Who is Flora Dane, and what has happened to her during the time she was held captive? For 472 days, Jacob Ness, a long haul trucker, held her captive after kidnapping her in Florida while she was on spring break from her Boston college. Now, seven years later, she is attacked again, after two years home, and something unexpected happens during that event. Her Victim Advocate, Samuel Keynes, comes running when she calls. What is the nature of the special relationship between these two? Close-mouthed and hiding secrets, they know more than they are saying.
Or so believes Sergeant Detective D. D. Warren, who is called to a horrific scene near a garage in a Boston neighborhood. What she discovers is unexpected…and changes how she sees the “victim.”
As D. D. tries to piece together Flora’s story, from the past and now the present, we catch a glimpse of how she works, and what her life looks like these days. Felled by an injury, she is on “desk duty,” supposedly, but more often than not we’ll see her in the midst of the action. I always love D. D. Warren’s unique perspective on events, and enjoy visualizing a birds-eye view of how she pieces together the puzzles of her daily life as a detective. And then there is her home life. Her husband Alex, her four-year-old son Jack. These aspects of her world soften the hard edges she needs for her work. But at a moment’s notice, she is back in her detective mode, focused and skilled.
Keynes shares very little, but some believe that Flora has been on a mission to find other missing girls, specifically, Stacey Summers.
We learn more about Flora’s story through her first person narrative that takes us into the past and slowly reveals more about her very strange world. Then, after recent events, we watch current events unfold from her perspective. From inside a box to moments outside, rewarded with food and opportunities. Meeting others along the way. How would those meetings come back to haunt her in the future? Her narrative is vivid and descriptive, taking the reader into the box and captivity along with her.
Why, after this second attack, and after being home for two years, has Flora gone missing again? Who has taken her? Her first captor is dead. Isn’t he? And how is this latest event different?
Find Her is the kind of story that is both fast-paced and made up of slowly unfolding moments: first, there is the action going on in the exterior world, and then the detailed moments in Flora’s interior world. From Flora’s perspective, we learn some of her survival skills, like how she set aside her past life into a box. The memories of her life before captivity are inconsistent with her life as an inanimate object. Her advocate Samuel Keynes shares: “Survival isn’t a destination. It’s a journey. And most of the people I help, they’re still getting there.”
Stunning revelations provide the answers to all the questions, and the reader cannot help but rapidly read until the final denouement. 5 stars.