Touch & Go (Gardner)

Touch & Go
Lisa Gardner, 2013
Penguin Group USA
400 pp.
ISBN-13: 9780755388288



Summary
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. (From the publisher.)



Author Bio
Aka—Alicia Scott
Birth—ca. 1971-72
Raised—Hillsboro, Oregon, USA
Education—University of Pennsylvania
Awards—Best Hardcover Novel (International
   Thriller Writers); France's Grand Prix des
    lectrices de Elle, prix du policie; Daphne du
    Maurier Award (Romances Writers of America)
Currently—lives in New Hampshire


Lisa Gardner is an American author of fiction. She is the author of 28 novels, including thriller-suspense works such as The Killing Hour, The Next Accident, Catch Me, and most recently Touch & Go. She also has written romance novels using the pseudonym Alicia Scott. With over 22 million books in print, Lisa is published in 30 countries. Four of her novels have been adapted as TV movies.

Her work as a research analyst for a consulting firm spurred her interest in police procedure, cutting edge forensics and twisted plots—a fascination she parlayed into more than 16 bestselling suspense novels, including the 2013 Touch & Go (see her full bibliography below).

Raised in Hillsboro, Oregon, she graduated from the city's Glencoe High School. As evidenced by her 2003 work, "The Killing Hour," Gardner has been heavily influenced by the box office smash and best selling book The Silence of the Lambs. Her novel Gone is set in a fictionalized version of Tillamook, Oregon. As of 2007, Gardner lives in New Hampshire.

Bibliography-Thrillers
I. FBI Profiler Series (Quincy)
The Perfect Husband (1998) *  **
The Third Victim (2001)
The Next Accident (2001)
The Killing Hour (2003)
Gone (2006)
Say Goodbye (2008)

II. Detective D.D. Warren Series
Alone (2005)
Hide (2007) *
The Neighbor (2009)
Live to Tell (2010)
Love You More (2011)
Catch Me (2012)

III. Stand Alones
The Other Daughter (1999)
The Survivors Club (2002) *
I'd Kill For That (2004) contributing author
Touch & Go (2013)

* Adapted into TV movies; At the Midnight Hour, written as Alicia Scott, was also a TV movie
** TV movie tltle is Instinct to Kill

(Author bio adapted from Wikipedia and the author's website.)



Book Reviews
This no-holds-barred stand-alone...opens with the brutally efficient kidnapping of the Denbe family.... Gardner effectively alternates between the physical and emotional disintegration of the family...and the efforts...to locate the Denbes. The suspense builds as the action races to a spectacular conclusion and the unmasking of the plot’s mastermind.
Publishers Weekly


What does a perfect life look like? On the surface, Justin and Libby Denbe seem to have found it.... The Denbes' lives are turned upside down when they are brutally abducted from their home.... [In a] race to find the Denbes before it’s too late....page-turning suspense...leads to a thoroughly satisfying conclusion. —Cynthia Price, Francis Marion Univ. Lib., Florence, SC
Library Journal


Gardner’s depiction of a woman in the midst of emotional chaos is spot on, as usual, and she proves herself just as capable when it comes to creating intriguing men. Readers will want to see more of Wyatt, just as they grew to appreciate Bobby Dodge in Gardner’s earlier books
Booklist


What does a perfect life look like? On the surface, Justin and Libby Denbe seem to have found it.... The Denbes' lives are turned upside down when they are brutally abducted from their home.... [In a] race to find the Denbes before it’s too late....page-turning suspense...leads to a thoroughly satisfying conclusion. —Cynthia Price, Francis Marion Univ. Lib., Florence, SC.
Kirkus Reviews



Discussion Questions
1. What was your initial impression of each character of the Denbe family at the beginning of the book? How did those impressions evolve or change throughout the novel?

2. In Touch & Go there are two “family units” throughout most of the book, the Denbes and their captors. Do you see any similarities between these two units? Do these groups mirror each other in any way?

3. The Denbe family faces some loaded issues throughout the novel. Do you think that the way they handle these issues in captivity is similar (albeit amplified) to how they would have handled them in their normal life?

4. What did you consider the most torturous aspect of the Denbes' captivity? Physical? Mental?

5. Radar is a complex character. Do you think he redeems himself by helping the Denbes while in captivity?

6. Z is portrayed as a villain with a moral code. Does that make him admirable, or does the fact that he’s adamant about some rules—he always keeps his word—make it more heinous that he’s willing to cross other lines?

7. Do you blame Justin for his family’s situation—both their captivity and their broken nature—or do you see their predicament as a joint effort?

8. Children are a strong theme throughout the book. Tessa is concerned for her daughter as are the Denbes for their daughter, but sometimes the children seem to have more insight than the adults. Do you think Lisa Gardner did this on purpose?

9. Libby Denbe turns to prescription drug use as an escape from her husband’s infidelity. Because of this, is it possible to view Libby as a hero?

10. Many of the characters in this book appear innocent but turn out to be extremely flawed. Which characters (if any) were you surprised by when you found out their darkest secrets?

11. What do you think will happen with Tessa and Wyatt?
(Questions issued by publisher.)

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