Friday, September 12, 2008

Say Goodbye Review

I have always been a big fan of murder mysteries. I am addicted to such television shows like CSI and Law and Order and enjoy reading murder suspense authors like James Patterson, Kay Hooper and Elizabeth Lowell. Another great author who feeds my appetite for these types of stories is Lisa Gardner. The first book I ever read by Lisa was The Next Accident, which was published in 2001. The Next Accident is about FBI profiler, Pierce Quincy who was being targeted by a deranged killer. There is also a bit of a love story between Pierce and a much younger woman, ex-cop Rainie Conner, who is very damaged and afraid of intimacy. Since then I have read almost every single book by Gardner and I love the fact how some of her books will alternate with Pierce and Rainie, and then next will be about Pierce’s daughter, Kimberly, who has followed her father’s footstep and has become an FBI agent herself.

Say Goodbye is possibly one of the best books I have read by Lisa, other than The Next Accident, which introduced me to the author’s world of serial killers, police procedurals and crimes so horrendous that there is no possible way they will ever find the killer. Lisa can sure write some great twists and turns and will not leave you disappointed, because like most of those police shows we watch on television, the good guys always get their man.

FBI Special Agent Kimberly Quincy is married to another FBI Agent and happens to be four months pregnant. Being pregnant does not slow her down and she is still hard at work solving murders and bringing those killers of the innocent to justice. Her husband Mac wants her to cut back for the good of their unborn child, which Kimberly is seriously thinking about doing, when a young prostitute by the name of Delilah Rose asks for her help. There is a new serial killer on the loose who calls himself Dinchara. He is murdering prostitutes, and before he murders them, he tortures them with his special collection of spiders. Just use your imagination when it comes to his special pets. *shudder* Delilah is afraid she will be another one of his victims and only remains alive because he has made her a pawn in his twisted games. Delilah also happens to be pregnant and will only tell Kimberly what she knows to track this elusive killer. Kimberly knows Delilah is not placing all her cards on the table, but since she is sympathetic, mainly because of Delilah’s pregnancy, Kimberly will take on this case even though she is placing herself in a lot of danger, not counting the health risks to her unborn child.

Dinchara likes to play games and he specifically picks Kimberly to play along with him. Not only is this monster a killer, but he is also a pedophile. Through flashbacks, we see how he was kidnapped by a man who stole him from his bedroom and sexually tortured him for years. He in turn continues the cycle of violence and kidnaps another young boy and abuses him, hoping to mold him into a killer, like himself. The boy he stole, along with Delilah, are very much his victims, but at least he keeps them alive. They are like the spiders he takes care of. There is only one way they can escape him and no longer be his unwilling pupils to his crimes. And to accomplish this, they must give the FBI and Kimberly a run for their money. The final outcome could possibly be Kimberly’s death.

Say Goodbye really tugged at my heart, including such feelings of anger because of Dinchara, a horrible man who enjoys raping little boys, killing prostitutes and using spiders in inhumane ways. It has been a long time since I have read such a villain who sent chills down my spine, and Lisa has done it here with her latest killer. Lisa has written another stellar story with Say Goodbye. I was hooked from beginning to end, waiting for Kimberly to figure out all the clues so she can save lives, even including those of Delilah and the young abused boy who must do Kimberly harm just so they can escape the man who has so much power over them. But, Kimberly is not alone since she has many to back her up, which includes her father Pierce, and step-mother Rainie, who come to help her. It is always a treat to see these two and to finally see them so happy after many years of living under very harsh and unhappy circumstances.

Lisa keeps raising the bar for herself with this on-going series about the Quincy clan. This is not your typical run of the mill serial killer crime. What was really unique, is instead of Gardner just focusing on Kimberly, the main protagonist, the reader sees many points of views that include the serial killer, Dinchara himself and how he became what he is. Also included is the young boy he molested for years and even that of a new victim he has kidnapped. Getting into each of these characters minds brings out some heavy emotions and your heart will really tear up for all of them. You may even feel a bit of pity for Dinchara himself because he is just as much as a victim as those he stalks.

If you have an intense fear of spiders, Say Goodbye may not be the book for you. But for those are a bit stronger and don’t mind those creatures and their master who uses them to create havoc and death, I urge you to try Say Goodbye and the world of Lisa Gardner. You will have some chills and thrills you will not soon forget.

4 stars out of 5

Katiebabs (KB)


Amie Stuart said...

I loved this one too but it's VERY DARK and yes you DO feel sorry for Dinchara...but if violence against children bothers anyone, this would definitely be one to skip.

Christine said...

Great review, Kate. Sounds a bit too disturbing for me, though. :(

Kristie (J) said...

I've read a couple of Lisa Gardiner books and enjoyed them. I don't know why I have't read more. She does write chilling very well doesn't she?
That bein said - I think I'll have to give this one a pass because I'm one of those who is scared stiff by spiders!! I blame it on those Tarzan movies I watched as a child. I could have snakes slither all over me (as long as they weren't poisonous) without turning a hair - but put me in the same room with even a teeny tiny spider and I shake like a leaf!!
Good review though - and maybe I'll read another book by this author to compensate.

Tracy said...

I think like Christine I'll have to pass on this one. It sounds a little too disturbing and I try to avoid the disturbing ones! :) It does sound like it was a really good book though. Good review.

JenB said...

I'm kind of a freak, and I actually like spiders. I can't even pretend to be afraid of them. So I'm guessing a book like this would make me laugh instead of scaring me.

Although serial killers are generally scary no matter what kind of weapon they use...hmm...