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Jane Doe

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A double life with a single purpose: revenge.

Jane’s days at a Midwest insurance company are perfectly ordinary. She blends in well, unremarkably pretty in her floral-print dresses and extra efficient at her low-level job. She’s just the kind of woman middle manager Steven Hepsworth likes—meek, insecure, and willing to defer to a man. No one has any idea who Jane really is. Least of all Steven.

But plain Jane is hiding something. And Steven’s bringing out the worst in her.

Nothing can distract Jane from going straight for his heart: allowing herself to be seduced into Steven’s bed, to insinuate herself into his career and his family, and to expose all his dirty secrets. It’s time for Jane to dig out everything that matters to Steven. So she can take it all away.

Just as he did to her.

267 pages, Kindle Edition

First published August 1, 2018

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About the author

Victoria Helen Stone

11 books1,376 followers
Victoria Helen Stone is the nom de plume for USA Today bestselling author Victoria Dahl. After publishing more than twenty-five novels, she has taken a turn toward the darker side of genre fiction. Born and educated in the Midwest, she finished her first manuscript just after college. In 2016, the American Library Association awarded her the prestigious Reading List Award for outstanding genre fiction. Having escaped the plains of her youth, she now resides with her family in a small town high in the Rocky Mountains, where she enjoys hiking, snowshoeing, and not skiing (too dangerous).

Come visit on Twitter! http://twitter.com/VictoriaDahl

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,902 reviews
Profile Image for Meredith (Slowly Catching Up).
794 reviews12.4k followers
August 15, 2018
3.5 stars

“Even a sociopath likes to hear that she’s beautiful.”

A wickedly delicious character study of a sociopath out for revenge!

Jane, a 30-year-old, self-diagnosed sociopath is in Minneapolis on a mission--she is out to make the man who caused her best friend to commit suicide. Jane, a highly successful attorney who lives abroad, changes her looks and persona to attract abusive douchebag, Stephen. She gets a job doing data entry where Stephen works and plays the role of a meek, insecure woman to attract his attention. They begin dating, and Stephen almost immediately starts verbally abusing Jane--attacking her insecurities and making her doubt herself...But not to worry, Jane is only acting. She is anything but the woman Stephen thinks she is and begins constructing her vengeful plans to destroy Stephen and take away what he loves most.

“Most of us aren’t evil; we’re just stupid and flawed and not careful with others.”

Told through Jane’s caustic voice, this was a fun, entertaining read. I have to say it was refreshing to read a book told from the perspective of a female sociopath! Jane’s scathing voice kept me entertained throughout. It was nice to know from the beginning that Jane was in charge and I didn’t have to worry about her. I would have like to have delved deeper into her character--some of Jane’s past is shared and the reader can put the pieces together about her childhood and figure out how she became what she is but I would have liked to know even more. I loved her relationship with her unnamed sociopathic cat and while normally I would be upset to witness the destruction of a character, in this case, I relished the moment Jane enacted her revenge!

I recommend Jane Doe if you are looking for something a little different! I hope to see more of Jane in the future!

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and Lake Union publishing in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews155k followers
December 9, 2020
Shout out to this absolutely fabulous book in my latest booktube video is up - all about the best books I read each month and 2019's bookish stats (and yes, I really did read 365 books in 365 days!).

Now that you know this one made the cut - check out the video to see what other ones made my top 12 list!

The written review:

Maybe I'll destroy his family. Maybe I'll set him up for embezzlement. Maybe I'll kill him.
Jane Doe is just your average, everyday girl with a chip on that shoulder....only her chip is a hellova lot bigger than most.
He's so happy with his tidy little life.
I can't wait to watch it crumble into a smoking pile of shit.
Jane's best friend, and honestly, the only person she's ever truly loved, was driven to her death by Steven.

Steven - of all people - is just a middle manager at an unremarkable insurance company. He truly was nothing special, but Jane's best friend fell in love with that manipulative man and ended up killing herself because of him.

Jane meets him, under an assumed identity, and realizes that this man truly is without remorse.

So, Jane decides that while she's there, might as well get even.
I've never killed anyone. I'm not that kind of sociopath. But you never know. Desperate times...
I buddy-read this one with the wonderful Tucker the Reader! My first official GRs buddy-read too!

Overall, it was really good!

Jane Doe was a refreshingly unrepentant and single-minded main character. Her platonic love for her best friend really humanized her even as she plotted against Steven.

I loved seeing her get to know him and find out the best way to make him hurt.

I was also pleasantly surprised when Stephen turned out to be a well-rounded character. Yes, he was absolutely evil and horrible in just about every way, but he had a surprising number of dimensions to him.

I did think it was a bit heavy on the self-reflection. Jane spent so much time putting herself into position that eventually I was like, "GURL JUST MAKE YOUR MOVE" but other than that, I was really pleased with the way the book ended up!

Plus, you gotta love a character who loves all things literary:
Reading is my favorite hobby. I don't have to fake that.
Thank you so much to Amazon Publishing and the author for sending me a free copy in exchange for an honest review!

YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads
Profile Image for j e w e l s.
309 reviews2,373 followers
December 9, 2018

Reads lightning fast.
Our main character, Jane, is a self-diagnosed sociopath with a wicked sense of humor.
Dark and disturbing, but no graphic violence.
Story is told from a first person POV. (The best way- in my humble opinion)
No annoying time changes or flashbacks. The story is propelled forward and I didn't want it to end!
AND the ending is sheer perfection.
I am obsessed with Jane!!!!

If you enjoyed Best Day Ever or The Last Mrs. Parrish, you will LOVE Jane Doe. Best beach read ever, don't miss this one!
Profile Image for Michelle .
880 reviews1,282 followers
August 23, 2018
Okay, I have to agree with my fellow Goodreads friends that have read this book.....


I don't think I have ever adored a sociopath before but there you have it. Jane Doe is so bad ass. I loved her so much. Seriously! She had me giggling throughout this entire book. If you like your humor dark then this is definitely a book for you.

I will warn some that this book is basically a middle finger salute to Christian hypocrisy which I happened to love but it may be a trigger for others that are religious.

I beg Victoria Helen Stone to write a sequel because I'm not ready to say goodbye to Jane yet. 4.5 stars!

I would like to thank Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Profile Image for Christina Loeffler.
135 reviews17.3k followers
November 12, 2018
4.5, everything can be an art, yes, even stalking stars!!!

Full review along with a recipe for super traditional bolognese sauce featured on my blog Recipe & a Read!

Jane isn’t your average 30 year old. She’s a self-diagnosed sociopath with a new penchant for revenge. From page one she has set out on a mission to make the man who caused her best friend Meg’s suicide pay through literally any means necessary. Meg, she was vibrant and loving and kind. She saw Jane for who she was in spite of the fact that Jane could be cold and distanced, she loved her with her whole heart. Steven, the object of Jane’s new obsession, and the obsession that led Meg to an untimely death.

I don’t think I was born this way. I suspect I used to feel things too deeply until my brain rewired itself to protect me.

Steven is the literal definition of the worst type of person you could imagine – an actual, living and breathing dumpster fire of a human being. I wont malign the fact that he’s male – because there are plenty of people, no matter their gender who tear others down to make themselves feel better. It is absolutely not singular to any race, sexuality, gender or other designation.

After all, everyone knows that women are responsible for how men behave. If we’re not careful, they might decide to take what they want. They can’t help it. But somehow I’m the one with the psychological impairment.

I’ll let you know up front – the societal implications of this novel are fairly heavy handed. However, despite this, I found it a refreshing, exciting and page-turning read. I absolutely FLEW through this thing, the moment I picked it up I couldn’t put it down for more than a few minutes before returning. Stone does a phenomenal job of drawing the eye away from the more shocking but decidedly, less important to the story aspects of this novel.

Jane herself was an incredible MC. I often find female main characters to be flawed (naturally) but not in a way that is truly accessible. They’re constantly fighting deep, personal demons that end up making them further from reach, further from something I can truly connect with. I really enjoyed that while Jane had her issues, they weren’t overwhelming the story nor were they a focus in even a secondary sense. In spite of her flaws she was a strong, driven, sometimes broken but ultimately incredibly moving main character.

People cause pain. Even good people hurt those they love. We all do it because we can’t help it. Most of us aren’t evil; we’re just stupid and flawed and not careful with others.

I do think it’s important, even though I’m not a fan of the phrase to mention that some of the content in this novel could be triggering for others. Stone does absolutely NOT shy away from difficult topics or subject matter. However, this book was pure entertainment. That may sound crass or cavalier of the real problems many people are facing with abusive relationships that don’t leave marks but that’s what I think makes this novel so great. It tackles difficult subject matter but doesn’t do so in a way that is condescending or lofty or inaccessible.

All in all, every character here really spoke to me and I enjoyed this exciting read from start to finish. While it ultimately loses half a star for me because the ending was just a tad bit too neat and tidy I walk away from this having really enjoyed the tale Stone wove. I highly suggest this for anyone interested in thrillers because it was a thrilling ride from start to finish! I read this with the Traveling Sisters and I’m a bit ahead of the curve but what I can say is that so far we’re all really enjoying it and it’s an excellent conversation starter!
Profile Image for Julie .
4,030 reviews58.9k followers
November 5, 2019
Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone is a 2018 Lake Union Press publication.

A dark, delectable tale of revenge!

Jane has put her high-powered career on hold in order to insinuate herself into the life of a control -freak- religious zealot named Steven.

Jane, one of the most likeable sociopaths you are apt to meet, proceeds to lure Steven into her web, pretending to be a needy, docile woman who is so insecure she will behave just the way her new boyfriend orders her to.

The question is: Why is Jane trying to ensnare Steven into her cleverly laid trap? Will her mission succeed or will Steven turn the tables on her?

I loved this book! Jane is hilarious and had me laughing out loud as she toyed with her prey and gave us access to her dry wit and inner thoughts. Sociopath or not, Jane is assuredly more of loyal friend than most. I had to hand it to her. She’s a smart, clever anti-hero and could easily become one of my favorite characters!

I promise, this is a devilishly fun thriller with an ingenious plot and absolutely pitch perfect pacing! If you like Dexter- you are going to love Jane Doe!

4.5 stars

*Interesting aside- Romance readers who enjoy Victoria Dahl’s books will enjoy getting a glimpse of her dark alter-ego here.
Profile Image for Anne.
3,920 reviews69.3k followers
March 8, 2023
Whoa! I didn't expect to love this freebie so much that I couldn't put it down.
In fact, I wasn't holding out much hope that it would be anything other than sorta-kinda entertaining. But I'd seen it pop up in my Goodreads feed several times with these great reviews, so when I saw it was free to anyone with Prime, I went ahead and downloaded it. Figured I'd give it a minute and see if it might be one of those books that I could use as something to look at while I ate my lunch. <--that didn't happen. I got hooked immediately & ended up finishing the book in 2 sittings.


So Jane didn't have much of a childhood & now doesn't have much of a conscience. But what she did have was one friend who made her feel like she might be able to piggyback on her emotions and have something like what other people have -love, family, normalcy.
Until her friend died and left Jane with not a lot to lose.
Now Jane is out for revenge on the man who was responsible for her best friend's death.
And she is fucking awesome & terrible.


I love a good revenge story. Especially the ones where the main character is willing to get their hands dirty.


Oh, the way she fucks with this guy is just delicious. I mean, he's a total douchebag. Condescending, manipulative, abusive - just the total Twat Boyfriend starter package.
It was honestly wonderful watching her take his life apart.
And the way she did it? LOVED IT.
I'm not sure this is a book for everyone. But if you like these kinds of stories, don't miss out on this one.
Profile Image for Jennifer Masterson.
200 reviews1,136 followers
March 27, 2019
BAM all the Stars! I absolutely loved everything about this book! It was so much freaking fun! Jane is a self-diagnosed sociopath and boy is she fantastic! She even loves to read! Who doesn’t like a sociopath who loves to read!? The book is a dark, twisted and unique thriller!

The novel is told through Jane’s perspective. She is a highly successful lawyer living in Malaysia. She comes back to the United States for one reason, revenge! Jane navigates life her way making no apologies for what she does or who she is! That’s all I’m going to say. I do not want to spoil the ride for you!

I listened to the audio version. The narrator, Nicol Zanzarella, was fabulous! She made this book truly come to life!

Highly highly recommended!
Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,880 reviews22.7k followers
September 29, 2020
3.5 stars. Watch out for Jane Doe! She's on a revenge mission, and she gives no quarter. She's kind of Dexter in female form, but much less murderous ... just coldblooded. Like a shark.


Jane Doe is an intriguing suspense novel about a self-described sociopath. Jane is plotting revenge against the guy who emotionally abused her best (really only) friend Meg, a kindhearted person who is now dead. Although Jane feels some guilt for not having been present more in Meg's life to help her, by and large Jane lays the guilt for Meg's death solidly at the feet of Steven Hepsworth. Killing Steven isn't enough; she wants him to really experience pain. What kind of pain, Jane isn't exactly sure yet, but she's sure she'll figure it out.
This relationship will be tedious and nearly unbearable, but the ends will justify the means. Maybe I'll destroy his family. Maybe I'll set him up for embezzlement. Maybe I'll kill him.

I'll find out what is most important to him and then I'll take it away. However that plays out is fine with me.
So Jane leaves her job as a high-powered international lawyer and takes a low-level data entry job at the company where Steven works as a middle manager. Jane remakes herself in the process, changing her last name, her hair and dress, and generally toning down her looks and behavior to match the vulnerable type of woman that appeals to Steven. It only takes three days for Steven to take the bait.


Jane has no problem using lies and sex to further her plans, but then things get unexpectedly complicated. There's someone who recognizes Jane from her past life ...

I had some issues with this novel. The author sets up Steven and his family as too-easy targets to hate: religious hypocrites of the worst sort. They pretty much have no redeeming qualities, and as such they're very thin characters. Jane takes several potshots at religion generally and the Hepworth's brand in particular. Jane has casual sex with several guys during the course of her escapade (some purely for her revenge plan), so if that's not your type of read, you won't care for this book. It's worth noting, however, that that kind of behavior is very true of sociopaths. And I thought the ending pulled its punches.

Jane is a really interesting character, though. She's generally coldhearted and may be sociopathic, but she's not really the murderous type. She has no compunctions about using people, but she cared deeply about Meg. She adopts a cat (she loves its standoffish personality, of course) and doesn't name it ... but she still cares about it.

Overall I'd say the plot buildup is a little too slow, with some repetitive elements that could have been trimmed. Still, I have to say I couldn't put it down! I read the whole thing in one evening.

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher for review. Thank you!

Content notes: The main character is unapologetically promiscuous; the sex scenes are somewhat explicit but not highly detailed. Scattered F-bombs.
Profile Image for Dennis.
775 reviews1,480 followers
August 22, 2018
Victoria Helen Stone, or shall I say Victoria Dahl—I absolutely loved Jane Doe and I am pleading for you to write a sequel. I need Jane in my life, and now that I'm done with this novel, I don't know how I will be able to cope without her. Jane, my imaginary bff, is a sociopath, hellbent on revenge. Jane moves back to the United States, specifically to Minneapolis, after living a very profitable life in Malaysia for years. Jane has gone rogue, working at an insurance company as a temp assistant for the firm, so she can get to know Steven Hepsworth. Steven is super religious, controlling, and a chauvinist asshole who preys on the weak and timid. Jane has played mind games before—she's a master manipulator and an expert at playing on the emotions of men. Jane is ready for revenge and ready to destroy Steven at all costs. Why is Jane so determined to ruin Steven?

I can't really dive any deeper into the story, and trust me, you don't want to know anymore because the best thing about this story are the secrets behind the characters. Jane is seriously my imaginary bff and I can't wait for you to see why. She's ruthless, sarcastic, hilarious, and devious. If you think Gone Girl was intense, you haven't met Jane Doe . I devoured this book; sneaking some reading at work, on the subway, at home, you name it! I just couldn't get enough of Jane and her antics. I promise you all, I'm not a sociopath, but I am so intrigued in the inner workings of people who suffer from this personality trait. Jane exhibits all signs of sociopath behavior, but she's quite lovable as a character—you are rooting for her to win!

Jane Doe is sexy, smart, and truly the dark psychological thriller that I've been looking for. With this tale, you get an original, truly immersive story, while also comedy and thrills that you didn't see coming. I urge you to pick up Jane Doe when it's released August 1st. Thank you Amazon Publishing for my advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Holly  B (Short break!).
815 reviews1,874 followers
October 26, 2018
Meet Jane Doe...

Things to know about Jane:

She is pretending to be someone else (someone who is naive unlike her).
She has self diagnosed herself as a socio-path and master manipulator.
She has a plan of revenge and she is determined to carry it out.

Suspenseful and taunting. I never knew what to expect next. Jane was full of devious surprises at every turn! My feelings about her changed throughout the book. She was such a complex character who was always plotting and conniving. It is dark, but not graphic and full of twisty turns that will keep you wondering how far she will go.  She surprised me.

If you enjoy edgy, straight up revenge thrillers, you might enjoy this one too. I listened to most of it on Audible, and read the last few chapters in my book.  The ending was JUST PERFECT .

Profile Image for Jayme.
1,141 reviews1,897 followers
September 26, 2019
This was probably THE book, I recommended the MOST last year!

I loved it! ❤️

A Sociopath is defined as a person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior, and a lack of conscience.

Jane is a self proclaimed sociopath, posing as a low level data entry clerk in an insurance agency.

She has secured the job there so that she can meet Stephen Hepsworth, a man you are going to hate. He is the kind of man who calls every woman he seduces “babe” because they are all interchangeable. He likes his women meek, insecure, and willing to defer to a man.

Stephen has taken something away from Jane, and she is hell bent on revenge. I wanted her to succeed. And, I’m NOT going to apologize for that. After all, Jane wouldn’t.

This book was so much fun to read.

I didn’t want it to end!!

It reminded me of when I was eagerly awaiting the next episode of HBO’s Dexter-the serial killer you loved to root for! I miss Dexter. I miss him a lot.

And, now I am going to miss Jane. And, her cat. But, at least, I have mine....

I would like to thank Netgalley, Lake Union Publishing and Victoria Helen Stone for the copy of this book provided to me for a candid review.

This book is available NOW!! (With a sequel coming soon! 😽)
Profile Image for Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill.
542 reviews619 followers
August 29, 2018
Every so often I go into a book and I know as soon I as I start reading it that I am going to love it. This was one of those books.

Jane is living two lives. One as a successful lawyer in Malaysia, where she calls all the shots and is a force to be reckon with. Then there is plain Jane from Minnesota. Jane from Minnesota wears frumpy clothes, is docile and works at an insurance company as a data entry clerk.

Jane is living two lives for one reason and one reason only. To get revenge. Steven Hepsworth is her target. He also works at the insurance company. He is a preachers son. He appears to be a well rounded individual. Stephen may not be as he appears and Jane knows it. Jane knows all his secrets. Even though Jane has just met him. Will Jane take revenge too far? Will things turn deadly? Jane is a self proclaimed sociopath and even she isn't sure how far she will go. "I have never killed anyone. I am not that kind of sociopath. But you never know. Desperate times."

I have read some excellent books lately, but most have been slow burns. Taking off and becoming a 4 or 5 star read at about the half way point. Not Jane! Jane had me right from the start. Somehow this author managed to make a suspenseful thriller with a sociopath who is hilarious. There are so many great lines in this book it is too many to count. I found myself actually laughing out loud, literally. This book was so hard to put down that I have to let you in on a funny fact. I went to the eye doctor yesterday and they surprised me by saying I needed my eyes dilated. The first thought I had was NOOOOOO! I am 70% done with Jane, you can't do this to me. Well they didn't care much about Jane. As soon as I could focus my eyes, I got right back to reading about Jane.

This is a must read in my opinion! I loved this book. I am looking forward to reading more from this author. 5 fabulous stars from me!

Thank you so much to Victoria Helen Stone, Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this fantastic book!
Profile Image for Jonetta.
2,206 reviews926 followers
November 6, 2018
Jane is working at an insurance company in Minneapolis as a low level clerk. But, that’s not who she really is. She’s taken 50 days of leave from her real job in Kuala Lumpur as an import-export attorney to exact revenge on middle manager Steven Hepsworth. Why? You’ll need to read or listen to the book to find out.

I chose to listen to this story and was that ever the right decision! The narrator completely captured Jane, a woman you’re never quite sure if she’s a sociopath or just plain cleverly diabolical. One thing you always know is true is that she will exact revenge on Steven and it will be epic. She doesn’t do anything but be her authentic self in seducing the reader into feeling some affinity for her. Jane’s obviously bright but she's also witty, pretty funny and wickedly pragmatic. I felt guilty rooting for her but when you hear the story, it’s impossible to do otherwise.

It’s a credit to the writing that this character enthralls the reader so overwhelmingly and having a talented narrator made Jane three dimensional. I inhaled this book, not wanting to stop until I figured out what Jane had in store for Steven. If I were you, I’d grab some popcorn, find a comfy spot and enjoy the ride. This was a Traveling Friends group selection and I’m really glad it was chosen. I’ve been a big fan of Victoria Dahl and am now following her under this pseudonym. 4.5 stars
Profile Image for Kaceey.
1,070 reviews3,614 followers
May 19, 2020
Revenge is best served by a cold-hearted vengeful woman named Jane!

Jane is one of the most diabolically calculating characters out there!
She is a take no prisoners kind of gal! And Steven should keep his head on a swivel because she has her laser-focused sights set squarely on taking him down!! But what could he have done to make Jane so angry?

Look out! It's time to get even - Steven!!

I devoured this book in only a few sittings. Mind you, it’s not a long book but was absolutely unputdownable!

The author takes you deep into the mind of Jane and with her every step of the way as she lays her trap.

Ooh Jane! I cannot wait to see what devious plot you cook up next! I’ll be pulling book two Problem Child off the shelf right away!

A buddy read with Susanne
October 7, 2019
2.5 stars. Did I read the same book as everyone else?

Jane is out for revenge and she will stop at nothing to get it.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t connect with Jane and didn’t particularly like her. While I did find some of her inner thoughts and commentary humorous and entertaining, I wasn’t invested in her story. I couldn’t stop myself from comparing her to Jane from The Favorite Daughter, who I absolutely loved. For me, this novel simply couldn’t compare to that similar type character and story.

I also had plausibility issues with the storyline and felt the dialogue lacked a natural ease. It’s a big disappointment when a book you have been looking forward to for so long doesn’t live up to the hype. However, I am definitely the outlier with my thoughts on this, so please refer to the numerous raving reviews before making a decision on this book.

This was a Traveling Friends read that I enjoyed discussing!
Profile Image for Tucker  (TuckerTheReader).
908 reviews1,597 followers
May 23, 2020

Many thanks to Lake Union for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

Okay, I am confused... How did this not win the 2018 Goodreads Choice Award for thriller? It was beat by... Checking... The Outsider?! Yeah, no. This book is definitely better.

So, what's this book about
Jane Doe follows Jane, a woman who just happens to be a sociopath. Jane is working at a Midwest insurance company. She is extremely talented at blending in and flying under the radar. But she's done with that because she has a plan for revenge.

Throughout the novel, Jane seduces and tricks Stephen Hepsworth, a entitled white guy who is responsible for her best friend's death. Now, with a thirst for revenge, Jane will do anything she can to make Stephen pay. What follows is a thrilling, intriguing, and, at times funny, story of a young woman with a weakness that may actually be superpower.

I don't have much to say on the actual thriller bits because they were just... Average. What I do want to (need to) talk about is Jane. Jane is a sociopath and this character trait made the entire novel to drink a 3 star rating to a 4.5.

Confession time, I don't know much about sociopaths. Scratch thay. Before this novel, I didn't know anything about sociopaths. I assumed (and you probably did too) that sociopaths were cold, unfeeling monsters. But this novel shows that they're not.

Sociopaths have problems with empathy, guilt, and remorse but that doesn't mean that they're all murderers. In fact, as we see in the novel, their detachment from empathy can help them be cunning and stealthy (which is definitely a bit unsettling).

I just loved being inside Jane's mind. Seeing what made her tick, what her thought processes were was so fascinating.

Finally, I wanted to discuss the ending.

Bottom Line:
4.5 Stars
Age Rating: [ R ]
Content Screening (Spoilers) - Educational Value (3/5) - [Sociopaths, how to spy on people 😬] ~ Positive Messages (3/5) - [Everyone, no matter how broken, can find love] ~ Sex (4/5) - [Brief sex scenes, rape, sexual themes throughout] ~ Violence (3/5) - [Domestic violence] ~ Language (4/5) - [F**k, sh*t, d*mn, *sshole] ~ Drinking/Drugs (4/5) - [Alcohol consumption]
Trigger and Content Warnings - Domestic violence, Loss of a loved one, Rape, Corruption within the church
Reps: [Sociopath]
Cover (4/5) - Characters (5/5) - Plot (4/5)
Publication Date: August 1st, 2018
Publisher: Lake Union
Genre: Mystery/Thriller


one of the most unique thrillers i've read in a while! review to come...


i'm reading this because all my friends loved it...

the best form of peer pressure.

Buddy read with Miranda Reads <3

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Profile Image for Alex ♈.
1,568 reviews1,185 followers
December 13, 2018
5+++ stars


The best book I read in years!!!

"This is hardly my first Bible study. I’ve already got the best parts memorized and I believe in them wholeheartedly.

Eye for eye, tooth for tooth. But the rest is even better: burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.

They’re going to feel this for a long time."

This book took me by surprise, I knew it would be good thanks to my trusted friends, but I couldn’t even imagine how EPIC this book would be.

Brilliant. Brilliant female protagonist. Cold, calculating, fierce, fearless, cunning and strong woman.
Sociopath? If yes, then a delicious one!

A strong woman on the revenge trope – my absolute kryptonite.
Best trope ever. My personal undeniable favorite.

It’s not a sweet romance, the characters are not ‘standard’ good people and the heroine, Jane, is almost everything they trash in the most typical romance books.
Anti-heroine? For me she was one of the best heroines I ever read, but I’m not a norm, so be beware.

Jane was probably, what many other authors describe as whore and evil bitch. She was everything they deny their female fictional characters – smart, direct, sexually experienced, unapologetically brutal and very strong.

"You’re sexy as hell," he says. Lots of men have said this to me. They like a woman with no shame. We’re rare, you see, because we’re told to be ashamed of everything every day by everyone. Ashamed to give them what they want, ashamed not to want to give it to them. Ashamed to show our average bodies, ashamed not to have a perfect one.

The book is like a heavy slap in the face of a modern society, which still, unfortunately, supports and lives misogyny, sexisms and double standards.

"This is how you get through life. This is how you guarantee the species. Take abuse. Submit to men. Repeat, repeat, repeat."

The villain, Steven – is not your ‘usual’ bad guy, he is much worse…
He is a representation of an average man, your and my neighbor, your any my co-worker, maybe even a friend? Steven was full of character features they normally sell in a fictional good hero, not quite direct, but still the same.

Controlling, manipulating, raised to live the difference between worthless women and proud men. Steven is a man many girls save their virginity for - to be worth him; he is a man many girls sacrifice their dreams to serve him, to raise their children and to clean his house; they forgive his cheating, they lose their self-esteem for him.
He is their idol, he is what their mothers taught them to choose.

As his dad preached about women being whores "women used to have shame! They weren’t rewarded for promiscuity! They weren’t given food stamps and free abortions and an apartment with cable!", but at the same time about justifying the men for the ‘open’ and sexual life approach. True words of a pastor? "…keep your legs closed and your hearts open to the Lord!"

Even our sociopath heroine was mystified by the women (in the church) nodding along to all the scolding.

You would definitely hate following lines. But aren’t those the bitter truth? Are those the believing, we know about, but choose to ignore its influence even today?
"In my experience, men try to talk women into opening their legs from the moment girls can walk on them. Men stand in for the Lord in this scenario. Always testing us to see if we choose right or wrong. But it’s a trick. There is no right. You’re a tease or a whore. A heartless denier or a Jezebel. Their penises are God’s divining rods, searching out evil."

Do you know Steven? I know some Stevens, I work with them, they are among my friend’s men; and they are still a huge number….

"But women should know better. They’re the ones left with the children." - Steven’s words
Jane thoughts: lucky men and stupid, irresponsible women. A tale as old as time.

Some readers would say Jane didn’t have any morals. It may be partly a truth, based on the average interpretation of a moral compass. But I found her vision of a world not false. She was a heartless, but still full of love; she was an evil with a mind of an angel.
"Why get married if you want to sleep with other people? Why stay if you suspect he’s cheating and that hurts your feelings? Why fight and bicker and scream if the other person decides they’re ready to go? If someone wants to leave, the only thing to do is move on. Find someone else. Have some pride."

Jane’s revenge was not only for her friend Meg, it was for the whole womanhood. For all the women, who are still treated as worthless and ‘second-rated’. Jane’s revenge was not only against 'Steven', but against the society stereotypes and also females, who support such ‘positioning’ of their gender.

The book is not safe.

Perfect ending for this story. I wouldn’t want it any different.
"I am the strong one. It’s my job to protect. I see that now."

One of the best books I ever read.

My deep respect for the author for speaking loud through her heroine, for not following clichés and for touching such important topics. Thank you!

Profile Image for Navessa.
Author 10 books7,523 followers
September 21, 2018

Well, this is a goddamn masterpiece.

And the award for best hidden gem currently on Kindle Unlimited goes to...

Seriously, I can't recommend this book highly enough. Like, words escape me. I'm left with nothing but emotions...

...and a slight fear that I might fall somewhere on the sociopath spectrum.

Because I was FULLY with this MC and FULLY behind her revenge plans.

Also, the fucking feminism pervading these pages is to die for.

More of this, please.
Profile Image for Felicia.
254 reviews931 followers
October 19, 2018
Well that was a wicked stroll through Retribution Park...which just so happens to be my favorite park. If you've never been there, I suggest you pack a lunch and leave the kiddos at home because this playground is for psychopaths only.

Oh man I love Jane. The phrase "ride or die" is not lost on her. She's the chick you definitely want on your side because her loyalty knows no bounds.

Long recap short, Jane's only friend commits suicide after being debased and abused by her mysogynist boyfriend. And well, Jane is hell-bent on avenging her death.

There are no secrets in this story. You know from page one what is happening, there are no twists or turns or jaw dropping reveals. And not once did I ever feel disappointed, if anything I found it refreshing. Jane IS the story and she is fully capable of carrying the entire book on her back without all of the fanfare.

This story definitely has a specific demographic. Jane is a heartless psychopath and there's nothing rosey or feel-good about her. So if you're into plunging headfirst into the dark side of human nature, this book is right up your forboding and sinister alley.
Profile Image for Susan - on semi hiatus.
417 reviews112 followers
August 8, 2021
No Plain Jane Here!

Jane, the narrator of this story is anything but middle of the road. A self described sociopath, she’s highly educated, calculating, and out for revenge.

Written in the first person, Jane carefully lays out her trap. The target is a misogynist creep responsible for the suicide of her close friend.

Between her plans, she also relays intermittent snippets into her past explaining how she became so detached. She's intriguing and I wanted to know more about her.

This book is an example of my favorite writing style. It’s minimal and conveys a lot in fewer words. There’s also some drollery peppered throughout. This one caused a smile:

“My place is on the second floor, right at the top of the stairs. I’ve heard it’s better to be farther from the entry for security reasons, but I like watching my unsuspecting neighbors come and go through the peephole. The woman three doors down is an old barfly who brings home a different drunk codger every night, and she’s my favorite. Everyone needs a hobby and I’m glad she’s found hers.”

Repeating myself, I adore dry humor, less is more prose, and a bold kick ass heroine.

Can a sociopath be a heroine? Anti-hero? No matter the label, Jane is a woman I’d want as a friend. I loved this!
June 25, 2020
A poor life is when we do not care... or... the cat-girl gracefully stalking the warpath! Assholes beware!

I wouldn't say that the MC is really a sociopath. I'm pretty sure there's a bunch of spectrum thingies thrown in and nicely mixed up for good measure.

Rrrrr! That's the million-star ending!

It’s not that I don’t have feelings. I have some emotions. I do. It’s just that I can usually choose when to feel them. More important, I choose when not to.
I don’t think I was born this way. I suspect I used to feel things too deeply until my brain rewired itself to protect me. ...
I observe people’s emotions, but I rarely participate. (c)
... I have too much ice on the inside to live with the dark and cold. (c)
The truth is I’m almost certainly richer than he is, and my body is fine. It works, I’m fit enough, and no one needs a perfect body to get sex. Sex is the cheapest commodity, and any body at all is up for trade. I’m not interested in love, so I don’t spend time worrying what my partners think of me. My lack of shame simplifies things. (c)
The truth is I hate tea, but I’ll drink it weak and tepid for him. (c)
I had a view of the whole city, which was rather brown and hazy during the day but sparkled like a universe at night. (c)
I don’t need beautiful things, but I like them fine. (c)
Instead of depending on Meg’s vibrancy to keep me human, maybe I could rely on the crazed heartbeat of that city. (c)
Most of us aren’t evil; we’re just stupid and flawed and not careful with others. (c)
What keeps me going? I don’t know. Small pleasures, I guess. Coffee. Chocolate. Competition. Silk dresses. A hot bath on a cold day. Winning. The satisfaction of shaping my life into exactly what I want. (c)
I love losing myself in someone else’s world. I like learning how others’ lives work even if I don’t understand them. (c)
Frankly, fictional people appeal far more to me than real people do. In fiction, the choices have to make sense. The timeline proceeds rationally. Emotions are explained to me. Characters feel the way they are supposed to feel in response to the actions of others. Nobody stays in a bad situation because of inertia or low self-esteem. That would make for a truly shitty story. (c)
I’m good enough at recognizing fellow monsters that I rarely put myself in danger... (с)
... was the closest thing I had to a soul. (c)
The nice thing about bad men is they’re easy to manipulate. If he were truly a good guy, I’d be lost. (c)
I hadn’t been good at faking it back then because I hadn’t understood what I was trying to fake: a soul. (c)
Fall is my favorite season. It reminds me of myself, all hollow and cool. And despite the dying crispness of it, people still find it beautiful. Maybe they could feel that way about me too. (c)
The idea is a sudden, desperate need in me. (c)
The world seems like it’d be an unbearable place for people with real feelings. (c)
A new lover and a cat. This was quite a worthwhile Saturday. (c)
Everyone likes to be told they are right, because that means someone else is deliciously, fantastically wrong, and that is a joy that never gets old. (c)
He’s intrigued.
I’m intrigued as well. Pastor Hepsworth has some intense thoughts about fornication. He thinks about it a lot. (c)
Not all monsters are terrifying. Some of them are so tedious they’ll just make you wish for death. (c)
Kids love me when I’m not being myself. I behave the way they imagine grown-ups should with children because I’m pretending to be an adult who likes kids. I give them what they think they want, same as I do with their parents. (c)
Profile Image for Norma.
551 reviews12.3k followers
December 20, 2019
Refreshing, relishing, & edgy!

Jane was such an edgy and refreshing character! I loved that we got a character study into a female sociopath. I was thoroughly entertained and amused by Jane!

Profile Image for Bibi.
1,282 reviews3,263 followers
September 30, 2018
A bit far fetched

Bottom line, I didn’t hate the book but neither did I love it, mostly because it dragged and was repetitive.
Like the plot, the characters were one-dimensional with little to no growth. I didn’t like Jane, our protagonist, and her plan for vengeance seemed too simple. That said, it did make for compulsive reading, which bumped the rating to 2 stars.
Profile Image for Kat (Books are Comfort Food).
235 reviews242 followers
January 28, 2021
What a delicious, evil and juicy book. Jane is my favorite sociopath! 🖤 The book was a surprise and much better than I thought it would be. I was rooting for Jane every step of the way.

Jane plays a wicked game of revenge and for very good reasons. Throughout the book I had to wonder about all the young girls and women who have been psychologically abused over the years. Something that can happen, slowly and over time so it goes unnoticed before the damage is already done. Equally frightening are people who believe this hypocrisy.

Her goal in the book is to take down someone who destroyed the only thing she had ever loved.

Sociopaths are typically anti-social and have no conscience. They are never wrong and view the word in black and white terms. They don’t feel love as normal people would and instead look at relationships based on control and how they can cast power over others.

The writer obviously did a great deal of homework to make this real and believable. The book has some great snarky quips to combat the hypocrisy throughout the story.

This was a well-paced book and I loved some characters and hated others. And I love how Jane grew in the book from beginning to the end. I really enjoyed this book. Well done, Victoria Helen Stone.
Profile Image for Amy.
1,877 reviews1,878 followers
July 6, 2018

God you guys, this was such a refreshing read, especially for a psychological thriller. There’s not an unreliable narrator in sight, there are not multiple perspectives and there are zero time jumps. If a book labeled as a psychological thriller doesn’t have all three of those is it even really a psychological thriller? Hahaha, I’m kidding, this definitely is and it consumed me, I freaking loved it.

Jane is unapologetically who she is, and she’s a sociopath on a mission. She wants revenge and Steven is her target and she won’t let anything get in her way. She had one of the best voices I’ve encountered in ages, highly unique, she’s funny in a super dry way, she’s cold, manipulative, calculating and cunning and I loved her. I couldn’t help it, I think it goes back to what I said earlier, she doesn’t apologize for who she is, she’s confident and smart and insightfully self aware. She knows she’s not normal, but she doesn’t care, she’s not trying to change and she only pretends to be someone she really isn’t if it serves a greater purpose.

I totally binge read this, I could not wait to see how things played out and if Jane would be successful in all of her plotting and planning. I had so much fun with this and was rooting for Jane so hard, who knew an emotionless sociopath could be so likable? The ending was also great, very strong, a little surprising and super satisfying.

Jane Doe in three words: Crafty, Interesting and Vengeful.

Profile Image for donna backshall.
643 reviews178 followers
March 23, 2019
5 satisfyingly vengeful stars!

Jane Doe is no one, just a quiet and mousy pushover waiting for a fine, upstanding Christian man to swoop in and take care of her, to prevent her from losing her way and becoming just another whore in a world filled with temptation and sin.


Actually Jane's one angry beotch who's out to negotiate her way in to ruin (or kill, if it turns out easier) the arrogant and abusive man who drove her best friend to suicide. Believe me, this man is a piece of work.

Should I be concerned that I totally identified with Jane Doe, a self-proclaimed sociopath? Maybe, maybe not. I am known for my loyalty, for protecting my girlfriends with an unparalleled ferocity. No, I've never killed any of those worthless bags of misogynistic fertilizer who have tried to ruin some of their lives, but I *have* helped them escape manipulative and abusive situations. I can confess to fantasizing about a humiliating demise for several of these creeps, so I admire this badass Jane Doe for following through with a revenge so sweet I can taste it.

This book is dark and twisted, and exquisitely satisfying. I'd recommend it to any woman who's had to deal with one of "those" men. We all know, and have probably dated, at least one of these condescending, self-righteous and entitled mansplaining dirtbags. Watching a woman slowly and methodically retaliate, in a way we could never dare in real life, is nothing short of cathartic.

Does anyone know if Victoria Helen Stone has plans to make Jane Doe into a series? I desperately need more Jane in my life, because she is everything that is right about escapist fiction.
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,162 reviews1,518 followers
August 9, 2018
Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone is a straight forward thriller featuring a self proclaimed sociopath. Jane has taken a job at an insurance company in order to get close to the manager of the company, Steven Hepsworth.

Steven is the man that stole everything from Jane in the blink of an eye. How do you ask? By breaking Jane's best friend's heart. In that moment Jane knew that she needed to do to Stephen just what he did to her to make him pay. 

Picking up Jane Doe I didn't realize that Victoria Helen Stone was actually such a well established author under the name Victoria Dahl or I might have suspected that this would be really great writing going into it. Instead I was more than pleasantly surprised to find myself quickly pulled into the story and completely engrossed in Jane's revenge. 

Now as the story went on Jane was always there to remind us that she is a sociopath out for revenge but quite honestly I actually found myself rooting for her the entire way. Normally one would be cringing at the dark character in a book like this but nope, it was go Jane go! When finished I'd definitely recommend this one to those that enjoy a more straight forward thriller where you sit back in anticipation waiting to see how far it will go. 

I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
Profile Image for DJ Sakata.
3,036 reviews1,747 followers
July 24, 2018
Favorite Quotes:

I’ve been to church plenty of times. When you grow up in rural Oklahoma, there’s no avoiding it… We had no use for pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps Christianity. If there wasn’t a big potluck after services, what was the point of going? My mom always stayed late, putting on a show of helping clean up. I liked that part. There were lots of leftovers, and she usually smuggled out a couple of free serving bowls.

That first time I read about sociopaths, I felt filled up with a bright light that was equal parts terror and joy. Finally—finally!—I understood. It was scary to know the truth, yes, but not nearly as frightening as ignorance… later research at the county library assured me that most people like me don’t grow up to be killers. We lie and manipulate and take advantage, but usually that just makes us great at business. Yay for capitalism…

There are a lot of us. More than I even realized back then. Most of us are just trying to get through the day, like aliens living secretly among humans. And we’re great for the economy. It’s easy to turn a profit when you have no self-doubt.

The clerk is a pale young man who looks like he suffered a terrible haircut nine months ago and decided to never try again.

Everyone likes to be told they are right, because that means someone else is deliciously, fantastically wrong, and that is a joy that never gets old. I like it too.

Don’t believe the movies about us. Being a sociopath doesn’t automatically make someone a genius at killing. I’m learning on the job here.

My Review:

Gird yourselves – this is going to be a full-on rave and I fear my anxiously eager yet well-manicured fingers may not be able to keep up. Jane Doe was a tasty treat! It was deliciously snarky, brilliantly written, expertly crafted, and savagely clever. I loved every fiendishly compelling word. It was wicked good, and I feel impotent and ineffectual, as I cannot mentally retrieve enough lofty adjectives and adverbs to do it justice.

I was immediately sucked into Jane’s cunning vortex and honestly, I didn’t want to leave as I took great pleasure in being a hitchhiker within her deviously sly cranium and being privy to her sardonic inner musings and razor-sharp insights while she ingeniously plotted the demise of her best friend’s tormenter. In deciding the best course of action for her vengeance, Jane debated and shuffled through various scenarios in determining her plan. I was gleefully cheering her on every step of the way and greatly relieved when she landed on the winning combination without bloodshed, yet was far more devastating. I had never read this author in either incarnation whether Victoria Helen Stone or Victoria Dahl, but she is my new favorite. I adore her. Fangirl down!
Profile Image for JanB .
1,146 reviews2,532 followers
July 24, 2019
Another diabolical Jane you love to hate! This Jane is a self-proclaimed sociopath who is out for revenge against the man she feels is responsible for her best friend’s suicide.

Told solely from Jane’s perspective, with no crazy twists, she is an A+ student of male human behavior, which makes her a master manipulator. She’s a well-educated bad ass but is an expert actress and lets the object of her revenge think she’s inept, shy, and demure as she enacts her plan.

My favorite line in the book:

“Maybe I should get a cat. The thought invades my head fully formed and utterly obvious. A cat. Another little sociopath to curl up beside me at night and keep me warm.”

Is Jane really a sociopath? Will her scheme work? Read this fun book and find out. Or better yet, listen to it as the narrator is fabulous. I’ve had this in my Audible library for a long while and only wish I had listened to it sooner.

This is one of the best psychological suspense novels I’ve read this year and definitely one of the most fun. I can't wait to see what Jane will be up to next.
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