01/03/2014 08:56 pm ET Updated Mar 05, 2014

'Fear Nothing' Is Dark and Intense

Author Lisa Gardner writes her most intriguing and complex novel to date with Fear Nothing. This is another story featuring Boston Police detective D. D. Warren and it focuses on the intensity of pain as well as the lack of pain. These counterpoints fuel a story of brutal violence and the mind of a killer. Gardner is always a good storyteller but this time out she exceeds her past efforts.

D. D. Warren is on the job. She is investigating the brutal murder of a woman when she has an accident and falls down a flight of stairs. Her body is injured in the fall and she develops a condition that keeps her in excruciating pain. In trying to cope with the pain, she seeks the help of a pain management therapist. This doctor's name is Adeline Glen. She has been drawn to this profession by the simple fact she cannot feel pain. Not any pain at all.

Dr. Glen also has a secret. She is the daughter of the infamous serial killer Harry Day. He was her father as well as the father of her sister Shana Day, a woman who has been in prison for 30 years due to a murder she committed at 14. Adeline was adopted early in her life and grew up privileged in every way. She did not see her sister until recently but now they do meet on a regular basis at the prison where Shana is being held.

It turns out the murder Warren was investigating was similar in many ways to those committed by Harry Day. The question arises -- was this the work of a copycat killer or someone who had insight into Harry Day's crimes? Finding the answer to this question will take Warren down many dark streets and make her question the motives of everyone around her.

Gardner provides the reader with an abundance of information about killers, pain loss and pain gain. The characters, including D. D., are held under the magnifying glass of knowledge and must each stay true to their fears and phobias. In the end other questions arise. Are our lives determined by nature or by nurture? Is there an evil seed that children of evil carry?

Readers will be fascinated by this dark story and will race through its pages in order to determine who the villain is and how this person can be stopped. Only an author as talented as Gardner could make the book so intensely satisfying.

Fear Nothing is published by Dutton. It contains 400 pages and sells for $27.95.

Jackie K Cooper