Thursday, February 9, 2012

Review: Catch Me by Lisa Gardner

Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Format: Review Copy
Source: Publisher (Dutton)
Purchase: Indie Bound

Dear Lisa Gardner,

Never stop writing.

Sincerely,
Red Headed Book Child

Folks, I'm going to put it bluntly-Lisa Gardner rocks my mystery/thriller loving socks. As a bookseller of many years, she has been an author that has sold like hot cakes and I, smile and nod, but never picked one up. Then last year rolls around and my very own mystery challenge kicked me into high gear and I read Live to Tell. That was considered book 4 in her Detective D.D Warren series and Catch Me, is considered book 6.

I could not put Live to Tell down. I was hooked! So I did a little begging and maybe a little pleading to get my hands on Catch Me and poof! it arrived at my door step. Hot sauce!

For those of you new to Lisa Gardner, here's the low down on this series.
Alone, Hide, The Neighbor, Live to Tell, Love you More and Catch Me
D.D Warren is a tough Boston detective and damn good at her job. Up until this book, she has led a pretty solitary life with very little baggage. Now, however, she is in a relationship and new mom to baby Jack. She is finding it a bit difficult to live and breathe her job, as she once did, when all she can see is the 5:00 quitting-home to baby Jack-time.

Unfortunately crime does not stop for this new mom.

Description from Goodreads:

"In four days, someone is going to kill me . . . "

Detective D. D. Warren is hard to surprise. But a lone woman outside D.D.'s latest crime scene shocks her with a remarkable proposition: Charlene Rosalind Carter Grant believes she will be murdered in four days. And she wants Boston's top detective to handle the death investigation.

"It will be up close and personal. No evidence of forced entry, no sign of struggle."
Charlie tells a chilling story: Each year at 8:00 p.m. on January 21st, a woman has died. The victims have been childhood best friends from a small town in New Hampshire; the motive remains unknown. Now only one friend, Charlie, remains to count down her final hours.

But as D.D. quickly learns, Charlie Grant doesn't plan on going down without a fight. By her own admission, the girl can outshoot, outfight, and outrun anyone in Boston. Which begs the question, is Charlie the next victim, or the perfect perpetrator? As D.D. tracks a vigilante gunman who is killing pedophiles in Boston, she must also delve into the murders of Charlie's friends, racing to find answers before the next gruesome January 21 anniversary. Is Charlie truly in danger, or is she hiding a secret that may turn out to be the biggest threat of all?

"In four days, someone is going to kill me. But the son of a bitch has gotta catch me first. "

Oh. My. Goodness.

Right? Are you terrified?

I've read a lot of mysteries in my time and one of the things I seem to consistently enjoy is the element of surprise. I like twists. I don't want to know until the end. I want the ending to smack me in the face. Lisa Gardner's books do just that! Not only that, she has a talent for creating characters that are psychologically messed up but still likable. That's hard to do. There are certainly bad guys and you don't like them but then there are characters like Charlie. She has done bad things but you still root for her because you get it. Gardner has a precise way she builds up a character and generates that empathy in the reader. It's very human. It's very real. You can picture yourself in the moment and feeling the same emotions.
Charlie's character was abused as a child and she is now closed off as an adult. She was another hard as nails woman that Gardner created.

She kicked ass and I'm still rooting for her.

Rating: Recommend
I am definitely going to continue to read Lisa Gardner's books. She is a masterful creator of mysterious puzzles, laying down each piece at the right time and then having it all click together at the end. Impressive. There's a steady beat to her writing within the dialogue between the characters and the bread crumb approach to the back story, little bits here and there. Within the mystery genre, there are so many similar story lines that as a reader, the make or break moment is the writing and how the story is delivered. If the author can create a unique lead character or keep you guessing until the end with well plotted writing, than they stand apart. Lisa Gardner definitely stands apart.

Author Website:

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child


7 comments:

GMR said...

Great review...can totally feel your enthusiasm for this author's work. I know what you mean about the "smile and nod"...working in a bookstore, you have to to some degree. Admittedly haven't read this author's work myself, but I might just have to give it a try in the near future. Thanks for shining some light on the series!

Jenny said...

I've never read one of her books. I live when I find a great new-to-me series/author! I'll have to keep her in mind!

Kristin said...

I love this author, too! I just finished reading The Seventh Month, an e-book novella that comes before Catch Me. Now I am going to start Catch Me...I can't wait!!!

Great review!

luv46kdz said...

I haven't read her yet, and I've had Hide on my bookshelf for I don't know how long now!! You've got me inspired to get busy : )

Paula

Tomes Devotee
 

Marce said...

She sounds kick ass as a writer, I have never tried her either, I think I need to change that this year, will start with Alone.

Your review is very energised Michelle, love it.

I would even say she may be one of your new favourite authors.

carol said...

I have yet to read something by Lisa Gardner, but it sounds like I should definitely move her toward the top of the pile.

ehsani said...

Hi,

I also reviewed this book recently here: http://www.mysterytribune.com/2012/02/17/review-catch-lisa-gardner/

I personally think even though Lisa has her own loyal base of fans and they might enjoy Catch Me, the plot is a bit formulaic.

Also after reading several of her books, the familiar angles such as dysfunctional families, danger and violent confrontation feel like fluff.

Nevertheless, I agree that this was a page turner and full of suspense.