#1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Gardner creates a mystery so complex that it will take three of her most beloved characters to solve it.
The discovery of several old graves in the woods outside a small town in Georgia give the FBI reason to order a task force built in the area. After a possible link is found between the graves and deceased serial kidnapper Jacob Ness, FBI Special Agent Kimberly Quincy and Sergeant Detective D. D. Warren bring his last known victim, Flora Dane onto the force to investigate the criminal activity. They find out there is way more going on in this small town than they originally realized when the bodies start piling up and every community member seems to have something to hide.
First of all, let me say that Lisa Gardner is a Queen. She is the queen of the women detective stories, and we should all bow down in acknowledgement of her royalty.
I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t read many of her books because I only came across her work recently, but the good news is that even though When You See Me is technically part of a series, you can read it as a stand-alone novel. I know because I did just that.
The story is told interchangeably from the viewpoints of D. D. Warren, Kimberly Quincy, Flora Dane, and a fourth temporarily unnamed character. Each character is well developed, and you will cheer for them all in sequence. Gardner does an impressive job of writing all the viewpoints, but I was especially impressed with the chapters written from the perspective of the unnamed character who is a witness to many of the crimes the main characters are trying to solve. With this character, Gardner is somehow able to build the suspense that kept me from putting this book down without giving away the twists that blindsided me.
My favorite character by far is Flora Dane. She’s a traumatized survivor of terrible circumstances, and my heart broke to read about such a broken character who was just trying to put her life back together while still learning from what she viewed to be her past mistakes. Her relationship with true-crime savant Keith Edgar was so beautiful in it’s hinted tragedy as both characters were aware that she may never really trust him or any man ever again. I personally connected with Flora as someone who has had to struggle through my own PTSD and learn to trust again. Gardner definitely did her research on trauma, and Flora’s journey is one that you will not forget.
I strongly recommend this novel, but I warn you, once you start reading it you won’t be able to put it down until you reach the conclusion.