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Catch Me Hardcover – February 7, 2012
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*Starred Review* It’s hard to imagine Boston detective D. D. Warren slowing down, but back to work after a blissful, eight-week maternity leave, she’s determined to strike some sort of balance in her life. Her first case, however, renders that an impossibility. An alleged serial killer is targeting pedophiles. While D. D. and her crew may sympathize with this vigilante murderer’s motives, they’re hell-bent on handling justice the right way and catching the killer. Meanwhile, D. D. is contacted by Charlie, a young woman who claims that she will be killed on January 21, just as her two former best friends were murdered on that date in the two consecutive years prior. While D. D. would like to dismiss Charlie as crazy, the facts are there to support her assertion. As the two investigations develop, it becomes apparent that they could be linked. Gardner really pulls you in the middle of the drama, alternating Charlie’s first-person retelling of the horrible circumstances of her life with the third-person narration of D. D.’s investigations. The creepy meter is off the charts—though not sensationalized—with children the target of physical, psychological, and sexual abuse at the hands of both strangers and parents. And, somehow, miraculously without any contrivance, Gardner’s conclusion delivers a welcome glimmer of hope. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Last year, Gardner had three titles on different New York Times bestseller lists; her latest D. D. Warren novel will launch a new streak for 2012. --Mary Frances Wilkens
"The creepy meter is off the charts...And, somehow, miraculously without any contrivance, Gardner’s conclusion delivers a welcome glimmer of hope."
-Booklist, starred review
"New York Times best-selling author Gardner always plays in the big leagues, but this scare-your-socks-off thriller is a grand slam, packed with enigmatic characters...and superb storytelling."
-Library Journal, starred review
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In Lisa Gardner's 'Catch Me," one of the main character's chilling recollections of her mother is how she would injure her daughter when the daughter was just a toddler. Then the mother would take the daughter to the emergency room to evoke sympathy from the medical staff or maybe a handsome young doctor.
On a more common view of motherhood, detective D.D. Warren of Boston homicide, has just become a mother and is basking in the love for her newborn son.
D.D.is approached by a woman who wants Warren to investigate the woman's murder when she is killed in four days.
Charlene Rosalund Carter Grant tells D.D. that in the last two years, at eight p.m. on January 21st, her two best friends were murdered. and now Charlene believes that it is her turn.
The story is told as we were listening to the tic tock of a clock counting down to the time of the character's death and there is nothing that she or the police can do to stop it.
A parallel story involves D.D. and her unit investigating a number of killings of pedophiles. This further brings in D.D. love for her baby and a mother's normal desire to be protective.
Gardner adds a number of plot twists which keen the reader guessing about the outcome while adding to the enjoyment of the novel.
The characters of D.D. and Charlene are well developed and visually portrayed, we can almost see them against the cold backdrop of the Boston winter and feel a chill anticapiting the arrival of the killer.
The dramatic reading of the novel by Kristen Potter was well done and kept my interest growing as the story played out.
Boston Sergeant Detective D. D. Warren has just returned to work after ten weeks on maternity leave with the birth of Jack, who she believes inherited her insomnia. She is cranky not due to Jack but because her Florida parents are coming to see their grandson; Warren prefers they stay home. Charlie is at Warren's latest crime scene when the detective notices and confronts her. The woman explains that in four days she will be dead, but she refuses to die without a fight; if the predator succeeds she wants a top Boston homicide cop like Warren to investigate her homicide. While inquiring into the Charlie case, Warren also searches for an avenger killing pedophiles.
The latest Warren c(see Love You More, Who Do You Love? and The Neighbor) is a great twisting psychological thriller. The protagonist has her hands filled with her newborn and two difficult convoluted cases while she is mentally struggling to regain her workaholic pit bull tendencies. Fans will immensely enjoy this taut strong suspense tale.
This review is based on an Advance Readers Version of the book which I received free from the Publisher through the Goodreads First Reads program.
ORIGINALITY (standard, high, stellar) - HIGH - the twist at the end is insightful
ACTION (none, some, lots) - SOME - after all there are several murder
investigations going on
SEX (none, some, lots) NONE
PROFANITY (none, some, lots) SOME
The main characters in this excellent crime thriller are:
D.D. Warren - a Sergeant Detective with the Boston Police Department has recently returned to duty after maternity leave and her first cases are two pedophiles who have been killed in their apartmenst at point blank range. Each victim has been shot twice in the head with a 22 calibre gun. No signs of a struggle and each crime scene has been cleaned up and straightened up afterwards. No fingerprints are present , not even of the victim in their own apartment !!
Charlene Rosalind Carter Grant (Charlie) - an abused child Charlie has had two of her closest friends killed on February 21. Her first friend two years ago and her other friend 1 year ago. Even though they lived 1,000 miles apart. Now Charlie is convinced that she will be killed on January 21 which is 4 days away.
Charlie is caught by D.D. Warren near the scene of the second pedophile murder and when questioned Charlie tells her that she will be killed on February 21 and if D.D. gets the case can she please try to figure out who killed Charlie and her two best friends.
While D.D. Warren is busy with the two murders she certainly doesn't have time to investigate a murder that hasn't happened yet.
In the meantime Charlie has been training how to fight as well as how to shoot a 22 calibre gun in preparation for her murder on February 21.
The cops are starting to come to ask some important questions particularly as it relates to Charlie and her 22 calibre pistol.
There are twists and turns at the end of the book.
The author fully develops her characters and so you become invested in them.
A thrilling story with a twist at the end. An enjoyable read and recommended