Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner @penguinbooks #mysterysuspense

Kaceey’s Review:

I’ve been reading Lisa Gardner’s books for years, enjoying both her series stand-alone and options equally. Sadly this latest release fell short for me. Maybe I’ve just come to expect more from this author.💁🏻‍♀️

Frankie Elkin has devoted her every waking moment to finding missing children. Her focus is on those who may not have a voice heard through media, with no resources necessary to keep an investigation moving forward.

Her latest challenge brings her to a Boston suburb where a young Haitian girl, Angelique has vanished. Can Frankie work her magic and piece together the mystery of her disappearance in time to bring her home safely?

I had a hard time warming up to Frankie. I just didn’t find her…authentic?🤷🏻‍♀️ Her reasons for devoting her passion to this cause just didn’t add up for me. And her glimpses into her past just didn’t bring much to the table.

Still, Lisa Gardner remains one of my favorite authors. This was just a step back for me.
There are some great five-star reviews out there so take a look at those as well before making a decision on this book.

A buddy read with Susanne that left both of us a little bit perplexed and underwhelmed.🙁

Thank you to Edelweiss and Penguin Publishing Group for an ARC to read and review.

Susanne’s Review:

Frankie Elkins is a troubled middle-aged woman, who is on the run from her life.  She is a recovering alcoholic who finds missing persons.  It’s just something she has been doing for the last ten years of her life.

In “Before She Disappeared” Frankie finds herself in Boston, searching for teenager Angelique Badeau who went missing from her High School eleven months prior.

Though she has no experience or training, somehow, Frankie has a way about her, an ability to make people trust her and get information that the police do not.  In addition, she thinks of avenues to explore that the police don’t even consider.  

Frankie is a complex character, whose backstory is somewhat compelling.  She is kind and strong, yet tormented by her past.  

While this book starts out as suspenseful and intriguing, it required this reader to suspend disbelief at Frankie’s ability to solve crimes, given her lack of training.  I also found the romance that was brewing between Frankie and the Detective to be a bit rushed.  Furthermore, I didn’t buy into Frankie’s background as the reasons for her needing to make things right and thought the novel felt “forced.”

What makes this story enjoyable, however, is the writing.  It is extremely solid and the character development, as always is very well done.  

As a huge fan of Lisa Gardner, the DD Warren, and Flora Dane series, unfortunately, this standalone novel didn’t quite live up to my expectations.  I, therefore, hope that the author returns to her tried and true for her next go-round.

Thank you to Edelweiss, Penguin Publishing Group – Dutton, and Lisa Gardner for the arc.

Published on Goodreads

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