Crash & Burn (Tessa Leoni #3) by Lisa Gardner

Book Description:

Published: February 3, 2015

Format: Audio

My name is Nicky Frank. Except, most likely, it isn’t.

Nicole Frank shouldn’t have been able to survive the car accident, much less crawl up the steep ravine. Not in the dark, not in the rain, not with her injuries. But one thought allows her to defy the odds and flag down help: Vero.

I’m looking for a little girl. I have to save her. Except, most likely, she doesn’t exist.

Sergeant Wyatt Foster is frustrated when even the search dogs can’t find any trace of the mysterious missing child. Until Nicky’s husband, Thomas, arrives with a host of shattering revelations: Nicole Frank suffers from a rare brain injury and the police shouldn’t trust anything she says.

My husband claims he’ll do anything to save me. Except, most likely, he can’t.

Who is Nicky Frank, and what happened the night her car sailed off the road? Was it a random accident or something more sinister given the woman’s lack of family and no close friends? The deeper Wyatt digs, the more concerned he becomes. Because it turns out, in the past few months, Nicky has suffered from more than one close accident. . . . In fact, it would appear someone very much wants her dead.

This is my life. Except, most likely, it’s not. Now watch me crash and burn.

Review –

Nothing is what it seems in this expertly written standalone from Thriller Award–winner Lisa Gardner.

Nicky Frank appears to be a victim of her own making. She had been drinking while driving. She ran her car off the road where it nose-dived into a steep ravine. She managed to free herself from the car, clawed her way up a ravine, and flagged down a driver by yelling for help and pleading with someone to look for and find her five year old daughter, Vero. When the police came, an intensive search was conducted. Even a search dog was brought in, but no signs of the child were found.

In the meantime, Nicky had been taken to the hospital where her blood was tested for alcohol, she was treated for assorted cuts, scrapes and a concussion. When Thomas, her husband of twenty-two years arrived, he told the officers that this was the third severe accident Nicky had had in the past six months. She had fallen twice, once down a flight of stairs. Because of the three accidents, her brain was injured and Nicky was having false memories and fantasies. He assured them that they did not have a child. There was no Vero. But how does one seemingly otherwise healthy woman wind up with three critical accidents in such a short time span? Was the car accident truly an accident? Or maybe it was Nicky trying to end her life. But could it have been attempted murder? If so, could Thomas have had a part in it? Nicky has problems answering many of the questions asked of her. But when she is coherent enough to answer, her recollections appear to be more truthful than imagination or fantasy. This causes the police to dig deeper and deeper into this twisted mystery,

Series lead Tessa Leoni has a relatively minor part to play here, with her love interest, Sergeant Wyatt Foster, playing a more prominent role in the investigation. Even D. D. Warren makes a (brief) appearance. Despite a fast start, it’s a little slow going for a while before picking up speed and then not letting go. A solid thriller from this author, with plenty of twists and turns to keep readers on edge.

Who is Nicky and Thomas Frank? Why did they move around so much? Are her accidents really accidents?  Who is Vero? What will Nicky’s re-emerging memory tell her?

Excellent read with a very twisted revelation into the past of Nicky Frank and her husband Thomas.  Loved it!

Five stars.