Tessa Leoni is a character featuring in three novels written by bestselling author Lisa Gardner. Gardner has written over thirty novels and has sold well over 20 million copies worldwide. The character of Tessa Leone first appeared in Gardner’s 2011 crime novel, ‘Love You More’. This novel was actually the fifth in the series that Lisa Gardner has written featuring her best-known, and most prolific character Detective D.D Warren.
Order of Tessa Leoni Series
|1||Love You More||2011|
|2||Touch & Go||2013|
|3||Crash & Burn||2015|
In ‘Love me More’ Leoni is a state trooper who is found severely beaten at home. Worse, her daughter has been kidnapped and her abusive husband with three shots to his chest, has been killed. Leoni confesses to the police that it was she that shot her husband dead albeit in self-defense but for Detective Warren there seems more to this situation than at first appears, and she is right. The truth is that Leoni’s husband was killed as part of a plot by his associates to frame Tessa for his murder. By doing so and by kidnapping her daughter they hope to gain access to Mr. Leoni’s pension fund to pay off his gambling debts.
Detective Warren rightly suspects that Leoni is not telling her the full story and as well as unraveling all of that she has the pressing matter of trying to find Leoni’s missing child. This task takes on further significance for her when we learn that Det. Warren is pregnant. This creates an interesting link between Detective Warren and Tessa Leoni with Warren contemplating motherhood, whilst at the same time dealing with a mother whose child has been kidnapped. Ultimately the child is rescued but not before Leoni kills the plotters, and not in self-defense, but in revenge for what they have done to her family. However, she avoids any charges or criminal action against her. This first novel shows Tessa Leoni to be a determined and single minded character who will do what she can, even if it means breaking the rules, to protect her child.
BEST TESSA LEONI BOOKS
Published in February 2013 Touch and Go is the second novel featuring Tessa Leoni but this is the first where she is the prime character. Leoni has hung up her state trooper uniform and is now working as a corporate investigator for an insurance company. The story finds her investigating the kidnapping of the Denbe family, a husband, wife and their 15-year-old daughter, which having previously dealt with her own daughter being kidnapped previously is a situation which brings back some very dark memories for her. On the plus side for Tessa Leoni, there is also some romantic interest for her in the shape of Detective Wyatt Foster. This novel also sees an appearance of Detective DD Warren, although it is not considered part of that particular series.
The next novel in which Tessa Leoni features once more is called Crash and Burn which was first published in February 2015. Once again she has the unenviable task of help to unravel a mystery involving a supposed missing child. In this novel, she is assisting her now boyfriend, Sergeant Wyatt Foster. The plot involves the aftermath of a car accident, and the survivor claiming that a child she had with her, is now missing. However, it appears this may not be the case as the woman making the claims turns out to have serious emotional issues. Our old friend Det. DD Warren also makes an appearance as part of the investigating team. In truth Tessa Leoni takes more of a back role in this plot as it is Sgt. Foster who is the lead detective investigating the mystery. Their personal relationship does add to the dynamics of the story and it will be interesting to see how it develops in any future Tessa Leoni novels.
OTHER BOOK SERIES YOU MAY LIKE
If you like the Tessa Leoni books, then it should be remembered she first appeared in the series that Lisa Gardner is best known for and that is the “Detective DD Warren” stories. To date, there have been nine novels featuring DD Warren, a short story and a ‘novella’. The third book in the series called ‘The Neighbor’ won the Best Hard Cover Novel from the International Thriller Writers in 2010.
Keeping with crime mysteries Gardner has also written an eight-novel series about an “FBI profiler” called Pierce Quincy and another three-book series about family secrets under the pen-name Alicia Scott.