It has been a while since we’ve had a new standalone book from Lisa Gardner (her Detective D.D. Warren Series is a favorite) and Before She Disappeared does not disappoint. Set in Mattapan, an area in Boston with a large Haitian population, we meet Frankie Elkin. Frankie is a recovering alcoholic who is running from her past. She has failed in relationships and having stability in her life. But what she has succeeded in is finding missing people. Seeking no money or media recognition, she chooses to help find young women no one is looking for anymore. So far, she’s found 14 people but none of them were found alive. She is determined to find Angelique Badeau and find her alive.
Angelique is 15 years old and it's been almost a year since she disappeared one day after school without a trace. She had been living with her brother with her aunt. Her mother remained in Haiti. An excellent student with plans to go to college, the Boston Police have no clues on what has happened to Angelique. Much to the initial annoyance of Detective Dan Lothan, who had been working the case, Frankie approaches things in a fresh manner and starts getting valuable, new information from family and friends. Lothan quickly realizes she has her impressive skills and they form an unusual partnership.
Before She Disappeared is a well-written, multi-layered mystery which will keep you engaged throughout. The characters are fresh and appealing. The dialogue is sharp. Frankie is a flawed heroine worth caring about and rooting for. I’m hoping we’ll see her again.
Many thanks to Edelweiss, Dutton / Penguin Random House and Ms. Gardner for the opportunity to read this excellent book in advance of its release date.
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Mystery / Thriller / Crime Fiction.
Publication Date: January 19, 2021.
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