Look For Me (Detective D.D. Warren Series) by Lisa Gardner @LisaGardnerBks #crimefiction #TuesdayBookBlog

Author: Lisa Gardner

Due for Publication on 8th February by Cornerstone Digital

Category: Crime, Thriller, Suspense, Book Review

The home of a family of five is now a crime scene: four of them savagely murdered, one—a sixteen-year-old girl—missing. Was she lucky to have escaped? Or is her absence evidence of something sinister? Detective D.D. Warren is on the case—but so is survivor-turned-avenger Flora Dane. Seeking different types of justice, they must make sense of the clues left behind by a young woman who, whether as victim or suspect, is silently pleading, Look for me. 

Not realising this was number 9 in a series when it was offered for review, I feel I’ve missed the much of subtleties and development of the characters, although there are references to the basic backstories which do help.

As Detective D.D. Warren prepares to go to the animal shelter on a Saturday morning with her husband and young son to choose a dog, she’s called to the scene of a tragic multiple homicide. Two adults and two children have been murdered, the eldest child, sixteen year old Roxy, and the family’s two dogs are missing.

Flora Dane survived a horrific ordeal – four hundred and seventy-two days at the mercy of a serial rapist and murderer. She has become something of a vigilante, helping victimized girls and women, and has an online chat room, as well as running a private support group for other survivors. When Flora learns there’s an amber alert out for missing teen, Roxy, who has been active in the chat room, she feels she has no choice but to get involved.

I steeled myself as I always did when taking in such news. A new case, a fresh outrage. I wasn’t a shell-shocked, fresh-out-of-the-hospital kidnapping victim anymore. After the events of last year, surely I’d earned the right to call myself a professional.

But then I saw the name of the missing girl.

Roxanna Baez.

I nearly dropped my mug of coffee.

Sarah, I thought.

And I knew, beyond a doubt, that it had all started again.

The story is told in alternating chapters, in the third person from D.D.’s perspective and in the first person from Flora’s point of view. Interspersed with these chapters are several poignant school essays from Roxy; the subject – What is the Perfect Family? Roxy’s thoughts give the reader an insight into her life and show the upheaval and distress affecting the family. She’s had, and continues to have, a rough deal.

The inference is that D.D. has mellowed since becoming a wife and mother, without losing her passion for, and commitment to, the job. Rather than having Flora going her own way she’s persuaded to give her the role of chief informant. Flora’s unusual skills and group of willing to help survivors mean she is able to access information not available to D.D. The dialogue and banter between the two is enjoyable, realistic and well done.

The issues, insecurities and traumas of the family members are uncovered as the investigation gains momentum, and both sides of the sometimes less than satisfactory foster care system is explored. As with most things, it’s down to funding…or lack thereof…and the results can be devastating.  The storyline is well paced, I found it very entertaining despite the more difficult to read parts. The narrative is well plotted, I was never sure which way it would go. I hope I’ll get chance to read at least some the books leading up to this one, but that remains to be seen.

I chose to read and review Look For Me based on an advance reader copy supplied by NetGalley and the author/publisher.

Book links ~ Amazon UK | Amazon US

New York Times bestselling crime novelist Lisa Gardner began her career in food service, but after catching her hair on fire numerous times, she took the hint and focused on writing instead. A self-described research junkie, she has parlayed her interest in police procedure, cutting edge forensics and twisted plots into a streak of eleven bestselling suspense novels.
Readers are invited to get in on the fun by entering the annual “Kill a Friend, Maim a Mate” Sweepstakes, where they can nominate the person of their choice to die in Lisa’s latest novel. Every year, one lucky stiff is selected for literary immortality. It’s cheaper than therapy, and you get a great book besides. For more details, simply visit Lisa’s website.
Lisa lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family, as well as two highly spoiled dogs and one extremely neurotic three-legged cat. Lisa graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in international relations.

Author links ~ Website | Twitter | Facebook  

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