Tag: Lisa Gardner

#BookBeginnings Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner

 

Today I’m highlighting a book that kept me up at night, Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner for Book Beginnings on Fridays.

Book Beginnings is a fun meme hosted by Rose City Reader blog. To participate, share the first sentence or so of a novel you are reading and your thoughts about it. When you are finished, add your URL to the Book Beginnings page linked above. Hope to see you there!

 

book-beginnings-Gershkowitz

Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Summary:  Frankie Elkin looks for missing persons. It is her obsession. The only problem is that she is an ordinary woman, without training, support, or credentials. Understandably, both the families of the missing and the police distrust her.  When she travels to a Boston neighborhood to look for a girl who disappeared after school, she has to watch for danger around every corner so she doesn’t go missing as well.

First Sentence:

The water feels like a cold caress against my face. I kick deeper down into the gloom, my long hair trailing behind me like a dark eel. I am wearing clothes…Why am I wearing clothes?

Discussion:

Lisa Gardner plays with the trope where a body is supposed to show up in the first scene in mysteries. Is the narrator a victim? Or is she something else? Is what is happening even real?

For me, it worked. I was pulled in, wanting to know what was going on. However, I could see how some readers might find it too disorienting or disturbing.

56

The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice. The premise is simple. Turn to page 56 in the book and pick a quote.

 

If I hold in my head where I want to go, my feet take me in the right direction. One glance at the map, however, and all bets are off. Maybe because the transit map bears no resemblance to surface street. It offers an oversimplified series of blue, green, red, and yellow spines that are far too neat for the reality of an overgrown historic district bristling with random byways.

I picked this quote because it seems to me that Gardner is revealing something deeper than just how the transit map works.

What do you think? Have you read anything by Lisa Gardner? Would this one keep you up at night?

#BookBeginnings Live to Tell by Lisa Gardner

Today I’m reading Live to Tell by Lisa Gardner for Book Beginnings on Fridays.

Book Beginnings is a fun meme hosted by Rose City Reader blog. To participate, share the first sentence or so of a novel you are reading and your thoughts about it. When you are finished, add your URL to the Book Beginnings page linked above. Hope to see you there!

 

book-beginnings

Live to Tell* by Lisa Gardner

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Summary:  When four members of a Boston family are murdered and the father is barely alive in the hospital, everything points to a murder-botched suicide. Police detective D.D. Warren isn’t convinced that things are as obvious as they seem, however, and begins to dig more deeply.  Does the case have anything to do with another tragedy from decades before?

First Sentence, Prologue:

Danielle

I don’t remember that night much anymore.

 

First Sentence, Chapter One

Thursday night. Sargent Detective D.D. Warren was out on a date. It wasn’t the worst date she’d ever been on. It wasn’t the best date she’d ever been on.

Notice the switch from first person to third person?

56

The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice. The premise is simple. Turn to page 56 in the book and pick a quote.

 

D.D. slept until seven the next morning, an unusual luxury when working a high-burn case.

Actually this is page 57 because 56 is blank.

I have four Lisa Gardner novels in my TBR pile. I decided to start with the oldest one in the D.D. Warren series because I had already read the first two.

Lisa Gardner is prolific, so I also have one from the FBI Profiler series, and one from the Tessa Leoni series. I don’t know why I have waited so long to read these. I enjoy her books.

What do you think? Would you read Live to Tell? Have you read any novels by Lisa Gardner?

Author Post: Lisa Gardner

Lisa Gardner is a prolific bestselling author known for writing thrillers.

 

Although labelled as thrillers, the novels I’ve read don’t neatly fit in one genre. Gardner’s novels do follow the thriller model because the action is fast paced and tension runs high.  In a typical thriller, however, the killer/villain is revealed early on and the reader wonders whether the protagonist will be able to  catch them. Gardner’s novels (the few that I’ve read so far) ask whether the protagonist will find out who did it, closer to a standard mystery/police procedural formula.

One unique aspect to her novels that I have noticed is that Gardner includes a major character who is either a victim and/or a stand in for the victim. We learn about the victim’s experiences, which adds a lot of depth and complexity to the story. She also carefully researches the experiences, giving rich details.

I’ve seen Lisa Gardner promoting her newest title, When You See Me this month. That reminded me I have picked up a couple more of her books for my TBR pile and I have no idea what order to read them in. Time to get organized!

Note:  It turns out that each novel stands alone pretty well, except for a few personal aspects of D.D. Warren’s life. No need to read them in order unless you can.

Detective D.D. Warren books in order:

  • Alone (2005)
  • Hide (2007) – reviewed (Also recently watched the movie based on the book)
  • The Neighbor (2009)
  • Live to Tell (2010) – full of information about the realities of a pediatric psych facility
  • Love You More (2011)
  • Catch Me (2012)
  • Fear Nothing (2014) – shelf (signed copy)
  • Find Her (2016) – Introduces the character Flora Dane (who reappears in Never Tell).
  • Look for Me (2018)
  • The Guy Who Died Twice (2019)
  • Never Tell (2019) –reviewed
  • When You See Me (2020)

FBI Profiler books in order:

The father/daughter team of Pierce and Kimberly Quincy.

  • The Perfect Husband (1998)
  • The Third Victim (2001)
  • The Next Accident (2001)
  • The Killing Hour (2003)
  • Gone (2006)
  • Say Goodbye (2008) – A clear example of suspense with scenes sprinkled throughout from the antagonists’ points of views. Cool spider theme, too.
  • The 4th Man (2017)
  • Right Behind You (2017)
  • When You See Me (2020)

Tessa Leoni series in order:

Tessa is a former Massachusetts State Trooper, now a PI.

  • Love You More (2011)
  • Touch & Go (2013)
  • Crash & Burn (2015) – The main character is the epitome of an unreliable narrator.  She’s had three severe head injuries. Unreliable narrators are not my favorite in mysteries because they interfere too much with the reader’s ability to solve the crime.  Blah.

Stand Alones:

Before She Disappeared (2021) -Frankie Elkin looks for missing persons. It is her obsession. The only problem is that she is an ordinary woman, without training, support, or credentials. Understandably, both the families of the missing and the police distrust her. When she travels to a Boston neighborhood to look for a girl who disappeared after school, she has to watch for danger around every corner so she doesn’t go missing as well. -Enjoyed this one.

 

About Author Posts:

Because I read a lot of mysteries, I’ve been trying to come up with a better system to keep track of which novels I’ve finished. I thought blogging would help, which it does, but I don’t always review everything I read. To get more organized, I’ve decided to create a series of author posts with lists of novels and links to my reviews. I plan to edit these pages as needed.

#BookBeginnings Never Tell by Lisa Gardner

Let’s take a look at the novel Never Tell by Lisa Gardner for Book Beginnings on Fridays.

Book Beginnings is a fun meme hosted by Rose City Reader blog. To participate, share the first sentence or so of a novel you are reading and your thoughts about it. When you are finished, add your URL to the Book Beginnings page linked above. Hope to see you there!

 

book-beginnings-Lisa Gardener

Never Tell*by Lisa Gardner

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

 

Summary:  When a pregnant woman named Evie Carter is found next to her dead husband holding a gun in her hand, Detective D.D. Warren realizes she has encountered Carter at a prior crime scene. Years before Evie confessed to accidentally shooting her father. Was the previous case actually murder? Is  this case as open and shut as it appears?

First Sentence:

By the time I pull my car into the garage, my hands are shaking on the wheel. I tell myself I have no reason to feel so nervous.

Discussion:

Evie is the narrator of the first scene. It really grabbed me and made me want to know what was going on. Including the viewpoints of those caught up in the crime — not just those investigating — is one of Lisa Gardner’s strengths (see previous review of Hide).

I picked this novel up at the airport because I’d already finished the novel I had intended to read on the flight. I’m glad I did! It was engrossing enough to make the time fly (pun intended?), but wasn’t so complicated that I’d lose track of the plot whenever I got interrupted. I would call this the perfect airplane read.

What do you think? Have you read any of Lisa Gardner’s novels?

What is your favorite airline novel?

#amreading #mystery: Revealing the Strengths of Lisa Gardner’s Hide

Have you read any Lisa Gardner mysteries? I have been reading through her D.D. Warren series, and I have to say my new favorite is Hide (A Detective D.D. Warren Novel).

This title really stands out for a couple of reasons. First of all Annabelle, even though she is at the brunt of some of the villain’s wrongdoing (victim/potential victim), gets as strong a role as some of the law enforcement characters. Including the victims’ viewpoints gives Gardner’s books an interesting emotional core because their reactions are more intense and direct.

Second, I love that Bobby Dodge, who got pretty beat up in the last book (Alone), has a better time of it in this one. To say anything more would be a spoiler.

The main reason Hide works so well, however, has to to do with Annabelle’s motivations. Having recently read a Writer Unboxed blog post about The Duplicity of A Character’s Desire, it seemed like a good time to evaluate how desire worked in this novel. Annabelle’s desire to find out who her father was, why he kept her family on the run throughout her childhood, and ultimately her desire to discover whether or not she can have a more normal adulthood align to make her a clear and compelling character. Many of Lisa Gardner’s characters wander off into the realm of unreliable narrator, which is fine. Keeping Annabelle confined to a clear path, however, made this particular book more satisfying.

The bottom line is that although the Annabelle character spent her childhood in hiding, the act of revealing her desires to others ultimately makes Hide a highly enjoyable read.

 

What do you think?

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