Book Review: Find Her by Lisa Gardner

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Rating: 5/5

Format: Mass Market Paperback

Quick Take

Find Her by Lisa Gardner is a heartwrenching, edge of your seat thriller that stands out in the thriller genre due to its empathy and female empowerment.

Tell Me More

If you have read any of my reviews before, then you know how much I love thriller novels that involve kidnapping, particularly if the victim is empowered in one way or another.  Find Her by Lisa Gardner is the perfect example of this storyline.  The novel is part of the Detective D.D. Warren series, but it doesn’t need to be read in accordance with the other novels in the series.  Find Her was the first and only book I have read by Lisa Gardner, and it is a fantastic standalone novel.  I tore through each chapter and gobbled up every twist and turn.  Gardner’s writing intertwines family tragedy, murder, kidnapping, and female empowerment all in one gorgeous story of survival and second chances.

Find Her focuses on Flora Dane, a kidnapping victim who – after her rescue – has become a vigilante by tracking down predators to try and save other women.  Flora ends up killing a man who is suspected of kidnapping and possible murder, which is how she comes into contact with Detective D.D. Warren.  The book is split into chapters that feature the first-person voice of Flora in her past and present, while other chapters feature Detective D.D. Warren in the third person.  Flora’s storyline focuses mainly on her memories from when she was kidnapped as well as how being rescued was not the happy ending for her or her family that everyone assumed it would be.  Throughout the novel, we learn more about Flora and how the kidnapping ordeal changed her, as well as the secrets that she is keeping from her family and law enforcement.  Find Her is a mystery that feeds the reader little pieces of information at a time to keep you guessing without the story appearing cliche or superficial.  Flora’s story is open and honest throughout the novel, and Gardner doesn’t shy away from vocalizing the brutalities that Flora was privy to while she was kidnapped.  Gardner is frank about Flora’s mixed feelings about her kidnapper and how the ordeal changed her life in a way that no one else understands.  The way she presents Flora’s story and actions make the reader feel as though they are in Flora’s shoes, which gave me a deeper sense of empathy while I was reading.

Gardner’s story incorporates real-life information of the aftereffects of kidnapping on an individual, family, and community while simultaneously developing a heart-racing mystery that kept the pages turning.  Find Her is equal parts thriller and realistic literary fiction that will make you think deeper about the individuals behind the headlines.  Even though Find Her is the only book that I have read by Lisa Gardner, I am already in love with her knowledgable writing and her ability to drag the reader into her stories.  I can’t recommend Find Her enough!  Whether you are a constant thriller reader or not, you are bound to enjoy this book.

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