Right Behind You
By: Lisa Gardner
Quincy & Rainie, #7
Publication Date: 1/31/2017
My Rating: 5 Stars + + Top Books of 2017 Lisa Gardner's next thriller following her runaway New York Times bestseller Find Her takes her wildly popular brand of suspense to new heights. Is he a hero? Eight years ago, Sharlah May Nash’s older brother beat their drunken father to death with a baseball bat in order to save both of their lives. Now thirteen years old, Sharlah has finally moved on. About to be adopted by retired FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his partner, Rainie Conner, Sharlah loves one thing best about her new family: They are all experts on monsters. Is he a killer? Then the call comes in. A double murder at a local gas station, followed by reports of an armed suspect shooting his way through the wilds of Oregon. As Quincy and Rainie race to assist, they are forced to confront mounting evidence: The shooter may very well be Sharlah’s older brother, Telly Ray Nash, and it appears his killing spree has only just begun. All she knows for sure: He’s back. As the clock winds down on a massive hunt for Telly, Quincy and Rainie must answer two critical questions: Why after eight years has this young man started killing again? And what does this mean for Sharlah? Once upon a time, Sharlah’s big brother saved her life. Now, she has two questions of her own: Is her brother a hero or a killer? And how much will it cost her new family before they learn the final, shattering truth? Because as Sharlah knows all too well, the biggest danger is the one standing right behind you.
A special thank you to Dutton and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Psychologically rich. Meticulously researched. Thought-provoking. Edge-of-your-seat thriller. Emotional. Gripping. Suspenseful. Gardner’s Best Yet! Top Books of 2017.
The "queen" of crime thrillers, Lisa Gardner returns to Bakersville, Oregon, following Find Her (2016) and the latest tantalizing prequel teaser: The 4th Man (Quincy & Rainie #6.5) with RIGHT BEHIND YOU — with fan favorites, highly anticipated retired FBI profiler and former police officer Quincy & Rainie dynamic duo: A heart-pounding, emotional, and gripping suspense crime thriller.
Fans will devour. Humans are complex. Hearts will go out to this brother and sister duo. Professional and personal lives connect. Where nothing is as it appears.
"Had a family once. Father. Mothers. Sister. Lived in our very own double-wide."
The opening takes us to a scene of domestic violence, abuse, and neglect. Two siblings. A brother and a younger sister. A brutal murder. A troubled past. Childhood trauma.
Flash forward years later, we catch up with Quincy and Rainie, retired FBI agent and former police officer, called in on a case, working with the local authorities in Oregon.
With the past books, Quincy was an FBI profiler and met Rainie, a deputy in Bakersville while working on a school shooting case. Now, both retired, they work together consulting on cold cases, or murders outside the police department’s norm.
They are experts in monsters. Homes can be broken. Can the members be mended by the love of others?
When Sharlah (5) and Telly (9) spent day and night trying to escape the violence of their parents- subjected to the unspeakable. Not a life, for an innocent and helpless boy and girl. There was no one to protect them from harm. The kids had to fend for themselves.
One night things get heated and the father tries to kill them. Telly comes to his sister’s rescue and the parents are murdered. They wind up in foster care separated.
Of course, Sharlah knows all too well about monsters. Her parents are dead, with no surviving relatives. Just a brother, four years older than her. She has not seen or heard from him since. She was very young and does not remember a lot about the night her parents died. No one talks about her brother. She has post-traumatic stress, and continues to go to therapy.
She had come to Rainie and Quincy with a case history of antisocial tendencies. They had qualified as foster parents despite Quincy's advanced years, and Rainie's continued struggle with alcohol. They plan on adoption. There is always a pull here with three different personalities.
Quincy was considered an expert in bonding. Sharlah was not easy. She was a lost girl. Broken. One who had been subjected to hardship and violence and had built the corresponding protective layers. She did not trust easily, nor reach out, with a lack of faith. However, she bonded with their dog, Luka. They were inseparable.
She was broken inside. Sharlah had been in their home for three years and they were close to adoption. She respects her soon to be parents and the work they do. However, she does not realize, nor do they, how she is connected to the case. The meaning of family. Everyone involved is part of this family unit.
Quincy is the quiet one; and Rainie, the emotional one. Sharlah really loves them, but not quite sure how to express her feelings. She has her guard up all the time. She knows they are experts in monsters, like herself. If you have read the other books in the series, you know the difficult journey this couple has traveled.
They are giving back by being foster parents to teenage daughter Sharlah, and their dog Luka. Luka is a former police officer. A trained member of law enforcement. He had to retire at five with a bum knee and not strong enough for active duty. Quincy got him for a cop friend and now he is Sharlah’s best friend. She was ten when she arrived in their home and had already been placed in many others.
We also meet Shelly the local small town Sherriff and fugitive tracker, Cal - nice added characters. There has been a shooting at the EZ Gas station in Bakersville, a backwoods town between Portland and Salem. Three victims. Multiple gun shots. A killer is on the loose.
They soon discover as the investigation is underway; there is a foster teen boy, who appears to be the perpetrator on a shooting spree. Why? What set him off? Could it possibly be Sharlah’s brother? The evidence is pointing his way.
He had been so good with his little sister, had read to her, taken her to the library and caring for her needs. Protecting her. However, upon their parent’s death, the siblings had been separated.
Quincy and Rainie fear for their daughter. Is Telly out to harm her? Where will he strike next? A psychotic break. A killer on the loose?
However, has Telly, the brother really killed his foster parents and the victims at the gas station? Or is it someone else? Why does he have photos of Sharlah?
As Quincy and Rainie fear for the safety of their own family and Sharlah, they also must dig deeper to understand what really happened all those years ago, at the murder scene to make sense of the events unfolding in the present.
The brother and sister duo have not seen or heard from one another for eight years. Why now? Did Sharlah have her own memories hidden away? Does she remember what went down that night so long ago? Is a brother trying to protect his sister, still today, after all these years?
One more person to kill. Secrets. Family is about trust.
The suspense builds as Gardner takes you back to the trailer, to the night it all began. The innocent lives of two young siblings and the painful cruel hand they were dealt. From tragedy, loss, pain, and trauma, to love, loyalty, and deep connections.
INTENSE! The author grabs you from page one (grabbed me with the preview included in The 4th Man) and never lets go, not even for a second. I knew I had to read this story. It is a "read in one sitting" kind of suspense. Psychologically rich, one of the best crime thrillers I have read this year. In addition, a vivid portrayal of the foster care system and the impact of both parents, and children have on one another.
With meticulous research and skillful crafting, Gardner combines law enforcement, profiling, cop procedures, domestic violence, foster care, social issues, juvenile system, adoption, alcoholism, at-risk kids, addiction, spree killing, fugitive tracking, crime, mystery, and suspense. It has it ALL.
In addition, to being a huge Quincy and Rainie and Gardner fan, (quickly going back to buy the previous audiobooks, to catch up); loved the relationship between Telly and Sharlah, and my favorite was the twist with Sandra and Frank (Telly’s foster parents), Sandra’s intriguing past and her relationship with Telly. Highly creative as the two families are intertwined. And let’s not forget the skill and love of a loyal dog.
Buy RIGHT BEHIND YOU, today! Gardner pulls out all the stops. Cannot wait for the next. Here’s hoping for more Quincy, Rainie, Telly and Sharlah. Gardner can flat out write complex crime, and spin a tale, like no one else.
"Right Behind You" continues one of Gardner's frequent themes: that danger often lies close to home.
By Amy Wang | The Oregonian/OregonLive (Great interview).
Gardner's next book will be a follow-up to her 2016 hit "Find Her," part of her Detective D.D. Warren series and a return engagement for her character Flora Dane. "I'm working on a novel now where a family has been murdered but, to be different, the 16-year-old daughter is missing," Gardner said.
The question the police must answer is whether the girl was involved in the crime or was kidnapped. Fans can once again nominate themselves or a loved one to appear in the book by entering Gardner's Kill a Friend, Maim a Buddy Sweepstakes. Read More Review Links:
Praise for Right Behind You
"Devilishly clever twists propel Gardner’s tale of family bonds fractured, mended, and sometimes destroyed."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A long-awaited delight...and a thrilling escape.”—Booklist
“Lisa Gardner had us all on the edge of our seats with 2016's Find Her, and now she's back to terrify us again.”—Bustle
“From the captivating first sentence to the shocking conclusion, this is addictive reading entertainment at its finest.”—Brit & Co
“Filled with gut-punching drama plus clever twists and turns, Gardner is once again delivering unparalleled suspense.”—RT Book Reviews
Praise for Lisa Gardner and Her Novels
“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 on Find Her
“You'll read Find Her for its adrenaline-charged plot. You'll remember it for its insights into trauma and forgiveness.” —Oprah.com
“A psychological thriller both chilling and emotional. Her narrative thrums with heart-pounding scenes and unexpected twists that have you furiously flipping pages.” —USA Today Happy Ever After on Find Her
"Gardner doesn’t disappoint.” —Library Journal (starred review) on Find Her
“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
"With labyrinthine twists and surprises on just about every turn of the page, Gardner has crafted a delight of a suspense novel." --New York Journal of Books on Crash & Burn
"Lisa Gardner delivers another gut-wrenching emotional thriller with her latest psychological tale, Crash & Burn.... [her] most unpredictable novel to date." --Associated Press
"Her most intriguing and complex novel to date...Only an author as talented as Gardner could make the book so intensely satisfying." -- Huffington Post on Fear Nothing
About the Author
Lisa Gardner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of eighteen previous novels, including her most recent, Find Her. Her Detective D. D. Warren novels include Find Her, Fear Nothing, Catch Me, Love You More, and The Neighbor, which won the International Thriller of the Year Award. Her FBI Profiler Novels include Gone, The Next Accident, and The Third Victim.
She lives with her family in New England. Read More