“Had a family once. Father. Mother. Sister.”
The father was a vicious boozer and stoner; the mother liked drugs and booze and oblivion. The boy took care of his younger sister, scavenging food, getting her ready for school, and reading “Clifford, the Big Red Dog” to her nightly. One really bad night the father quit beating on the mother and was coming after the children with a knife.
“As I lifted the bat. Had a family. Once.”
Sheriff Shelly Atkin was a colleague of FBI agent Pierce Quincy about ten years ago when she was injured and disfigured by a fire. After recovery and a two year hiatus Shelly is now the county sheriff in Bakersville, Oregon, where the big criminal problem is meth production. She is notified of “shots fired” at a gas station/convenience store on the edge of town. Shelly finds an abandoned pickup, two dead bodies, and a teen-aged shooter with flat, dead eyes staring straight into the security camera before he shoots it out. The killer is identified as the foster child of The Duvall’s’, Telly Ray Nash, a seventeen year old with a series of minor offenses.
Sheriff Atkin calls Pierce Quincy for help. Pierce and his wife Rainie are in the process of adopting their teenaged foster child, Sharlah. Sharlah experienced a horrific trauma at a young age and carries a case history of antisocial tendencies and trust issues with her. With the help and unconditional love from Pierce and Rainie, plus the instant bonding with their dog, Luca, Sharlah now has the faith she can be a good daughter, and she’s ready to join the family. That is, she was until her older brother, Telly, begins his search for her.
Right Behind You is an excellent and sleek thriller imbued with devious shockers. Lisa Gardner is a very gifted wordsmith who excels at developing characters, details, dialogue, and narrative. This is one breathless page-turning tale and a one-sitting read . . . you will not be able to set it down.