BOOK REVIEW: “Crash & Burn” by Lisa Gardner

Title: Crash and Burn
Author: Lisa Gardner
Publication: February 3, 2015
Publisher: Dutton
Source: Penguin/Random House
Genre Category: Mystery/Thriller

Crash and Burn


SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
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.

Not to start off on a bias note, but Lisa Gardner is hands down one of the best Mystery/Thrill writers out there today. I can say this because I’m a huge fan of mystery and thriller novels and I have read every single one of Gardners books. Every. Single. One. Every time I pick up a new one I am surprised at how Gardner has stretched herself and her story to new levels for us and for herself, keeping us guessing at every turn.

‘Crash and Burn’ is the newest book about to be released under Gardner’s name. The book is set for a release of February 3, 2015. It follows the story of Nicole Frank, a married woman who has suffered one too many head trauma’s and some would call her crazy. Crazy may not be the word for it though. ‘Crash and Burn’ follows Frank’s life, along with her husband Thomas, after a horrific car accident, a wild goose chase for a child that doesn’t exist (or does it), and more hidden secrets that one family can hold. Sgt. Wyatt Foster is the lead officer on the case, although we get to see one of our favorite private investigators, Tessa Leoni. ‘Crash and Burn’ is the third Tessa Leoni novel by Gardner. We also get a glimpse at one of our favorite Boston detectives… D.D. Warren.

To me, ‘Crash and Burn’ was a completely new type of novel for Gardner. It put a new meaning to psychological in psychological thriller. Aside from the typical “crime has occurred, now we solve it after many bumps, twists, and turns” writing we are use to in murder mysteries, Gardner took a leap into head trauma. A ballsy move, in my opinion, as head trauma is never the same for two people and can go any different way. Nicky Frank is no stranger to this as multiple concussions have left her brain a little scrambled, and she finds it hard to differentiate between reality and fantasy. Gardner definitely did her job because there were many times I was just as confused as the lead character.

I try to consider myself a pretty good guess, but Gardner kept me on the edge of my seat on this one. I did not guess who was behind everything until the very end. Remind me never to have a traumatic brain injruy (TBI). Gardner’s ability to draw a reader in and make them feel what the characters are feeling is one reason, I believe, she is at the top of her game. ‘Crash & Burn’ pushed boundaries for Gardner as a writer and for the reader, myself, and she came out blazing on top as usual! This novel is incredible, for lack of a better phrase. Intriguing, heart-wrenching at times, terrified at others, and just a really great read. I couldn’t put it down.

If you haven’t had the chance to read a Lisa Gardner book yet, make sure to check them all out on her website, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your local bookstore. Also mark ‘Crash and Burn’ as TO READ on Goodreads. Follow Gardner on Twitter and Facebook as well to keep up with her happenings.

‘Crash and Burn’ receives a 5 out of 5 stars.

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