Before She Disappeared
Standalone or series?
First time reading this author?
Why I picked this
I love Lisa Gardner books. She’s one of a handful of authors that I actively look out for an pre-order their latest book as soon as the publication date is announced. This actually came up on NetGalley for an advance reader copy, so I leapt at the chance to read a few weeks ahead of official release. My pre-ordered copy is still going to arrive in January though so I have it for future re-reading.
Review copy or purchase
Review copy via publisher Century and NetGalley UK in exchange for an honest review. Purchased once it was published.
What it’s about
Frankie Elkin has no fixed roots. She lives on the road moving from town to town searching for the missing people the rest of the world has given up on. A new case brings her to Boston to search for missing 15-year-old Angelique who disappeared from outside her high school around a year earlier. But, someone doesn’t want Angelique found, and it will take all of Frankie’s strength to keep looking against the odds.
Another excellent read from Lisa Gardner. While this is a standalone rather than one of her brilliant DD Warren books, this is another engaging story with a compelling strong female lead.
Frankie is not without her flaws. A recovering alcoholic she admits that she has replaced one addiction with another as her dedication to recovering missing people is more like an obsession. Before we meet her in this book Frankie has successfully traced 14 people to find solutions for their families – unfortunately in each case all she has been able to do is bring them a body to bury and give them closure.
The great thing about this book is how realistic it feels. The police are neither too disinterested or too antagonistic. It’s clear the lead police characters are equally frustrated that they don’t have the resources to keep looking into this. The family are suspicious, but also unwilling to turn down any help which might help bring them an answer. Frankie puts herself in real danger (and not just because of the mostly feral cat who sleeps under the bed in her room over a bar and likes to swipe her heels if she’s not fast enough getting up in the morning), and the writing helps that feel like a very looming threat.
Another gripping and believable story from Lisa Gardner, a definite must-read if you like her previous books, or a great first entry if you haven’t had the good fortune so far.