Find Her by Lisa Gardner (DD Warren #8)

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Synopsis: I escaped the box. The coffin that was both my prison and my lifeline. My prison as I waited each day for release. My lifeline as being locked inside meant being away from him. I escaped the box, but I didn’t escape its consequences. Now danger’s irrelevant. All I care about is making them pay. The other predators out there. Those just like the man who took me. And if someone tries to grab me again? I know how to protect myself. And when another girl is taken? Have no doubt: I will do anything, anything, to find her.

Escaped kidnap victim Flora Dane has once again disappeared. Has the self-proclaimed vigilante become a victim? Or is something far more sinister at play? D.D. will have to race against the clock if she is going to Find Her.

KAT’S RATING: 4/5

KAT’S REVIEW: I’m a pretty hard core fan of Lisa Gardner, especially the DD Warren series. However, words of warning…don’t start reading this late at night! It’s what I did, and not only did it keep me up into the early hours, it also scared me witless. We get to see both Flora Dane’s point of view as well as DD Warren’s. Flora is a survivor in her own right, kept hostage for more than a year we literally live through her ordeal as she goes back in time as the story progresses.

For this latest DD outing, it seems Flora has once again disappeared. The bigger question this story poses is whether Flora has once again been kidnapped, or is this part of a bigger plan. DD seemingly takes a back-seat and I couldn’t help but feel that Flora’s story captured me a lot more than DD’s turn of events! With that minor niggle to one side the story itself absolutely captivated me.

The story is well paced and from the very outset had me shivering in fear at the descriptive and harrowing tale of Flora. Momentum is built in stages and you are swept along with each turn of events. DD still holds her own in this book yet she just didn’t quite shine like she normally does. This was certainly another solid read in the series. We also see an unexpected, albeit brief, glimpse of the character Kimberley Quincy. Don’t get too excited, it really was brief, but still it made me realise how much I long for another book in that series.

Overall this book ticks all the right boxes, including leaving me sleeping a little uneasy the night I started the book. For some reason I didn’t feel like it was a five star read, maybe because of DD taking a back seat but still an undeniably good book!

Fear Nothing by Lisa Gardner (DD Warren #7)

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Synopsis: My name is Dr Adeline Glen. Due to a genetic condition I can’t feel pain.

All Boston Detective D.D. Warren remembers is walking the crime scene. Next, a creaking floorboard, a voice in her ear… Now D.D. is seriously injured and unable to return to work.

My sister is Shana Day, a notorious child murderer. She has killed more people in prison than as a free woman.

Then a second victim is found with the same calling cards left at the scene: champagne and a single red rose. Only D.D. may have seen the killer, but she recalls nothing from the night that may have cost her everything.

Our father was Harry Day, an infamous serial killer dead for over forty years. The Rose Killer knows things about my father he shouldn’t. All I know is my family still has the power to hurt me.

Now D.D. is back on the hunt. Because the Rose Killer isn’t just targeting lone women, he is targeting D.D. And D.D. knows there is only one way to take him down:

Fear nothing.

RATED: 5/5

My Review: Detective DD Warren is back in a new addition to this series and I was looking forward to catching up with her. The first few chapters actually gave me the chills and before you knew it instead of DD being at the forefront, she is recovering from a serious physical injury which leaves her in no state to work. This was the first thing that was odd, was that the DD of old was no longer physically present so it made for a different type of read. We see DD on the back foot as she desperately tried to piece together her last memories before entering her last crime scene. The crimes in question are themselves chilling when reading about them, and as usual Lisa Gardner has the ability to make you squirm when reading what the latest sick and twisted murdered has done. In this case bodies are turning up along with champagne and a single rose.

The story has a few layers to it and we meet Dr Adeline Glen, who is a somewhat oddity to the norm as she has a condition meaning she feels no pain. The secret she holds is that her sister is a notorious child killer and is serving the rest of her natural life in prison. In addition to that their father was an infamous serial killer, and although dead for many years still has a rather sick cult like following. There seemed to be no room to breathe when I was reading this, as no sooner had one thing happened, the story took you to a different element and drew you straight back in.

I was thoroughly engrossed from start to finish and although I had a sneaking suspicion (which proved correct) about who was doing what, the suspense and writing itself kept me hooked from beginning to end. Lisa Gardner has consistently produced great crime thrillers and this latest one is no exception. There is plenty of action, plot twists and suspense to keep you up until the early hours. She has once again left me swallowing the bitter pill that I now have to wait a whole year for the next instalment. Other than my ridiculous impatience, a first class book which shows just how talented Lisa Gardner is. This one is highly recommended.

Catch Me by Lisa Gardner (DD Warren #6)

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My Rating: 4/5

 Lisa Gardner has been on my must read list for some time now and I have particularly loved the Quincy/Rainie series. However, in more recent books the DD Warren series has been predominant which I have taken my time to grow to like as much as the Quincy books. Having said that; after Lisa’s last book in this DD Warren series I can honestly say I was hooked. DD Warren is a typical no-nonsense Detective, and she has her work cut out for her in this latest book.

Charlie Grant is the main focus of the story and from the very beginning we are shown her sheer terror. Charlie is convinced that on 21st January she will be murdered. Whilst dealing with another crime scene, Charlie confronts DD and asks her to make sure she investigates her imminent death properly.

The nicest thing about this book is we see the slight change in DD’s character and she comes across as a much softer woman following the birth of her son. DD and her team are also working on the killing of people involved in sex crimes. This storyline interlinks with the main one regarding Charlie nicely. From the very beginning the plot is very fast paced and there is a sense of frenzy as we read about Charlie trying to out-run the person coming to kill her.

The story picks up considerable pace around the halfway mark and the two stories run alongside each other nicely. The best part about this book for me was seeing much more of DD’s personal life and the ways in which she has changed. The story kept me turning the pages quickly and the story kept me guessing until the very end. We do see glimpses of characters from previous books such as retired FBI profiler Pierce Quincy, as well as fleeting glances of J.T Dillon and Sergeant Roan. Although I have grown to love DD Warren, I would still love to see another book released featuring Quincy!

Overall, this was one of the best in the DD Warren series and although part of a series could certainly be read as a stand alone book. I think Lisa Gardner fans will be thrilled with the new, softer DD Warren and new readers will be pleased to read such an engaging book. A definite page turner and I would definitely recommend it.

Love You More by Lisa Gardner (DD Warren #5)

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My Rating: 5/5

 Lisa Gardner’s release prior to this one was entitled `Live To Tell’ and if I am being 100% honest it wasn’t my favourite of her books. There was a certain element of `supernatural’ to that book and it just didn’t sit right with me. Thankfully, she has returned to her former glory of producing a fantastic crime novel featuring DD Warren.

DD Warren is featured in a series of books and this latest book is number 5 in the series. Detective D.D Warren is a very headstrong woman working in a predominantly male environment. She is a tough, no-nonsense woman who seems to fluctuate between doing the right thing the legal way, and doing the right thing the illegal way. In the last book Live to Tell it seemed like DD had become this sex-starved workaholic. There was a certain element of believability about it but it seemed a little harsh for even her to become that bad. In this latest book she seems to have finally settled back to her normal self, with thankfully a man on the horizon. As well as DD being part of a murder case and missing child’s case, she also has her own personal issues to tackle which make for a great thread which can be continued on to the next book.

DD is paired up with her ex-loved Bobby Dodge on a strange murder case. Brian Darby is found dead on his kitchen floor. His wife Tessa Leoni is a state police trooper and is claiming to have shot him in self-defence. It should be a simple self-defence case but Tessa’s six year old daughter Sophie is missing. DD and Bobby soon become aware that this case is a little out of the ordinary. They are also aware that with a 6 year old child missing the clock is ticking.

Tessa has her own secrets and as such you see and hear from her as her story begins with walking into her kitchen that fateful night. Lisa Gardner has produced an outstanding book. Tessa is absolutely brilliant and you understand that this is written with the sheer though of how far you would go for your child.

The story is set into two parts that of DD and Bobby chasing the murder trail and Tessa trying to keep one step ahead the whole time. As usual I started out at a relatively sedate pace but soon couldn’t help but keep reading. The ending came as a shock (which is always nice) and as Lisa Gardner is famous for, her crime scene descriptions and gruesome murders are very descriptive. Set in harsh Boston winter I felt like I was literally running behind them ain the snow, this book was an absolute corker and I was so pleased that the author has also given us the added bonus of a new dimension for the character for the next book.

This is a brilliant book which I loved and I cannot imagine any crime fan not enjoying it. Fast paced, with lots of twists in the plot, it never stands still for a minute. Get out there and grab yourself a copy! 

Live To Tell by Lisa Gardner (DD Warren #4)

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My Review: 4/5

Danielle Burton is the lone survivor of her family massacre over 25 years ago. She currently works in a children’s psychiatric ward trying to help if not save children. It is fast approaching the 25th anniversary of the event and she feels powerless to stop all the old emotions from returning. In a nearby working class neighbourhood, a family is found dead. There is one survivor the father, who is clinging on for life in the Intensive Care Unit. Detective DD Warren is called to the scene and soon realises that this is not a simple open and shut murder case.Victoria Oliver is trying to just get through each day of here life. She tries her best to keep her son safe from himself and the outside world but the day to day struggle becomes harder when she realised the biggest threat is from her own son.The lives of Danielle, Victoria and DD will soon collide, only none of them realises just how great the consequences are going to be.

I have been a fan of Lisa Gardner’s since I picked up one of her earlier books. I almost always pre-order her books so that I don’t miss a publication date. Her books in the past have proved to be absolutely edge of your seat suspense. This book, well, in a word I have mixed feelings.I read the first review on Amazon from a lady in the US who read one of LG’s earlier books entitled `Alone’ and then read this current book next. The lady had stated in her review she wondered if they were the same author and I know where she is coming from.

LG has always written really fast paced thrillers and the characters are always really strong and passionate people that are thrown into the deep end of a story. In one respect this book is no different. However, there is one major element to this story which threw me which was the `supernatural’. Now I must point out that I do NOT read supernatural type books and do not subscribe to the `supernatural belief system’. Therefore, this element of the story threw me a bit.

Although the mention of supernatural is recurring throughout, this element of the story is strictly surrounding only one character. I think that you can choose to take this element which ever way you please. It is also clear that two of the main characters, namely DD and Danielle are `non-believers” which I think adds to the realism of the story. The ending can be read in two different ways as well. I think the author used the supernatural element in addition to the other characters as opposed to the only answer. I thought that the supernatural element to one side, LG has again produced a fantastic story with great characters and a really strong plot. Although some fans may not think this is one of her best I actually really enjoyed it.

A lot of this book is based around the children that are housed in the psychiatric unit in a hospital and the kind of behaviour that they display due to varying medical conditions. Danielle is a nurse on that ward and a good chunk of the story centres in the unit and its children and staff. Lisa Gardner writes these children’s problems with great care and it makes you realise that taking a pill isn’t always the answer for some sick kids. I also read at the end of the book that LG was compelled to write this into one of her stories due to her own personal experience with a friend’s child.

It was great to see DD Warren back in the hot seat, although for some reason in this latest book she has become a sex-starved workaholic with a very bitter outlook on life. Don’t get me wrong, she was a great character to begin with and I always like realism in a character. I just didn’t remember her being quite so harsh. All of the slight negatives regarding supernatural to one side, I still thoroughly recommend Lisa Gardner and cannot wait for her next one (albeit hopefully with less woo-woo in it).

The Neighbour by Lisa Gardner (DD Warren #3)

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My Rating: 4/5

I am a Lisa Gardner fan and was eagerly awaiting this book. This isn’t so much a follow on from the ‘Bobby Dodge’ series that she has done, it was more of an extension of the series. In the book we meed DD Warren who featured in the last two Bobby Dodge books (Alone and Hide). DD is a tough talking female cop who is on the trail of a missing woman. The Jones are a normal couple. It seems that Jason Jones and his wife Sandra along with their daughter Ree had a normal life, until Jason comes home and finds his wife missing. All there is to prove this theory is a broken lampshade and some missing bed sheets. DD starts the investigation and finds that Jason and Sandra’s life seems a little ‘too’ normal for her liking. After delving, we are introduced to possible suspects for Sandra’s dissapearance one of whom is registered in the sex offenders list and just happens to live on the same street as her. Sandra’s father is also an unknow in this case and DD doesn’t like the vibes she is picking up from him. She finds the case gets incredibly complicated the more she looks into both Sandra and Jason’s past.

This particular book had me (literally) on the edge of my seat. It gave so many suspect possibilities, along with quite a few scenarios that you wondered…”did they do it”. I think her descriptions of characters are fantastic and you end up having very strong feelings about them very early on (always a good sign I think). It was just what a good crime book needs and Lisa Gardner (yet again) has delivered it. As usual I will be placing my pre-order months before so I don’t miss out on her next book. FANTASTIC!

Hide by Lisa Gardner (DD Warren #2)

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My Rating: 5/5

 Lisa Gardner has written many books and has quite a following for a series that features FBI Profiler Pierce Quincy. This book is part of the DD Warren series of books however.

Detective Bobby Dodge is introduced to us again in this new thriller. When the discovery of six bodies is made in an abandoned hospital, he feels the fear creeping up on him. Is this the return of his worst nightmare and is it coming back to haunt him?

Annabelle Granger has been running for years. Never knowing why but just trailing along behind her family. Always changing name and identity, and nearly 30 years later she is still doing it and can’t quite work out why. When a body is discovered with wearing Annabelle’s locket and she is named as the dead girl in the paper she decides she will no longer hide in fear, but that it’s time to confront her past. Before long she realises that this may be what her family were running from and now they are after her.

With Bobby’s discovery of the bodies he realises that he can’t face this challenge alone and asks his old time lover and partner DD Warren from Boston PD to help him. They quickly realise that this could be a copycat murder or it could be something more sinister than that. Unfortunately for Bobby, his past isn’t leaving him alone and is more tied up in this case than he could imagine.

As usual Lisa Gardner has produced a fantastic book with edgy writing and a great character. The story keeps you interested enough to keep turning the pages and before you know it your nearly finished. She is fast becoming one of my top ten authors and I would recommend her books to anybody who likes reading the thriller/crime type of book. I also think that if she carries on producing books this good, the following for the Bobby Dodge series could well be as good as the following for the Quincy series.