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Friday, February 28, 2014


5 stars out of 5

Talk about grabbing your attention in the first couple of pages - my mouth dropped open about a foot when I read that the first murder victim in the latest in the series featuring Boston Detective D.D. Warren was Christine Ryan. Why was I taken aback, you ask? Because that happens to be our daughter's name!

That jolt, of course, wouldn't be enough to keep me hanging on - or for me to award this book 5 stars. But trust me, what followed made me reluctant to put it down (to the point of my casting longing sideways glances at my Kindle as I was fixing dinner or dusting the coffee table). And head games? Wow! If you're looking for psychological drama accompanied by no shortage of gruesome murders, this one definitely falls into the don't-miss category.

As the book opens, Warren is off the job recuperating from a devastatingly painful injury she incurred when an unknown assailant pushed her down a flight of stairs at an earlier crime scene. When a second woman is murdered in a virtually identical fashion - including leaving a red rose and a bottle of champagne and a particularly distasteful post-mortem action - it's clear they're dealing with a serial killer. 

When Warren consults with psychiatrist and pain specialist Adeline Glen who, ironically, suffers from the total ability to feel physical pain, and the discussion turns to the murders, both women realize aspects of the murders are strikingly similar to the MO of the doctor's sister, Shana, who's been in prison since her teenage years after being convicted of killing a teenage boy (and, while in prison, has killed again at least twice). Both Adeline and Shana, as it turns out, are daughters of a deceased and well-known serial torturer, murderer and child abuser - from whom, apparently, Shana has "inherited" her killing tendencies. But did Adeline inherit them as well?

Unraveling the connections and finding the new killer takes on many twists, turns and suspects - and provides an experience this reader didn't want to end. One of Gardner's best efforts - and one of the best books I've read in a while.

Fear Nothing: A Detective D.D. Warren Novel by Lisa Gardner (Dutton Adult, January 2014); 400 pp.

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