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Before she disappeared : a novel  Cover Image E-book E-book

Before she disappeared : a novel / Lisa Gardner.

Gardner, Lisa, (author.).


"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"-- Provided by publisher.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9781524745059
  • ISBN: 1524745057
  • Physical Description: 1 online resource.
  • Publisher: [New York] : Dutton [2021]

Content descriptions

Source of Description Note:
Description based on print version record and CIP data provided by publisher; resource not viewed.
Subject: Missing persons > Fiction.
Cold cases (Criminal investigation) > Fiction.
Boston (Mass.) > Fiction.
Alcoholics > Fiction.
Electronic books.
Genre: Electronic books.

Electronic resources

  • Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2020 December #2
    *Starred Review* Vagabond investigator Frankie Elkin (think Reacher with the gift of gab over guns) lands in Boston's rough-edged Mattapan neighborhood on a mission to find Angelique Badeau, a teenager who disappeared 11 months earlier. In a blink, Frankie has secured a bartending job at the neighborhood drinking hole, found an AA meeting, and pissed off the cops investigating Angelique's disappearance. (They're not buying her investigation as public service, and she's not enlightening them about her need for redemption.) Frankie is sure that Angelique isn't a runaway: she's too close to her Aunt Guerline and her brother, Emmanuel. So Frankie pokes the soft spots in Angelique's inner circle and finds that Angelique grew secretive after participating in a rec-center program where she befriended Livia Samdi, another missing Mattapan teen, whose gangland connections up the stakes. When Emmanuel reports that Angelique has left him a coded plea for help online, Frankie's baggage-laden obsession pushes her straight into Mattapan's underworld. It's hard to tag just one stand-out element here, between the multidimensional portrayal of Mattapan's Haitian expat community, Frankie's humanizing demons and straightforward investigative technique, and a page-turning plot with all its ends tucked in unpredictably tight. Tense and immersive, Gardner's latest (hopefully a series starter) is a sure bet both for readers drawn to gritty gumshoe fiction and for the growing legion of true-crime podcast fans. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.
  • BookPage Reviews : BookPage Reviews 2021 February
    Whodunit: February 2021

    Some of the biggest names in the genre knock it out of the park, and one half of an acclaimed Scandi-noir writing team goes it alone in this month's Whodunit column.


    Cases don't come much colder than the 36-year-old murder of Dorothy Swoboda, whose burned-beyond-recognition remains were found in a similarly scorched late-model Cadillac down a steep embankment off of Los Angeles' serpentine Mulholland Drive, thus providing the title of Jonathan Kellerman's excellent Serpentine. Now, all these years later, the case has been assigned to LAPD Lieutenant Milo Sturgis, who enlists consulting psychologist Alex Delaware as backup. Neither expects much to come of further investigation. The cops back in the day had their suspicions, but nothing panned out. Nowadays the case files are sketchy, and the best line of inquiry seems to be to interview some of the original investigating officers and witnesses and see what insights they might have had that never made it into the official case files. Only problem is, Milo finds that virtually everyone with any insight into the case has met an untimely death. There is no statute of limitations on murder, so it would appear that someone is doing his (or her) level best to stay one step ahead of this latest investigation, and in this case "level best" makes for a scorching good read.

    Before She Disappeared

    Lisa Gardner's thriller Before She Disappeared introduces us to Frankie Elkin. For a time, Frankie struggled to find some purpose in her life, some reason to keep moving forward while in recovery for alcoholism. She discovered her niche as an advocate for missing persons, seeking out those who have disappeared, the unimportant, the hitherto forgotten. She does this on a volunteer basis, taking no payment, propelled along by a remarkable success rate, at least by one metric: She is very good at finding people. Unfortunately, the subjects of her searches routinely turn up quite dead. There is hope yet for her new case, however. Haitian teenager Angelique Badeau was a stellar and motivated student, intent on a career in medicine. Then, nothing. She disappeared nearly a year ago, leaving virtually no trace. As Frankie's investigation progresses, it offers an up-close look into some of the issues that plague American society today—racism, antipathy toward immigrants and the trafficking of young women—while providing a blistering narrative and sympathetic characters (even an annoyingly endearing cat!). Before She Disappeared is billed as a standalone, but I'm thinking it would be the perfect setup for a terrific series.

    Knock Knock

    It's likely that regular readers of this column are familiar with my gushing over mystery novels from Europe's frozen north, a subgenre known as Scandinavian noir. After the death of his longtime writing partner Börge Hellström, Swedish writer Anders Roslund returns with Knock Knock, his first solo novel and the next installment of his and Hellström's gripping series featuring police superintendent Ewert Grens and undercover informant Piet Hoffman. Every cop has one nagging case that they were unable to solve, a case that remains within their being, waiting for some kind of closure. For Ewert, it was the murder of a family 17 years ago in which only a 5-year-old girl was spared, although she was unable to yield any usable clues to the killings. Now there has been a break-in at the same apartment, and Ewert, who is on the verge of retirement, would like nothing more than to see this case resolved before he rides off into the sunset. Meanwhile, Piet, having been outed as an informant, is being blackmailed by lethal munitions brokers, his family threatened to the point that they must go into hiding. Roslund cleverly interlaces these two disparate storylines, and readers will marvel at just how much action can take place in a period spanning only three days. Knock Knock has handily reaffirmed all my Scandi-noir gushing.

    ★ Blood Grove

    It is a fair bet that if Walter Mosley has a book coming out during any given month, a) it will get reviewed here, and b) there's an excellent chance it will be the best mystery of that month. Case in point: his latest, Blood Grove. Private detective Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins is nudging 50 years of age in this novel, which is set in late-1960s Los Angeles. The Vietnam War has taken its toll on the nation. Hippies are tuning in, turning on, dropping out. Racism is rampant. And in the middle of this uneasy milieu, Easy gets approached by a vet suffering from what we now call PTSD. The vet spins an incredible story: He went to the aid of a screaming woman in distress at a remote hilltop cabin, stabbed her attacker and then lapsed into unconsciousness. When he awoke, there was no woman, no stabbed man, really no indication whatsoever that any of his memories were anything more than a hallucination. Nothing is quite what it seems in this place, in this time, in this book. Lurking just beneath the surface are a heist gone bad, a gangster or three on the vengeance trail and a trio of lethal ladies. And there are all manner of '60s cultural references, from Lucky Strike cigarettes to Edsel cars to free-love clubs—not to mention a character who bears more than a passing resemblance to real-life record producer Terry Melcher, who was briefly associated with Charles Manson. I read it all in one sitting, as I just could not stop turning the pages.

    Copyright 2021 BookPage Reviews.
  • Kirkus Reviews : Kirkus Reviews 2021 March #2
    Gardner introduces Frankie Elkin, a tough, street-smart survivor who has found her calling searching for missing persons. Frankie is an alcoholic who considers herself responsible for the death of the man she loved. As penance, she travels around the country, volunteering to locate missing people for whom there may be no new leads. She knows that not everyone believes in her gifts or trusts her motives, but she cannot back down from the opportunity to find answers for these grieving families. When she comes to Boston to investigate the disappearance of Angelique Badeau, she takes a cheap apartment and a bartending job at a scruffy neighborhood bar, sticking out like a sore thumb but determined to make headway in a case that has baffled the police. Teenagers go missing and teenagers run away, but not Angelique. She and her brother survived the earthquake in Haiti to live with their aunt in America, taking advantage of opportunities to work hard and get a good education. Frankie discovers that Angelique is not the only teenage girl to have disappeared in the neighborhood; a few months after her, another girl went missing. This girl’s family, torn apart by gang violence and poverty, may have been reason enough to run away, but Frankie has been around the block enough to know: There are no coincidences. Then Angelique passes a message to her brother: proof of life, but no hint as to where she’s being held. With the help of a ruggedly handsome detective, Frankie digs relentlessly into the caseâ€"until people start dying. Now in a race against time, she must discover why these girls have been kidnappedâ€"and why they might be running out of time. Gardner is a pro at writing tough-as-nails, wiseass, broken-yet-steely female characters, and Frankie does not disappoint. Plus, it’s a pretty solid mystery. Fans of Gardner’s Tessa Leoni, D.D. Warren, and Flora Dane will embrace her new heroine's grit and empathy. Copyright Kirkus 2021 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.
  • Library Journal Reviews : LJ Reviews 2020 August

    The No. 1 New York Times best-selling Gardner offers her first stand-alone in some time with this story of Frankie Elkin, a middle-aged recovering alcoholic whose job is to find people after everyone else has given up. Here she's in a scruffy Boston neighborhood searching for Angelique Badeau, a Haitian teenager who vanished from her high school months ago, and a distinct lack of support from those around her signals that's she's on the right track.

    Copyright 2020 Library Journal.
  • LJ Express Reviews : LJ Express Reviews

    It's been a while since Gardner (When You See Me) wrote a stand-alone; this one is well worth the wait. Readers will fall in love with her protagonist, Frankie Elkin, a recovering alcoholic lost soul who keeps sober by running from her past and roaming from city to city seeking cold-case missing people that law enforcement has given up on. After 14 cases, she's hoping to finally rescue her first living victim, Angelique Badeau, a local Haitian high school girl who went missing without a trace several months ago. As Frankie works this puzzling case, readers will have to pay close attention to the subtle carrots Gardner dangles in front of them. It's a wild ride through Boston's Mattapan neighborhood; a mix of real and imagined dangerous streets where her local characters perfectly reflect the rich mix of island cultures there. VERDICT Fans of this incredible author, police procedurals, timely immigrant stories, strong determined women, and tales that are not tied up with a pretty bow at the end will not be able to get enough of this intense page-turner.—Debbie Haupt, St. Charles City-Cty. Lib. Dist., St. Peters, MO

    Copyright 2021 LJExpress.
  • Publishers Weekly Reviews : PW Reviews 2020 November #4

    Recovering alcoholic Frankie Elkin, the narrator of this outstanding crime novel from bestseller Gardner (When You See Me), has found purpose, if not peace, in channeling her addictive personality into finding missing women no one else bothers to search for. Newly arrived in Boston, Frankie sets out on the trail of 16-year-old Angelique Lovelie Badeau, who seems destined to beat the odds in her tough Haitian community. What would drive Angelique, a girl with such a bright future, to simply disappear one day? Frankie's search leads her through a thicket of gangs, traffickers, and institutional racism. The mystery's solution is a neat twist on the obvious dangers that might destroy a talented girl's dreams. Frankie, who describes herself as an "average middle-aged white woman," is a nuanced character whose unflinching honesty and lack of self-pity allows the reader to empathize, if not completely sympathize, with her struggles. And cat lovers are sure to fall for Piper, Frankie's equally dysfunctional feral companion. Gardner pulls no punches in this socially conscious standalone. Agent: Meg Ruley, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Jan.)

    Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.

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