Crash & Burn by Lisa Gardner

crash-and-burn“The #1 New York Times bestselling author’s latest stand-alone thriller, with a cameo by her fan-favorite character, Boston Detective D.D. Warren.

My name is Nicky Frank. Except, most likely, it isn’t.

Nicole Frank shouldn’t have been able to survive the car accident, much less crawl up the steep ravine. Not in the dark, not in the rain, not with her injuries. But one thought allows her to defy the odds and flag down help: Vero.

I’m looking for a little girl. I have to save her. Except, most likely, she doesn’t exist.

Sergeant Wyatt Foster is frustrated when even the search dogs can’t find any trace of the mysterious missing child. Until Nicky’s husband, Thomas, arrives with a host of shattering revelations: Nicole Frank suffers from a rare brain injury and the police shouldn’t trust anything she says.

My husband claims he’ll do anything to save me. Except, most likely, he can’t.

Who is Nicky Frank, and what happened the night her car sailed off the road? Was it a random accident or something more sinister given the woman’s lack of family and no close friends? The deeper Wyatt digs, the more concerned he becomes. Because it turns out, in the past few months, Nicky has suffered from more than one close accident. . . . In fact, it would appear someone very much wants her dead.

This is my life. Except, most likely, it’s not. Now watch me crash and burn.” – Publisher Summary

When Nicky Frank crashes her Audi crossover into a deep ravine on a dark, rainy night, she begs the responding emergency personnel to find six-year-old Vero, who has disappeared. After searching all night, the police discover that Vero exists solely in the mind of Nicky – who happens to have experienced three concussions in the span of the last six months. Sergeant Wyatt Foster and his girlfriend, private investigator Tessa Leoni are convinced there’s more to the story, and that Nicky may be in danger – possibly from her own husband. As buried memories from Nicky’s past begin to rise to her consciousness, Tessa and Wyatt rush to find the answers to their questions before danger envelops Nicky forever.

Crash & Burn by Lisa Gardner is the third book in her Tessa Leoni series and the twentieth novel written under her own name {she also writes under the pseudonym Alicia Scott}. Interestingly, Leoni is not featured prominently in this novel; Nicky Frank is truly the star here, and her dilemma is quite the mind-scrambler. Readers are thrown into the action from the very beginning as we observe Nicky’s near-fatal car accident. The question of Vero and just who she may be is brought to our attention nearly immediately, and continues to tease at our minds throughout the novel. Nicky’s husband, Thomas, is obviously hiding something – it slowly becomes somewhat clear what that is, but the extent of it isn’t revealed until nearly the end, when most readers will be shocked by what they learn. Shocked, in fact, by much of Nicky’s back story as well.

Gardner seems to just throw random clues, characters, and incidents into the fray in a helter-skelter manner, however, she makes it work for she follows up every trail in the end – no loose ends for this woman! As always, I read through this Gardner novel in just a few hours; her compulsively readable whodunnits are perfect for me when my brain has been taxed a bit too far by more “serious” literature. That, my friends, is the ultimate win for me – once a Gardner fan, always a Gardner fan. Go and get you some!

Crash & Burn by Lisa Gardner: Available for purchase on February 3, 2015.

3 stars

Source: Penguin Group/Dutton {via NetGalley}



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