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.

Advertisements

The Drafter (The Peri Reed Chronicles #1) by Kim Harrison

Book Description:

Published: September 1, 2015

Format: Audio/OverDrive

The Bourne Identity meets Minority Report in this first highly anticipated installment in number-one New York Times best-selling author Kim Harrison’s sexy new romantic suspense trilogy, featuring a brilliant special task agent at the top of her field and set in a futuristic Detroit.

During a routine but dangerous Opti task, Peri Reed finds out her trusted partner has made her a corrupt agent. Her unique ability to jump back 40 seconds in time to correct a mistake leaves her vulnerable when her partner, who is responsible for replacing her memory of the event, gives her a false one. But Peri lives and dies on her intuition, and she begins to piece her twisted reality together as she flees her one-time secure situation at Opti and tries to find the truth with a sullen but talented psychologist named Silas who works for the very agency trying to bring the Opti corruption to light.

With Howard, tech and med specialist, and Taf, gun-toting daughter of the opposing grass-roots agency, Silas and Peri try to rebuild her memory of the night she killed her partner, knowing it will put her mental stability in danger. Peri remembers, and thoughts of revenge keep her alive and moving forward as she tries to put an end to Opti, working with the very faction that wants to see her dead.

Review –

In 2030, Agent Peri Reed works for Opti, a secret government organization that’s been capitalizing on abilities like hers since the 1960s. Peri is the drafter of the title, someone gifted with the rare ability to rewind time for about 30 seconds; the downside is that she not only forgets the original 30 seconds, but longer periods of time (minutes, weeks, even years). Her partner and lover, Jack, acts as her anchor, working to tie her to the new timeline and helping her recover lost memories. But when the two of them uncover a list of corrupt Opti agents and Peri’s name is on it, she learns that both Jack and what she believes to be her past are suspect.

Unfortunately, the more information she uncovers about Opti and its nemesis, the alliance, the harder Opti works to erase Peri’s memories, leaving her either confused and gullible or confused and angry through much of the book. 

Fans of Kim Harrison’s The Hollows series maybe hoping for another strong woman character who kicks butt, be alas, Peri is more a victim, though she has impressive combat skills. She’s frequently distracted by the lures of sex, good food, and expensive, well-tailored clothing. She’s too focused on the adrenaline rush and privileges associated with being an elite, pampered agent to convince us that she’s capable of selflessly serving a cause. Maybe she is a corrupt agent after all, hhmmm.

Great read and really looking forward to the next installment in The  Peri Reed Chronicles.