Friday, December 6, 2013

touch & go

touch & go
d.d. warren #6
lisa gardner
dutton adult
published 2013

This is my family: Vanished without a trace....

Justin & Libby Denbe have the kind of life that looks good in the pages of a glossy magazine.  A beautiful fifteen-year old daughter, Ashlyn.  A gorgeous brownstone on a tree-lined street in Boston's elite Back Bay neighborhood.  A great marriage, admired by friends and family.  A perfect life.

This is what I know: Pain has a flavor...

When investigator Tessa Leoni arrives at the crime scene in the Denbes' home, she finds scuff marks on the floor and Taser confetti in the foyer.  The family appears to have been abducted, with only a pile of their most personal possessions remaining behind.  No witnesses, no ransom demands, no motive.  Just an entire family, vanished without a trace.

This is what I fear: The worst is yet to come...

Tessa knows better than anyone that even the most perfect facades can hide the darkest secrets.  Now she must race against the clock to uncover the Denbes' innermost dealings, a complex tangle of friendships and betrayal, big business and small sacrifices.  Who would want to kidnap such a perfect little family?  And how far would such a person be willing to go?

This is the truth: Love, safety, is all touch and go.

Let's start with what I loved:

  • Gardner knows how to write suspense.  There are parts where I had to force myself to slow down and read each word instead of skipping ahead because the suspense was just killing me.
  • Libby & Ashlyn were strong despite their weaknesses.  Another good thing Gardner does is write good female characters.
  • She also writes the occasional good guy.  Wyatt was funny, smart and not afraid to defer to a smart woman.

And now, this is what I didn't love:

  • Not enough Tessa.  She kind of had to share her thunder with Wyatt.  Thankfully, he's a good character, but I would definitely like to see more of Tessa.
  • I did see the outcome a mile away.  There was just no other resolution.

While I did see this outcome coming a mile away, I didn't have the details worked out.  I didn't account for Radar and Z and what they were really capable of.  I truly didn't see the role of any other players except for Justin, Libby and Ashlyn.  It's really hard to explain what I didn't see without giving any spoilers away!

I can definitely see Tessa carrying her own series.  As an investigator now it kind of opens up all kinds of stuff for Gardner to write about.  And her 'connections' with Boston PD and now North Country New Hampshire Sheriff's Department means she can be a part of even more investigations if necessary.  I love this woman who will do anything for her kid and almost anything for someone else's kid too.

I am including this in the DD Warren series for my Finish That Series challenge only because DD does make and appearance and Tessa is part of that Universe.

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