Right Behind You: A Stirring Psychological Thriller
Book Review: Right Behind You
By Lisa Allard
In the world of crime fiction, New York Times bestselling author Lisa Gardner is one of the most recognizable voices, and it’s no wonder why – her books are filled with psychological suspense, precise research, and most of all – unexpected twists and turns.
Right Behind You is Lisa Gardner’s newest release and addition to her FBI Profiler Series, which follows the lives of crime-fighting partners/ husband and wife duo, Pierce Quincy and Loraine “Rainie”. Rainie is a homicide investigator and Quincy is a now-retired FBI Profiler residing in Bakersville, Oregon with their soon-to-be foster-daughter, Sharlah.
A child of trauma, thirteen-year old Sharlah has difficulty expressing her emotions. But there is one thing she is sure of – she is grateful for Rainie and Quincy and everything they have done for her. As she looks forward to starting a new life with her new family, however, she finds herself asking questions about the family she has left behind- her only living relative, her older brother, Telly.
Sharlah and Telly grew up in a troubled home characterized by addiction and rage. Sharlah’s happy recollections of those years were sparse, but they include all of the times that Telly spent taking care of her – feeding her Cheerio’s, taking her to the library, and reading her Clifford books. But on one particularly horrible night, Telly murdered his parents as an act of self-defense. With both parents’ dead and Sharlah left with a broken arm, the two are placed in separate foster homes.
Eight years later, Sharlah misses her brother dearly and can only hope that he, too, has found love and happiness with his foster parents. Then, Rainie and Quincy get a call about a double-shooting at a local gas station. Video surveillance shows a young man who is soon identified as Sharlah’s brother, Telly Ray Nash.
The investigative team is determined to find answers about Telly’s wherabouts. But when Telly’s adoptive parents, Frank and Sandra Duvall are found slain in their home, a new question arises : Who is Telly's next target?
To Rainie and Quincy, the answer is frighteningly obvious. Sharlah. Telly’s cellphone is filled with recent photos of Sharlah, as if he has been stalking her. Is he looking for revenge ? Is he jealous? They do not know what his motive is, but they will do anything to ensure Sharlah’s safety.
Sharlah, however, thinks differently. She has trouble believing that Telly is the monster responsible for all of these murders. She remembers him as the brother who loved her, cared for her, and most importantly, saved her life. She feels guilty for not trying to reach out to him after all these years, and decides to start looking for answers herself.
As with any of Lisa Gardner's books, readers must be prepared expect the unexpected. Right Behind You is an intricate mystery filled with twists that are both equally tense and thrilling.
Gardner successfully delivers a plot that is not only driven by suspense, but heart. She has crafted a set of characters whose stories are memorable and whose words come alive on each and every page. I couldn’t help but fall in love with Rainie, Quincy, Sharlah, and the family they have become. Emphasizing the power of forgiveness and the importance of family, the narrative is deeply captivating.
Right Behind You is not your average piece of crime fiction. There were so many aspects of this story that made it impossible to put down. Through varying perspectives of both Sharlah and Telly, Gardner provides readers with a valuable insight on the true aftermath of trauma, as well as the impacts that never truly disappear.
As an avid reader of Lisa Gardner, her writing never fails to impress me. This book however, left me especially speechless. Powerful and thought-provoking, Right Behind You is well-worth the read.
Lisa Gardner, a #1 New York Times crime thriller novelist, began her career in food service, but after catching her hair on fire numerous times, she took the hint and focused on writing instead. A self-described research junkie, her work as a research analyst for an international consulting firm parlayed her interest in police procedure, cutting edge forensics and twisted plots into a streak of internationally bestselling suspense novels. With over 22 million books in print, Lisa is published in 30 countries. Her success crosses into the small screen with four of her novels becoming movies (At the Midnight Hour; The Perfect Husband; The Survivors Club; Hide) and personal appearances on television shows (TruTV; CNN).
For more information on Lisa and her books, please visit http://lisagardner.com/
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Lisa Allard is a student at Southern New Hampshire University. She is working as Literary Editor for the New Hampshire Writers' Project. For editorial inquiries and requests, please contact LisaAllard02917@gmail.com.