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Alone Hardcover – January 11, 2005

4.1 out of 5 stars 530 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

For 300-some pages, Gardner (The Perfect Husband) keeps readers spellbound—not just by her plot but by the beautifully realized character of Massachusetts police sniper Bobby Dodge. He meets his match in Catherine Gagnon, who as a girl was snatched, raped and nearly murdered. Now she's the wife of erratic, rich Jimmy Gagnon and mother of perpetually ill four-year-old Nathan. When Bobby kills Jimmy during a hostage situation at the Gagnons, he does it to save Catherine and Nathan. But was it a righteous shoot, or did Catherine engineer the killing? Judge James Gagnon and his wife, Maryanne, think Bobby murdered their son out of lust for Catherine. As other people start dying, very messily, and the DA and cops come down hard on Bobby, Gardner keeps the tension high and the pace fast. But resolution comes in what may be the clunkiest chase crafted by a pro this year: "Bobby processed everything at once. Three open doorways, three bedrooms. He ran by the first, then the second, and came sprinting into the third just in time to see Maryanne staggering back." Ten pages later, so many characters have run into so many rooms, it's amazing that the right person finally gets his head blown off by the right avenger. But Garner then ends with a neat postlude offering one more twist; her fans will feel requited.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

It was bad enough that Catherine Gagnon survived a horrible childhood abduction where for a month she lived in a cave and was the plaything for her sicko abductor. But now, 25 years later, she faces tragedy again as she fights to keep her son, Nathan. One chilly November night, a police sniper kills her husband, Jimmy, in response to her 911 call claiming he was about to hurt Nathan. Jimmy's death means that his parents, an influential judge and his blue-blooded wife, are more determined than ever to take Nathan from Catherine, whom they see as unfit to mother their only grandchild. True, the birth of Nathan mentally paralyzed Catherine, who could not get past the memories of her abduction and her emotionally absent parents. But is she really the monster the Gagnons and their PI make her out to be? Massachusetts state police special-ops officer Bobby Dodge, the sniper who took out Jimmy, doesn't think so, and unwittingly falls under the spell of the manipulative widow. A twisted, effective psychological thriller. Mary Frances Wilkens
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; First Edition edition (January 11, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553802534
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553802535
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (530 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #267,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

New York Times #1 bestselling crime novelist Lisa Gardner began her career in food service, but after catching her hair on fire numerous times, she took the hint and focused on writing instead. A self-described research junkie, she has parlayed her interest in police procedure, cutting edge forensics and twisted plots into a streak of thirteen bestselling suspense novels, including her most recent release, Catch Me.

Readers are invited to get in on the fun by entering the annual "Kill a Friend, Maim a Mate" Sweepstakes, where they can nominate the person of their choice to die in Lisa's latest novel. Every year, one Lucky Stiff is selected for Literary Immortality. It's cheaper than therapy, and you get a great book besides. For more details, simply visit Lisa's website.

Lisa lives in New England with her family, as well as two highly spoiled dogs and one extremely neurotic three-legged cat.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bobby Dodge, member of the elite STOP team in Boston, MA, which deals with dangerous police situations, has just completed a grim task: as a sniper he has ended the life of a husband Jimmy Gagnon, who seemingly was on the verge of harming either his wife Catherine or his son Nathan. And to add to Bobby's distress at having to kill another man, he is immediately attacked by Jimmy's father, Judge James Gagnon, a powerful Boston personage, for acting rashly and caving in to the manipulations of Catherine.

But what is it about the past of Bobby, Catherine, and Jimmy, and even the Judge, that has led to this point? Lisa Gardner expertly combines the unfolding of traumatic disturbances in their lives with rapid fire developments in the present. Given her history, could Catherine, one with elegant, fragile beauty, orchestrate her own husband's death? Maybe Bobby knew more about the Gagnon's then he is telling - are his actions completely innocent? Why is the Judge's and his wife's past shrouded in mystery?

This is Lisa Gardner's best book, and most of her previous books were quite good. The plot is great and it moves. Yet the characters get the right amount of attention. And there are some nice twists. This latest effort by Gardner will disappoint few.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a psychological crime novel about a woman whose husband is killed by a police sniper. The sniper kills the man because he appears to be ready to shoot his wife. It turns out that the woman and the police sniper have psychological baggage -- lots of it. The fact that the sniper kills the husband leads to an intense investigation, which is when all the twisting begins. The book has a villian that you just love to hate and a lovable child and puppy.

I actually enjoyed this book, much to my surprise. I am usually not a fan of "crime format" books. But the book was fairly well written, easy to read, and had some twists that made it impossible to preconceive how the book was going to end. All in all, not a bad book -- not great -- but not bad. A good book for reading on an airplane.

I will say that the twists and turns became a little confusing and it was somewhat hard to follow. Right up to the very end, I'm not sure exactly what happened. Maybe this was the author's intention; I don't know.
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Format: Hardcover
"Alone", by Lisa Gardner, NY, Bantam, 2004 ISBN 0-553-80253-4 (hc), 324 p., by author of 6 prior NYT best-selling novels (plus 13 others under a.k.a. Alicia Scott). Gardner at her finest renders a suspense novel entwining lives of police sniper Bobby Dodge and Boston socialite Catherine Gagnon with those messed-up lives of their ovn parents and "lustmord" of pedophilist Richard Umbrio. So yes, there's rape abduction, police homicides, and an escalating mess of murder by knife, hanging?, gun -- by chilling variant divating means.

We are immersed into finely-tuned and researched machinations of SWAT techniques, of alleged spousal & child abuse, of aftermath of incest, pedophilia and inappropriate use of financial and judicial power, and importantly a heartening and occasionally disheartening look into survival techniques used by people suffering from imperfections and fragility of the human condition and where the bottom line rings true that blood runs thicker than thieves.

Gardner's command of language, be it technical, romantic, carnal, or merely weaving fact with fiction is simply superb -- when novels get this good it is hard to say enough and I'd love to have a signed copy. Deservedly, I give it 5***** without hesitation.
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Format: Hardcover
but I hated this book. I always look forward to a Lisa Gardner book, but this one was a great disappointment. First off, I hated the heroine Catherine (if that's what you can call her). I realize she had a traumatic experience as a child, but she grew up to be an unlikeable woman. She manipulates, cheats, sets up an innocent police officer and is very unapologetic about it. The whole book overall is depressing. You like to see a little bit of hope or happiness in a novel, but this has none of that. The police officer is suspended, oh, and he also had an abusive childhood, and don't forget he's an alcoholic, oh, and let's not forget her childhood tragedy, and her postpartum depression, and how she was willing to just hand off her kid to a nanny, oh, and her kid is sick and her husband is abusive and her in-laws are awful...I could go on and on. I did like the hero Bobby, and I did have hope that he would end up happy, and he kind of did, except he walked away from the woman he loved and never went back. Great. And the tragedy continues. The story ends with the police still trying to get Catherine. I actually skipped parts of the book because I thought it just all seemed so unreal. I kept waiting for it to get better, but it never did. I like heart-wrenching stories, but I just didn't care enough about the characters to shed a single tear. I'm hoping her next novel isn't this bad.
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Format: Audio CD
Bobby Dodge is a police sniper who is called to a hostage situation. From his vantage point he witnesses a husband threatening his wife and small child with a handgun. When it becomes apparent that the man is about to shoot the woman, Bobby blows him away, and his troubles begin. The dead man was the only son of an influential judge, who alleges that the dead man's wife, Catherine Gagnon, orchestrated the whole situation. Soon Bobby is accused of having an affair with the widow, and begins his own investigation while on mandatory leave from the police department. What he uncovers is chilling and before he knows it he's in over his head.

There's little suspense to the story, as the author basically lays everything out, and doesn't bother to try to hide much. The main character of Officer Dodge is about the least likeable person possible, although Catherine Gagnon is probably worse. Bobby constantly follows the most illogical course of action in everything he does; repeatedly meeting with Catherine, Judge Gagnon and his private detectives, breaking up with a devoted and wonderful girlfriend, etc. A bunch of psycological nonsense is thrown in to explain his actions, of course, because he hates his mother. And, most ridiculous of all, is the *exciting* conclusion, with about the cheesiest writing imaginable - as they're trying to be quiet (lots of people have been killed, some by being punched) the mother-in-law starts into lengthy monologues of what's happened. And Catherine "reeking of gunpowder" after having fired several shots (all missing wildly), covered in perspiration, her hair matted to her head, and Bobby's thinking how beautiful she is. I laughed out loud! Add to it a dose of disgusting pedophilia and plenty of smut and foul languange, and I honestly can't recommend this book. I'll give it 2 stars instead of 1 simply because the story was mildly interesting, enough that I actually finished it.
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