Publisher: Dutton Books
Is he a hero?
Eight years ago, Sharlah May Nash’s older brother beat their drunken father to death with a baseball bat in order to save both of their lives. Now thirteen years old, Sharlah has finally moved on. About to be adopted by retired FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his partner, Rainie Conner, Sharlah loves one thing best about her new family: They are all experts on monsters.
Is he a killer?
Then the call comes in. A double murder at a local gas station, followed by reports of an armed suspect shooting his way through the wilds of Oregon. As Quincy and Rainie race to assist, they are forced to confront mounting evidence: The shooter may very well be Sharlah’s older brother, Telly Ray Nash, and it appears his killing spree has only just begun.
All she knows for sure: He’s back.
As the clock winds down on a massive hunt for Telly, Quincy and Rainie must answer two critical questions: Why after eight years has this young man started killing again? And what does this mean for Sharlah? Once upon a time, Sharlah’s big brother saved her life. Now, she has two questions of her own: Is her brother a hero or a killer? And how much will it cost her new family before they learn the final, shattering truth? Because as Sharlah knows all too well, the biggest danger is the one standing right behind you.
I’m a huge Lisa Gardner fan and I love all three of her series, but Quincy and Rainie will always have a special place in my heart, so naturally I was thrilled to see her latest novel was bringing them back! One of my favorite things about getting attached to any series is feeling like I’m catching up with old friends and this dynamic duo is one of best to spend time with.
There’s a spree killer on the loose in Bakersville and Quincy and Rainie are both called in by the local sheriff, Shelly to consult. Things quickly turn deeply personal for them when they discover that the suspect is their soon to be adoptive daughter, Sharlah’s long lost brother, Telly. As they race to apprehend Telly, things become extremely complicated and highly volatile and their main goal is to keep their daughter safe. Is history repeating itself with Telly’s anger rising to the surface? Or is there more to the case than what meets the eye?
This was one emotional story for a crime novel! Gardner has the unique ability to make the reader forge fast and meaningful connections to her characters and I had emotional attachments to all of them, but especially to Quincy, Rainie and Sharlah. Each and every individual connected to the case narrates chapters which provides an overall look at what everyone is doing, feeling and thinking. It’s very clever and adds something special to her books.
This was a fast and furious read, one that kept me flipping pages late into the night. It all just flows so smoothly with fluid writing and plenty of twists and turns to keep you on your toes. This wasn’t a case that was so much about who the killer was, but the why? The motivation was tangled and fascinating and the truth was highly complex. The best way I can describe this one is to say it’s a thriller with a huge heart and a truly compelling read.
Overall rating: 5/5
Thanks to Dutton Books for my review copy.