Nicky Frank crashes her luxury SUV into a ravine and after climbing up an embankment, manages to flag down a passing motorist. When the police arrive she insists her daughter Vero is missing. The problem is there’s no sign that another person was in the car. Not even the search and rescue dog can turn up any trace of a little girl. It soon becomes obvious to Sergeant Wyatt Foster and his partner, that her story doesn’t make any sense. Then Nicky’ s husband Thomas appears and tells them that she suffers from a rare brain disorder caused by multiple concussions from three separate falls, and anything she says cannot be trusted. So, who are Nicky and Thomas Frank? Why is Nicky so convinced she has a daughter? And is Thomas really the caring, protective husband he seems to be, or is he trying to kill his wife?
Although it has a couple of characters from previous novels, Crash & Burn is a standalone novel. From the opening scene it grabbed me and I found it difficult to pull myself away. It does have a complicated plot with many twists and turns, so you definitely can’t speed read it. Just when I thought I had things figured out, something would happen, and I’d have to throw up my hands and admit I had no clue what was going on. The ending took me completely by surprise, but with the preceding events it wrapped everything up in a perfectly satisfying way. I loved the characters of Nicky and Thomas. They’re intriguing and extremely complex, and they had me guessing non-stop at their motives. I also liked Wyatt and his determination to discover the truth about the couple. He wouldn’t give up, even when you knew that another officer probably would have just let it drop. I’ve only read a couple of Lisa Gardner’s other books, and Crash & Burn has made me want to go back and read the ones I’ve missed.