I must confess that when I caught up with Lisa Gardner recently I had not read her latest thriller, so our conversation was about anything but her new book.
This is how it goes – shortly thereafter I get a call from our friend, and the mystery writer’s favorite groupie, Russell Ilg. Russ asks if I have read Lisa’s latest book, Fear Nothing. I admit that I haven’t, and Russ says, “Put down what ever you’re reading now and read it. When your in about a quarter of the way of it you’ll understand why!”
I seldom stop in the middle of a book, but Russ has never steered me wrong, so I picked up Fear Nothing and read to the very passage that had excited him so. Right there on the page is a minor character; yes you guessed it, named Russ Ilg. Writers have come to know Russ, and his name is one of those that that works well in almost any story line. Previously he has appeared in novels by Blake Crouch and Alan Jacobson. Both Blake and Alan dispose of the character is grisly fashion. Lisa treats him a little better, leaving the part of Russ Ilg as a minor player in a novel filled with exceptional characters.
I have enjoyed Lisa Gardner’s earlier novels, especially those that feature Boston homicide Detective D.D. Warren. Gardner’s 2009 D.D. Warren title, The Neighbor, was honored as Book of the Year by the International Thriller Writers.
Fear Nothing is a complex study of character development wrapped in a murder mystery. Gardner continues to grow D.D. Warren, and introduces us to a wide grouping of possible suspects, any of who could be the “Rose Killer.
Gardner lays down the mystery moving from first person dialogue to third person observer with precise skill and timing. The story opens with D.D. Warren slowly recovering after being injured at a crime scene. Plagued by no memory of the attack, and severe pain from her injury, D.D. teams up with her pain therapist, Dr. Adeline Glen, who has a dark history of her own that is revealed as the story develops.
This is a tale of two sisters, one a successful doctor who can’t feel pain, the other already serving a life sentence for multiple murders, including the murder of 12 year old Donnie Johnson when she was only 14. These are the daughters of the infamous serial killer Harry Day, sisters connected by a mysterious bond. Their separate worlds are about to collide, as they work with DD to catch a predator copying their late father’s murders.
Well Lisa, sorry that I hadn’t read Fear Nothing when I saw you so I could say, “Wow, damn, I was blown away . . . best ever!” And to Russ Ilg, thanks, I only wish you had been a victim of the “Rose Killer.” Maybe next time.
John Hutchinson, VJ Books