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The Next Accident    by Lisa Gardner order for
Next Accident
by Lisa Gardner
Order:  USA  Can
Bantam, 2001 (2001)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio

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* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

FBI Special Agent Pierce Quincy is considered the agency's golden boy. His talents as a criminal profiler are unsurpassed. His work has taken him into the psyches and to the kill sites of some of the country's most ingenious and twisted killers. Even an accident that left his eldest daughter in a coma and eventually claimed her life, couldn't keep him out of the field. Quincy's single-minded dedication long ago destroyed his marriage, distanced him from his daughters, and put Quincy on the hit list of many of the killers his skills and testimony put behind bars.

Now, one year after his daughter Amanda's death, Quincy has reviewed the accident report and determined that something about her car crash wasn't right, though it has been written off as yet another drunk driving case. Quincy enlists the help of Rainie Conner with whom he worked at a deadly school shooting in Bakersville, Oregon, where they developed more than just a working relationship. The case left Rainie emotionally shattered. Rainie agrees to help, and together they begin another review of Amanda Quincy's death, soon realizing that it's too little and far too late. When Quincy's ex-wife, Bethie, is brutally murdered a few days later, Quincy determines that the killer is someone he and his family know, and who in turn knows them - intimately. Now it's literally a race against time to uncover the killer's indentity and to protect the two women Quincy loves - his remaining daughter Kimberly, and Rainie Conner.

Lisa Gardner has crafted another crack jack thriller that should guarantee a high ranking on the bestseller lists. Her plotting is dazzling, full of twists, turns and surprises. Her characterizations are excellent, especially that of Special Agent Pierce Quincy. Gardner first introduced him three books ago, in The Perfect Husband. Logical, concise, careful, articulate, Quincy is a man totally in control. In The Next Accident, Gardner deftly unravels the fabric of his legendary control, thread by thread, chapter by chapter, as he tries to identify a killer who's consistently a step or two ahead. Despite the book's fast pacing, Ms. Gardner also continues to develop Rainie's and Quincy's relationship, proof that the author cut her writing teeth in category romance.

If you're in the market for a top notch, character driven thriller, or on the hunt for a good book for that picky reader on your holiday shopping list, run, don't walk, to your nearest book seller. While you're there, check out Ms. Gardner's previous thrillers: The Perfect Husband, The Other Daughter, and The Third Victim. None of them disappoint.

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