Lisa Gardner
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Buy *Alone* online

Lisa Gardner
480 pages
December 2005
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Professional snipers have a tough job, and no one knows that better than Trooper Bobby Dodge, the main character in Lisa Gardnerís new novel Alone. A member of Bostonís STOP team, a SWAT-like group of professional law enforcers who respond to emergency situations, Bobby is used to being on-call twenty-four hours a day and has seen the worst of the worst. He has never, however, been called upon to fire his weapon in a sniper situation. That is, until he is called to the home of Jimmy and Catherine Gagnon.

Catherine Gagnon has been known as the Thanksgiving Miracle since she was twelve-years-old and was rescued from a pedophile who abused her for twenty-eight days. Since then, Catherine has striven to be as normal as possible, but she and her family know that something has been missing from her since that day she was rescued. She has since married Jimmy Gagnon, the son of a wealthy judge, and has had a son, the sickly Nathan. The night that Bobby Dodge shows up at their house, Jimmy is threatening Catherine and Nathan with a gun.

Bobby sees the whole situation from a window across the street. When he sees Jimmy point his gun at his wife and get ready to pull the trigger, Bobby acts on instinct and kills him before he can kill his family. Instead of this being the end of everyoneís problems, though, itís just the beginning. Jimmy father, Judge Gagnon, immediately files motions to both charge Bobby with murder and to get custody of his grandson. Catherine tries to enlist the help of Bobby, but Bobby has his suspicions that Catherine may not be as innocent as she appears. Everything comes to a head when Catherineís rapist gets out of jail years earlier than planned and he comes after them all.

Like her thrilling The Survivorís Club and The Killing Hour, Lisa Gardnerís Alone is a non-stop ride of pulse-pounding action. From the minute Bobby pulls the trigger up until the very last page, Alone will keep you guessing and turning pages. Gardner is also very skilled in portraying her characters in a lifelike fashion. None of them are truly heroes and none of them (except perhaps for Catherineís rapist) are truly bad guys. She gives us someone to root for, Bobby Dodge, and plenty of other characters to try to figure out. The most intriguing character is Catherine Gagnon, who Gardner never labels and leaves it up to the reader to make a decision on.

Alone provides readers with an interesting and tricky plot and also gives them the perfect characters to play it all out. This book is recommended to anyone who enjoys thrillers or mysteries.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Angela McQuay, 2005

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