Before She Disappeared – Lisa Gardner



Frankie Elkin has dedicated her life to doing what no one else will: searching for missing people the world has forgotten.

When the police have given up, when the public no longer remembers, when the media has never paid attention, Frankie starts looking. She has found fourteen victims to date, but none yet alive. Traveling from city to city with more regrets than belongings, Frankie is drawn to a new case in Boston, and to a neighbourhood with a rough reputation.

Angelique Badeau, a local teenager and Haitian immigrant, vanished eleven months ago in the middle of the day from her high school. No scrap of surveillance footage, no cell phone tracking; Angeliique simply disappeared.

Despite resistance from the Boston PD and the victim’s wary family, Frankie starts to unpick the truth of Angelique’s disappearance and starts to discover there are those that don’t want these questions answered. But Frankie will stop at nothing to find Angelique and bring her home, even if it means the next person to go missing with be herself…

About the author

At the tender age of twenty-seven, Lisa Gardner became an overnight success with the publication of her first thriller, The Perfect Husband. Launching at the top of the New York bestseller list, Lisa has since become and international bestseller of over twenty thriller novels, including #1NYT bestselling series, The FBO Profiler series, the Detective D. D Warren series and the Tessa Leoni series. She has had four books adapted into TV movies: At the Midnight Hour, The Perfect Husband, The Survivor’s Club and Hide, and has also made personal appearances on TruTV and CNN.

Her novel, The Neighbour, won Best Hardcover Novel from the International Thriller Writers and the Grand Prix des Lectrices de Elle in France. She was also recognised with the Daphne Du Maurier Award in 2000 for The Other Daughter.  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. For further information about Lisa Gardner, visit:

Research for Before She Disappeared

For her first standalone novel in a decade, Lisa Gardner’s curiosity was piqued by a BBC article she read about the incredible civilians who dedicate their lives to solving missing people cold cases. After exploring more about this amazing group of internet detectives and amateur P.I.s. Lisa was inspired to write about a woman dedicating her life to finding missing people that the police and media too soon forget about. She was drawn back to her old stomping ground at Boston where she lived for four years in the early ‘90s and spent several weeks exploring the inner-city neighbourhood of Mattapan and its uniquely Haitian culture. As with all her novels, Lisa conducted extensive interviews with law enforcement, including a former Superintendent Chief of the Boston Police Force to discover how someone can simply disappear in modern day Bpston.

My review of Before She Disappeared

Having read Lisa Gardner novels before I know that her writing is excellent and always cleverly plotted. This is no exception.

This is a highly original storyline and the central character, Frankie Elkin, has so many facets to her nature. She is a feisty but flawed woman who trails around the country trying to find missing persons where nobody is taking any further action. She has no possessions and when she arrives in Boston, she takes a bar job with a room above the bar. She is a rundown part, Mattapan with a roommate who is a psychotic cat.

Frankie meets the Boston PD Officer, Dan Lothan, and develops an interesting relationship with him as she continues her pursuit to find Angelique whose disappearance seems to be inexplicable. Angelique’s family and friends seem unable to offer any solution and, on the surface, she was a clever, well-liked teenager.

All the characters are well-rounded and as we progress throughout the investigation, we find twists, turns and shocks as to what has happened and how difficult it is going to be to trace Angelique, even if she is still alive.

This is action-packed, fast paced with an underlying humour. I absolutely loved it. This is a character that I want to see more of.

Many thanks to NetGalley, Random House, Cornerstone and Lisa Gardner for my ARC in return for my honest review.

Excellent read. Highly recommended.

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