At the start of this gritty, character-driven standalone from bestseller Gardner (Never Tell), a hiker stumbles across a human femur in the mountains of Niche, Ga. As soon as the remains are identified as those of 17-year-old Lilah Abenito, kidnapped 15 years before and long suspected to have been one of the earliest victims of now-deceased serial predator Jacob Ness, a special task force forms in hope of solving other cold cases linked to him. Led by FBI agent Kimberly Quincy (a regular in a Gardner series), the team includes someone with intimate Ness intel—survivor Flora Dane, as well as her Boston PD friend, Sgt. D.D. Warren (the lead in another Gardner series). Meanwhile, in Niche, the unanticipated heat from the investigation seems to be sparking sloppy mistakes—as well as offering a glimmer of hope to a mute teenage maid known only as Girl, who has crucial information. Though the conspiracy-powered plot eventually balloons well beyond believability and a romantic detour involving Flora distracts, Gardner melds her distinctive protagonists’ stories into an emotionally powerful page-turner. Fans of kick-ass female investigators will be well satisfied. Author tour. Agent: Meg Ruley, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Jan.)
Praise for When You See Me
“This is top-notch suspense by a best-selling master of the genre.”Booklist (starred review)
"An emotionally powerful page-turner. Fans of kick-ass female investigators will be well satisfied."Publishers Weekly
“Gardner juggles multiple narratives…with ease. [A] sensitive exploration of trauma and its insidious, lasting effects.”--Kirkus Reviews
PopSugar’s “31 New Thriller and Mystery Books to Look Out for in 2020”
Bustle’s “35 Most Anticipated Books of January 2020”
CrimeRead’s “10 Novels You Should Read in January”
Mystery Tribune’s “16 Best Crime, Mystery, and Thriller Books of January 2020”
“Gardner continues to put her three best characters together, a proven winning recipe that again delivers a pulse-pounding reading experience.”—The Real Book Spy
“Another edgy thriller from one of my favorite authors. The sinister factor starts early and builds quickly as Southern town charm gives way to deadly menace and dangerous secrets in this twist-a-minute novel. A string of murders, a crack FBI team and a voiceless girl desperate for revenge, When You See Me has it all.”—Karin Slaughter
“When You See Me is another rocket-fuel-propelled thriller from Lisa Gardner. This culmination of her great talents sees the return of her finest characters (including my favorite, Flora Dane), who collide with an intrigue that starts out chillingly intimate and explodes into a sky-high denouement that will leave you breathless.”—Gregg Hurwitz, New York Times bestselling author of the Orphan X series
“A twisty-turny psycho-thriller with a plot and characters that won’t let you go. Lisa Gardner is at the top of her game!”—Kathy Reichs, author of the Temperance Brennan Bones series
When skeletal remains possibly connected to deceased serial killer Jacob Ness are discovered near the Georgia Appalachian Trail, a task force is formed. Led by SSA Kimberly Quincy, who was in charge when Ness was killed; lone Ness survivor and vigilante Flora Dane; her boyfriend, computer analyst/true crime enthusiast, Keith Edgar; and Flora's sponsor, Boston cop D.D. Warren, they hope to resolve unanswered questions. Instead they find a mass grave, which turns the investigation around completely. Is this Ness's work, did he have a partner, or are they looking for yet another evil monster? No. 11 in best-selling author Gardner's "D.D. Warren" series (after Never Tell) is a brilliant, one-sitting, terrifying ride, full of übersuspense and hair-raising situations. As this unparalleled plot thickens, the author keeps fans salivating with her superb no-nonsense, visually disturbing bird's-eye-view storytelling. There are no backseat performances in this all-star, fan-favorite cast, in which every single portrayal is perfect.
VERDICT A must-read for fans of this prolific author, Michael Connelly, and John Sandford. Some pivotal series developments occur, but otherwise this reads well as a stand-alone. [See Prepub Alert, 7/8/19.]—Debbie Haupt, St. Charles City-Cty. Lib. Dist., St Peters, MO
Three Gardner fan favorites—FBI agent Kimberly Quincy, Sgt. D.D. Warren of the Boston Police, and serial-killer-survivor-turned-vigilante Flora Dane—team up to untangle a series of murders, and lots of small-town secrets, in the Georgia hills.
On a hike in the hills outside the quaint tourist town of Niche, Georgia, a couple finds the partial skeletal remains of Lilah Abenito, who went missing 15 years ago. Lilah was thought to be one of the first victims connected to Jacob Ness, who kidnapped Flora eight years ago when she was a Boston college student and held her captive, mostly in a coffin-sized box, for 472 days. The chance to link the deceased Ness to additional crimes is impossible to pass up, and FBI agent Kimberly Quincy invites D.D., Flora (who is a confidential informant for D.D.), and computer analyst Keith Edgar, Flora's friend/love interest, to be part of her task force. A search through the hills turns up a mass grave full of more skeletal remains. While D.D. is updating the mayor, Howard Counsel, and his wife, Martha, who own the charming Mountain Laurel B&B, she becomes interested in their timid, fearful maid, a young Hispanic woman who's brain damaged and unable to speak following a car accident when she was a child. When Martha suddenly hangs herself (or so it seems), D.D. realizes something very odd is going on at ye olde B&B. Gardner juggles multiple narratives, including that of the Counsels' nameless maid, with ease. However, the involvement of two civilians in a major federal task force is initially hard to swallow, as are a few supernatural elements Gardner (Look for Me, 2018, etc.) shoehorns in. But Flora's tentative romance with Keith and her realization that she might finally be thriving, not just surviving, are bright spots, as is Gardner's evolving and sensitive exploration of trauma and its insidious, lasting effects.
These characters are so beloved that readers may not mind when a few twists veer dangerously close to the absurd.