‘Look for Me’ reveals how love and hope can overcome all
By JEFF AYERS
“Look for Me: a Novel” (Dutton), by Lisa Gardner
A horrible crime prompts a hunt for the sole survivor who is either extremely lucky — or perhaps the perpetrator — in Lisa Gardner’s latest psychological thriller, “Look for Me.”
Fans of Gardner’s novels will embrace the return of not only Sgt. Detective D.D. Warren, but also Flora Dane, an almost vigilante advocate for women who have been victimized. They may not like each other, but the level of trust and respect between them creates an almost sibling-like relationship.
D.D. Warren arrives in the midst of a horrible crime scene where it appears the entire family has been killed. She and her team soon learn that the oldest daughter, Roxanna, and two dogs aren’t in the house. Soon the dogs are found safe and sound, but where is Roxanna? Was she merely lucky enough to be walking them when the rampage occurred, or was she responsible for the deaths? It doesn’t initially help Warren to see Flora Dane on the premises, but they will quickly need each other if they are going to uncover the truth. Dane knows about Roxanna and her past, including issues with her parents and foster care. Roxanna was angry with the system and how it seems designed to break apart families rather than keep them together. Did it cause her to finally snap?
Gardner has a talent when it comes to exploring uncomfortable topics and the various psychological aspects that accompany them while evoking truly emotional responses to the characters in the book. The core mystery of whether Roxanna is the victim or the suspect will keep everyone guessing up to the surprising end. Though the material Gardner writes about might sometimes be dark, she knows how to shine a light and generate optimism when all looks lost. “Look for Me” ultimately reveals how love and hope can overcome all.