Alone by Lisa Gardner
Published by Random House Audio on January 11, 2005
Series: Detective D.D. Warren, #1
Genre(s): fiction, crime, mystery, suspense, thriller
Format & Length: audiobook, 10:12:43
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Alone . . . Massachusetts State Trooper Bobby Dodge watches a tense hostage standoff unfold through the scope of his sniper rifle. Just across the street, in wealthy Back Bay, Boston, an armed man has barricaded himself with his wife and child. The man’s finger tightens on the trigger and Dodge has only a split second to react . . . and forever pay the consequences.
Alone . . . that’s where the nightmare began for cool, beautiful, and dangerously sexy Catherine Rose Gagnon. Twenty-five years ago, she was buried underground during a month-long nightmare of abduction and abuse. Now her husband has just been killed. Her father-in-law, the powerful Judge Gagnon, blames Catherine for his son’s death . . . and for the series of unexplained illnesses that have sent her own young son repeatedly to the hospital.
Alone . . . a madman survived solitary confinement in a maximum security prison where he’d done hard time for the most sadistic of crimes. Now he walks the streets a free man, invisible, anonymous . . . and filled with an unquenchable rage for vengeance. What brings them together is a moment of violence—but what connects them is a passion far deeper and much more dangerous. For a killer is loose who’s woven such an intricate web of evil that no one is above suspicion, no one is beyond harm, and no one will see death coming until it has them cornered, helpless, and alone.
I’ve read a handful of Lisa Gardner’s books in the past, typically at random when browsing for something to read immediately, and without care for whether they were part of a series or not. And although they were all installments in a series and I read them entirely out of order, each were easy to pick up and read as a standalone.
It was only after completing Station Eleven on audio, looking up narrator Kirsten Potter’s biography, and noticing that she has also narrated several of Lisa Gardner’s books that I thought to start them from the beginning. To be clear, Alone was not narrated by Kirsten Potter but Anna Fields; whose narration was crisp and precise. After about ten minutes of warming to her reading style, I was able to let her words surround me and paint the story in my head.
Everything about this first book in Gardner’s D.D. Warren series took me a while to warm up to. Maybe because the author was finding her feet with a new series. Maybe because the main character of the series didn’t appear for quite some time. Or maybe it was just me. Whatever the reason, I’m actually glad that this wasn’t the first book of hers that I read. While the writing here is not bad by any means, it didn’t absorb me in the way some of her other books have.
I’ve known Gardner to write fascinating, complex characters, and these are no exception as they grew more layered with each piece of the story that unfolded. The one character I would have liked to get to know more is D.D., but as she is the lead in the series assume she will develop more slowly over the course of each book. The plot was not quite as strong for me. Although the beginning starts out with a bang (quite literally), it grew to be a bit slow in the middle before hurtling to an end that was (mostly) fulfilling.
I’m glad to have read this and quite curious to see what happens next in the second book of this series, Hide. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I think fans of the show Criminal Minds will like Lisa Gardner’s novels.