Friday, October 28, 2011

Review: The Neighbor by Lisa Gardner (audio book)

From the back of the audio case: A young mother, blond and pretty, disappears without a trace from her South Boston home, leaving behind her four-year-old daughter as the only witness and her handsome, secretive husband as the prime suspect.

But Detective Sergeant D.D. Warren senses something off about the picture of wholesome normality the couple worked so hard to create. On the surface, Jason and Sandra Jones were like any other hardworking young couple raising a four-yer-old child. But it is just under the surface that things grew murkier.

With the clock ticking on the life of a missing woman and the media firestorm building, Jason Jones seems more intent on destroying evidence and isolating his daughter than on searching for his "beloved" wife. Is the perfect husband trying to hide his guilt - or just trying to hide? And will the only witness to the crime be the killer's next victim?

Read by: Emily Janice Card, Kirby Heyborne, and Kirsten Potter

 My thoughts: This is the third in Lisa Gardner's Detective D.D. Warren series and it was quite the thrilling audio book that had me hooked from the very beginning.

Jason Jones and his twenty-three year old wife, Sandra, appear to be a normal American couple. He works nights as reporter for a Boston newspaper and she is a conscientious middle school social studies teacher. They dote on their adorable and precocious four-year old, Clarissa, whom they call Ree. However, nothing in a Lisa Gardner novel is ever straightforward. When Jason and Sandra married, he was thirty and she was eighteen. Neither one revealed to the other certain horrific secrets that they preferred to keep buried. 

Then, one night Sandra disappears.

The suspects are many: her husband, who is not acting like a worried, distraught spouse; a neighbor who is a registered sex-offender; her own father who has been absent from her life for years; a loner student she has shown interest in; and a former romantic involvement. Lisa Gardner pulls out one surprise after another with twists all along the way. Meanwhile we get flashbacks of the missing woman's thoughts - her anger, her lust, her unsatisfied desires.

The Neighbor is an edge-of-your seat thriller where the author explores the ways in which computers can be used for good or evil, how horrific childhood traumas can scar a victim for life, and the need that every man and woman has to love and be loved in return. She also touches on the media frenzy that inevitably follows when an attractive wife and mother vanishes without a trace. It is a gripping and intense police procedural, a moving portrait of a troubled family, and a complex murder mystery. It was hard to stop listening until I learned exactly what Jason and Sandra were hiding and why. I found myself sitting in my car or taking the long way home just so that I could get to the end to find out exactly what had happened. 

I am now caught up with Lisa Gardner's Detective D.D. Warren series and I cannot wait for the next book, Catch Me, to be released next year! 

(I borrowed this audio book from the library.)

1 comment

  1. I love audio books (I have a LONG commute), and I'm always looking for new series - thanks for the review!


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