Find Her (DD Warren) by Lisa Gardner

KK Conley Review

LG Find Her

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Flora Dane was abducted by a truck driver five years ago. She spent most of the 472 days and nights of captivity in a pine coffin. She was deprived not only of space to move, but food, water, and light. The few times she was let out of the box were for sexual abuse. The story deals with the price a survivor pays to stay alive. In Flora’s case, the cost was her identity. The Flora her family knew never came back, and the Flora today struggles with who she has become.

An example of Gardner’s writing:

When you first see his face, the man who has done this to you, you’re relieved. Happy even. You gaze upon his puffy cheeks, his beady eyes, his gaping mouth, yellow-stained teeth, and you think, thank God. Thank God, thank God, thank God. His lets you out of the box. Lifts you up, actually, because your legs don’t work, and your muscles lack all strength, and your head lolls. Which makes you giggle. Head lolling. One of those words from English class that never made any sense. But there you have it. Your head lolls.

This book is told in three voices: Flora Dane five years earlier when she was abducted for 472 days, Flora Dane today, and DD Warren when she investigates first the death of the bartender that Flora killed, and then Flora’s second disappearance. This is not easy to accomplish, but Gardner does a nice job. Flora’s story lines are told in first person with the five year previous account in italics. DD Warren’s point of view is in third person. The book is written with the chapters cycling first through Flora five years ago, then Flora now, and DD Warren. Gardner has developed a nice rhythm as the chapters cycle through these three voices, and there is never confusion about who is speaking. The author also does a nice job with giving the reader just enough information to build suspense.

A lot of her previous novels were romantic suspense, and for that reason I almost didn’t read this one. Gardner has moved on to full crime, thriller, and suspense work here. The only hint of romance is Warren’s relationship with her husband.

It is a great read, and to tell more, I’d give away the ending. I believe you’ll enjoy this one.

Booklist Online Review

Flora Dane survived for 472 days while being held captive by a sexual predator. Kept in a coffin-sized pine box and slowly starved, she found herself grateful to be let out, even if it meant enduring physical and sexual abuse. After being rescued, she told her story only once, to FBI victim advocate Samuel Keynes. Seven years later, she is still far from the carefree girl who was abducted while on spring break. She scares her loving mother and brother with her risky behavior. Boston detective D. D. Warren encounters Flora when D. D. is called to the scene of a brutal murder, apparently committed by Flora. Then she discovers that Flora has been involved in three previous incidents. D. D. is stumped: Why would a victim purposefully and repeatedly put herself in harm’s way? Gardner details the good work of an obscure FBI department while exploring the psychology of sexual predators as well as their victims. Like Karin Slaughter and Chelsea Cain, she turns an unflinching gaze on brutal acts of sexual exploitation. Disturbing reading from a veteran crime writer.

HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The combination of best-selling Gardner’s name recognition with the return of her most popular character ensures the high visibility of her latest work.

— Joanne Wilkinson

©Booklist Online

Amazon Description and Rating

Flora Dane is a victim. 

Seven years ago, carefree college student Flora was kidnapped while on spring break. For 472 days, Flora learned just how much one person can endure.

Flora Dane is a survivor.

Miraculously alive after her ordeal, Flora has spent the past five years reacquainting herself with the rhythms of normal life, working with her FBI victim advocate, Samuel Keynes. She has a mother who’s never stopped loving her, a brother who is scared of the person she’s become, and a bedroom wall covered with photos of other girls who’ve never made it home.

Flora Dane is reckless. 

. . . or is she? When Boston detective D. D. Warren is called to the scene of a crime—a dead man and the bound, naked woman who killed him—she learns that Flora has tangled with three other suspects since her return to society. Is Flora a victim or a vigilante? And with her firsthand knowledge of criminal behavior, could she hold the key to rescuing a missing college student whose abduction has rocked Boston? When Flora herself disappears, D.D. realizes a far more sinister predator is out there. One who’s determined that this time, Flora Dane will never escape. And now it is all up to D. D. Warren to find her.

4.7 Stars, <100 Reviews

Goodreads Rating

4.25 Stars, > 1,000 Ratings

Gardner’s Description 

(Same as Amazon)

Book Trailer

Gardner is only the first 10 minutes of this 30 minute radio program. There is no video of Lisa Gardner

Gardner’s inspiration for Find Her

Gardner’s Inspiration for Find Her – Publishers Weekly Article


“For years Lisa Gardner has been one of the best in the thriller business, but Find Her is something new: taut psychological suspense, an intricate mystery, emotionally devastating, ultimately empowering—a novel that should not be missed.”—Harlan Coben

“Lisa Gardner is one of my favorite authors. Her fast-paced and exciting novels twist when you expect a turn and turn when you expect a twist. I cannot recommend her more.”–Karin Slaughter

“Lisa Gardner is the master of the psychological thriller…The world of the FBI, the terror of abduction and victim advocates blend into this tense…thriller.” —Associated Press

“A psychological thriller both chilling and emotional. Her narrative thrums with heart-pounding scenes and unexpected twists that have you furiously flipping pages.” —USA TodayHappy Ever After

“Gardner doesn’t disappoint…Longtime fans as well as those new to the series…will delight in this suspenseful offering.” —Library Journal (starred review)

“The line between mysteries and thrillers and so-called literary fiction has always been a thin one, but contemporary writers like Lisa Gardner make that sort of arbitrary distinction seem especially foolish…Find Her…is a taut, brilliantly constructed look at the same sort of horrific situation that powered Emma Donoghue’s Room.” —Connecticut Post

“Gardner is known for creating complex, fascinating characters…This is an incredible story”—RT Book Reviews

“When it comes to author Lisa Gardner, the tales she writes are always extreme gems in the literary world, and this is no exception.” —Suspense Magazine