Lisa Gardner

Crash and Burn

"..a great read that will have you more determined than Nicky to get to the truth of what has happened to her.."


I'm in hospital after crashing my car. I am afraid. The only thing that I can think about is Vero. I know I have to save her but why couldn't I find her? She's just a little girl.

The man standing in my hospital room tells me we are married but there is no Vero, that six months ago I suffered a traumatic brain injury which causes changes to my personality. I have dramatic mood swings, an inability to concentrate and large gaps in my memory. I'm much easier to anger these days. And I drink. Which, he says, explains the car accident and my confusion.

Now Sergeant Wyatt Foster is investigating. He has questions about the car accident. He has concerns about my husband. And he's worried about a missing girl.

He would like to know what happened to me. So would I.

My name is Nicky Frank. This is my life.

Watch me Crash and Burn.

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The last Lisa Gardner book I read was 'Gone', a handful of years ago, so I was keen to read this new standalone novel, and 'Crash and Burn' IS a standalone novel. Whilst it does feature one of Gardner's serial protagonists Tessa Leoni, 'Crash & Burn' is very clearly Nicky's story. Any of Gardner's fans looking for the next in the series may be disappointed with this book, although there are a few little hints on where the next Leoni book is going. For anyone who hasn't read her books before, this is a good place to start, as it does introduce popular characters and showcase her writing well. We first meet Nicky, lost, disorientated, escaping from the car she has just crashed, and desperately searching for Vero, the young girl she knows she has to find. After a fruitless police search for the girl we discover that Nicky has suffered several head traumas, and that Vero doesn't exist. So why does Nicky believe so vehemently that she does? And why does she fear her husband? In 'Crash and Burn' Gardner layers these mysteries, on top of mystery after mystery, mixing the truths, lies and half lies deeply in the cracks of Nicky's fractured mind. It's been so cleverly done that reading Nicky's unravelling feels like untangling a string of Christmas lights. Just when you think you've got them all straight, you discover another bundle of knots, and you live through Nicky's frustration every time this happens to her. It's a great read that will have you more determined than Nicky to get to the truth of what has happened to her, ensuring that the pages fly by.

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