Review: Touch and Go

I was compensated for this review by the BlogHer Book Club. The opinions expressed are my own.

I don’t know why I’m always skeptical of the term “thriller.”

Something about it is just very assuming. Unlike just calling a book a memoir (which it just is) or non-fiction (which, again, is just stating fact), thriller implies that simply by reading this book, I will be thrilled. Titillated. On the edge of my seat.

Like I said. Bold assumptions.

So when I received my copy of Touch and Go by Lisa Gardner, overtly billed as a thriller, I may have raised a single, skeptical eyebrow a couple of degrees.

After finishing, though, I stand corrected.


Touch and Go starts out with the abduction of an entire family. The Denbes (who are the kind of wealthy-yet-seemingly-down-to-earth that few people manage to successfully portray in real life. Husband and father Justin Denbe owns one of the largest architectural firms in the country, staffed by a colorful band of suspectsgentlemen he has know forever. Gallant and all-American on the surface, we quickly learn he’s not the awesome family man he pretends to be.

Libby Denbe’s business card reads something like “devoted wife and mother, part-time jewelry designer, full-time doormat.” Fully aware of the cracks in we family, she too has started harboring her own nasty habits and secrets. Oh, also, she’s 110 pounds. I know this because she tells you at least three times. Get over yourself, Libby.

And, of course, Ashlyn, their angsty-yet-fully-aware 15-year-old daughter.

The book leaps from Libby’s perspective in captivity as her family unravels and pulls together (with rather dynamic shifts) to the point of view of the various sheriffs, FBI agents, and private investigators trying to find them.

And, yes, the ending twists will have you on the edge of your seat.

All in all, I highly recommend the book. While it’s not exactly an instant classic, it’s a fun ride and well-written.

Am I the only one with this weird prejudice against thrillers? Does anyone have similar feelings about other genres?

Join the conversation at the BlogHer Book Club.