Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Review: Crash & Burn

Crash & Burn (Tessa Leoni - Book 3) by Lisa Gardner

Publication Date: 02/03/2015
Publisher: Penguin
Imprint: Dutton
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 400

(Received for an honest review from Dutton)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, itunes

Lisa Gardner on the WEB: website, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the Series:

1. Love You More
2. Touch & Go
3. Crash & Burn

Coverart: Click on the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from Crash & Burn, courtesy of the author's website.


The #1 New York Times bestselling author’s latest stand-alone thriller, with a cameo by her fan-favorite character, Boston Detective D.D. Warren

My name is Nicky Frank. Except, most likely, it isn’t. 

Nicole Frank shouldn’t have been able to survive the car accident, much less crawl up the steep ravine. Not in the dark, not in the rain, not with her injuries. But one thought allows her to defy the odds and flag down help: Vero.

I’m looking for a little girl. I have to save her. Except, most likely, she doesn’t exist. 

Sergeant Wyatt Foster is frustrated when even the search dogs can’t find any trace of the mysterious missing child. Until Nicky’s husband, Thomas, arrives with a host of shattering revelations: Nicole Frank suffers from a rare brain injury and the police shouldn’t trust anything she says.

My husband claims he’ll do anything to save me. Except, most likely, he can’t.

Who is Nicky Frank, and what happened the night her car sailed off the road? Was it a random accident or something more sinister given the woman’s lack of family and no close friends? The deeper Wyatt digs, the more concerned he becomes. Because it turns out, in the past few months, Nicky has suffered from more than one close accident. . . . In fact, it would appear someone very much wants her dead.

This is my life. Except, most likely, it’s not. Now watch me crash and burn.


Lisa Gardner brings readers her latest thriller with Crash & Burn. This is the story of a woman who can't seem to keep the events of her past straight, due to a traumatic brain injury. Readers will fluctuate between believing Nicky and believing that something else entirely is going on. Gardner does a great job of taking the reader in one direction, only to take them in another. Plenty of twists and turns for readers who want complicated. Enough mystery to keep you guessing and that amazing Lisa Gardner spin on right and wrong. A good novel by a great writer!

With Lisa Gardner you usually know what you are getting. It's going to be one of those heart pounding books that leaves your mind spinning even after you finish. Gardner has a way of making all the twists and turn work out but boy, the journey is something else, and with Crash & Burn that's exactly what you get. This time readers are twisting and turning through the mind of a woman with a traumatic brain injury. Question is how did she get it in the first place and what is everyone trying to hide? Is Vero real? Will Nicky recover? Who in the heck is trying to kill her?I liked the fact that Gardner doesn't just hand you the solution on a silver platter, she makes you work for it. 

I don't know that I would really consider this a Tessa Leoni novel though. Tessa does make an appearance, but she is certainly not the lead character in this on, so I think that's a bit unjustified. I like the Tessa Leoni books and I certainly want to see more of her, but I think is really more of cameo for Tessa than a full fledged book in her series. 

My only other criticism comes from the fact that the cops make a whole lot out of nothing. That's not to say it wasn't warranted. I just wasn't sure that's what would happen in the real world. A lot of what makes a good thriller exciting is thinking that this could really happen. It could go down the very same way and I don't think that's quite the case here. I think the cops were reaching in most cases. They went back to the scene of the supposed crime way too many times. They just kept poking the lion with the stick. I'm glad they did, because something just wasn't right, but something wasn't just right with that part of the story either. A great thriller, but perhaps slightly implausible.

Bottom Line:

This one has a bit of a slow start after the initial car accident. It takes the cops quite awhile to make any headway in the case. I think that some of the details were not as realistic as they could have been. But it was still overall a great book. Gardner does a great job of making the reader work for the ending and that is often times very satisfying for a reader. There were good things and bad things with this one. Mostly, it's a matter of perspective.

Crash & Burn is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Lisa Gardner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of sixteen previous novels, including her most recent, Fear Nothing. Her Detective D. D. Warren novels include Fear Nothing, Catch Me, Love You More, and The Neighbor, which won the International Thriller of the Year Award. She lives with her family in New England. --This text refers to theAudio CD edition.