Author: Lisa Gardner
Published: January 2020 by Penguin Random House
Category: Police Procedural, Thriller, Suspense, Mystery, Book Review
FBI Special Agent Kimberly Quincy and Sergeant Detective DD Warren have built a task force to follow the digital bread crumbs left behind by deceased serial kidnapper Jacob Ness. And when a disturbing piece of evidence comes to light, they decide to bring in Flora Dane who has personal experience of being imprisoned by Ness.
When You See Me is a combination of two series and brings together Detective D.D. Warren, Flora Dane and FBI Agent Kimberly Quincy in a thrilling and tense ride with three strong, interesting and totally different female characters. Computer geek Keith, who has a passion for true crime and a tentative relationship with Flora, also joins the team. Several chapters from an as yet unnamed character whose suffering is slowly revealed are interspersed throughout the narrative.
Flora was abducted when she was a college student and held captive for over a year by serial killer Jacob Ness. Survivor turned vigilante Flora, who is committed to helping other women in similar situations, and D.D. met several years later and now Flora acts as D.D.’s confidential informant. When SSA Kimberly Quincy invites D.D. to join a major task force investigating several cold cases in the mountains of Georgia, which could be connected to the infamous predator, Flora and Keith, who both know more about Ness than most people, were included.
“She needs me,” Flora said flatly. “No one knows Jacob like I do. No one else survived to tell the tale.”
“I didn’t do so shabby tearing about his computer in December,” Keith echoed. “Certainly I learned more in forty-eight hours than the FBI did in six years.”
They were both right, and D.D. knew it.
As the investigation gets underway it’s soon apparent it’s much bigger and more sinister than was first thought as more remains are discovered. The small tourist town of Niche, where the task force is based, is a magnet for hikers and may seem idyllic on the surface but something isn’t quite right. Just how much isn’t right becomes apparent as the plot thickens and dark deeds and secrets well rooted in the town begin to emerge.
The story is told from several viewpoints so the characters become real, creating depth and suspense, and there is enough information on Flora’s and D.D’s backstory to get a good sense of who they are, for those new to the series. The unnamed narrator has been through a terrible time but comes through it with courage and determination.
When You See Me is a fast paced, multi layered, well-plotted and researched, descriptively complex police procedural that starts as it means to go on, with tension building from the beginning—forensic descriptions blending seamlessly into the storyline. The main characters are fully formed and I really enjoyed the interaction between them all. Flora is slowly learning to trust and open herself to other people, the effects of the trauma she suffered, resulting in episodes of PTSD, diminishing slightly.
This is an absorbing, page turning story, full of unpredictable twists, where nothing is quite what it seems.
About the Author
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.