Review

The Survivors Club

by Lisa Gardner



Here's the layout. There's this serial rapist who sexually assaults
three women --- Meg Pesaturo, a college student; Carol Rosen, a
charter member of the ladies-who-lunch; and Trish Hayes, another
college student. Hayes dies as a result of the assault; her sister,
Jillian, an entrepreneur, is also viciously attacked when she
blunders into the incident. The three surviving women don't
consider themselves victims, but survivors, and form the Survivors
Club. They push, yell, scream and practically lead the
investigation that results in the arrest of Eddie Como, who quickly
becomes known as The College Hill Rapist. Como's conviction seems
like a foregone conclusion, given the DNA evidence against him. And
on the morning of the beginning of his trial, a sniper on the roof
of the Providence, Rhode Island Courthouse exacts swift and brutal
retribution with one well-placed headshot. The women, of course,
are jubilant. No testimony, no appeals. Justice is done. End of
book.

Except...that's only the beginning of this thriller by Lisa
Gardner, which has enough twists and turns in it that one can't
help "one more page"ing it through the night. When Como is killed
on the courthouse steps, the investigation of his murder comes
under the jurisdiction of Rhode Island State Police Detective
Sergeant Roan Griffin. Griffin's suspicions turn almost immediately
to members of the Survivors Club, each of whom have plenty of
motive and, directly or indirectly, opportunity. Pesaturo's family
is, as they say, connected: Rosen's husband, an attorney, has been
making secret liquidations from their brokerage account, and Hayes
has made some massive bank account withdrawals that she refuses to
account for. Griffin has barely begun his investigation, however,
when another woman is attacked and murdered, using the same m.o. as
with the previous assaults. And the DNA at the scene of the latest
murder is a perfect match for ... Eddie Como's.

How can this be? The answer is right in front of the reader, but
Gardner is so skillful in misdirecting the reader that trying to
guess what is going on is practically impossible. There are
actually two stories here --- one belongs to the Survivors Club and
one belongs to Griffin; by book's end, they will dramatically
interweave and collide.

Gardner will make a believer out of you. Her ingenious construction
of this mystery will keep you guessing at every page, and her
ability to draw her characters in conflict, whether personal or
jurisdictional, is first rate. Mystery lovers who encounter THE
SURVIVORS CLUB will be putting Gardner's name near or at the top of
their "must read" list.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on January 23, 2011

The Survivors Club
by Lisa Gardner

  • Publication Date: April 29, 2003
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense
  • Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam
  • ISBN-10: 0553584510
  • ISBN-13: 9780553584516