Published on: May 29th 2011
Published by: Thomas and Mercer
Series: Lizzy Gardner #1
Genre: NA Thriller
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This book is part of the Lizzy Gardner series. You can find reviews for the rest of the books below:
Abducted (Lizzy Gardner #1)
Dead Weight (Lizzy Gardner #2)
Elizabeth Gardner (Lizzy) is seventeen-years old when she tells her parents she’s going out with her girlfriends. Instead, she meets up with her boyfriend, Jared Shayne. As she walks home beneath an inky black sky, her perfect night becomes her worst nightmare.
Fourteen years later, Lizzy is a licensed PI known as the ‘one who got away’. When she’s not searching for runaway teenagers, working on insurance scams, or talking to her therapist, she’s at the local high school teaching young girls to defend themselves.
But her world is turned upside down for the second time after she receives a call from Jared Shayne. He’s an FBI special agent now and he needs her help. Lizzy has no plans to get involved. Not until Jared tells her the kidnapper left her a personalized note.
If I pull any faces in this video, its because I have this really gross smelling stuff on my forehead that is meant to help with headaches. Instead it just makes you smell funky!
Before reading Abducted I had never read anything like this at all and was very please that I chose this book as my first in this genre because I really liked it! It probably sounds wrong to say that the initial reason I wanted to read it was become I wanted to read about Lizzy’s time when abducted, but I was curious as to how the author was going to write it. You want to show the horror and fear, but you don’t want to scare your readers away and scar them all for life. T.R.Ragan manages to do this perfectly, keeping the story flowing seamlessly between thriller and drama with a little bit of humor and romantic on the side.
“It’s kind of nice if all the bad can somehow make the good that much better.”
You can’t help but like Lizzy. Yes, she has her issues, but who wouldn’t after being abducted and locked up for 3 months? She is one of those characters who uses her bad experience to make her a stronger person, and also to help other people. Lizzy has managed to get her life on track and has become a kick ass, no nonsense kind of girl who will say what she means. She is the perfect mix of damaged and tough and really is a great character.
The whole story line really is great, and although I had some guesses at to what was going to happen next, I could not have predicted the ending that we got. We get some chapters from the POV of ‘Spiderman’ who is pretty scary mostly due to the fact that he thinks he is doing good by abducting and killing these girls that he refers to as “naughty” and “bad”. Writing from the POV of an abductor, murderer and I’m thinking somewhat mentally disturbed person cannot be an easy thing to do, but Ragan’s writing is flawless and it comes across as very real (and down right scary!)
“For Lizzy, letting go of the past and moving forward was like waking up each day and trying to learn to walk all over again.”
Lizzy’s ‘pre’-story is pretty horrific. We are given an insight into her first day after being abducted, but nothing more. In my opinion doing it this way was the right way to do it, as it introduces the horror of Spiderman to us, and then fast forwards us to 14 years later to Lizzy who is still dealing with the aftermath. With only Lizzy’s mixed up memories to go by, the uncertainty of what exactly happened to her makes our fear all the more powerful as it is our own imaginations that have to fill in the gaps.
Spiderman’s return and mind games are very cleverly done and you are always left on the edge of your seat waiting for the next thing to happen. Seeing this book from various POV gives us a good insight into the story of his past life and his current and the effect that life has had on himself, his family, his victims and their families too.
“Nothing that has happened is your fault,” he said, obviously sensing her distress. “You know that, don’t you?”
“Logically, yes. Emotionally, no.”
Along with the thrills and drama there is also a romance entwined into this story but in no way takes over. Jared, Lizzy’s boyfriend from high school and the last person to see her the night she was taken, returns to her life and at first seems to be happy in his life. But as he opens up you see the guilt that he still feels from all those years ago when she was abducted, and the impact that it has had on his life since. Once she allows him in, something she hasn’t been able to do for anyone since she escaped Spiderman, she allows herself to trust and rely on him whilst she struggles with Spiderman’s games and the guilt she feels with each girl he takes. In turn, Jared starts to forgive himself, and in his mind, redeem himself for the mistakes he made all those years ago.
There are some great secondary characters in this book that help Lizzy along the way and make this book what it is. Jessica and Hayley are both young, both have secrets and both want to help Lizzy find and take down Spiderman (although for their own separate personal reasons) They can both at time be quite funny with the things that they come out with, and Hayley at times is very much like a mini-Lizzy, tough but damaged from her past and looking for a way to get away from it.
“At some point in our lives we all have to learn to deal with the cards we’ve been dealt.”
For such a tough topic, Ragan writes perfectly and I was thoroughly immersed in this book from start to finish. I’m not a fan of horror/thriller that leaves me wanting to sleep with my light on, and this wasn’t like that at all, which was brilliant for me. It had it’s twists, it’s shocks and it scary moments mixed in with some fun characters and a cute second chance romance. It really had everything that I was looking for, and I have already bought book 2 and can’t wait to read it!
I would recommend this book to fans of: NA thriller, mysteries, stories with abductions