Lisa Regan’s new novel, Finding Clair Fletcher will evoke all combinations of shock and horror. I am still reeling from this book.
A one-night stand opens up old wounds for Detective Conner Parks. When the mysterious woman discretely leaves in the morning, she leaves behind a clue about her life. An address. This simple piece of paper will lead Conner down a gruesome path towards a pedophile and abductor who is holding Clair hostage.
Finding Clair Fletcher is a story told from Claire’s, and Detective Conner’s alternate points of view. As Detective Conner is navigating his way through this cold case, Claire depicts the horrors and depravity she faced as being a captor both the past and present day. As Claire is revealing her story, the reader is taken captive into the mind of a sadistic pedophile who tortures, rapes, and deprives his young victims of any sense of themselves. Even when there is a chance to escape.
Finding Claire Fletcher is a compelling, well-written psychological novel that both transfixed and terrified me. Lisa Regan has an eye for detail in both scene and character development. As Regan’s words unfold, you are placed on center-stage along side the characters experiencing their world. The opening chapter was intense, as Clair’s haunting voice takes you through her brutal beginning. The alternating views of Claire and Conner are seamless; as when he ends the phone call at the end of one chapter, she hangs up the phone at the beginning of the next. Claire’s abductor is a very disturbing portrayal of evil. The penetration into the captor’s eyes gives us a look into the dark realms of inhumanity. A beast who manipulates the victim in such a slow and devious way that they grow to enjoy any comfort he may bring. Detective Conner’s gritty vulnerability is palpable, as a man on the brink and desperate to find Claire. And, the astonishing torture scenes are squalls of horror which stay with you after the book closed. “The strange wastelands of Lynn Wood’s life.”
Although the plot was well played out in the narrative, there were a few implausibilities of character’s actions that left you wondering. But after all, this is Claire’s journey. And I would not let this deter you from reading this outstanding novel.
The title is more about Clair finding her way into that locked door ten years ago, to discover the child on the street corner before she crossed it. “That when she smiles, it’s beautiful and not broken.”
As the first book in a series, Regan has created a great hook. I am probably not the only person ready for the second novel in the series due out in October, 2017-Losing Leah Holloway.
Thank you, NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.