To be Published January 31 by Dutton
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.
I’ve got great news …Lisa Gardner is back. Where did she go you might be saying? Well, for me, a long time reader and lover of all books by Lisa EXCEPT Find Her and Crash and Burn…I thought she was lost. I have read every single book Lisa Gardner has wrote…every series…every standalone…and I just didn’t enjoy Find Her or Crash and Burn which were her last two releases. It pains me to say that believe me. I wasn’t ready to give up on her books or writing though, especially since I always enjoyed Quincy and Rainie from years past. I’m so happy to report I felt like this book was very reminiscent of her earlier works which, for me, is a strong selling point.
The prologue starts this story off with a complete bang! You are there with poor Telly and Sharlah as they have to do the unthinkable in order to survive being killed by their own parent. Heartbreaking! What’s to become of nine year old Telly and four year old Sharlah after such trauma? We find out as the story jumps ahead several years and both kids are living completely new lives. The question soon becomes, has one (Telly) resurfaced and gone completely off the deep end with a major killing spree? Or is someone else pulling the strings?
One of the best things about this book is the return of Quincy and Rainie who feel like old friends I hadn’t seen in so long but who I was eager to catch up with. They are in a quiet, peaceful place in their lives, settling down in the small coastal Oregon town of Bakersville with their foster daughter Sharlah and dog Luka. Soon, however, their lives are in chaos when a double murder at the local gas station points very clearly to Sharlah’s brother Telly. When another murder scene is discovered, it becomes an all out manhunt to track down Telly and bring his killing spree to a close. But did he really kill all those people and if so, was he acting alone?
The story is told in alternating viewpoints between Telly, Sharlah, and various law enforcement including Quincy and Rainie which I have to say worked perfectly to give each person’s perspective and create enough tension and suspense that I just kept turning the pages at lightning pace. That’s what I love about Lisa Gardner’s books…she writes in such a conversational style but at a breakneck pace so that when you finally look up, 2 or 3 hours have gone by. The only thing that somewhat slowed my pace down in a couple sections was the detailed descriptions of certain types of crime and criminal personalities. Lisa Gardner does her research, no doubt about it, but (for me) there were times the sharing of the research weighed down the plot.
I’m very happy to report that I put my detective skills to serious work on this book and while my initial instinct about what was really happening proved correct, my theories about who, what, and why were completely wrong and that’s just how I like it! If you like your thrillers with a dose of good police procedural, along with likable characters you’ll root for, this book’s for you.
**Although this is part of a series, it absolutely can be read as a standalone!
Many thanks to Dutton Books, Netgalley, and Lisa Gardner for my copy of Right Behind You. I’m happy to provide an honest review