Book review: Find Her by Lisa Gardner

Saturday, February 13, 2016 Permalink

I made some assumptions about Find Her by Lisa Gardner when I read the blurb. And worried a little. I imagined the whole thing was going to be pondering the ‘is vigilantism ever okay?’ question, but thankfully it was much (much) more than that.

Book review: Find Her by Lisa GardnerFind Her
by Lisa Gardner
Series: DD Warren #8
Published by Headline
on February 9th 2016
Source: Hachette Australia
Genres: Thriller / Suspense, Psychological Thriller
ISBN: 1472220285, 9781472220288
Pages: 384

My name is Flora Dane and I was kidnapped from a beach on spring break. I spent 472 days with my captor before I was found.


I spent the last five years trying to reacquaint myself with the rhythms of my life. But everything is different. I've had to learn how to protect myself in this dangerous new world.


There are other predators out there and I'll do anything to stop them. Am I a victim or a vigilante? Detective D. D. Warren doesn't know. Sometimes neither do I.

When another girl disappears, I know I have to FIND HER, whatever it takes, even if it means putting myself in danger...

I’ve read most of Gardner’s DD Warren series but missed Find Her’s predecessor (Fear Nothing). All I needed to know however was that DD had been injured and is just back at work… albeit on light duties. Supposedly.

As is sometimes the case however, the eighth book in the series is as much about Flora Dane as it is about DD.

In fact almost alternating chapters are written in first person from Flora’s point of view. (And others in third person from DD’s.) There are also a series of flashbacks to Flora’s original kidnapping.

Interestingly I felt I had a better handle on Flora circa 2009 than current day Flora. Kidnapped Flora’s voice was probably more candid and consistent and her ‘journey’ (#sorrynotsorry) more substantial. Of course, we also learn that current day Flora struggles to feel and is – in many ways – a shell of her former self.

Naturally, Gardner’s had enough time with DD to ensure she feels very real and again we’re privy to snippets of her home life, though the focus is well and truly on the investigation(s) before her.

I really enjoyed this book and couldn’t put it down: its fast pace and the questions it presented meant I had to keep turning the pages until I was done.

Gardner offers a few unexpected twists and keeps us guessing about the direction the plot will take. It’s this unpredictability that sets the novel apart from many similar psychological thrillers.

What I also particularly loved about this book was how well Gardner gets inside the head of her kidnap victim (as well as the kidnapper to an extent). She’s not tempted to keep things black and white – rather she dives in to explore the realities and shared experiences of the victim and perpetrator.

In addition, through Flora’s mother (and brother) we learn more about the impact Flora’s experience had on her loved ones.

Her brother, for example, leaves university and puts his life on hold when Flora’s kidnapped. But she returns a different person and he and her mother struggle to come to terms with the continued disappearance of the Flora they knew and loved.

So with a great plot and complex – occasionally challenging – characters, I’d most definitely recommend this book. But be warned, clear your schedule ahead of time as you won’t want to put this down.

Find Her by Lisa Gardner was released on 9 February 2016 by Hachette Australia.

I received a copy of this book for review purposes. 

  • Kanga Rue
    February 13, 2016

    Sounds great… Can it be read as a stand alone, or should I read the previous books in the series?

    • Debbish
      February 13, 2016

      Could easily be read as a standalone. It’s far more about the case and Flora than DD.

  • Stormi D Johnson
    February 13, 2016

    I really need to try one of her books, they always looked good but I have just never taken the time to try one. 🙂

    • Debbish
      February 13, 2016

      This has probably been my fave in the DD Warren series Stormi so you could start with this. As I said to Kanga_Rue – it doesn’t matter that it’s part-way through the series. In fact, there’s barely any need for context.

  • laurelrainsnow
    February 15, 2016

    I LOVE this series, and how the author alternates between the characters, showing us snippets of D.D. Warren’s life, as well. It humanizes the detective and makes her more likeable. I can’t wait to read this one! Great review.

    • Debbish
      February 15, 2016

      Thanks Laurel! It’s definitely a favourite in the series.

I'd love to hear your thoughts