Author: Lisa Gardner
Title: Find Her
Genre(s): Thriller and suspense; Crime; Vigilante justice
Wicked, dark, crushing
From the opening scene to the very last page, I was entranced by this novel. We learn that Flora Dane is no longer the carefree college student who used to play with foxes. No. Due to her kidnapping she has become trapped (in more ways than one) in the shell of the person she used to be. Her mother still pushes her to accept she is loved and wanted, despite how different she has become. In an effort to sustain some form of humanity within herself, Flora seeks out to right the wrongs of others by saving other young women from being kidnapped or worse. As her vigilante persona unfolds, it becomes clear that Flora has experienced a multitude of traumatic situations that have changed her life. She is cold, sharp, cunning, and intelligent. Everything a vigilante needs to be to get the job done. But that does not mean her trauma has not taken its toll. How Lisa was able to get into the head of such a strong-willed, yet broken survivor I will never know. The way she writes from Flora's point of view absolutely shredded my heart. There were moments of flashbacks when Flora's time with Jacob was revealed and I found it incredibly difficult to read. Not because of anything other than the disturbing nature of the material. However, as someone who works with real-life trauma survivors, I think it is incredibly important to have the ability to acknowledge the stories of these victims...because it happens. I appreciate how candid Lisa was in her writing and the details were expertly provided at just the right moments. This is not a gruesome tale per say, but some of the elements are gruesome.
I also appreciated the variable point of views, as we also get to understand the working mind of D.D. Warren. Having not read the other novels in the D.D. Warren series, I was still able to fully understand her character and the history she came from and how it influenced her thoughts and behaviors associated with Flora. Although compassionate, I could tell she had been a detective for a long while because she has a no-nonsense attitude, which helps her to get things done. It is clear she is not a fan of Flora's vigilante acts, but she still works herself into the ground to uncover the details of the tragic case the permeates the novel's plot. Lisa gives readers an inside look into police work, as well as Victim Specialists. I found it really interesting to learn about the role of a Victim Specialist as this was my first time coming across the term in a novel.
Throughout the entire novel I found myself having "WHAT JUST HAPPENED" moments. That is exactly the kind of reaction I love to have when reading thriller suspense novels. There is a multitude of twists that I never saw coming, but still made perfect sense. There is an overall eerie feeling to this book, which for me, just added more to the plot and the characters. Although it is fast-paced, I took quite a while to finish this book because the material was gut-wrenching and took time to process. Find Her will keep you on the edge and make your mind's gears move. It is definitely not for the faint of heart. However, if you are a fan of thrillers with intertwined police work, I think you will thoroughly enjoy Find Her.
Seven years ago, carefree college student Flora Dane was kidnapped while on spring break. For 472 days, Flora learned just how much one person can endure. 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. 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.
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