Reviewed by Carrie Padgett
Lisa Gardner is one of the best suspense writers working today. Say Goodbye is the taut, chilling, and gripping tale of a serial killer.
Atlanta FBI agent Kimberly Quincy gets drawn into the case of a missing prostitute. The investigation spirals into a twisted game of tag with a spider-loving murderer who calls himself Dinchara, an anagram of arachnid.
What seemed a random connection is anything but, and Kimberly and Sal Martignetti, Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent, are both targeted by Dinchara and the others in his web.
Kimberly’s marriage and pregnancy add an urgent poignancy when over her husband’s objections she insists on seeing the case through. It would be easy to make Kimberly an unlikeable hard case who will follow the investigation, no matter what, even to her own detriment. But Gardner does a great job keeping Kimberly human and real. Kimberly refuses to knowingly put herself and her unborn child in danger.
Before the case is closed, Kimberly calls in her father, a famed profiler who will be familiar to Gardner’s fans. Their relationship is complicated but with its own tenderness.
Chapters begin with quotes from various spider texts and they up the creepiness quotient considerably. I now know more than I ever wanted to about tarantulas and brown recluses and their mating and eating habits.
What makes Say Goodbye particularly chilling is its basis in fact. While Kimberly’s case is fictional, monsters like Dinchara exist and Gardner shows how the cycle of perversion continues through the years and generations.
Gardner is a master at doling out clues. I figured out the twist pretty early, but that’s probably because I’ve read more than a few suspense novels, including many of Gardner’s earlier works.
Say Goodbye will keep you up at night–first to finish the story and then to wonder about it.
Author’s Web site: http://www.LisaGardner.com