Book Reviews

Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner

If Lisa Gardner writes something, I will read it. In fact, when I was on a recent trip to 2nd & Charles, I made it to the Lisa Gardner section, and just picked up every book of hers I didn’t yet own. I didn’t read descriptions or anything…just grabbed them. I actually received Before She Disappeared as an ARC from NetGalley, but it took me a while to get to it. It’s the first in the “Frankie Elkin” series, and I’m excited to see where she goes with this new character.

The Story

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Gardner, a propulsive thriller featuring an ordinary woman who will stop at nothing to find the missing people that the rest of the world has forgotten

Frankie Elkin is an average middle-aged woman, a recovering alcoholic with more regrets than belongings. But she spends her life doing what no one else will–searching for missing people the world has stopped looking for. When the police have given up, when the public no longer remembers, when the media has never paid attention, Frankie starts looking.

A new case brings her to Mattapan, a Boston neighborhood with a rough reputation. She is searching for Angelique Badeau, a Haitian teenager who vanished from her high school months earlier. Resistance from the Boston PD and the victim’s wary family tells Frankie she’s on her own–and she soon learns she’s asking questions someone doesn’t want answered. But Frankie will stop at nothing to discover the truth, even if it means the next person to go missing could be her.

My Thoughts

I still love Lisa Gardner. I hope she isn’t abandoning the power trio from When You See Me, but I did like Frankie Elkin. It was relatable that she’s a civilian, fighting her demons, and trying to do some good.

I also appreciated that this wasn’t quite as dark as some of her other books. Yes, she is searching for a missing girl, but that girl has not been kidnapped to be sold into the sex trade or slavery or anything. It was a little comforting that the girl was just missing.

At times, Before She Disappeared moved a bit slowly and felt a bit redundant. I’ve noticed that it gets that way when Gardner needs to convey the passage of time. The same things keep happening, just to show that time is moving on. It’s not the worst thing, but that kind of writing takes some of the joy out of my reading.

There’s a new Frankie Elkin book coming out in 2022, and I’m so excited! Stay tuned for a future review.

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