Book Review: Crash & Burn

Publishing Information: Dutton Publishing, 1st Edition Feb, 2015
Page Count: 400
Genre: Thriller/Mystery/Police Procedural
Note: While all of Lisa Gardner’s books can operate as stand-alone novels she has ongoing characters, who change and develop throughout her novels.  Some reoccurring characters in this book are D.D. Warren, Wyatt Foster, and Tessa Leoni.

Every aspiring writer out there has that one author who just sets fire to them. For me, Lisa Gardner is that author.

Flashback to 2009. I’m vacationing with my husband in a tiny little town in New Hampshire and I find out through the grapevine that an author is releasing her book, The Neighbor, in a couple of days. I decided to snatch up a couple of her novels and devoured them, ravenously.

Lisa Gardner was very kind about answering my (numerous) questions. She helped me understand a few things and gave me some links to help me on my writing journey. She is a genuinely nice lady and I will forever be in her debt.

That being said it amazes me that she can write some of the stuff that she does. In Crash & Burn we delve into the world of child prostitution, the dangers of addiction, and feeling lost in your own body. There’s also a talking dead child. Oh, sure it’s all in someones head, but there are still some wonderfully descriptive moments.

First and foremost it is apparent that Gardner did her research before writing this book. My (second) degree was in Administration of Justice and I can get really nit-picky about how police procedural are written. She explains how the officers in New Hampshire are trained, how they work together, and gives a realistic view of the tools at their disposal.

I wholeheartedly approve.

More than that she creates a fantastic mystery revolving around a husband’s love, a wife’s inability to remember who or what she is, and two New Hampshire officers who are trying to figure out what the hell is going on.

Now, I am going to caution some readers out there. If you want non-stop action this story is not for you. It does build. It takes its time to get you involved in the investigation till you feel like you are right there with the officers going “I hate this ravine and this case is driving me nuts”. You feel that too. I loved it, others have seen it as a failure.

Different strokes, right?

This was not my favorite book of Gardner’s (I still can’t decide if The Neighbor or The Perfect Husband is) but it is definitely worth a read.


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