Look For Me by Lisa Gardner

Detective DD Warren and Flora Dane are in a race against time to save a young girl’s life – or bring her to justice.

A family home has become a crime scene. Five people are involved: four of them have been savagely murdered; one – a sixteen-year-old girl – is missing.

Was she lucky to have escaped? Or is her absence evidence of something sinister?

Detective D. D. Warren is on the case, as is survivor-turned-avenger Flora Dane.

Seeking different types of justice, they must make sense of the clues left behind by a young woman who, as victim or suspect, is silently pleading, Look for me.

My review:

This novel is one of those I often refer to as ‘so much bigger than the synopsis’. The novel has a short, catchy synopsis. But there is so much depth within the plot! We are led to believe that the plot will focus around the crime scene and murders of an entire family. But the plot focuses on the young survivor Roxanna and the teens closely linked to her…….

‘The world is full of evil. Fear is what keeps us safe’ – Flora Dane

We are introduced to the characters Flora Dane and Boston detective D.D. Warren. As they attempt to solve the murders that took place at Roxanna’s house. Her mother, mother’s boyfriend, sister and little brother are all found dead. The murders are execution style, and this leaves the detectives baffled. Who would want to kill this young family with no enemies? Where is Roxanna?

Did Roxanna murder her family or was she the real target?

When DD digs further into the family’s backstory. We learn that it is one of great complexity. The history involves parental alcoholism, foster care and broken relationships. It is by no means, an easy case to solve. But throughout the family’s troubles, the one shining light was the responsible big sister Roxanna.
So where is she now?

Flora Dane is a survivor by every meaning of the word! She is tough, no nonsense and is determined to be the voice for these young women. She refuses to believe that Roxanna had anything to do with the murders. She runs her own investigation, side by side of DD’s. With the sole aim, of proving Roxanna wasn’t a part of what took place. But how sure, can Flora be?

“I was the person who knew exactly what you were going through, and would never give up till you came home again” Flora Dane

Flora has her own backstory and history with DD. Flora is a survivor of serial rapist and murder Jacob Ness. Having spent 472 days in captivity. She runs an online support group for survivors and this proves as fascinating as the case in hand. She offers advice and guidance on how to live in the aftermath of being victimised. I really admired Flora’s sense of duty to these young women.

‘The world is filled with survivors. And we are just trying to find the light’ Stacey summers – Survivor

The novel is also scattered with extracts from Roxanna’s recent school assignment on perfect families. It offers an insight into her time in foster care and gives her a voice throughout the novel. I found the extracts to be both mature in their writing and ‘coming of age’. It was as if, Roxanna was finally learning to accept her past for what it was.

‘A perfect family has to be made. Mistakes. Regret. Repair. You have to work at it’ Roxanna

This novel is a story, of what happens when the fragmented youth begin to crack! The focus being on the teenagers involved and what family means to them 4*

Lisa Gardner
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