Friday, February 17, 2012

Catch Me Delivers Thrills from Lisa Gardner

D.D. Warren has been through some serious changes in her personal life recently. She delivered a healthy baby boy, Jack, ten weeks ago. Just before that, she moved in with her love interest and fellow police officer, Alex. A visit from her not-so-amicable parents is almost enough to send the Boston homicide detective over the edge.

Before she loses it, thriller writer Lisa Gardner sends some saving grace her way: two complicated cases, perfect distractions for her stress at home. D.D. dives headlong into the first case, the shooting death of a convicted pedophile, out after time behind bars. When the case is linked to another similar death, D.D.'s squad finds themselves investigating a rogue citizen bent on ridding Boston of its child molestors. It's not exactly a case anyone particularly wants to solve. However, always the homicide investigator no matter the victim, D.D. and her team are putting as many hours into this case as they would any other.

As D.D. leaves the scene of one of the murders, she runs into a second case. This time she isn't quite so gung-ho, as the crime hasn't actually happened. Rather, a girl wants D.D. to investigate her own own murder -- which she claims will take place in a few days. Although intrigued, it isn't exactly what D.D. does -- solve crimes that haven't yet occurred. She can't quite decide if the girl's crazy or scared, but something tells her the answer is scared. And so, despite her misgivings, D.D. listens to her story and begins a tentative investigation.

Lisa Gardner always tells an excellent story, but she is particularly adept at doing so in Catch Me. She gives readers both the story of the detectives, but also the background for the cases. Catch Me begins two decades ago, with the story of an abused child. With several flashbacks, Gardner fleshes out the present storyline with details from the past.

Additionally, for the first time Gardner really examines D.D.'s character with some depth. As aforementioned, her parents arrive from Florida and play roles in several scenes. Although D.D. has detected her way through half a dozen novels, little time has been spent developing her character. Longtime readers of the series will recall detective Bobby Dodge from the first few books, a character who changed and grew as the series developed. Although his character doesn't appear in Catch Me, Gardner does the same thing with D.D.'s character, allowing her to grow and mature in this latest novel.

If you want to go back and read the D.D. Warren series in order, visit Lisa Gardner's website, or glance back through my previous reviews:

Alone (2005)
Hide (2007)
The Neighbor (2009)
Live to Tell (2010)
Love You More (2011) -- I've never reviewed this? What? Okay, will solve this soon! It's fantastic.
"The 7th Month" (2012)

Gardner is also the author of the FBI Profiler series (whose characters make brief cameos Catch Me), as well as three standalone novels. As far as mystery/thrillers go, you really can't find anyone better than Lisa Gardner. The audio versions of all of her books are amazing, but the print versions are excellent, too!


  1. Hi,

    I also reviewed this book recently here:

    I personally think even though Lisa has her own loyal base of fans and they might enjoy Catch Me, the plot is a bit formulaic.

    Also after reading several of her books, the familiar angles such as dysfunctional families, danger and violent confrontation feel like fluff.

    Nevertheless, I agree that this was a page turner and full of suspense.

    1. I would one hundred percent agree that Gardner will never win an award for literary excellence or for originality. But she consistently delivers quality page-turners, which is what I'm looking for in her books. The same dysfunctional family themes pop up in all her books, but with very different results each time. Although possibly formulaic, I don't think her novels are predictable -- and that's something I truly appreciate in a thriller. I want to be shocked at the ending -- and I think Gardner virtually always delivers.

  2. People who read Lisa Gardner's books aren't really looking for the next Pulitzer. They are looking for a good mystery that helps them escape their daily lives. And in my opinion she gives us just that.

  3. I really enjoy this series and this author. DD Warren is an interesting character. The books are thoroughly enjoyable. If you haven't read the rest of the series I would at least read the short story before this book. Her books could possibly stand alone but they are good enough to start at the beginning and read them all.




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