I read Before She Disappeared earlier this year, and it was my very first Lisa Gardner book. I loved it and was determined to read more from Gardner. I actually didn’t get around to any of her backlist this year, but I did find out that Frankie Elkin was coming back and I was stoked! When I finished Before She Disappeared, it just felt like it would be the perfect start to a non-detective detective series and I’m so glad Gardner brought Frankie back.
I really love the idea behind the Frankie Elkin series. Frankie is a middle aged white women, who travels the country attempting to solve cold cases. She doesn’t ask for money or anything in return. She’s just really good at finding people. I love how Gardener based this series around real people who do just that, search for missing with people with no formal training or expectations of rewards. I also had no idea people did this in real life but they do. I also really enjoy that this series brings awareness to missing groups of people. In the first book it shows how easy it is to go missing and the lack of effort to find missing immigrants in large cities, especially those who have fallen through the cracks while trying to gain their citizenship. In the second installment, Gardner draws upon the disappearances that occur around National Parks. She bases these stories on real events, and while they may be embellished for entertainment purposes, I applaud Gardner for bring awareness to these missing cases.
In One Step Too Far, Frankie Elkin heads to the Wyoming wilderness to help find a Tim who went missing on his bachelor party, five years ago. Tim’s father an avid and experienced hiker has organized the search party for the past five years, and has guilted Tim’s friends into joining the trip. Along with Frankie and two experienced rescue personal, they set out for the final time to try and discover what happened to Tim.
Filled with plenty of suspense and red herrings, Gardner does a great job of drawing you into the story immediately. She portrays the wildness of the National Park well and really immerses readers into the setting. I will say there were a few unrealistic aspects of the the plot but then again this is a work of fiction and being a bit dramatic really makes the pages turn.
I’ll definitely be looking out for the next Frankie Elkin installment and recommend this one for anyone looking for a solid mystery.
One Step Too Far comes out January 18, 2022. Huge thank you to Dutton Books for my advanced copy in exchange for my honest opinion. If you liked this review please let me know either by commenting below or by visiting my instagram @speakingof_books.
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