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Before She Disappeared

Updated: Sep 10, 2021

by Lisa Gardner

Loved The Writing, Loved the Story, Loved the Character



Frankie Elkin solves cold cases, cases the police have given up on. She is a middle-aged white woman, a recovering alcoholic and never stays in one place longer than it takes to solve a case. She works for free and travels with only a few belonging. She has resolved 14 cases, although none of the missing she has found thus far, have been alive. Will the next one be different?

Her next case takes her to Mattapan, a Boston neighborhood with a reputation for drugs and violence. After securing a job as a bartender that comes with a room, she begins her search for Angelique Badeau, a bright and talented Haitian teenager who has dreams of becoming a doctor. Angel vanished from her high school, eleven months earlier.

The Boston PD tells Frankie to get lost and Angelique’s aunt has already given up hope. But Frankie does not scare easily, she has already seen more grief and tragedy than most. She starts asking questions and with the help of Emmanuel, Frankie’s astute younger brother, quickly uncovers some leads. Someone, however, does not want Frankie doing what she does. But even bullets won’t stop Frankie from discovering the truth, and finding the missing.


Love the writing, loved the story and especially loved the courageous Frankie. In spite of the troubles in her past she perseveres. She is a persistent, smart and gutsy woman. My favorite part of Before She Disappeared was the wit, charm and authenticity of her character. Her struggles with the bottle made her come alive on the page. I also adored Frankie’s delightful repartee with Piper, the homicidal cat. Piper made me laugh!

Before She Disappeared is an entertaining, fast-paced and captivating missing person mystery. It is told uniquely from the perspective of a woman who had dedicated her life to finding the missing and gaining closure to families. Can’t wait to read more about this delightful and strong woman character in the future. Simply put, this was undoubtably one of Lisa Gardner’s best books.

Lisa Gardner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twenty suspense novels, including The Neighbor, which won Thriller of the Year from the International Thriller Writers. She is an avid hiker, traveler and cribbage player, she lives in the mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

I listened to the Audible book and loved the performance and tone set by Hillary Huber. She made the story enjoyable thru her inflection and story-telling capability.

Publisher Penguin Random House

Published January 19, 2021

Narrated Hillary Huber

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