Lisa Gardner’s latest thriller following her runaway hit Find Her takes her wildly popular brand of suspense to new heights.
Eight years ago, Sharlah May Nash’s older brother beat their drunken father to death with a baseball bat in order to save both of their lives. Now thirteen years old, Sharlah has finally moved on. About to be adopted by retired FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his partner, Rainie Conner, Sharlah loves one thing best about her new family: They are all experts on monsters.
Then the call comes in. A double murder at a local gas station, followed by reports of an armed suspect shooting his way through the wilds of Oregon. As Quincy and Rainie race to assist, they are forced to confront mounting evidence: The shooter may very well be Sharlah’s older brother, Telly Ray Nash, and it appears his killing spree has only just begun.
As the clock winds down on a massive hunt for Telly, Quincy and Rainie must answer two critical questions: Why after eight years has this young man started killing again? And what does this mean for Sharlah? Once upon a time, Sharlah’s big brother saved her life. Now, she has two questions of her own: Is her brother a hero or a killer? And how much will it cost her new family before they learn the final, shattering truth? Because as Sharlah knows all too well, the biggest danger is the one standing right behind you.
I’ve been a fan of Lisa Gardner ever since my librarian recommend her to me and I’ve never been disappointed so I admittedly entered this believing I was already going to give a positive review.
But Gardner still managed to surprise me so my review won’t be on her ‘thriller’ part because it was standard fare for this genre. Someone gets killed, someone did it, someone got blamed for it, the cops think they know what they’re doing but don’t then finally do. You know standard plot line for a mystery thriller. Don’t get me wrong, her writing style when it comes to “standard plot line” is still very good. I didn’t see the full scope of the “villain” until she began unraveling it which is always nice when it’s not given away by bad writing from the beginning. Her scenes are descriptive and intriguing so she holds your interest on the crime and its players.
The REAL meat of this story though doesn’t come from the mystery part but this overarching theme of family she has woven throughout her story. At its heart this novel teaches an important lesson about the relationships between parent and child, between siblings and what it means to be ‘family’. The bonds we form are forged by blood but they’re also created by choice; family isn’t relegated to shared DNA.
On that aspect Gardner did a fantastic job. As a mother, daughter and sister I felt the bonds she created between her characters was so incredibly real and moving that by the end of the book I was in tears from the love her characters bestowed upon each other and the lengths they would go to in the name of family. Gardner’s character development is so well detailed and concrete that these fictional characters feel like real people you want to root for, hug and hope that when the pages run out of words their story continues to a happily ever after.
*synopsis and pic from amazon.com
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