Lisa Gardner Outdoes Herself with FIND HER

Book Review - Jackie K Cooper
FIND HER by Lisa Gardner

Lisa Gardner and I have a love/dislike relationship. When she writes stories that appeal to my mystery solving heart, she is fantastic. When she writes stories that elude me and don't draw me to the characters or plot, she's a disappointment. Her last novel CRASH AND BIURN didn't do it for me. Her latest novel FIND HER is just about perfect.

A lot of Gardner's books feature Boston Detective D D Warren. In this book she is still recovering from injuries suffered in a previous story and has been placed on temporary duty as a supervisor of her crime team. This limits her involvement in the investigation of the crime to some extent, but not much. She still manages to be the key person in the investigation of a current homicide. The bizarre element of this case is that everyone knows who did it. They just don't know why.

Flora Dame is the obvious murderer of a man who was holding her trapped in his home. She had been out at a bar and was abducted by him. One minute he was dragging her down the street and the next thing she knew she was bound and naked in a room. Strangely this was not her first abduction. Several years prior to this occurrence she was taken by a man when she was in Florida on spring break. She was held for over four hundred days before she was rescued.

The book explores Flora's psychological state during her traumatic abduction, and presents her mindset when she is returned to a "normal" life. She finds the experience has altered her in many, many ways and has established barriers even the closest members of her family can not break down.

Flora Dane is one of the most inventive characters Gardner has ever created. She is smart, strong and complex. As she tells herself over and over, she is a survivor. Her situations have messed up her life but she is still a woman with a cause. And that cause is freeing other persons who find themselves in her type of situation.

I can just imagine how excited Gardner was when this plot formed in her brain. I am sure the words actually spewed from her mind and on to the page. I base this on the fact the story flies by and the reader has to hustle to keep up with the twists and turns that appear one after another. This is not a story you just idly enjoy; this is a book that demands to be read - and read quickly.

FIND HER is Lisa Gardner at her all time best. She still has D D Warren in the mix but this is a Flora Dane story from start to finish. Who knows, maybe Flora Dane will return with a series of stories all her own. I would certainly welcome them, and more D D Warren stories too.

This book will give you a new respect for Gardner's writing skills. Her story is innovative and unique as well as brilliantly crafted. Mark this one down as a "must read!".

FIND HER is published by Dutton. It contains 416 pages and sells for $27.00.

Jackie K Cooper