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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

#CJSReads2017 REVIEW: Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner

Jessica, Samantha and I  present our reviews for Lisa Gardner's Right Behind You.

We all agree that even though this is Book 7 in the Quincy and Rainie series, it can definitely be read as a standalone... and it should definitely be read!

Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner
Dutton Books

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Is he a hero?

Eight years ago, Sharlah May Nash’s older brother beat their drunken father to death with a baseball bat in order to save both of their lives. Now thirteen years old, Sharlah has finally moved on. About to be adopted by retired FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his partner, Rainie Conner, Sharlah loves one thing best about her new family: They are all experts on monsters.

Is he a killer?

Then the call comes in. A double murder at a local gas station, followed by reports of an armed suspect shooting his way through the wilds of Oregon. As Quincy and Rainie race to assist, they are forced to confront mounting evidence: The shooter may very well be Sharlah’s older brother, Telly Ray Nash, and it appears his killing spree has only just begun. 

All she knows for sure: He’s back.

As the clock winds down on a massive hunt for Telly, Quincy and Rainie must answer two critical questions: Why after eight years has this young man started killing again? And what does this mean for Sharlah? Once upon a time, Sharlah’s big brother saved her life. Now, she has two questions of her own: Is her brother a hero or a killer? And how much will it cost her new family before they learn the final, shattering truth? Because as Sharlah knows all too well, the biggest danger is the one standing right behind you.

Jessica's Thoughts:
4 / 5 Stars
I loved this book! I had been hearing so many things about this book and I couldn't wait to get a copy. I've never read any other Lisa Gardner books, and this one didn't disappoint. 

After a double murder at a local gas station, retired FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his partner, Rainie Conner are brought in to investigate. All of the evidence points to a young man, Telly Ray Nash. Which proves to be difficult for them, as he is the older brother to their soon-to-be adopted daughter, 13 year old Sharlah May Nash. Quincy and Rainie must race against the clock to find Telly because his shooting spree shows no end in sight as he makes his way through the woods of Oregon. Eight years prior, Telly had beaten their drunken father to death with a baseball bat in order to save both of their lives. Now that Sharlah has finally moved on from that night she must now ask herself, is her brother a hero or a killer? And how much will this cost her new family before they learn the final truth? 

This book had me guessing until the very end! I really enjoyed it, as well as the writing style. Going back and forth from present day to flashbacks. While this book did great as a stand alone, I feel that I would have been more invested in the main characters had I read the other Lisa Gardner books! So something to start soon!

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Sam's Thoughts:
4 / 5 Stars

Right Behind You is the newest thriller by Lisa Gardner.  The seventh novel in the Quincy & Rainie series, this novel surrounds FBI profiling couple Pierce Quincy and Rainie Conner.  Although the seventh in the series, I found that this one was incredibly easy to read as a standalone.  This one is the perfect combination of a fact-paced thriller and an intricately woven police procedural.

The novel opens with a murder; dead bodies at a gas station lead police to a foster home where the body count grows.  The main suspect is Telly Nash, a seventeen-year-old foster child with a sordid past.  From the first pages, I was hooked.  It is not a classic “whodunit” but more of a “whydidhedoit”.    As the plot develops and thickens, I was on the edge of my seat trying to figure out how everything was going to piece together.  Gardner provides a plethora of red herrings that had me constantly guessing.    By the end of the novel, I was pleasantly surprised to find her twists completely unexpected; they were not jaw dropping or shock inducing but were clever and masterful.  Garder is certainly a seasoned writer and this is very obvious as the plot unravels. 

 If you are a fan of a police procedural, but long for something faster paced, this would be a perfect novel.  I gave it 4/5 stars!
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My Thoughts:
5 / 5 Stars
It's been eight years since Sharlah, now 13, watched her brother, Telly, kill their father with a baseball bat - saving their lives, but then turning that bat on her, breaking her arm and inevitably leading to their placement in separate foster homes. Sharlah has spent 3 years foster living with FBI profilers, Quincy and Rainie and the adoption process has been started. Can Sharlah become part of a new family while what's left of her old one is still out there somewhere? Telly, also struggling with belonging to his new foster family, is now shown on a security camera where two civilians have been shot down, shortly after his foster parents have been found murdered in their bed. Evidence? Telly's face staring straight at the security camera right before he shoots it. What prompted this spree of killing and will it stop? Is Sharlah in danger? Telly - hero or zero? 

First, let me say that I had no idea this was part of a series. This can absolutely be read as a stand alone - I never once felt lost or felt like I was missing something from the first 8 books and I'm that person who just has to read things in order or it drives me crazy. Luckily I actually didn't even realize I was walking into this one as part of a series. Never would've known! Second, let me just say that I LOVED this book. As an avid Criminal Minds fan, I kept picturing it as Hotch and JJ adopting a kid and then solving a case. A little out there? Maybe, but I don't care. 

A quick and easy read - a little bit of strung in with some I love Sharlah and her family - I want to go out and adopt a dozen retired police dogs now. Five full sheriff badges for this based on entertainment value and my love for behavioral analysis. 

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