Over the holidays, I felt like I needed to withdraw into simpler and easier story. Just something well-written, but gentle. So I dove into rereading books I loved when I was younger. But after pouring through two of them, I was ready for something new. Something with teeth. Fortunately, I had a review copy of Touch & Go by Lisa Gardner waiting on my Kindle from the BlogHer Book Club. This just-released book comes from an amazing veteran crime author.
The stories introduces you to the Denbes, a wealthy family in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood who seem to have it all. The family construction business is thriving, despite some slow-downs. They live in a breathtaking brownstone that’s decorated in a beautiful but welcoming way. Seriously, the house’s description is jaw-dropping. And they have a beautiful daughter whom they adore.
But one night when Justin and Libby Denbe return home from dinner everything changes in an instant. They are attacked, drugged and, together with their 15-year-old daughter, abducted. None of their neighbors see or hear a thing.
Hours later, as police, the FBI and a private investigator representing the Denbe’s company try to piece together what happened and where the family could have been taken to, the family’s seemingly perfect life seems to unravel. Meanwhile, the Denbes are imprisoned together, where they must face their family’s shortcomings and come to terms with all the secrets they harbor.
Touch & Go by Lisa Gardner is, in a word, riveting. The scenes and descriptions are so vividly portrayed and the dialogue so masterfully presented that it feels like you step into the cell with the Denbe’s or into the mobile operations center with the law enforcement. Having worked as a reporter covering crime, I appreciated how Lisa Gardner delves into the relationship between different branches of law enforcement, exposing the complex agendas and less than friendly — yet necessary and professional — dealings.
But sometimes the details bring the scenes into a near-uncomfortable realm that clearly isn’t for everyone. The abduction, for instance, is appropriately violent and disturbing — but the description makes it feel so real that if it was a movie, I would avert my eyes. As a word of caution, be prepared because Lisa Gardner really brings the story home so that it settles around you. If that’s not your kind of book, then skip this one.
On the other hand, if you are fascinated by mysteries and love crime stories, then this is a must-read. I couldn’t put it down.
So, since this was my first time reading a book by Lisa Gardner, but after reading Touch & Go, I had to dig into her a little bit. And what I found? She’s kind of awesome. Author Lisa Gardner is a #1 New York Times bestselling crime novelist whose credentials are enough to make any writer’s heart skip a beat. 28 novels. More than 22 million books in print. Published in 30 countries. Award winning. It’s kind of awe-inspiring really. (Like, hello, that’s the writer I’d like to be someday.)
What’s more is that Lisa Gardner is really into her research, which translates into clear descriptions and pretty accurate portrayals of scenarios in her books. But she’s not all about crime — she actually penned a number of romantic mysteries as Alicia Scott. Gotta love an author with a dual identity.
As for being a beach read? This is more of a mid-winter read for me. Good thing that’s right where we are now, isn’t it?
Please join us on the BlogHer Book Club where we’ll be discussing Touch & Go over the next few weeks.
Disclosure: This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own. I was provided with a free digital copy of this book for review purposes by the publisher. All opinions are my own.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.