Thursday, February 7, 2013

Touch & Go

Touch & Go, by Lisa Gardner.

Then Mick returned, except this time he wasn't alone. He shoved Justin before him, my husband stumbling toward the nearest bunk, grabbing for the metal frame to support himself.

Z released my shoulders, and just as quickly as they'd come, both men disappeared.

Justin looked up, his formerly handsome face now beaten nearly beyond recognition.

"Libby," he whispered. "Libby. I was wrong. We have ... to get ... out of here."

Then my husband collapsed into a bloody heap upon the floor.


I had never heard of Lisa Gardner before reading this book, but her novels are very similar to Harlan Coben's, in that they are in the mystery and suspense genre, and I ended up enjoying Touch and Go very much. One chapter would be from the point of view of Tessa, about the search for the family, and then the next chapter would be from the Libby Denbe's point of view, and I found that this was a strategy that worked very well throughout the novel.

Official Synopsis:
On the surface, the Denbes look like they have it all - a luxurious Boston townhouse, a beautiful fifteen-year-old daughter, their own mega-construction company - but behind closed doors, their marriage is reaching breaking point. Justin and Libby return home from a much needed date night to find the door ajar and a group of intruders terrorizing their daughter. They are quickly overtaken, stripped of their personal belongings and thrown in the back of a van.

Tessa Leoni, now an investigator retained by Denbe's construction firm, arrives at the crime scene to find Taser confetti in the foyer, scuff marks on the floor, and the pile of possessions on the kitchen counter. There are no witnesses, no ransom demands, no motive, simply an entire family gone without a trace.

Held captive in an abandoned prison and fighting for their lives, the Denbes are quickly forced to confront hard truths about themselves and their so-called perfect family. For their kidnappers have clearly done their homework. They know everything about the family's home, business and personal life, including the most effective ways to make each of them pay.
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The end of this novel had a crazy twist that I didn't see coming. Throughout the book, we learn about Tessa's past - who apparently was in another novel of Gardner's called Love You More - and about how she too had her daughter kidnapped at one point, and was acquitted of murdering her husband. Since the chapters are alternating, we also learn about Justin Denbe's indiscretions, through Libby, and how Libby has been popping pills lately to deal with it all. And their daughter, Ashlyn, also has a secret, though Libby and Justin don't learn about it until they are trapped together in the prison that their kidnappers take them to.

I think anyone who likes a well-written story would like Touch & Go - you don't have to be a mystery/suspense fan to like it. The pace is done very well and there's a lot of little twists, including one big twist at the end of the book, that aren't always easy to predict. The point of view is third person omniscient, but works for the novel, as we get to experience both the pursuit of the kidnappers from Tessa's point of view and the terror of living with the kidnappers from Libby's.

4.5 stars out of 5.

*Disclosure: I was compensated for writing this review for the BlogHer Book Club. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

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