Title: Touch & Go Author: Lisa Gardner Published: February 5th 2013 by Dutton Format: Hardcover, 423 Pgs Genre: Suspense Series: Tessa Leoni #2
At first, I wondered why I picked up Touch & Go, book number two in the Tessa Leoni series when I did not have favorable things to say about “Love You More”. I am glad that I did. I actually loved this book. Lisa Gardner gave you a big picture and then slowly narrowed down the possible suspects in a way that reminded me of a playoff schedule. All the likely suspects are lined up and as their story is pitted against their opponent, then one is discarded. The only difference being, you do not want to be the winner. Then, as you get down to the final four, Ms. Gardner throws in a wildcard or two and the reader is bouncing back to the coulda-shoulda-woulda’s.
Justin Denbe inherited his father’s twenty-five million dollar construction company and is quickly turning it into a two-hundred million dollar premier building empire. They do not do the little stuff, they handle the large jobs like prisons and hospitals and the like. As the company grows, Justin and his wife Libby are hitting the rough years in their marriage. Their daughter Ashlyn is fifteen and everyone is just walking around each other, but their daughter is seeing everything. To the outside world the facade is working - that all ends the night that Justin and Libby return home from date night to Taser wielding home invaders who are dragging their daughter down the stairs. The family is now being held hostage, but the terms do not make sense. Where is the ransom demand?
Tessa Leoni, now a corporate investigator, has been hired by Denbe Construction and is working closely with New Hampshire officer Wyatt Foster to get to the bottom of this abduction. The parts are not coming together. Why was the whole family abducted when it is clear that Justin is the only one worth a financial payoff? This is starting to look like someone from within Denbe is behind this, but whom?
At the same time, truths are coming out about Denbe Construction and the on goings there pale in comparison to the messy lives that Justin, Libby and Ashlyn are leading. As the chapters unfold, the reader is shocked by what comes next. Not that some of it was not foreseeable, but there were definite gasp aloud moments.
Unlike other books, Lisa Gardner does not present her main characters as demi-God’s with all the right answers in the nick of time. They are just as confused and wondering as the reader is. Their light bulb moments are actually based in facts that have been presented to the reader.
Unfortunately, you will have to read book number one to understand Tessa, but just grin and bear it knowing that book number two so is worth it.