Publication date: February 9th 2016
My rating: 4 stars
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Flora Dane is a victim.
Seven years ago, carefree college student Flora was kidnapped while on spring break. For 472 days, Flora learned just how much one person can endure.
Flora Dane is a survivor.
Miraculously alive after her ordeal, Flora has spent the past five years reacquainting herself with the rhythms of normal life, working with her FBI victim advocate, Samuel Keynes. She has a mother who’s never stopped loving her, a brother who is scared of the person she’s become, and a bedroom wall covered with photos of other girls who’ve never made it home.
Flora Dane is reckless.
. . . or is she? When Boston detective D. D. Warren is called to the scene of a crime—a dead man and the bound, naked woman who killed him—she learns that Flora has tangled with three other suspects since her return to society. Is Flora a victim or a vigilante? And with her firsthand knowledge of criminal behavior, could she hold the key to rescuing a missing college student whose abduction has rocked Boston? When Flora herself disappears, D.D. realizes a far more sinister predator is out there. One who’s determined that this time, Flora Dane will never escape. And now it is all up to D. D. Warren to find her.
Find Her was chilling and one of the more disturbing stories I’ve read by Lisa Gardner. Once I truly sat down and started reading, I couldn’t put the book down and I have to say the story haunted me.
Detective D.D. Warren is called to bizarre homicide where the victim turned the tables on her abductor before he did her any damage. Once D.D. starts asking questions she soon realizes there is more than meets the eye with the victim, Flora Dane, because this isn’t the first time Flora has been a victim of abduction.
Flora Dane was held for four hundred and seventy-two days by a monster. She survived, but forever changed. Now five years later Flora will not be a victim again, quite the opposite, she’s obsessed with cases of missing girls. The case of Stacy Summers particularly captures Flora’s interest. Stacy goes out having drinks at a bar and disappears. The last she’s seen is on a surveillance video being led away by a dark figure. That was three months ago, and Flora’s determined to find her. Unfortunately, her investigations put her in danger and she goes missing. Will D.D. be able to put all the pieces of the past and present together and find Flora before it’s too late? Man, I was hoping so!
Like I said, Find Her was disturbing and suspenseful, a real nail-biter! I found the shifts to Flora’s past upsetting, not that the details are explicit, but my imagination has no problem filling in the blanks. My stomach twists thinking about what Flora went through, as little by little the story of her past abduction is revealed, and how she came out of it. But Flora is a survivor, and I relished the parts where she stood up for herself. She took control by taking self-defense and educating herself. This was very much a tale of what happens to a victim after they’re “saved” because it’s apparent after reading this story that is most definitely not the end to their ordeal.
You don’t have to read the previous books in this series or know the prior history of Detective D.D. Warren to enjoy Find Her, but she is one of my favorite regulars in Lisa Gardner’s mysteries. While her personal story is very much in the background, I’ve enjoyed seeing her find love and family throughout the series. Not that there haven’t been ups and downs, but I love it when an author portrays a solid marriage weathering tough times together. D.D. needs to thank her lucky stars that she found Alex, such a supportive and understanding husband! I love every scene with that man! D.D. is on restricted duty after sustaining an injury in Fear Nothing (book 7) but staying on the sidelines in a supervisory position is not her style. She’s in the thick of things hunting down the bad guy!
If you haven’t picked up a Lisa Gardner mystery you are missing out. I’ve been a fan of her well-plotted and researched mysteries for years. Her stories will stay with you and leave you thinking for days if not years.