Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Book Cover Shannon C.’s review of Say Goodbye by Lisa Gardner
Suspense/thriller hardcover released by Bantam 15 Jul 08, paperback release 19 May 09

I came to read this book because Wendy the Super Librarian and super awesome Harlequin reviewer herself blogged about it. Since Sybil so kindly provided me with the e-copy that I read, I thought I’d break my newly self-imposed rule to only write reviews for romances on my personal blog and talk about it here. This book is an intense read, and I definitely shared Wendy’s feeling of being utterly creeped out by it, even as I couldn’t stop reading.

Our story centers around pregnant FBI agent Kimberly, who is drawn to a prostitute when said prostitute begs for Kimberly’s personal help in catching a serial killer who has preyed on prostitutes and other people whom no one would miss. The case begins to take over Kimberly’s life, and her marriage, which seemed quite stable to her, begins to fall apart at the seams. Meanwhile, the serial killer is way more creepy than even Kimberly suspects.

I got a very series-ish vibe from this book. It feels like Kimberly and her family have been featured in books before. Certainly her family’s been touched by crime in the past, and it definitely shapes the way she and her father deal with the world. I really liked that, and I liked the struggles that Kimberly went through to balance her need to do the FBI job she’s involved with and her need to protect her baby. Those parts were terribly heartbreaking, and I empathized with Kimberly’s struggles to balance those responsibilities.

The suspense plot is excellently done, and, as I said, creepy. This was one of the few books I’ve read in this genre where I appreciated having the killer’s POV. The killer is such a fascinating character, and while the reader won’t sympathize with his actions, his childhood, which is explored, will definitely bring a tear to the eye.

I really enjoyed how everything came together. the mystery was well-paced, and the surprise twist at the end was one I didn’t see coming. I also liked the epilogue, in which it is revealed that people like the book’s killer do effect the lives of those they touch in significant ways for years to come.

I’ve never read any other books by Ms. Gardner, but I definitely intend to, because this one was well-written and engrossing, and I’m so glad Wendy brought it to my attention.

ShannonCGrade: B+

Come into my parlor…
For Kimberly Quincy, FBI Special Agent, it all starts with a pregnant hooker. The story Delilah Rose tells Kimberly about her johns is too horrifying to be true—but prostitutes are disappearing, one by one, with no explanation, and no one but Kimberly seems to care.
Said the spider to the fly…
As a member of the Evidence Response Team, dead hookers aren’t exactly Kimberly’s specialty. The young agent is five months pregnant—she has other things to worry about than an alleged lunatic who uses spiders to do his dirty work. But Kimberly’s own mother and sister were victims of a serial killer. And now, without any bodies and with precious few clues, it’s all too clear that a serial killer has found the key to the perfect murder…or Kimberly is chasing a crime that never happened.
Kimberly’s caught in a web more lethal than any spider’s, and the more she fights for answers, the more tightly she’s trapped. What she doesn’t know is that she’s close—too close—to a psychopath who makes women’s nightmares come alive, and if he has his twisted way, it won’t be long before it’s time for Kimberly to…Say Goodbye.
Read an excerpt here.