Flora, a fan-favorite character, is used well in her return. Gardner continues to do a fine job developing her, and her no-nonsense, direct approach to teaching empowerment and healing lends itself nicely to the story ... Lisa Gardner’s Look For Me is a fast-paced, compelling crime thriller that twists and turns its way to a nail-biting ending. The opening chapter is intense, shocking, and heartbreaking. . . and certainly isn’t for the faint of heart. D.D. Warren might be the series protagonist, but Gardner has another star on her hands in Flora Dane, who steals the spotlight and makes this already gripping story even better.
The tense Look for Me forcefully delves into family dynamics while also exploring the failures of foster care. Gardner has never disappointed, whether she’s writing about D.D. Warren, her involving stand-alone novels or her tense Profiler series about FBI agent Pierce Quincy and Officer Rainie Conner. Gardner employs her usual solid plotting while adding surprising twists in Look for Me.
Per usual, Gardner infuses her narrative with timely and topical social issues that deserve a closer look; here, the abuses and limitations of the foster care system come under the microscope, as do other matters including dependency, exploitation, gang violence, and PTSD. So too the struggles of working mothers like D. D. Warren, who endeavor to balance their personal and professional lives without compromising either. It’s these elements that ground the author’s propulsive plots in a sense of realism despite their fictional flourishes. Look for Me is a worthy addition to Lisa Gardner’s outstanding oeuvre.
Gardner alternates gripping narratives of D. D. and Flora’s investigation with Roxanna’s essays about family, illuminating the vulnerability of children in America’s strained, deeply flawed foster-care system. Suspenseful and wholly believable, this ninth entry will win new fans for the series, especially among those who favor Karin Slaughter’s gritty procedurals.
In an awkwardly patched-in subplot, another Gardner regular, kidnap survivor Flora Dane, who now runs a support/empowerment group of sorts for women who’ve lived through similar trauma, realizes Roxy approached her group before disappearing, making Flora determined to find her before the police do. She and D.D. enter an uneasy, and entirely preposterous, partnership, each exploring her own leads in a case that, while tragic, becomes more predictable with each supposed wrinkle and stereotypical villain. Despite Gardner’s considerable research into the foster-care system, her plot is a tired one populated with cardboard characters and twists any savvy reader will see coming a mile away.