After reading Lisa Gardner’s book Before She Disappeared, I hoped that the main character, Frankie Elkin would be back. And apparently the author had that in mind as we now have One Step Too Far, Book #2 in Gardner’s new series featuring this fascinating woman. Elkin is not a trained investigator but it is her mission to find missing people. Without seeking payment or media attention, she researches and chooses to help find the people whose cases are no longer being worked on. She strives to find the forgotten. She has no residence, preferring to travel where the cases are, with no real possessions or ties. And staying sober is a primary goal.
One Step Too Far brings Elkin to the small town of Ramsey, Wyoming. Five years before, a group of college friends headed out on a hiking and camping bachelor party adventure as Tim O’Day, prepared to be wed. After a day of hiking and a night of drinking, Tim went missing never to be seen again. Tim’s father and his friends have been conducting an annual search for him. They don't expect to find him alive but want to find his remains so the family can have some closure. When Frankie arrives, a team, which includes Tim’s father, Tim’s guilt-ridden friends, search experts and a cadaver dog, are preparing for their next search. Frankie convinces the group to let her help. So off they go to Shoshone National Forest, deep into the Popo Agie Wilderness with its mountains, woods, streams and caverns. Soon into the mission, it becomes clear that they are all in danger.
Author Gardner knows how to create real suspense. The unraveling of the mystery of Tim’s disappearance and the unexpected danger the group find themselves in was done with much skill and tension as the natural setting created a true sense of fear. I appreciated that this missing person’s case was so different from the one in the first book in the series, which was set in the Boston area. And while it isn’t necessary to have read Book #1, it’s also very good and worth reading. I’m looking forward to Book #3 and spending more time with this complex and compassionate character.
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Mystery / Thriller.
Publication Date: January 18, 2022.
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