Penguin Publishing Group | January 2017 | 400 pgs
Source: Library

Lisa Gardner's Find Her has left a deep impression on me. Fast-paced and charged with intensity, it was also one of the most complex psychological thrillers I read in 2016. Her latest release, Right Behind You (FBI Profiler Series, #7 [which works well as a stand-alone in my opinion]) was much more intense and complex as it was multi-layered with lots of twists and turns; and heartrending moments as it involved domestic abuse and childhood trauma.

Eight years ago, Telly May Nash who was only ten, bashed his drunken father to death with a baseball bat when he threatened to kill him and his younger sister with a knife after he had stabbed their mother. Although acted out of self defense, Telly already showed signs of RAD (Reactive attachment disorder) and disproportionate display of rage growing up with two alcoholic and drugs addicted parents. The counselor finally decided that the siblings are best to go to separate foster homes, thus the bond and contact between the siblings are lost until now - a double murder at a local gas station and the police has pointed it as Telly being the shooter after his identity was caught in the security camera. It also appeared that he had murdered his foster parents before gunning another two at the gas station upon further searching by the police.

Sharlah May Nash, now thirteen years old, is adopted by retired FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his partner, Rainie Conner. Rainie used to be a law enforcer too and Sharlah loves this about her new parents because they are all experts on monsters. When Sharlah knew that her older brother is on the run after his killing spree, she struggles to recollect the memories when they were children and what he had done with that baseball bat to their father. She knew Telly is her saviour, her protector, considering that he had taken up the adult role of taking care of her when their parents were too drunk in their own stupidity. But does she really know Telly after all these years? Has he become a serial killer?

Right Behind You will be one of the most unforgettable reads for me this year. For starters, it features a pair of profilers couple instead of the detectives we've so often read and although both are law enforcers, they're more into criminology as they've to study and analyse the criminals' behaviours and their mindsets. Fugitive trackers are another profession we so rarely read in books and I was glad they're an essential part of the investigation case here. And most of all, it is a story about Telly and Sharlah and how my heart ached for them so badly reading about their sad experiences and the childhood they've been through. This book has three segment consist of Telly's and Sharlah's narrations as well as chapters told in third person. I liked the writing format as I could get into the siblings' minds, so to speak, yet I also get to analyse from an outsider's view through the third person POV.

Another feature I liked is how the story is about family and trust despite it was dark and complex. And what's an investigation without some little help from our canine friends and I've to say Luka (formerly a police dog and now beloved pet to Sharlah) was the sunshine which brought some warmth to my heart reading about those dark moments. Highly recommended.

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8 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    I love reading about profilers. Sounds like a good but emotional read.

  2. Lark Says:

    I really liked Find Her...and I've been meaning to read more of Gardner's books ever since. I have a growing list! But I think I'm moving this one to the top. :)

  3. Melody Says:

    Jenny - Me too! It was both an emotional and a suspenseful read.

  4. Melody Says:

    Lark - Yes, definitely read this one first. That said, I need to catch up on her other books, too. I've been reading her series out of order. :P

  5. Iliana Says:

    Great review Melody! I really want to read this one. I think it's neat that this features a couple who are both in law enforcement. You don't often see that in a mystery series.

  6. Melody Says:

    Iliana - Totally agree with you on that law enforcement couple. I hope you'll enjoy this book if you get to it, Iliana.

  7. I have a couple of this author's books I need to read. I don't think I have this one . . . I like the sound it though. It sounds like a good book and a series worth trying!

  8. Melody Says:

    Wendy - It was a great book; with the emotions and suspense and all. I need to check out the other books of this series.

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