Customer Review

110 of 124 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "The total destruction of our family was just beginning.", February 5, 2013
This review is from: Touch & Go (Hardcover)
Lisa Gardner is one of the reigning queens of domestic drama. She places families in pressure-cooker situations, and we watch as they struggle to survive physically and emotionally. In "Touch and Go," Justin Denbe, his wife, Libby, and their fifteen-year-old daughter, Ashlyn, are all under duress. Justin is "a man's man," attractive, charming, ambitious, and the heir to his father's multi-million dollar construction business. The Denbes live in a luxurious Boston town house. One evening, after Justin and Libby return from a romantic dinner, three men invade their home, abduct both parents and their child, and spirit the three of them away to a hiding place in northern New Hampshire.

Former Massachusetts state trooper and single mom, twenty-nine year old Tessa Leoni, is an employee of Northledge Investigations. She is hired by Justin's firm to "assess the scene and conduct an independent analysis of the situation." (Boston Detective Sergeant D. D. Warren makes a brief appearance and catches up with Tessa, whom she encountered during a previous case.) Also involved in the investigation are a pair of FBI agents and Sergeant Wyatt Foster of New Hampshire, who soon has his eye on Tessa. In the chapters that Libby narrates, she recalls her difficult childhood, the whirlwind romance that led to her marriage, and the immense joy that she and Justin felt when Ashlyn was born. Unfortunately, the past six months have not been easy, since Libby and Justin's marriage has started to deteriorate. Now, she fears that they all will die at the hands of their brutal captors.

Gardner opens her novel with a bang and keeps us guessing for several hundred pages. As it progresses, however, the overly long narrative becomes increasingly repetitious. Justin, Libby, and Ashlyn are degraded, humiliated, beaten, and live in fear of what will happen next. Since they have no idea why they were taken prisoner and have not been told whether or not a ransom demand will be made, they wait in terror while events unfold. The law enforcement professionals are unimpressive; they spin their wheels, interview everyone in sight, and speculate about what is going on while the perpetrators carry out their plans. The conclusion is meant to be shocking, but it is more distasteful than surprising. "Touch and Go" has enough intense moments to keep us invested in the outcome, but its implausible and melodramatic plot does not stand up to close scrutiny.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 23, 2013 6:08:04 AM PST
Kokyo1 says:
Good review but should have omitted the last paragraph.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2013 7:56:37 PM PST
E. Bukowsky says:
Thanks for your comment. I included the last paragraph to explain why I gave the book three stars. I like Gardner in general, but this novel had too many weaknesses to deserve a five star rating.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 19, 2013 7:53:54 AM PDT
I completely agree. I was very disappointed with the character assassination of a key player and I found it lazy.

Posted on Apr 18, 2013 2:48:54 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Apr 18, 2013 2:50:32 PM PDT]
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E. Bukowsky "booklover10"
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Location: NY United States

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