Crash & Burn
A Tessa Leoni Mystery by Lisa Gardner
Review: Former police officer, now PI Tessa Leoni must work to solve the most perplexing mystery of a woman searching for her lost child … except her husband claims no such child never existed, in Crash & Burn, the second book in this series by Lisa Gardner. (The character was first introduced in one of the author's other series, Love You More featuring detective D. D. Warren.)
Nicky Frank appears to be a victim of her own making. She had been drinking while driving. She ran her car off the road where it nose-dived into a steep ravine. She managed to free herself from the car, clawed her way up a ravine, and flagged down a driver by yelling for help and pleading with someone to look for and find her five year old daughter, Vero. When the police came, an intensive search was conducted. Even a search dog was brought in, but no signs of the child were found. In the meantime, Nicky had been taken to the hospital where her blood was tested for alcohol, she was treated for assorted cuts, scrapes and a concussion. When Thomas, her husband of twenty-two years arrived, he told the officers that this was the third severe accident Nicky had had in the past six months. She had fallen twice, once down a flight of stairs. Because of the three accidents, her brain was injured and Nicky was having false memories and fantasies. He assured them that they did not have a child. There was no Vero. But how does one seemingly otherwise healthy woman wind up with three critical accidents in such a short time span? Was the car accident truly an accident? Or maybe it was Nicky trying to end her life. But could it have been attempted murder? If so, could Thomas have had a part in it? Nicky has problems answering many of the questions asked of her. But when she is coherent enough to answer, her recollections appear to be more truthful than imagination or fantasy. This causes the police to dig deeper and deeper into this twisted mystery.
The storyline in Crash & Burn is an intriguing one, and it's impossible to figure out where it's leading, making for a very good mystery. Series lead Tessa Leoni has a relatively minor part to play here, with her love interest, Sergeant Wyatt Foster, playing a more prominent role in the investigation. Even D. D. Warren makes a (brief) appearance. Despite a fast start, it's a little slow going for a while before picking up speed and then not letting go. A solid thriller from this author, with plenty of twists and turns to keep readers on edge.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Crash & Burn.
Acknowledgment: Penguin Group provided a copy of Crash & Burn for this review.
Review Copyright © 2015 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Dutton (Hardcover), January 2014
ISBN-13: 9780525953081; ISBN-10: 0525953086
Location(s) referenced in Crash & Burn: Boston, Massachusetts
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Crash & Burn by Lisa Gardner — A Tessa Leoni Mystery
Publication Date: February 2015
List Price: $27.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
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