‘Crash and Burn’ is the 3rd novel in Lisa Gardner’s Tessa Leoni series even though the main investigator in this story is Sergeant Wyatt Foster. There is also an appearance from an old favourite, D.D. Warren.
The story begins with Nicky Frank’s car leaving the road and flying through the air to land in a ravine. The only thing that enabled Nicky to crawl away after the horrific accident was her search for her missing daughter Vero. When Sergeant Wyatt Foster and his team arrive at the scene, they begin a major search for Vero with no success.
When Wyatt finally meets Nicky’s husband Thomas, he finds out that there is no Vero. This is Nicky’s third traumatic brain injury in six months and Nicky can no longer tell the difference between fact and fantasy.
But Wyatt is immediately suspicious of Thomas. How can a normal healthy woman suffer three serious ‘accidents’ in such a short space of time. There are other areas of Nicky and Thomas’s life that just don’t add up.
Wyatt, with the assistance of Tessa Leoni, Detective Kevin ‘Brain’ Santos and D.D. Warren investigate the lives of Nicky and Thomas. Things get even more confused before the real story of their lives starts to emerge. The reality turns out to be stranger and more sinister than any story they could have invented, as eventually they manage to track down the young girl Vero.
This was an excellent suspense thriller but for a lot of the book I was very confused. Throughout the story my thoughts alternated between guilt and innocence for both Nicky and Thomas, but guilt of what?
At the end of the story I didn’t feel that I knew Tessa, Wyatt or D.D. any better (which I would have expected from a series book). As such, the series could be read independently of this book and this book could also be read as a standalone novel.
As always, I enjoyed Lisa Gardner’s writing and some mention was made of ongoing developments in Tessa Leoni’s life – just enough to have me waiting for the next Tessa Leoni novel.
Book Published 2015