing ever seen in popular literature. Five stars for a very satisfying and interesting novel that's grounded in the human experiences of self-discovery, grief, vengeance, confusion, and joy.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Ruth Ann Nordin on Dec. 06, 2009 :
From the description of the book and the prologue, I thought this book was going to begin after Angelique (Angie) McCourt's best friend died and she went on a mission to discover the missing pieces of the puzzle so she could identify the killer. But the story doesn't begin at that moment. It begins with Angie starting med school. Angie is perfect. She has a perfect memory and is gorgeous. In the beginning, she comes off as someone who thinks she's too good for everyone else. I figured that the story would show the evolution of Angie from someone who's "perfect" to becoming human--and I was right.

The process of how that came to be was entertaining. It starts when she finally opens up to her roommate, Bernadette Scott, who is pretty much the opposite of Angie. It turns out they complement each other and become best friends. This was actually very interesting for me to read, but I felt sad when Bernadette died. It's hard for me to get attached to a character and watch them die. But this leads Angie on her quest to remember who the killer was, because she saw him murder her friend--it's just that the image is blurry in her mind.

What I liked most about this book was the evolution of Angie. It was an interesting journey she took as she sunk into the mind of a serial killer bent on revenge. The process was slow and the more "pieces" of the puzzle she got, the deeper she sank into the dark part of her mind. Parts of it had me on the edge of my seat, so that is always a plus. And I didn't expect the ending. I'd say this book takes a look at the good and bad that all of us possess. It was very well done. Oh, and the writing was excellent. This was flawlessly edited.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Kristina Forde-Lynch on Dec. 04, 2009 :
A psychological thrill ride from the preface to the epilogue! The writing was so intense, I felt as if I were looking right through the eyes of the beleaguered Angelique as she slowly evolved from hero to villain, and back again. I loved it!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Joe Perrone Jr. on Dec. 02, 2009 :
By rights, a debut novel should be flawed. But, if you’re looking for shortcomings in Pieces, the initial offering from newcomer Julia Dudek, your search may be as fruitless as that of Diogenes. Starting slow, and building speed like a steam locomotive with its engine stoked by a madman, Pieces is not only compelling, but is unrelenting. Its characters are fully drawn, its plot as sophisticated as any in recent memory, and its ability to draw the reader in is unparalleled. This thriller packs a wallop worthy of any literary heavyweight. If this is just the beginning, the future can only be of star magnitude. Can’t wait for more!

Joe Perrone Jr., author of As the Twig is Bent
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Anne DeCaro on Nov. 23, 2009 :
One part mystery and one part romance—with a sprinkling of horror—in Pieces, from new author Julia Dudek. Angelique, the beautiful medical student with a photographic memory, goes to deadly lengths to remember the man who killed her best friend after she awakens in the hospital and realizes the identity of the murderer is inexplicably missing from her mind, even though she witnessed the entire event. Discovering that being in danger uncovers a piece of the memory, the desperate protagonist goes to great lengths—and develops a weapon unlike any other I’ve come across in literature—that ensures she’ll survive long enough to finish the puzzle. Falling in love with the detective assigned to both her best friend’s case, and the bizarre new “serial killer” wreaking havoc in Harlem, makes for a gripping and suspenseful story, and I found I couldn’t put the “Kindle” down. Dudek’s use of technical knowledge paints a vivid picture, the characters are relatable and deep, and the writing is fluent and moving, making you feel like you are actually looking through the eyes of the protagonist, who teeters on the edge of losing herself to her vengeance, with only the man she loves to pull her back.

Everything a great suspense novel—and even a romance novel—should be and more! Five stars for the new author and I’ll be looking forward to the sequel!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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