It is by far the worst of her books I've read - I do hope this is accidental!
Having already done a review on The Third Victim, I thought I would settle down and review some of the other books of Lisa Gardner's I have read in the same "series". So taken from that review, the first part about Lisa Gardner is a copy and paste across (since there is little I can change to word it differently).
~ About the Author ~
Lisa Gardner is American, best known for her thriller books and at last count when writing this review she had eight New York Times Best Selling Crime books. She also wrote romance novels using the pseudonym Alicia Scott and it was how her writing career was launched.
She has written a small series featuring the FBI profiler Pierce Quincy, and The Next Accident is part of this mini series. Deputy Rainie (Lorraine) Conner is the other main character in this novel.
~ Book Synopsis ~
Pierce Quincy is a specialist FBI agent, whose ability to profile killers has made him the best at his game. But on this occasion, an accident has destroyed his family. His eldest daughter Mandy was in a coma and eventually dies after a drink driving accident, which also claims the life of an innocent victim, who just happened to be walking his dog late one night.
And yet, Quincy isn't entirely convinced that it was an accident. While he knows Mandy had her demons, and was known to have a drink problem - She appeared to have overcome this and had been clean for some months. Something didn't sit right, and so Quincy turns to the only person he knows he can trust to try and find out more - Rainie Conner.
Rainie Conner has her own personal demons to deal with. She has left the police department she had been working at (Where she had met Quincy - See The Third Victim for more). Having moved from her childhood home, she was now setting out in the world as a private investigator.
She agrees to help Quincy, but to begin with she isn't convinced she'll find anything to help ease the pain he is going through, but begins to trawl through what remains of the evidence nonetheless.
But she soon begins to find irritating details that don't quite add up - It isn't enough to exonerate Mandy's culpability, but enough for her to feel uneasy about the whole thing, and she begins to consider there might well be some truth in Quincy's concerns.
Quincy meanwhile is beginning to get phone calls from prisoners who he has helped to put away, because somehow his telephone numbers have been filtered through the prison service, but added to this, someone is also beginning to filter in to Quincy's life slowly. He begins by befriending Quincy's estranged ex-wife and before long, Quincy is tumbling into a nightmare he couldn't even begin to imagine would happen, and his only hope is Rainie Connor, and even then it might be too late and Quincy will lose everyone close to him, before his own life is destroyed.
~ Thoughts on the Book ~
I enjoyed The Third Victim, and so I was looking forward to this book, but I admit I was slightly disappointed with it. An okay novel is what I would give as a quick assessment.
So I was disappointed, but I did also enjoy the suspense of the books story as a whole. We didn't know who the person was behind the problems Quincy was facing, and that was done well. I did feel for Quincy and the position he was facing, and felt it was plausible enough.
The relationship of Rainie and Quincy worked fine on a professional level through the book, and so did some of their personal relationship, but this was also somewhere I felt it was let down.
Don't get me wrong, I liked the characters in The Third Victim, and really didn't "dislike" them this time around, but there was a depth of character that I somehow felt wasn't there in this novel. Rainie isn't perfect and I can accept that, and I did note in my previous review that I had a problem with the way the ending of that book had been dealt with - And I didn't really feel it was given enough "padding" to make the explanations work in this book either. It wasn't satisfactory enough having read both books for me, and had I only read one or the other - It would have been even less satisfactory. I would have rather read some repeat of events in both books, but both giving much tighter explanations of it all, than it done this way.
I also got tired of the way she and Quincy interacted the whole time through the book. It felt tiresome and somewhat repetitive and I just didn't get the same feeling of it gelling as I had previously and this was probably the biggest disappointment in the whole book for me.
So while the suspense aspect works - The character aspect doesn't quite meet the same level.
I admit at one point about halfway through, I just wanted to bang some heads together, because there are two supposedly extremely intelligent, logical people who really don't have any kind of a clue on personal relationships that I find had to accept. I can accept some problems, but not to the level these two manage to bring it to without any real resolution.
I guess you could say I felt more exasperated than sympathetic to some of the character problems that are mentioned, and this then didn't help the overall storyline. I was also once again left somewhat disappointed with the whole ending to the book, and much like The Third Victim I felt that it could have been a lot stronger.
Perhaps if Lisa Gardner could try a little less on the romantic side, and delve deeper in to the suspense side it would make for a better overall book. At times it felt like it had so much going for it, but then at the final hurdle it would just fall down and become far too predictable. Not something you want to have happening reading a novel that is supposed to be a thriller (albeit with romantic overtones). I've read plenty of thriller's with a romantic angle that manage to make this work, and this is where I get frustrated with Lisa Gardner because she is good - And makes it work, but then it all begins to fall apart as the novel goes on.
~ Final Thoughts ~
This isn't a great novel. It works as a read in a series of books, but beyond that it really doesn't have enough to say go out and read it. And this frustrates me, because as I've mentioned I do feel that Lisa Gardner does a great job in aspects of the novel, but it is then let down so badly elsewhere it just makes it an okay, but ultimately poor read.
Her ending once again is a let down, and the weakest point of the whole book, despite an excellent build up (in the suspense) to it all.
Her characters are also getting to the point whereby your losing sympathy for them and their plight, and it actually wouldn't take much to turn this around if she really wanted to. A slightly better editorial team might be one way to perhaps achieve this?
So 2 out of 5 stars from me. It does enough to make it so dire that I give it one star, but not enough to lift it to more than 2.
~ Availability ~
I picked mine up from the local charity shop, but I've seen it around varying in price from £3-00 to just under £6-00, so if you want to read it, it's worth looking around.
FBI Agent Pierce Quincy is haunted by his daughter's death in a drunk-driving accident. Pierce knew about his daughter's problem with alcohol, and about her loneliness. And so, he is sure, did the man who killed her. Rainie Conner is an ex-cop with a past overshadowed by violence. She was once involved with Pierce in a harrowing case that brought them together personally and professionally. Then, he came to her rescue. Now it is time for her to help him. This killer is different. He has an insatiable hunger for revenge - and for fear. He isn't satisfied with taking his victims' lives - he wants to get inside their minds and strip them of every defence. And his target is Quincy's surviving daughter. Rainie believes that the only way to stop him is to put herself directly into the killer's murderous path and herself become - the next accident.