Find Her was my first novel by Lisa Gardner and I was absolutely blown away by how great it was! If I’d started a little earlier in the day and the novel was a little shorter, I would have devoured this in one day. I loved the format, which used two strong women to tell different aspects of a story that revolved around several kidnappings. This was much more than just a detective novel, it was a thoughtful and emotional psychological thriller where each page increased the intensity.
Flora was previously held captive for over 400 days and became a vigilante of sorts. She not only killed her own kidnapper in her escape, but the novel opened when Flora killed another man who also abducted her. Immediately thereafter, Flora again went missing. That time she awoke in a room where the situation seemed to be created by someone who wanted her to relive her first kidnapping. As I wrote that explanation I realized how ridiculous the plot sounds, but it worked because it was executed in a way that was brilliant.
Flora’s story moved between past and present, which allowed her to describe the harrowing experience of a woman held captive. In the past, she described the terror she felt and the slow ebb of her humanity that happened with every degrading experience. She was desperate to stay alive, and did unthinkable things to accomplish that goal. In the present, she bodied a woman with survival skills and the ability to focus on how she would escape, not just survive. Her character made this the taught thriller it was, but her narration allowed her personality to come through the story and gave it the human element that I needed to connect with Flora as a character. Flora had so many facets to her that it was easy to believe in her character. She was the reason I liked this book so much.
Detective D.D. was the link between Flora and the disappearance of several other young women. I’m not usually a big fan of detective novels, but this was an easy read. The detective lingo was normal, not corny, and D.D. investigated in a way that moved the plot along in a suspenseful way.
This was much more than just a book where a girl was kidnapped. There were some hints at twists that were not fully revealed until the end, but were great! I am so pleased to have stumbled upon a new author and a new series. I can’t wait to read the D.D. novels from the beginning as this one was number eight in the series. I highly recommend this one to those of you who enjoy crime and psychological thrillers.