“Before She Disappeared” by Lisa Gardner – Book Review

Frankie Elkin is, in her own words, a scrawny, middle-aged white woman. She is a drifter, an excellent bartender, and an alcoholic. For the past decade, Frankie has devoted her life to finding missing persons. Usually people who are minorities, whose cases have gone cold. She has found 14 of those people.

Now Frankie finds herself in Mattapan, an ethnic neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts. The area is the home to many residents of Haitian descent, and many new Haitian refugees who came to the U.S. after the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010. This time, Frankie is searching for a Haitian teenager named Angelique Badeau. Eleven months ago the teenager went missing.  Not your average missing teen, Angelique is fifteen years old, a top student, a loyal sister and friend, who was studying hard to get into medical school.

Frankie gets herself a job in Stoney’s Bar and rents a room above the bar which she shares with the sitting tenant, a feral and hostile cat named Piper.

Noticeably the only white face in the area, and certainly in the bar, Frankie works hard to become accepted in order that she can spend her free hours searching for Angelique.

Frankie is courageous, lonely,wise-cracking, driven by her demons, and most of all…. broken.Frankie Elkin is a one in a million character. So unique, so broken, and so very memorable. I loved her and was sad when I turned the last page on her story.

That being said, she could, potentially return in further books (she said with her fingers and toes crossed). However, I want Frankie to stop drifting and stay in Boston, working at Stoney’s bar, going to AA meetings with Charlie, chewing the fat with Viv, and teaming up with Boston Police Detective Lotham.

I adored the writing in this book. The dreadful and disturbing circumstances which were lightened with levity and sarcasm. This is my very first Lisa Gardner book, and now I want to read her previous work.

The book brings home the truism that people all over are really the same. Regardless of their social standing, ethnicity, religion, or other persuasion, people all want enough food to eat, a safe place to live, someone to care for, someone who cares for them.

This novel also spoke to the plight of illegal immigrants in this modern world. It told of inner city teens striving to better themselves and their situations in any way they can.

I adored this book much more than I expected to. It is all Frankie Elkin’s fault.

Highly recommended!This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Cornerstone/Random House UK via NetGalley.Publication date: January 21, 2021
Publisher: Century/Cornerstone/Random House UK

Publisher in North America:Dutton
ISBN: 9781529124415    ASIN: B08CTDKYKD    400 pages

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Lisa Gardner, a #1 New York Times bestselling thriller novelist, began her career in food service, but after catching her hair on fire numerous times, she took the hint and focused on writing instead. A self-described research junkie, she has transformed her interest in police procedure and criminal minds into a streak of internationally acclaimed novels, published across 30 countries. She’s also had four books become TV movies (At the Midnight Hour; The Perfect Husband; The Survivors Club; Hide) and has made personal appearances on TruTV and CNN.

Lisa’s books have received awards from across the globe. Her novel, The Neighbor, won Best Hardcover Novel from the International Thriller Writers, while also receiving the Grand Prix des Lectrices de Elle in France. She was also recognized with the Daphne du Maurier Award in 2000 for The Other Daughter. Finally, Lisa received the Silver Bullet Award from the International Thriller Writers in 2017 for her work on behalf of at-risk children and the Humane Society.

Lisa lives in New Hampshire where she spends her time with an assortment of canine companions. When not writing, she loves to hike, garden, snowshoe and play cribbage.

Follow Lisa Gardner on Twitter @LisaGardnerBks ; or visit her website: https://www.lisagardner.com/


About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
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19 Responses to “Before She Disappeared” by Lisa Gardner – Book Review

  1. Pingback: “One Step Too Far” by Lisa Gardner – Book Review | Fictionophile

  2. Pingback: “One Step Too Far” by Lisa Gardner – Book Review @CenturyBooksUK #OneStepTooFar @LisaGardnerBks #NetGalley #FrankieElkin #BookReview | Fictionophile

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  10. Carla says:

    I love Lisa Gardner’s protagonists. They are all flawed, but strong women. I put my name on the list at the library for this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Fictionophile’s January 2021 reading wrap-up | Fictionophile

  12. I’m with you, Frankie is one of a kind, I won’t forget her! Fab review! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Marilyn Charpentier says:

    I love her books

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Tessa says:

    I agree 100%. Frankie left me all misty-eyed. What a wonderful memorable character ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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