Narrator: Elisabeth Rodgers
Publisher: Dutton Adult/Brilliance Audio
Publication date: February 5th 2013
My rating: 4 stars
#1 New York Times bestseller Lisa Gardner, author of Catch Me and Love You More, returns with a heart-thumping thriller about what lurks behind the facade of a perfect family.
This is my family: Vanished without a trace
Justin and 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 façades 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, family it is all touch and go.
Touch & Go haunted me for several days after I finished. It took me well over two weeks to get through this audio book, with it being over fourteen hours long and listening to it only on my commutes. But every time I started again I was consumed and listened with rapt attention wishing my commute was much longer! The time in between “readings” didn’t diminish this story at all, and part of that was due to the excellent performance of the narrator, Elisabeth Rodgers.
This story was told in Libby Denbe’s voice in first person but also alternating in the perspective of Tessa Leoni, a corporate private investigator, and Wyatt Foster, a County Sheriff. I “met” Tessa a while back in another book where she was actually a murder suspect and State Trooper; one of the reasons Tessa is now in the private sector. That was a suspenseful read and amazing read!
The story opens up in Libby’s voice. She’s a wife and mother, married for the last eighteen years to Justin Denbe, the love of her life. Justin is every woman’s dream: gorgeous, owner of a multimillion dollar company, doting father and take charge sort of man. His family is his whole world, or so Libby thought until she found out he was cheating on her, six months ago. This is when Libby’s life slowly started coming apart and her little perfect family is barely keeping it together. Never did she suspect that things were going to get a thousand times worse when she’s abducted with Justin and their fifteen year old daughter out of their family home.
I went through a range of emotions and feelings throughout this story. My stomach was in knots, my heart alternately breaking, and then filling with hope, and then I’d be enraged and indignant! I have to say most of my anger was directed towards Justin Denbe! No good, rotten cheating %&*$ (insert many angry curse words here)!! But then he was all about keeping his family safe, he was remorseful, and I’d have hope in him and their family’s future all over again. Libby reveals their history to us in flashbacks and the love and passion they shared makes you want to scream “Why, Justin?!! Why?” I finished this almost two weeks ago and my heart still aches over them!
Let’s not forget the horror of being a hostage. I think I worried more over what could happen than what actually did. This is where the investigation came in with Tessa and Wyatt main players here. I kept guessing and trying to figure out who was guilty. There were many red herrings and just when I thought I had it figured out, Lisa Gardner bitch-slapped me something good with the truth!! Oh man!!
There was a romance/attraction brewing between Tessa and Wyatt throughout, but it was very subtle. This is the way with Lisa Gardner’s novels. She gives us a set of characters that solve various mysteries in each story but there’s a continuing story arc in regards to the main character’s personal lives. Tessa and Wyatt’s story took a backseat to Libby Denbe and her story, but I would’ve liked it more evenly divided between them; although, this may not have had the same emotional impact on me if it went that way. I can't wait for the next Tessa and Wyatt mystery!
I’ve been a huge fan of Lisa Gardner for some time. She’s writes some very dark mysteries usually with a little bit of romance thrown in. If you love a well plotted mystery and are not scared off from some darker topics, I highly recommend picking up one of her books! This audio book was amazing and the narrator did an excellent job inflecting a subtle Boston accent when called for. Libby’s POV was haunting and emotional! There were only two secondary character voices that made me cringe a little. Both were male and didn’t have lengthy talking parts.
I did originally receive this from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! I also bought it in audio-book version after Audible was having a sale, so I ended up “reading” it that way.