REVIEW: Look For Me, Lisa Gardner

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Detective DD Warren and Flora Dane are in a race against time to save a young girl's life - or bring her to justice. A family home has become a crime scene. Five people are involved: four of them have been savagely murdered; one - a sixteen-year-old girl - is missing. Was she lucky to have escaped? Or is her absence evidence of something sinister? Detective D. D. Warren is on the case, as is survivor-turned-avenger Flora Dane. Seeking different types of justice, they must make sense of the clues left behind by a young woman who, as victim or suspect, is silently pleading, "Look for me".

If all of Lisa Gardner’s Look For Me had been an extension of its first chapter, then my enjoyment (and consequential star rating) of it, would have been vastly different. The writing was impeccable (a rarity in the genre as you may well have heard me say), the scene appropriately gory (not glossed over, spruced up and rendered unrealistic in its attempts to appear palatable to a wider audience) and the characters already empathetic - ten or so pages in and I already cared enough about the main character to not want anything bad to happen to her.
But then, the main character was not the main character.
Instead, she was relegated to the sidelines to allow a new, convoluted plot-line to take centre-stage; this one meandered, changing at will to fit the fluctuating and transparent goals of the author. Aspects of the story clumsily faded in and out, depending on whether or not they were currently integral to the plot making sense, or if, at that moment, their existence worked against its plausibility. It was as though, the book had not been plotted or planned to any sort of degree, before Lisa Gardner sat down to write it; leaving a murky, confused mystery that gave the notion that even she had no idea, even at the latter stages, who the murderer was.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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