Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Review of "Crash & Burn" by Lisa Gardner

Following an automobile accident Nicky Frank is injured but able to crawl to the back of the car to attempt to rescue her young daughter Vero. Vero's not in the car, however, and the police search for her in the surrounding woods with the help of a sniffer dog. The dog can't find the girl's scent and - when Nicky is brought to the hospital - her husband Thomas tells the cops that the couple have no children. Moreover, Nicky - a scotch-loving alcoholic - has recently suffered several head injuries, resulting in amnesia and delusions.

The police wonder if Vero really exists and if Thomas is responsible for his wife's 'accidents.' Police Sergeant Wyatt Foster and his team investigate the case with the unofficial help of Foster's girlfriend, private investigator Tessa Leoni. When Foster and his partner drive Nicky around to re-enact the day of the accident things take a very dramatic turn and Thomas becomes a #1 person of interest.

As the story unfolds a number of unpleasant people and situations are encountered including an alcoholic mother, wife abuse, a creepy brothel, and so on. To say more would risk spoilers. The book is an intense psychological thriller full of twists and turns but it has some problems. Nicky comes across as not only disturbed but whiny and repetitive - contstantly going on and on about finding Vero, and saving Vero, and Vero wanting to fly, and Vero's tea parties, and Vero this and Vero that. The reader gets it that's she's obsessed with Vero but a little of this goes a long way. In short, better editing may have made for a better story.

The book comes to a sensational and striking climax that satisfactorally explains all the mysteries in the story. All in all a pretty good mystery. 

Rating: 3 stars


  1. I used to love Lisa Gardner and then I didn't, but I can't remember why. Maybe it's time to revisit her.