Published by Dutton on February 9th 2016
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.
I love audio books. In the author’s notes on the audio version of Joe Hill’s NOS4A2, he talks about how the first stories we learn are read to us. I listen to audio books when I’m in the car, shopping, and playing Candy Crush Soda Saga or Trivia Crack.
In typical book blogger fashion, I already have a tbr shelf just for audio books. Reviewing them is a bit more difficult, because I don’t take notes and I don’t always know how to spell the characters names. So these reviews will be a little different from my book reviews.
I have a weird quirk. I like vigilante crime fighters. In fiction, not in reality, because in fiction the bad guys are much easier to identify and in real life you have usually end up going to prison, and also, what if you’re wrong about them being a bad guy? Plus, people are complicated and emotions are messy and violence begets violence begets violence. But I can watch Boondock Saints every single day, and I can read about Flora Dane kicking bad guy ass every day too.
Flora is a survivor, but she’s not the same person she used to be, which is heartbreaking even while being completely understandable. You don’t survive being kept in a box for that long without some major personality changes. And Flora has secrets, ones D.D. needs to uncover in order to save Flora when she goes missing for the second time.
Gardner does her usual flashback to the past writing to show Flora as a kidnapped victim, and then jumping back to present day Flora and present day D.D. With a lesser writer (or narrator) this wouldn’t work- but Gardner keeps the suspense going and I was never lost as to where I was in the story, and if anything it just upped the tension factor.
Flora is a great character- she was once an innocent, nature loving farm girl, but her ordeal changes her. She learns ways to defend herself, and she’s determined to help other young woman not meet her same fate. Of course, she’s not perfect, so she makes some mistakes. But the things this woman can do with discarded trash is truly inspiring.
Kirsten Potter narrates again, and I really love her. She’s got a great voice for thrillers, which I’m sure I’ve said before, but it bears repeating.