Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Book Review - Before She Disappeared; Lisa Gardner


TITLE/AUTHOR:  Before She Disappeared; Lisa Gardner



GENRE: Fiction Thriller

FORMAT:  eGalley PP/LENGTH: 395 pp.

SOURCE: NetGalley

SETTING(s):  Mattapan, MA

ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY:  One woman on a mission to find the missing people others have forgotten about.

BRIEF REVIEW:  Frankie Elkin is a middle-aged woman and a recovering alcoholic who is obsessed with searching for cold case missing persons.  She travels light and lives dangerously. Her latest mission brings her to the Boston suburb of Mattapan, it's a place know for rival gang activity.   She gets a job as a bartender and a tiny apartment above the bar as long as she's willing to share it with a feral cat who comes and goes. When she's not working or talking with locals she off trying to work the cold case.

Her current missing person is a high school girl named Angelique Badeau who disappeared after school eleven months earlier.  The girl's backpack and cell phone were found in the bushes by the school.  It seems Angie may have even been spotted yet no one is talking.  Angelique has Haitian roots and was a bright girl who had dreams of being a doctor.  Her family and police are not happy about Frankie snooping around for answers, at least at first, but she persists.  

This is a stand alone novel that had some interesting characters. The story is told in the first person so that we slowly get a more intimate look at our troubled protagonist Frankie.  She's tough on the outside yet vulnerable and battling her own demons as her story unfolds. Then there is Stony, the bar owner who takes a chance hiring Frankie and, Viv the cook at the bar, who has taken a liking to Frankie and encouraging a romance between her and Detective Lotham.  The story is a slow build, and although some of what happens seemed a bit unrealistic, that it could have even been pulled off, overall I enjoyed the story quite a bit.  There were some tense moments with gang activity and a twist here and there as well. I'd like to read more about Frankie should she appear in another offering.

RATING: 4/5 stars


  1. That does sound like an interesting story!

  2. I have somewhat given up on reading books like this but Before She Disappeared sounds like one I could get into.

    1. I was a faithful reader of Lisa Gardner but then may have skipped a few in more recent years. I like that her stories tend to take place in these parts - more or less.

  3. Sounds good, I think I'd like this book!

  4. I like this author and thought I had a review copy of this one but I was thinking of Robyn Harding's new one. Maybe I received a print copy. Off to look.

  5. It was quite enjoyable even if there were a couple of "seriously?" moments here and there.

  6. I've enjoyed a few of her books. Have to check this out!

  7. I nearly always enjoy her books. I live not far from Mattapan, which is actually part of Boston with some gritty sections.

  8. I have been reading some good reviews of this one and it's on my TBR list.

  9. I know I've read a Lisa Gardner book before, but I'd have to look through my reviews to remember what it was. I may have to pick this one up.

  10. I've enjoyed Lisa Gardner's books before so I'm looking forward to this one.


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