I actually really enjoyed this book and read it in a matter of a few days. I am a little bummed because I found out after I read Hide that it was theI actually really enjoyed this book and read it in a matter of a few days. I am a little bummed because I found out after I read Hide that it was the second in a series. I have to go read Alone now and I'm afraid I'll not like it as much because I think I might have read a few spoilers in the second book.
In any event, this book held my attention and kept me guessing. The characters are quite interesting, and Annabelle makes for a good heroine. She was complex, as was her backstory, and she wasn't the run-of-the-mill damsel in distress. She was a kick-butt kind of girl who had good reason to be hard and distrustful and who could stand on her own two feet.
I liked Bobby Dodge and I felt that his role in the story, although stereotypical in these kinds of books, still felt fresh. I did feel the connection between Annabelle and Bobby and I think the author did a good job in moving the plot along without making the main characters fall for each other too soon, which is a major complaint I have in these types of books. Bobby himself was a great character and I was intrigued by him and his backstory as well, even though he was predictably the fallen hero with flaws (and a minor drinking problem).
I found this police procedural to be fairly accurate. The detectives had a lot of legwork to do and the case seemed to progress naturally. The way the detectives went about their research was believable. The case itself was gruesome, and while I didn't feel that it really ever got completely resolved, I found that the ending was satisfying and surprising. I had some idea that the bad guys were the bad guys, but the revelations from Annabelle's past gave the climax added depth and shock value.
Lisa Gardner is a master of words and gripping plots. I like her writing style and I like that her characters aren't too cliched. She manages to create a strong heroine who definitely isn't the stereotypical weak little mouse. She's a victim, but she's a survivor, someone who deserved the happy ending she is given by the end of the book. ...more
**spoiler alert** I liked this book for the most part, but I found the present and past elements didn't really gel. I think the story of the murderer**spoiler alert** I liked this book for the most part, but I found the present and past elements didn't really gel. I think the story of the murderer was interesting but I found the present day elements boring.
Here come the spoilers:
Rose was a great character, real, determined, sweet and strong, and I liked Norris, but Julia and Tom were not, in my opinion, their current day counterparts. I also didn't feel a real connection between Julia and Tom and the time they spent together was so short it seemed impossible they could have made a deep connection, otherworldly chemistry or not. I also had some really bad vibes from the present-day Uncle Henry and spent half the book thinking he was somehow the murderer (like maybe he'd been the reincarnated one!)which I'm not sure was the author's intention or not.
I did think the author's knowledge of medicine made for interesting reading, but I will say that the subject matter, of digging up dead people for autopsy in olden-day medical colleges, was grotesque. Garritsen does an amazing job at setting the mood and the stage for old Boston as well. The squalor and desperation these poor people felt oozed from the pages. It added a very sad, depressing, hopeless layer over the book and it was almost too much. I sincerely felt depressed and hopeless while reading about the bugs they'd had to sleep with, the lack of hygiene, the senseless deaths of new moms simply because no one thought to wash their hands.
Overall, I liked the story, but the present day elements would have been better left off. Also, the medical examiner, Maura Isles, is supposed to be a recurrent character in Garritsens's works, from what I read on the back cover text, but she didn't seem to have a big role at all, and I wasn't affected by the appearance of her character at all. She was superfluous, in my opinion.
I think tying in the past to the present was my least favorite thing about this book, simply because it didn't make sense to me. I have enjoyed some reincarnation themes in books in the past, but that was because the author did it well. In this book, I think it's a good thing I read Harvest by Garritsen first, as otherwise, I may have stopped reading this author after reading The Bone Garden....more
Wow. Just wow. This is an exceptional book. I highly recommend it. The plot is intriguing and the author does a wonderful job of building suspense andWow. Just wow. This is an exceptional book. I highly recommend it. The plot is intriguing and the author does a wonderful job of building suspense and revealing the characters little by little. She pulls the reader along for this wild ride and it doesn't let up until the very last page.
The characters themselves are riveting, and part of why they're so memorable is that they each have their own demons. To that end, the growth each person experiences is stellar. The subplot is as interesting as the main plot, and the author does a wonderful job of interweaving the two together to make a thrill ride.
While some of the book is disturbing (the whole abuse/serial killer/kidnapping thing) the author writes it in a mature way that adds to the plot and doesn't ever feel superfluous. Gardner is able to portray intense emotions and build sympathy for these wonderfully flawed, real characters while making us feel disgust and horror at what they each went through.
Having read Hide first by accident, I expected that this plot would be predictable and therefore slightly annoying. I was very wrong.
Lisa Gardner is fHaving read Hide first by accident, I expected that this plot would be predictable and therefore slightly annoying. I was very wrong.
Lisa Gardner is fast becoming a favorite author. She has a way of crafting intricate plots that don't become confusing or predictable. Her characters, while not perfect, are endearing, partly because they aren't perfect. Bobby Dodge is a complex character who definitely won me over. He was flawed, certainly, and I've read a lot of books about cops with emotional baggage, but Gardner managed to make him a unique character, one who is not stereotypical even if his back story might be. She managed to make him fresh and appealing, even with the dents in his halo.
This story was quite interesting and I didn't see the twist at the end coming. In fact, there was a lot I didn't see coming. I liked the relationship Bobby had with Catherine and DD, although I'm a bit confused that this series is the DD Warren series instead of the Bobby Dodge series. In my opinion, he's the star of the show here, and DD wasn't particularly likable in this story, nor did she feature much.
This book also revealed something I'd never considered about police procedure. I had always assumed that if a cop had to fire a weapon and kill someone in the line of duty, it ended at that. The inquest they launched after Bobby's part in the domestic incident was an eye-opener, and while I didn't like the fact that his fellow cops basically automatically assumed he actually murdered someone instead of merely doing his job, I guess it makes sense.
One thing I will say about Gardner's books that I've read so far is that they seem well fleshed out, but yet something feels like it's missing. When I was three-quarters of the way through this book, I wondered when the next major event would happen. It seemed like this book in particular was about something other than it ended up being. I'm probably not explaining it well, but I was expecting more action, I suppose, and was slightly let down when it just didn't happen.
I also loved the cameo that JT Dillon had in this book. I loved The Perfect Husband, and it was awesome to catch up with him and Tess!
All in all, I really liked this book, and I find it a much smarter read than some out there. I think if you like Mary Higgins Clark but are tired of her predictable characters and over-complicated plot lines, you might find Lisa Gardner a refreshing alternative. ...more