January 31, 2005 12:00 PM

by Lisa Gardner

Bobby’s troubles start when, as a Boston police sniper, he shoots a rich husband holding a gun on his wife and child. Bobby doesn’t know the shooting will make him an outcast among fellow cops; he also doesn’t know that the dead man’s father is all-powerful Judge Gagnon, who will charge Bobby with murder. On top of this, the widow, Catherine, is not only beautiful and manipulative enough to make a willing fool of any man, but she was abducted by a pedophile in her youth—and Judge Gagnon has had the perpetrator released from prison in hopes that he’ll eliminate Catherine, leaving her son in Gagnon’s custody.

Finely honed prose isn’t Gardner’s strong suit—it’s clear that propelling the plot is her goal, and she does that masterfully. Reading this book is akin to watching a gripping movie in your living room: You may want to fast-forward, but only because you can’t wait to see what happens next. Like all the best suspense novels, Alone will leave you shaken.

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