Author: Lisa Gardner
publisher: Penguin Group
Rating: 4 stars
Provided by Publisher
Blurb: 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.
Review: “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.”
Flora Dane is proof. Her torment was unimaginable, yet she survived. She changed. Not everyone in her life thought the changes were good, but she became someone…different. Victim or vigilante? Monster or savior? I’m not sure, but I can say with conviction that the lines are blurred in this beautifully written, flawlessly plotted story. It’s unforgettable. Flora will live in my memory for a long time.
Beautiful writing and flawless plotting are trademarks of Lisa Gardner. I expect that. What is always surprising is the research that goes into her work. I was so impressed with the sheer believability of this story that I read all her acknowledgements at the back of the book. This story is based, at least to some degree, on the experiences of a real person, as well as the experience of a real victim advocate. What the families of a kidnap victim go through is heartbreaking, and Ms. Gardner brought that out with Flora’s mother and brother.
Told mostly from Flora’s point of view, Find Her is a horrifying trip through the memories of a gentle young woman’s torture, humiliation, degradation, starvation and sexual slavery at the hands of a monster. 472 days. That’s one year, three months and seventeen days of horror for both Flora and her family. What Flora went through was tough to read. What her mother went through was almost as bad. What I, as the reader, went through was…fascinating. I’m sorry if that seems insensitive, but it is such a compelling story that I couldn’t put it down…even through my own tears.
Some of you may expect to find some unpleasant triggers in this story, but I don’t think you will. Ms. Gardner handles even the most awful aspects of this story with delicacy and compassion. Flora didn’t die, and what Neitzsche said is true…her ordeal made her stronger.