Book: Right Behind You

Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner
Genre: suspense, thriller
Publisher: Dutton
Date: January 31, 2017
Reviewed by: Elizabeth Olmedo
Fiction Addict Scorecard: A

Eight years ago, Sharlah Nash’s older brother beat their drunken father to death to save their lives. Now thirteen, she has found a home with ex-FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his wife, former police officer Rainie Conner. Trust, however, doesn’t come easily. Life has taught the young girl all-too-well of the evil that exists in the world. Still, she can’t help but hope that maybe, just maybe, she’ll finally get a shot at the family she’s never had.

When a shooting at a local convenience store leaves two dead, police identify the killer as Telly Ray Nash. As a manhunt ensues, it becomes evident that the hunted is on a hunt of his own, and his prey is none other than his little sister. With the number of bodies mounting, Sharlah must decide whether to run for her life or confront the brother she hasn’t seen since the day he killed for her.

Right Behind You delivers a gut-wrenching, edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller. Lisa Gardner expertly toys with the readers’ emotions dragging them through the entire feelings spectrum — more than once.

Without a doubt, Gardner’s novels straddle and even push the limits of my intense/dark tolerance level. Yet, her intricate characters and nail-biting suspense bring me back time and time again, and Right Behind You is probably my favorite. The author explores the importance of family and the devastation that can come from the broken relationships within it.

My heart went out to Sharlah immediately. Understandably, her tragic background has left her damaged and wary, but despite that, she has managed to hold on to a sliver of hope. For that matter, out of all the Gardner novels I’ve read, I would say this one had the most “hopeful” ending. That’s not to say the characters won’t have some serious baggage to wade through once all is said and done — and that’s not counting the issues they already had coming into the story.

The author brilliantly utilizes the wilds of Oregon and the various settings for her purposes, effectively isolating the characters and heightening the suspense.

Though Right Behind You is the seventh installment in the FBI Profiler series, the first six aren’t imperative to following the story. Until this one, I hadn’t read a Quincy and Rainie novel, and I didn’t feel lost once. As always, readers should be prepared for mature content and strong language.

 

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