This is my family: Vanished without a trace. . . .
Justin and Libby Denbe have the kind of life you’d find in the pages of a glossy magazine. A beautiful fifteen-year-old daughter. A gorgeous brownstone on a tree-lined street in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. A great marriage, admired by all. A perfect life.
This is what I know: Pain has a flavor. . . .
When investigator Tessa Leone arrives at the crime scene in the foyer of the Denbes’ home, she finds scuff marks on the floor and a million tiny pieces of bright green Taser confetti. The family appears to have been abducted, with only a pile of their cell phones and electronic devices remaining. No witnesses, no ransom demands, no motive. Just a perfect little family, gone.
This is what I fear: The worst is yet to come. . . .
Tessa knows better than anyone that flawless fronts can hide the darkest secrets. Now she must race against the clock to uncover the Denbes’ innermost dealings, a complex tangle of friendships and betrayal, big business and small sacrifices. Who would want to kidnap such a perfect little family? And how far would such a person be willing to go?
This is the truth: Love, safety, family . . . it’s all touch and go. (goodreads.com)
Much to my pleasant surprise Penguin contacted me to review this one. I’m pretty sure they’re in on my mind meld or something because I was certainly looking for something different, more adult and along the thriller lines. Hello! Couldn’t get much more fitting than TOUCH & GO so I accepted it. The only thing was couple of adult thrillers I have read in the past were short on thrills and if I happened to like the bulk of the book the ending was a tank so I had reasonably high hopes that this title wouldn’t suck. I’m not familiar with the author so I didn’t have much to go on other than an interesting-sounding premise.
The good thing about thrillers, they’re usually super interesting right of the beginning. Hence thrill, right? Needless to say TOUCH & GO didn’t disappoint. The gas pedal was pressed within the first chapter and it was all go from there. The voices of the various characters were immediate draws for me as well. Nothing seemed to try too hard or overreach at all. I believed everything I was reading so it was easy to get soaked into the story.
The characters. Every single one of them was compelling and just a little bit effed up for me to get involved in. No one was over the top although a couple of scenes did have the Law & Order doink doink noise ringing in my head as I read them but overall the tone, the pacing, the plot, it was all incredibly engaging and I had a hard time putting the damn thing down. Troublesome with things like work and sleep in the way.
I think one of the reasons thrillers appeal to me so much is because they keep my brain spinning. I have a hard time predicting what’s going to happen and all TOUCH & GO did was keep me constantly guessing. I kept being wrong time and time again but it made all the shocks in the story that much more, well, shocking because my blind ass couldn’t see them coming.
The book kept dropping hints into Tessa’s previous cop life and it was just enough to make me want to go out and buy the relevant book. I got an idea of what happened to this woman and what her motivation was going forward to find the family but it didn’t detract from the story. I wasn’t bogged down in erroneous past life detail that would only make a convoluted plot more confusing. It was all very streamlined, though, and read effortlessly. That’s some level of talent right there.
I also liked how every character, no matter who seemingly shitbaggy, had at least one redeeming quality to him or her, whether it was a weakness for family, a willingness to help others or even not letting your fellow kidnapper pummel the shit out of a woman. Gardner did an excellent job of rounding out each and every character, making them anything other than what they seemed and forcing you to keep guessing not only about the plot but about the characters themselves. From the scummiest kidnapper to the highest ranking FBI agent, there wasn’t a single character that I could have done without. How she managed to juggle so many and keep them as independent and dynamic as she did blows my mind.
I wasn’t a fan of Justin’s all-consuming awesomeness in construction. We have a term in the insurance world for contractors that think they know it all: jack of all trades and master of none. I bought the size of the company, I bought the jobs they did, I bought Justin’s character and how he functioned within his role but I couldn’t get on board when things like how he wired the alarm system in his house himself were mentioned. Not when he grew up doing drywall but he’s master game player too. That’s not to say he can’t be knowledgable in multiple lines of the trade but if he’s a master carpenter he didn’t get there being a master of fifteen other things too.
Yeah, little nit pick and ultimately irrelevant to the greater story but considering my own knowledge of the trade I couldn’t help but latch on and it bugged me through the end of the book and it still kind of bugs me now.
I’ve added the rest of Lisa’s books to my WANT list on Goodreads. I do have a fear that they’ll get a little procedural after a while but I have hope. I do think this kind of thing does have a tendency of wearing thin but I guess you’ll get that with anything by the same person, be it book, TV show or whatever. I love me my Law & Order: SVU but there’s only so much of that show I can watch. And I do think TOUCH & GO read like a police procedural show but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I think it just means I could visualize it better. But I’m looking forward to reading more Gardner, especially her bother book about Tessa. That’s some history I NEED to get my hands on. I just have to know what happened.
I have an ARC! You want it? There’s a Rafflecopter below. Fill it out if you know what’s good for you. You got two weeks. Go!
- Open to US residents 13 years of age and older only (and I do mean US residents, as in your ass needs to RESIDE in the US to win).
- One entry per person.
- Duplicate entries will be deleted.
- Giveaway ends 2/12.