T R Ragan By Ragan, T R [ [ Abducted (Lizzy Gardner Novels #01) ] ] Jul-2012[ Paperback ]

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  • Abducted (Lizzy Gardner #1) - T. R. Ragan

    By Ragan, T R [ [ Abducted (Lizzy Gardner Novels #01) ] ] Jul-2012[ Paperback ]
    Valkyrie Kane

    Valkyrie Kane

    RIP (= Review in progress) Sorry, my lovelies! The "RIP" is, as of now, wrong. I've just finished my review. ;) Well, as far as crime stories go this was a pretty straight-forward one. Not too many suspects to choose from, no unnecessary twists and far-fetched turns, no unpleasant surprises... That was nice. The case is interesting, the characters are likeable (unless, of course, those you aren’t supposed to like) and the author changes the POV a few times, so the reader also gets a glimpse into the reasons and the reasoning of the killer. So far, so good. The main problem I had with this book was – once again – the love story, because it manages – also, once again – to undermine the educated, intelligent and reasonable main characters the author had built up until then. It seems to me that authors often tell us how brave, calm, intelligent, logical and so on and so forth their characters are, but utterly fail to let them actually ACT that way. But – to me – actions still speak louder than words. Just saying. Anyway. This love story was not only completely unnecessary, incomprehensible and lame, it also got to the point where it really interrupted the reading fluency. Also, it seemed very rushed and constructed, like someone said, “Okay, we need a love story, otherwise readers will lose interest. There must be a kiss here, a sex scene here and then we’ll see how it goes.” Which leads to a tough-but-traumatized main-character who actively suppressed her fears for over 15 years instead of processing and overcome them, and who suddenly isn’t so traumatized at all anymore when she meets her ex-boyfriend again whom she also hasn’t seen for 15 years. Or spoken to. Or has had any contact at all to. And despite not having had contact for 15 years, despite Lizzy supposed-to-be-still-traumatized and having a fuckload of unresolved problems and questions between them, they french-kiss within, like, the first five seconds after having met again. Of course, not without endlessly telling themselves and the reader what a spectacularly bad idea that is. And without stopping to do it nevertheless. Yeah, right. Jared is even a profiler at the FBI and studied psychology. He, at least, should know better than to rush things like that. But, well... Apparently “sex sells” and to hell with rhyme or reason. The worst part is: it could’ve been a very nice love story. IF the author (or the publishing house?) hadn’t insisted on barging in without establishing a reasonable foundation first. (And, sorry, but “they’ve been together 15 years ago, before Lizzy got abducted and severely traumatized” just isn’t cutting it.) Jared is a nice guy and Lizzy is fine, too. Towards the end of the book there’s a really lovely scene in which they discuss what would probably have happened if Lizzy hadn’t been abducted and they had stayed together up until now. A scene in which they actually TALK about them, about some things that happened ten years ago. If that had been all that happened between them in THIS book (and maybe a kiss) and the sex had come in the NEXT book, I really could’ve gotten on board with it. Being as it is, this “love story” feels rushed, listless, lame and leaves the slightly bitter taste of a good idea wasted. Still, 3 stars out of 5, because, like I said before, I really like the case, most of the characters (especially Jessica and Hayley) and usually people aren’t as nitpicky as I am regarding love stories, and manage quite well to not be annoyed by them. ;) It’s not a must-read, but it isn’t bad, either.

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  • Lizzy Gardner Series # 1 by T. R. Ragan

    By Ragan, T R [ [ Abducted (Lizzy Gardner Novels #01) ] ] Jul-2012[ Paperback ]
    Rinnerl

    Rinnerl

    14 years ago, Lizzy Gardner was abducted by the serial killer called Spiderman who had already tortured and killed at least 3 other teenage girls before he took her. Contrary to the other girls, Lizzy wasn’t specifically targeted, she was taken by chance. And another thing was different, Lizzy got away. After two month in the hands of Spiderman, she got a chance to escape and she ran. She survived and came home again, but nothing is as it was before. Traumatized beyond believe, she distanced herself from everyone. From her family, her boyfriend Jared and especially from what was done to her. 14 years later. Lizzy is now a private investigator, teaches self-defense classes to young girls in her free time and has never really gotten over what had happend to her all those years ago. Even years of therapy can only get you so far. Her family has broken apart not long after her return. Her mother had just drifted away somehow and her father blames Lizzy for the failing of his marriage and destroying the family. The only relative she’s still in contact with, is her sister Cathy and their relationship is complicated and loaded with issues. Cathy’s teenage daughter Brittany is the only one Lizzy is really comfortable with. Putting on a brave face to the world Lizzy goes on with her live, without actually living it. When a teenage girl goes missing, her former boyfriend Jared – now Special Agent with the FBI and one of the agents assigned to the case – contacts her for help. The MO is the same Spiderman used all those years ago but a while back a man, claiming to be Spiderman, was arrested and charged for the murder of another girl. Lizzy never really believed they got the right man, but the Police is sure they got their killer and the Feds never believed her story anyway. Reluctantly, for the abducted girls sake, Lizzy agrees to help. Things go rather downhill from there. Fact is, Spiderman is back and he has a message for Lizzy. She may be the one who got away but this time she won’t. „Abducted“ is the first book in the „Lizzy Gardner Series“ by T. R. Ragan. The story is not really new but well written with a likable heroine and interesting sidekicks (Jessica, her intern and Hayley, a girl Lizzy knows from her self-defense class). After building up to the „grand finale“ the actual ending was a little anticlimactic if you want my opinion. Sure, not every question has to be answered but I would have liked to know a little more about the killers motivation, what went wrong with Cynthia and how he was able to learn almost everything about Lizzy (who is very observant of her surroundings and definitely on the paranoid side) and Jared who’s a FBI Agent for gods sake! Google is your friend alright but I can’t be so easy to check out an Agent and his family. At least I hope it’s not. Does a thriller (crime novel) need a love story? That’s a matter of taste, I guess and although I’m not exactly a fan of it, it didn’t really bother me that much and Jared is an okay-guy. Actually, what really botherd me, the two of them (Jared and Lizzy) haven’t seen or heard from each other in almost a decade and a half but after mere days Jared readily tells Lizzy he loves her. Pardon me!! Nobody stays the same in close to 15 years especially not if you were abducted and tortured by a madman. The girl he knew and loved can’t possibly be the same she is today.and I definitely would have prefered it, if the author took more time in rebuilding a relationship before she made declarations of undying love. Anyway, I felt mostly entertained and I guess I give book # 2 a try. Not right now, but sometime.

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