D.D. Warren, now mother to 10 week old baby Jack, has just returned to work and is still getting used to balancing home and work when she’s called to a crime-scene. A man has been found in his apartment, shot twice in his head. A quick search of the scene reveals that the man was a paedophile.
When she leaves the scene, D.D. finds a note saying “Everyone has to die sometime. Be brave” on her car and spots a woman observing her from a distance before rushing away. When D.D. catches up with the woman, Charlene Rosalind Carter Grant (Charlie), she is told the most amazing story. Charlie expects to die in four days time, on January 21st at about eight in the evening. Over the past two years her two childhood friends were killed on that date. Two murders which are still unsolved and two crimes without clues or suspects. Charlie is the last surviving member of the childhood group and she expects the killer to come for her this year. And although she has been preparing to defend herself for most of the preceding year, she wants D.D. to investigate her murder after she is dead.
Initially very sceptical, D.D. soon discovers that everything Charlie has told her about her friends’ murders is true and she starts taking the possibility that the young woman might be next seriously.
Meanwhile another paedophile is shot and killed and D.D. and her team find themselves with a crime without any clues on their hands, as well as a crime that hasn’t actually been committed yet.
But is Charlene really in danger, or is she a threat to others?
This is a brilliant, heart-stopping, clammy hands, toe curling sort of thriller made far more interesting because the author makes the reader wonder about how much they actually object to certain crimes.
With alternate chapters being told by Charlene and from D.D.’s point of view the reader tends to be slightly ahead of the investigators in this book, although never so much that they can’t be surprised.
And then there are the very short chapters by someone named Abigail. Who is Abigail, and what role does she play in everything that is going on.
What made this book extra special is that lots of characters from previous books make a cameo appearance. Although there were more, three of these old favourites stood out for me; Pierce Quincy and his daughter Kimberly from a previous series and Roan Griffin who featured in “The Survivor’s Club”. It was very nice to meet these characters again, however briefly. It made me very aware though how much I would like to see whole books dedicated to them again.
Lisa Gardner is a master when it comes to writing intriguing mystery-thrillers. With her twisted crimes and fascinating investigators she keeps the reader guessing and on the edge of their seat until the last page. In me she’s found herself a dedicated fan, already counting the days/weeks/months until her next book is published.