Author: Lisa Gardner
Series: #8 in the D.D Warren series
Source: Local Public Library
First Published: February 9, 2016
First Line: "These are the things I didn't know: When you wake up in a dark wooden box, you'll tell yourself this isn't happening."
Book Description from GoodReads:
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.
My Rating: 4.5 stars
My Review: I've read a couple of the D.D Warren series but it had been awhile so I picked up this latest addition to this suspenseful series (which can be read as a stand-alone) and got ready for a wild ride.
Wild ride indeed.
This was a fast-paced and intense book that places the reader firmly in the minds of two of the characters - Boston PD, Detective D.D Warren and Flora, a young woman who had been abducted several years previously for 472 days and who, once again, disappears. Flora has lived through absolute horrors and she's a survivor but is she someone who would take the law into her own hands to help other victims?
This is a book about losing oneself and the struggle to find the real you again. Both main characters, D.D and Flora, struggle in their own ways with this issue. D.D is, once again a solid main character. She's strong, flawed and struggles to deal with imposed 'restricted duty' after a previous injury. But it was Flora's battle to deal with the repercussions of her abduction that I found shocking, bitterly sad and made me furious and yet hopeful as I rooted for her.
For obvious reasons, this was a book that I chose not to read before bed. Yes, it's that intense. It's also chilling and quite disturbing in places but that stems from Gardner's writing ability to place her readers deep within her story. She does this by giving her readers access to Flora's inner thoughts. The descriptions of what Flora physically lived through are vivid and emotionally jarring but its her inner turmoil that had the most impact on me.
Readers witness Flora's slow, downward spiral as she loses the essence of her old self due to her captor implanting deep-seated beliefs that slowly eat away at the fiber of Flora's personality. Readers may question some of Flora's choices but I think Gardner did a fantastic job with explaining the intricacies concerning the connections between abductor and abductee as well as showing the effects of Flora's abduction on her family who have lost her not once, but twice.
This is a truly gripping read with several red herrings that kept me guessing (I admit that my guesses were wrong, wrong, WRONG!). This is a haunting read about survivors and their fight to stay alive even after so much has been taken from them. It's also a story about their struggle to live within their old life after being held captive. This is a haunting, gripping and touching read.
Note: Make sure you read Gardner's very heart-felt acknowledgements at the end of the book.