Thursday, 11 July 2013

Review: Touch & Go by Lisa Gardner

Touch & Go
Touch & Go by Lisa Gardner
Narrator: Elisabeth Rodgers
Publisher: Dutton Adult/Brilliance Audio
Publication date: February 5th 2013
My rating: 4 stars
Audio Book

#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.

My Thoughts:

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.


  1. I love dark mysteries. Besides romance, that is my to-go genre, but I haven't been reading a lot of that. Lisa Gardner is new to me and looks like I need to check out her previous work. I really like the premises for this one, it certainly is very haunting. But I sure as hell am not going to listen to it if the 2 male voices are going to creep me out. Great review, Rachel!
    PS: Justin is going to get on my nerve. I can already tell.

  2. This one seems like a hauntingly touching reading. Not a fan of the slightest creepy books but I love books that are emotional. I shall consider this one now, thanks to your review.

    Great honest review, Rachel! <33

  3. Abduction stories are always the worse. I already feel like wtf when I think about Justin cheating. I don't get him.. :-( I always find the mystery-crime stories best when I get another story arc in addition to it and it's so good that you connected with Tessa and Wyatt and I hope you'll enjoy their next story as well. My Mom is a huge fan of these kind of books so I should probably purchase it just for her, but I do think that I'd like and enjoy it as well :-)

  4. This isn't the type of book I'd review on my blog, but I love darker stories, and I've been looking for a good mystery, as well. I think a hard-hitting story like this might be perfect for that, and it's definitely a good thing that you enjoyed it, Rachel! Thanks so much for the great review and recommendation!

  5. I'm definitely a Lisa Gardner fan, though I haven't read any of her books in quite a while. Now that you've reminded me of why I love her stories, I think I'll have to go and find some to read! Justin sounds like someone I'd like to smack upside his head.

  6. Great review, Rachel! I've never read anything by this author but I probably should, as I love a good mystery. I'm glad the audio book worked for you too.

    This sounds like a fascinating book that really keeps you guessing. Awesome!

  7. I've never heard of this author before, but this sure does appeal to me. I love a good mystery book and this one sounds fabulous. I love how emotionally involved you were in the book, Rachel. I'll be sure to check it out at the library. Beautiful review, Rachel!

  8. I really admire people who can listen to audiobooks. I spend a lot of time walking and it'd be nice to listen to the book then. I haven't heard of this one but if you say you could easily continue from the place you stopped it tells me something. Great review Rachel :)

  9. Oooo I hate Justin a little bit already Rachel. You know my tolerance with cheating is approximately ZERO, so I kind of want to punch him in the face even if he his remorseful. Grrrrr. Aside from that though, this story sounds awesome, and I love those books that keep me on the edge of my seat. The fact that you could fall right back into the story even after long periods of time away from it is a good sign. Definitely need to give Lisa Gardner a try!

  10. Lisa Gardner is a major author within my work and I have say I haven't read any of her work. But I have to say, the way you described seems like it will leave an imprint over the impact of book on you for days. That's eery! Haha! I don't think I've experience anything like that before. Lovely review Rachel. :)

  11. Ahh love the sound of the subtle romance and how this one stuck with you. I haven't heard of it before but it will definitely be finding its way onto my TBR!

  12. The subtle romance and range of emotions sounds great, glad you enjoyed hearing this one.

  13. Yet another author I need to try. This sounds like an emotional roller coaster for sure. I will have to try this soon!

  14. I haven't heard an audiobook in awhile, let alone a mystery. While I avoid scary novels, I think this is right up my alley nevertheless and these characters sound like people I want to get to know. Wonderful review, dear! :)

  15. Wow, this seems like such a powerful story! I'm not familiar with this author at all, but I will definitely add her books to my to-read list.
    Thank you for the great review, Rachel!

  16. I love hearing about good audiobook readers! And the book sounds awesome! I love dark mysteries with a poignant story. I don't like the sound of Justin. Fantastic review!

  17. This sounds really thrilling - I now wonder who is the criminal. I'll have to look this one up - thanks for sharing!

  18. Ugh, cheating husbands (or wives, really) make me want to pull all my hair out, especially when all seems so perfect on the outside. Understanding that is beyond me.
    But I do love slow-burning, subtle romances. Something like that can easily make 14 hours of audio pass in a heartbeat.
    Lovely review, Rachel.

  19. Cheating spouses can die a thousand deaths for all I care. Anger management, much? I don't think I can read/listen to this, Rach. I'm not a fan of cheaters regardless of what their reasons were.

    Thanks for sharing, anyway. Lol.

  20. I can't work out if I'm drawn to these sorts of stories or not, but I love your reaction to Justin Denbe. Hehe! This might just be a little too intense for the summer kick I'm in at the moment, but I'll definitely keep it in mind for later. Glad you liked this overall, Rachel. Lovely review!

  21. I love listening to thrillers like this on audio because it makes whatever I'm doing just pass so quickly--commutes, cleaning, working out, etc. I know what you mean about being able to pick it right back up and not wanting to press pause/stop when you get to work. I've never read anything by Gardner (I don't think?) but maybe I'll have to listen to one of hers:)


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