Look for Me (Gardner)

Look for Me  (Detective D.D. Warren, 9)
Lisa Gardner, 2018
Penguin Publising
400 pp.

In Lisa Gardner's latest twisty thrill ride, Detective D.D. Warren and Find Her's Flora Dane return in a race against the clock to either save a young girl's life … or bring her to justice.

The home of a family of five is now a crime scene: four of them savagely murdered, one—a sixteen-year-old girl—missing.

Was she lucky to have escaped? Or is her absence evidence of something sinister?

Detective D.D. Warren is on the case—but so is survivor-turned-avenger Flora Dane. Seeking different types of justice, they must make sense of the clues left behind by a young woman who, whether as victim or suspect, is silently pleading, look for me. (From the publisher.)

Author Bio
AKA—Alicia Scott
Birth—ca. 1971-72
Where—Hillsboro, Oregon, USA
Education—University of Pennsylvania
Awards—Best Hardcove (Int'l. 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 30 some novels, including thriller-suspense works such as The Killing Hour, The Next Accident, Catch Me, and most recently Find Her. 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.

Raised in Hillsboro, Oregon, she graduated from the city's Glencoe High School. As of 2007, Gardner lives in New Hampshire. (Author bio adapted from Wikipedia and the author's website.)

Book Reviews
Family, friendships and foster relationships are explored in this emotional, page-turning thriller.
USA Today

Gardner has a talent when it comes to exploring uncomfortable topics and the various psychological aspects that accompany them while evoking truly emotional responses.… Though the material Gardner writes about might sometimes be dark, she knows how to shine a light and generate optimism when all looks lost.
Associated Press

Gardner has tackled a tough subject with some complicated protagonists…Fans will find the result satisfying as ever.
Florida Times Union

In Thriller Award–winner Gardner’s exciting ninth novel featuring Boston Sgt. Det. D.D. Warren…. Gardner shines a heartbreaking light on foster care abuse while steadily ratcheting up the tension to a genuinely surprising and emotional finale.
Publishers Weekly

The twists and turns in this gripping D.D. Warren adventure will keep readers turning the pages.
Library Journal

( Starred review.) Suspenseful and wholly believable, this ninth entry will win new fans for the series, especially among those who favor Karin Slaughter's gritty procedurals.

Despite Gardner's considerable research into the foster-care system, her plot is a tired one populated with cardboard characters and twists any savvy reader will see coming a mile away.
Kirkus Reviews

Discussion Questions
We'll add publisher questions if and when they're available; in the meantime, use our LitLovers Book Club Resources. They can help with discussions for any book:

Mystery / Crime / Suspense Thrillers

1. Talk about the characters, both good and bad. Describe their personalities and motivations. Are they fully developed and emotionally complex? Or are they flat, one-dimensional heroes and villains?

2. What do you know...and when do you know it? At what point in the book do you begin to piece together what happened?

3. Good crime writers embed hidden clues, slipping them in casually, almost in passing. Did you pick them out, or were you...clueless? Once you've finished the book, go back to locate the clues hidden in plain sight. How skillful was the author in burying them?

4. Good crime writers also tease us with red-herrings—false clues—to purposely lead us astray. Does the author try to throw you off track? If so, were you tripped up?

5. Talk about the twists & turns—those surprising plot developments that throw everything you think you've figured out into disarray.

a. Do they enhance the story, add complexity, and build suspense?

b. Are they plausible or implausible?

 c. Do they feel forced and gratuitous—inserted merely to extend the story?

6. Does the author ratchet up the suspense? Did you find yourself anxious—quickly turning pages to learn what happened? A what point does the suspense start to build? Where does it climax...then perhaps start rising again?

7. A good ending is essential in any mystery or crime thriller: it should ease up on tension, answer questions, and tidy up loose ends. Does the ending accomplish those goals?

a. Is the conclusion probable or believable?

b. Is it organic, growing out of clues previously laid out by the author (see Question 3)?

c. Or does the ending come out of the blue, feeling forced or tacked-on?

d. Perhaps it's too predictable.

e. Can you envision a different or better ending?

8. Point to passages in the book—ideas, descriptions, or dialogue—that you found interesting or revealing, that somehow struck you. What, if anything, made you stop and think? Or maybe even laugh.

9. Overall, does the book satisfy? Does it live up to the standards of a good crime story or suspense thriller? Or does it somehow fall short?

10. Compare this book to other mystery, crime, or suspense thrillers that you've read. Consider other authors or other books in a the series by the same author.

(Mystery Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online and off, with attribution. Thanks.)

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