Cover Image: Before She Disappeared

Before She Disappeared

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Member Reviews

I was so thrilled to get an advance copy of @lisagardnerbks latest from @netgalley and @duttonbooks - and you guys are in for such a treat for this thriller that comes out January 19! I'm a long-time fan of this author, and this is her first standalone thriller in 20 years - and it was SO GOOD. 👏

In this book, Frankie Elkin is an average middle-aged woman, a recovering alcoholic with a lot of past hurt and regret - which is why she dedicates her life to one thing: searching for missing people the world has stopped looking for.

Her latest missing person brings her to Mattapan - a rough spot outside of Boston - and she needs to find the teen Angelique Badeau before it's too late.

Frankie isn't a cop and she doesn't have rules -making her such a great (and layered) main character. I loved Frankie, and I loved this book - and I hope Frankie gets her own series! 🙏

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3.5 Stars
Although Ms. Gardner has written over twenty novels and this is #15 for me; most of my reads have been DD. Warren. In fact, her last standalone was "The Other Daughter"  back in 1999! Perhaps this isn’t a standalone and will be a series.. 

Frankie Elkin is a recovering alcoholic and her life is a mess she has no money and no job and she is trying to escaping from her life.  For the past decade she has being on a one woman crusade to find missing children, No one has asked for her help, in fact she isn’t welcomed. Since she started this crusade she has found fourteen people; however, so far none alive.

At first, it was difficult reading and understanding Frankie; she has no training or even any special investigative skills.
Love Angelique’s little brother Emmanuel and the code were great. I liked the ending. 

I always enjoy reading the Author’s note and Acknowledgements at the end of the book. To me it is an inside scoop into the story ~ a story about the story! 
Lisa Gardner states she got this idea from a BBC article on AN everyday person named Lissa Yellowbird-Chase who made a difference by working missing person’s cold cases.  (SO there goes my thought that Frankie’s story wasn’t realistic!) Additionally there is a real Piper, a rescue cat who now enjoys a pampered life!
  I also appreciate all the research that went into working with the police departments on what really goes on in streets of Boston as well as the steps taken to get fake ID. She points out that she took liberties in entertaining her readers as well providing instructions on future forgers!

Want to thank NetGalley and Penguin Group ~ Dutton for the early release granted to me in exchange for an honest professional review.  Opinions expressed in this review are my own.
Publishing Release Date scheduled for January 19, 2021
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I love Lisa Gardner! She does not disappoint ever.  I enjoyed Before She Disappeared.  The story was captivating and riveting.  Thank you for this amazing opportunity  to read and review Lisa Gardner's newest book.
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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.

I've been a Lisa Gardner fan forever, and was excited to read this new thriller.  Gardner never disappoints:  Before She Disappeared will keep readers guessing right up to the last scene.  Highly recommended.
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Years ago, I stumbled upon Lisa Gardner’s D.D. Warren series and read book five without reading the rest. When I found out it was a series, I immediately went back and read them all from book one on. It became my very favorite series and I recommend it to people all the time.

Naturally, when I saw that Gardner had a new, stand-alone book, I requested it as fast as I could. 

In Before She Disappeared, Frankie, who has no police training, no formal education, and no roots, but does have plenty of flaws and an addiction, makes it her life’s work to find missing girls. 

I was enthralled in this story from page one. It is so unique and real! I loved the story, the setting, the characters, the twists, and FRANKIE! I never wanted to put this book down. 

I am crossing all of my fingers and toes that this is only the beginning of Frankie. It would be my new favorite series if we get to see more of her!! Four and a half stars from me!
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Before She Disappeared is fast paced with several twists that keep you reading.  Lisa Gardner gives the reader a new kind of heroine who keeps you waiting for her next move.
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This book will capture your heart for those who have a missing person in their family and the love returned from strangers who give of their time to reunite families. The world is full of evil people preying on our young ones. I found it disturbing but unable to hide the fact it is real. 
I was fascinated by the author’s descriptive details, style and the clue trail to locate a missing person. 
This is a good read that you will not be disappointed. Thanks NetGalley for allowing me to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
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This was my first read by Lisa Gardner and I was so excited to get the chance to read this one. 
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Frankie is a single woman with a trouble past. She is also a recovering alcoholic who has a unique occupation. Frankie acts as a private investigator to find missing persons long after the police give up and the case goes cold. The most recent missing girl is named Angelique and one day she left school and was never seen again. 
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Frankie has to battle her demons and a difficult environment to look for clues and try to locate Angelique. She ends up working closely with a police officer, Detective Lotham and enlists the help of Angeliques family and a man named Charlie that she met at an AA meeting. The case keeps throwing up many roadblocks and it feels like Frankie will never solve the case in this amazing thriller. 
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I thought this was a solid thriller and I loved so many aspects of it. Firstly, Frankie was an really great character. She is a fierce badass that isn’t afraid of anyone and does things her way even if they get her into sticky situations. I also thought the story kept me guessing as to what happened to Angelique and I never guessed who was responsible. I would highly recommend this one to all thriller loves and I cannot wait to read another Lisa Gardner book again soon.
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Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner is a fantastic read.  The story begins with a new girl in town by the name of Frankie Elkin.  Frankie describes herself as “an alcoholic, an ex-lover and a lost soul.”    Oh, but she’s so much more!  Frankie is driven to cold cases that have stalled and are going nowhere.  She finds her way to the victim’s family’s and with a keen awareness and common sense she starts putting together facts that the police might have missed or overlooked.  Delving into a case of a missing teen who  seems to have vanished into thin air throws Frankie into a part of town that is not only dangerous, but where she is totally unwanted.  This is a fast read, and I was totally engrossed with the story line.  I hope to see more of Frankie in the future works of Lisa Gardner.  I Am A Fan!  Thank You to NetGalley, Penguin Group Dutton and to the Author Lisa Gardner for the advanced digital copy of this great book, in return for an honest review.
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Before She Disappeared is the new stand-alone novel from Lisa Gardner.

"Frankie Elkin is an average middle-aged woman who is also a recovering alcoholic. Her mission now is to find the missing people - the ones whose cases have grown so cold that no one is looking anymore. She thinks that by asking some questions she might shake something loose. And so far she's found 14 people that no one else could find.
Frankie heads to the Mattapan neighborhood in Boston - a neighborhood with a rough reputation. She is looking for Angelique Badeau - a girl with big dreams who disappeared from school one day and never came back. But there are people that don't want her asking questions and Frankie finds herself threatened - but she will never stop searching for the truth."

Frankie is a new character from Gardner - damaged and full of flaws. But you have to admire her grit and determination to find these people. The story is fast-paced and you will find yourself flying through the pages. There is a lot of info about addiction and alcoholism here. There is a big leap in logic to the reason behind Angelique's disappearance - seemed a bit forced but doesn't take a way from the story. And there are some current events that drive the bad guys.

Gardner fans should enjoy this new book. Supense/thriller should enjoy it also. Another great, entertaining read from Gardner.
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Thank you Net Galley.

Lisa Gardner has done it again! It has been a couple of years since I had read one of her novels and I had forgotten how engaging her books are. From the beginning, her descriptive writing style drew me in.
Many of the characters were not completely believable but this is what fiction is about.

I do plan on adding this to our collection for patrons that prefer fast paced thrillers.
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Frankie Elkins makes her first appearance in Lisa Gardner's pantheon of strong, tough women fighting for justice in Boston's sometimes gritty and gang-ridden neighborhoods, in and out of uniform, with and without police shields or cooperation.. But if this crackling, strongly plotted stand-alone gets the reception from the author's fans it surely will and winds her new ones, she won't be c standing alone for long, and I already can't wait for the sequel.
Frankie' s backstory is only lightly sketched in, but as a recovering alcoholic,, she seems bent on making amends to and on behalf of missing girls in whatever city she finds herself in. She knows how to make a place for herself almost anywhere; there's always a bar that needs a skilled tender, and people willing to talk to a good listener. Frankie's skills in both get her a job and a rented room over a bar in Mattapan, where she's on the hunt for a teenage girl who vanished from her school, neighborhood and friends and family without leaving a trace.. The people who might be able to help Frankie find her aren't cooperating, and the police make it clear that an unlicensed, unknown investigator isn't welcome to whatever information they might have.. In fact, they're not even certain that the  teenager is either missing or in danger.. By the time Frankie turns up enogh evidence to convince them it's almost too late, but by then she's won the grudging admiration as well as the heart of the tough but tender cop who ought to get second billing in the seque. Both of them have histories yet unwritten, but both are characters worth meeting again.
This is a taut, well l written, engaging read, sure to hit the best-seller list.
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I was so excited to read this ARC because I'm a big fan of Lisa Gardner's DD Warren series, and this is her first stand alone novel in 20 years! I thought Frankie and Lotham were both great characters, and the story was both interesting and exciting. It really came together in a surprising way. I thought the ending really fit the character. I loved this book and already can't wait for more from Lisa Gardner
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When I first started to read I thought the pace of the story was slow and dragged a bit. I’m happy to say it picked up about half way through. I hope we see more of Frankie in the future. A little slow or not, I recommend good story.
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As a longtime fan of Gardner’s, I was thrilled to get this advance copy in exchange for my honest review. 

Frankie is a nomad, who lives on the run, following cold cases/missing persons. An addict, who now gets her high by following up on these mysteries and solving them with her Tracphone, printed maps and her wits. 

This case lands her in the all Haitian neighborhood in Boston, where she takes a job bartending and getting the lay of the land while she starts investigating the nearly year old disappearance of a 15 year old girl. 

I really enjoyed this novel. There were a lot of plot twists that kept me on my toes, and I enjoyed Frankie’s character. We understood her and her reasoning for the life on the move, but I wish we would have gotten a bit more of her backstory. Overall, 4.5 stars, as I did not see the ending coming at all!
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I am always in the mood for good suspense, and Lisa Gardner always knows how to spin a thrilling tale! Her newest novel is Before She Disappeared and it’s a must-read. If you have read her books before, you know that Lisa is an absolute genius, writing engaging stories that suck you in.

Frankie is a woman in the middle of her life, a loner with no friends or family. She spends her time looking for missing people, as a way of redeeming her own past perhaps. Her latest case takes her to a rough area of Boston where she is looking for a teen who has gone missing. But someone is throwing up roadblock and doesn’t want Frankie’s questions to be answered. Is Frankie herself in danger?

SO GOOD.

Take a look:

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.

This will be published on January 19, 2021! Get it here.
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Many of us felt that back in 2017, the new Wonder Woman movie presented a strong female character that moved the needle forward for feminism. I get it. So let me tell you ‘bout Frankie Elikin in this book: she’s a tough, gritty woman who doesn’t just move the needle forward, she blows up the whole damn record player.

Frankie’s the type of character that does for women what “A Doll’s House” did back in the late 1800s, when Ibsen wrote it. It SHOCKS us with a completely new view of how a woman can live her life. Or as another example, just going back to 2017 (the same year the new Wonder Woman movie came out), Frances McDormand played a fantastic character in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri which showed that beauty comes in the form of strength, not what society defines as “hotness.” That a woman can be flawed and entirely imperfect and not what the patriarchy might define as ‘nice,’ yet still be a heroine because of her sheer determination to make sure that justice prevails. 

That’s who Frankie is in this book. She’s an ordinary, middle-aged woman with her own demons who feels compelled to track down those who have disappeared but do NOT get media attention because they are marginalized and underprivileged.

As you know, if you’ve read Gardner before, her work is fast-paced, heart-pounding and fun, in this book, as always. I’m just choosing to focus on the character of Frankie because for me, she is the stand-out element of this book.

Book jacket blurb:
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.

YES, you should get this if you like thrillers with strong female characters and/or gritty crime dramas. It hits the shelves Jan. 19, 2021!

Thank you to PENGUIN GROUP Dutton and NetGalley for the ARC!

This review will be posted on my blog and social media closer to the publication date.
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A woman who helps search for the missing moves to a new town to investigate a new case. Frankie, a recovering alcoholic, moves to a Boston neighborhood, Mattapan, to look for a missing teenager - Angelique, who moved to America from Haiti, and vanished months ago, leaving everything behind. Did she leave because of something to do with immigration or did something more sinister happen? As Frankie begins to dig in where people don't want to look, she starts finding answers people don't want her to find, and she could be in danger next. This is a cool little mystery with a new heroine that seeks to find the helpless and make a difference.
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I am a huge fan of Lisa Gardner, and I am grateful to NetGalley for providing me with the ARC.  While I really enjoyed this novel, and found it to be a solid read, it is not one of my favorite Lisa novels of all time.  One reason for this might be that I was a little sad that this one is not set in the DD Warren universe and seems to be a stand-alone character, but it also is not as much of a twisted thriller as Gardner’s pervious works.  I guess time will tell if this novel remains separate from the DD Warren universe or it this will be a new series that at some point might bring the main character into DD’s realm.  

The main character in Before She Disappeared, is a missing person private investigator by the name of Frankie.  She specializes in cold cases that have either been given up on or overlooked.  Frankie is an interesting character.  She is a very driven person who does not let anything stand in her way when it comes to solving her cold cases, and she is also a woman with a past that is mysterious and checkered.  We learn more about the missing girl Frankie is working to bring home than we do about what drove Frankie to AA and now drives her to solve this cold cases.  I am hopeful that if this series continues we will learn more about Frankie’s past and the trauma that so clearly shapes her life.  

Even though the plot of this novel was not as darkly twisted as pervious titles, it still was an interesting read that kept me guessing as I tried to figure out how everything Frankie uncovers fits together.  Gardner does a good job of keeping all of these balls in the air as she drove the plot forward, and ultimately tied all of the multiple threads together for a satisfying conclusion. 

My one concern about the novel is that it deals with a white character trying to solve the murders of primarily people of color, the case that most prominently is focused on in this novel is that of Angelique- a Haitian teenager living in a predominately Haitian neighborhood. And while Frankie does address “white savior” issues in the book, I do wonder how people of color will feel about this character and the setting of this novel, which is something that I, as a person not of color, cannot speak to with any authority or insight.
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I have read almost all of Lisa Gardner's books and this one was my favorite of them all. I absolutely loved how the story captivated me from the first pages.  I loved the Boston setting and I loved Frankie.  I hope that this might become a series and we see Frankie again looking for missing persons.  Amazing book.  Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the advanced copy.
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