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==Synopsis of the book:==
Detective D.D.Warren has just returned to work after the birth of her son Jack. She is immediately brought to a murder scene of a suspected paedophile who has been killed in his own home. This is the second suspected paedophile that has been killed and D.D fears there is a serial killer at large in Boston. However as she is leaving the scene she notices someone acting suspiciously. She manages to catch the woman and takes her down to the station to find out more about her.
She is a 28 year old called Charlie Grant who tells D.D she is going to be killed in four days time on January the 21st. Charlie tells her that her two best friends have been murdered on that date in the past two years and now the killer will be after her. The lady has moved around to try and hide herself from this but at the same time she has trained hard so that she can do what her two friends were unable to do i.e. fight the attacker. Charlie appears to be a loner with her only friend being her Aunt that brought her up hundreds of miles away and a Terrier called Tulip who has befriended her. Can D.D. Help this desperate woman and catch this killer while also bringing the suspected paedophile killer to justice?
==My thought on this novel:==
I thought this was another excellent Detective mystery in the D.D.Warren series. It was very rich in both mystery and suspense and had me completely hooked the whole way though. This is the sixth book of the series and I have read them all and not been in the slightest disappointed by any of them. This for me is rare in the extreme because I usually like an author ideas once of twice and then get bored with them as they try to replicate what was successful for them. However with this series I do not feel that way at all and the stories are so well thought out and different this problem has not happened.
The author of this series Lisa Gardener is in my opinion a very talented writer despite being American!! I know that sounds a terrible thing to say and I do apologise to all those talented American writers for this remark. The reason why I say this is historically I struggle with authors from that country. I think it has a lot to do with the different culture, ideals and the totally alien concept of space they have that makes me struggle so much. I think this is not helped by the fact I have never been there but Gardener is one of only a handful of American writers I can read and probably the only one I think is an amazing author and one of my favourites.
For me when I discovered there was a new novel in this series I knew I had to buy it. I managed to find the paperback version of this on Amazon and purchased it for just 5.59 which for me seemed a good price especially given it is 480 pages long. What immediately impressed me when I studied the cover was not the title of the book but the two short lines above it. It said 'In four days , you will confront your killer. How far would you go to stay alive.' This sounded very interesting and I wondered what the author had in store, it sounded exciting.
However I was disappointed when I looked for the summary of the story on the back cover. As on there there was praise for her previous book for several sources. I found this useless especially as I have already read this!! I wish they would include comments on the book you are about to read as this would be helpful and relevant. I found the summary on the inside cover. This was a good size, three paragraphs long. It sounded very good but in hindsight it only mentioned the one story, as there are two investigations in this book not one and it did slightly surprise me the other had been missed off.
The book appropriately started with a prologue. This was a very good size and I worthy introduction at 10 pages long. I have learnt with this series there are often clues in this that help understand things later in the story. It sounded very unusual and because of the lack of names within it it was impossible to say at this stage who it was about. It certainly had me interested to know more and fearing for the little girls lives that were being ruined by their sick mother.
The first chapter was certainly different. It told the reader a little about Charlie Grant and her fears that she was going to be murdered in four days time like her two best friends were. It told us a little about them and how Charlie felt being on her own and the next victim or so she believed. I felt immediately drawn to this vulnerable lady and wanted her to be wrong. I found it a good start to the story and had me wanting to know more about her and the background to what was happening to her. It seemed full of promise and I liked the concepts behind it.
The story then moved on to advise us of the new developments in D.D.Warren's life namely her 10 weeks only son. I always like learning more about the leading Detective, especially as her life now was so more complex with her new commitment. The author is very good at introducing a variety of characters into the story and although you initially wonder where they fit in. They are always interesting personalities and because there is depth and thought behind them you always want to know more about them and their lives.
I really enjoyed the way the story developed and while at first I may have found the story a little slow, it certainly didn't stay that way for long. I think this was because she was setting the scene to the story and this involved some depth to make it believable and credible. I found because the author gave so little away their was so much mystery about what was happening and why. There was several different elements within the stories and because it was well and intelligently written I always knew exactly where I was and what was going on. In other stories I sometimes forget who is who but because of the depth of writing or my concentration was better this problem never arose.
The longer the story went the more involved in it I felt. It took me three days to read it and I never wanted to put it down once I had started. The story flowed really well and I really enjoyed the suspense within it as I tried to unravel the truth of what about Charlie Grant and because I am never sure what twists and turns the author will employ you are never sure who to believe and trust within it. Some of these twists were so well thought out and unexpected they really added to the quality of the story.
With an ending for me that justified the clever build up. It was a good size ending that was full of excitement and suspense. I thought it fitted in well with the story and provided the answers to all the outstanding questions the story had raised. After the story had completed its course the author added one short last chapter updating the reader on a few of the characters within the story. The only thing that surprised me was why was this a chapter rather than an epilogue? I was mystified!! That said it was a good finish and it tied up the story nicely.
The main character in this series is D.D.Warren. Although in several of the previous stories she shares this with Detective Bobby Dodge. However in this story he was not present and I found he was not necessary because there was so much happening involving DD. I have always admired this hard working and focused Detective but I found her becoming a mother added new dimensions to her character. I really enjoyed the way she conducts her investigations and on this one she was in some ways threatened by a younger version of herself who had joined her team. I loved the way there was a lot happening at home for her with Jack and how she felt apprehensive about her parents visiting her. The author really understand this characters in my opinion and gets the balance right between her home and work life.
The other key character to this story was Charlie Grant. I found her to be a very good character because there was so much you needed to learn about her to understand her. Her background was very different and I loved trying to understand her. The author successfully created a real sense of mystery and suspense about her and I was never sure if I could or should believe in her. Despite this I did like her and I thought the author explained her thoughts excellently. Although I was surprised despite the dangers she felt she was facing how easily she was to trick in the story. I thought she would be more on her guard and prepared for trouble.
The stories length for me was just right to tell a wonderful story that contained just about everything. This is an excellent series of books and I am really looking forward to the next instalment. This story is available as a paperback, a hardback or in Kindle formats.
This is another excellent addition to the DD Warren series and one I would without doubt recommend. The author is an excellent writer of suspense mysteries and I found myself glued to this book as it had within it a first class story. She created two wonderfully complex characters one the Detective who I have grown to like, respect and understand, while in this book she also created a lady who had a terrible background and was fighting her own demons while trying to stay alive.
Year first published: 2012
Thanks for reading my review.
This review is published on both Ciao and Dooyoo under my user name.
© CPTDANIELS May 2013.
I seem to have a handful of crime thriller author names that I look out for when I browse books and go to the library, Lisa Gardner being one of them. I was looking forward to reading this and fortunately, I wasn't disappointed overall. Whilst the ending was a little unbelievable, it was nonetheless a book that kept my attention and that I found enjoyable to snuggle up with.
On the cover of Catch me we're told this is in the Sunday Times Top Ten reads, and plus a little tag line to further draw us in: 'In four days, you will confront your killer. How far would you go to stay alive?'. This book falls in to the crime thriller genre, and those who have read a Gardner novel before may be familiar with a character or two. Having said that, it really doesn't matter if you read this as a stand-alone book.
We're introduced to Charlie Grant, a 28 year old woman who is convinced that come January 21st, she will be murdered. Last year, one of her childhood friends was killed, the year before that, it was the other one. She had two very close friends, making the three of them akin to the three amigos growing up, but now both were dead and she was left. They seem to be linked by the circumstances surrounding how they died, but police didn't take Charlie's claims and worries to heart. So now, in a new town, Charlie is tracking down an officer she thinks may be able to help.
Charlie turns up at a crime scene to get Detective DD Warrens attention, and she does just that, because showing up where someone's just been killed and looking suspect tends to arouse suspicion. She wants Warren aware of the facts as she knows them, telling her that this way, she's more inclined to hunt down her killer after she's dead. She tells Warren her story, including her horrible childhood and subsequent move to live with relatives. It all sounds harrowing, if it's true. But some things don't quite add up, and there's no one in mind for the murder of her friends. Why would they kill them and leave Charlie until last? What happened to her mother? Add to this a murder or two that happen around the time Charlie turns up; suspected paedophiles are killed, apparently by some vigilante woman. It's not looking good for the young woman, who is living every day with a motto of being prepared. She's been trained to run, training herself for meeting her attacker. The question is, will she be strong enough to change how the story ends?
I won't say any more on the premise, but that's just the basic gist. There's actually quite a lot that goes on in this novel, with plenty of detail and twists and turns to 'get your teeth in to'. I liked the way there seemed to be a couple of different storylines that intersected and converged because I was absorbed in reading what would happen next and how things could possibly add up at the end.
The premise itself was reasonably solid, however you do have to suspend belief a little. I wasn't so convinced by the ending, but I liked how you're kept guessing rather than perhaps knowing exactly how things will pan out from too early on in the book. The ending was probably my only gripe with the novel because other than that, I found the premise to be deep enough to be interesting and keep my attention.
I really like the way Gardner writes because it seems fluid and all-encompassing. She brings the scenes to life well and gives each character, the main ones at least, a solid image and personality, and it's this depth that makes them easier to visualise and want to read more about. I could, for instance, picture DD Warren as mother slash detective, struggling to regain balance in her life with a new baby. I could picture Charlie as this tough cookie on the outside, physically fit and resolute, but confused and scared on the inside. The three dimensional aspect of characters is something not all novels get right, but Gardner does it well in Catch Me.
There's also enough characters and events to keep it interesting without overloading the reader or causing confusion. New people come in as the premise progresses and this just fleshes out the scenes, for instance, the inclusion of Detective O, a sex crimes worker that assists Warren.
There's further praise on the back, but it's actually for one of Gardner's other novels, 'Love You More'. This includes a snippet by Lee Child on Gardner herself: 'This book had me at the author's name. Lisa Gardner... No one owns this corner of the genre the way she does'.
Overall, I would recommend, especially to fans of crime thrillers. Newbies to, and fans of, Garner shouldn't be disappointed; whilst the ending may have been a little 'meh' for my liking, this didn't ruin my enjoyment of the novel, which kept me hooked from start to finish.
45 chapters over 372 pages (hardback)