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Alone    by Lisa Gardner order for
by Lisa Gardner
Order:  USA  Can
Bantam, 2005 (2005)
Hardcover, Audio, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Massachusetts State Trooper Bobby Dodge has just finished his shift when his beeper goes off, notifying him that a hostage situation is in progress. As a member of STOP ('State Police Special Tactics and Operations') he's used to being called out at least three times a month and on almost every holiday. As one of the Team's snipers, his skills are even more critical in some instances. This time a gun wielding man has barricaded himself, his wife and his son in the upper floor of a Back Bay mansion. Through his sniper scope, Bobby sees the man's finger tightening on the trigger. Bobby has only seconds to make a life altering decision. Again through his scope, he watches as the man falls dead at his wife's feet - and is then stunned when she turns, looks right at him, and mouths 'thank you'.

As an innocent ten-year-old, Catherine Gagnon was snatched in broad daylight by a child predator and buried alive. For weeks she was kept alive only by a cruel killer's whim. But she survived and eventually identified Richard Umbrio as the man who'd kidnapped and abused her. Now, twenty years later, she suddenly finds herself in the media limelight once more. Her father-in-law, powerful Judge Gagnon, blames Catherine for his son's death via Bobby's bullet. He also blames her for the unexplained illnesses that have plagued his grandson. As others close to Catherine begin dying, investigators go after both her and Bobby, claiming that he was lured into some intricate murder conspiracy by Catherine Gagnon. As Bobby's life starts unraveling around him, he begins an unsanctioned investigation of his own, one that eventually uncovers a complex web of secrets, deceit and murder.

Power house suspense author Lisa Gardner just gets better and better. Though Alone isn't as intricately plotted as some of her previous thrillers, the story line is just as chilling. Her masterful characterizations of Bobby and Catherine, both very fractured people, make this story stand out. And an unexpected twist just adds extra panache to this gripping page-turner.

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