Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner

Published January 19, 2021


I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, Dutton, for granting my wish!

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

“Why do men always have the best eyelashes?”

Frankie is haunted by her past. She has secrets, scars, and talent—a talent for finding missing people when everyone else has given up. Fourteen times Frankie has found her target. And 14 times, she has brought bodies home to be laid to rest. She hopes this time will be different, that this will be when she gets a living person back to their family. Except this time might be Frankie’s last time.

This was a heartbreakingly intense book. I liked Frankie, our main character, right away. She is damaged, she has baggage, but she truly wants to help those who are at their most desperate.

I really enjoyed the Haitian incorporation, and the way Boston was described as such a melting pot of cultures. Getting a glimpse into another world I’ve never experienced was a delightful treat.

There is so much to Frankie, and I love how it is delivered throughout the book. The entire cast of characters in this book is all so well done. I enjoyed the depth and dimension each character had. A lot of time, research, dedication, and love went into bringing these bold individuals to life. The painted visuals are truly vivid, and you will feel as though you know these characters by the end of the book.

I enjoyed Boston as the backdrop for this story. Everything from the description of the streets to the full and lush blend of identities and cultures. It was so easy to picture the places as they were described. I could almost see the bright colors, smell the aromas, and feel the Haitian community surround me.

This plot is bananas. It will grab you and hold you until the end. The build is steady and robust. But as soon as the twist hits, this story moves at a rapid-fire pace and holds you captive until the very end. You will never guess what will happen next, and the twists and turns are so well done they slap you out of nowhere.

I found myself rooting for Frankie, and not just because she is an underdog. Frankie is such a strong yet vulnerable character. And her level of self-awareness is incredible. Frankie knows who and what she is. She makes no apologies for that. She gives her all and has more integrity than most. She is smart, resourceful, brave, stubborn, and witty. There is a level is street smarts and hard-earned experience riding on her shoulders. She is the anti-hero we all need right now.

If you’re looking for a beautifully written, thoroughly researched, complicated, complex, twisted thriller- look no further. This is a must-read for all thriller fans.

Find Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardener on Amazon.

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