Book Reviews

Blog tour: When You See Me by Lisa Gardner

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.

As a big lover of psychological thrillers and books about police procedure, I’ve been meaning to pick up one of Lisa Gardner’s acclaimed books for quite some time now. This wish, however, sat along with my constantly increasing backlist TBR which I continued ignoring for newer releases. Book blogger problems, amirite?

So imagine my surprise when I was reached out to review one of Lisa’s upcoming books? I obviously jumped at the opportunity and here I am.

Goodreads synopsis:

When You See Me (Detective D.D. Warren, #11; Gardner Universe, #20)

FBI Special Agent Kimberly Quincy and Sergeant Detective DD Warren have built a task force to follow the digital bread crumbs left behind by deceased serial kidnapper Jacob Ness. And when a disturbing piece of evidence comes to light, they decide to bring in Flora Dane who has personal experience of being imprisoned by Ness.

Their investigations take them to a small town deep in the hills of Georgia where something seems to be deeply wrong.

What at first seems like a Gothic eeriness soon hardens into something much more sinister as they discover that for all the evil Jacob committed while alive, his worst secret is still to be revealed.

Quincy and DD must summon their considerable skills and experience to crack the most disturbing case of their careers – and Flora must face her own past directly in the hope of saving others.


Like most thrillers, When You See Me begins with a hiker. Well, two. One of them develops heavy blisters and goes off the beaten path (will fictional characters never learn? Sigh) looking for a stick to use as a crutch. Instead of the discovery of a corpse this kind of setup usually leads to, he finds a bone. A femur. And so begins this tale of psychological horror set in a small village in Georgia.

A taskforce is quickly set up, comprising several agents along with Detective DD Warren and the FBI’s Kimberly Quincy. On realising that the discovered evidence may have a link to serial abductor Jacob Ness, they also bring in two civilians–the only survivor of Ness and her true crime obsessed techie boyfriend. Together, this ragtag taskforce attempts to unlock the sinister secrets this small town is hiding.

If, like yours truly, you read a lot of thrillers, I’m sure the “small town” bit in the synopsis got your spidey senses tingling. It’s a formula that works–a quiet, close-knit community. The sweet veneer. Smiles all around. That’s what Niche, Georgia in this book is like too. Until, of course, a mass grave is discovered.

There’s not many cliches in this book. But as a frequent thriller reader, I did see several twists coming from a mile off. Nevertheless, When You See Me is highly enthralling to read.

The story is told from the POVs of DD, Kimberly, Flora, and an unnamed girl without speech held captive by the antagonist. As a tale told by four women, this book has a lot of female badassery, be it through police work, not letting the past define you and at the same time using it to help other women, or the strongest of them all–taking a stand even after they’ve taken your voice away from you, literally. It is for these reasons that I enjoyed reading this book.

Favorite quote:

“When painting, black is not the absence of color. It is the presence of many colors. which makes pure evil hard to predict.”

When You See Me is yet another perfect-for-cold-weather read I recommend for anyone who loves their books about sinister small towns, powerful women, and fast-paced storytelling.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Follow the rest of the tour:

~ Shruti

2 thoughts on “Blog tour: When You See Me by Lisa Gardner

  1. The setting in this book definitely seems atmospheric and spooky and that’s always a bonus in thrillers, I find myself much more aware in those situations. Great review, I’ll definitely have to check out Lisa Gardner!

    Liked by 1 person

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