Penguin Publishing Group | February 2016 | 416 pgs
Find Her is the 8th book of Lisa Gardner's Detective D.D. Warren series but in my opinion could be read as a standalone.
Sergeant Detective D.D. Warren is on restricted duty due to an injury of her left shoulder from a previous case. With physical limitations and a restriction from firearms, she leads her team investigation through her expertise and supervision minus the running work. She isn't pleased, and most often it leaves her feeling frustrated as if she feels she is not doing her job efficiently and effectively but of course she has to make do with it given the circumstances.
When Florence "Flora" Dane goes missing one spring break and couldn't be found, the homicide department thinks it would be a cold case with no evidence and some clues leading to nowhere. Until 472 days later, she is miraculously found thanks to a careless mistake her captor made. Jacob Ness became her ugly past but he always exist in Flora's mind, even after five years she is still trying to reacquaint herself with the rhythms of her life. Though that kidnapping incident has left her scarred, it has also made her a stronger person. She took self defence classes and learn how to protect herself. However, she is also attentive to other missing girls cases, in particularly the disappearance of Stacey Summers, who used to be her friend.
When Flora is assaulted by a bartender one night, she fought hard and left Devon Goulding badly burned and dead. While some may think of her act as self defence, D.D. Warren wonders if she is a victim or a vigilante who takes matters into her own hands. Then when another girl disappears, Flora knew she has to find her even if it means endangering herself.
Find Her is one of the most complex psychological thrillers I've read this year. Aside from the intensity, there are layers upon layers of the plot and then of course, we have Flora Dane who is a mystery herself. Just when I thought I knew her feelings at some point, she veered me off in another direction at times and left me with more questions instead of answers and I loved stories (and characters) like this because you just never know what to expect.
The issues covered here are dark, as most often crime cases are but in this case, it takes readers to another level of dark - it detailed the harsh brutality of being held captivity (in this case a coffin-like box) and most of all, it questions readers about the monster in us and how fine the line is between good and evil. But of course there is some positivity in this story as well and I liked how courageous Flora is when facing all kinds of danger. She is a survivor and in all aspects I think it is a good example of staying positive when one faces obstacles.
And then there is D.D. Warren, who is still tough as nails in spite of being a restricted duty officer. I am sure her capabilities under normal circumstances will continue to amaze me through her devotions of her profession.
Overall this is one taut psychological thriller and I know I will be looking forward to reading more books by this author.