Tag Archives: lisa gardner

One Step Too Far by Lisa Gardner – a review BLOG TOUR

I always look forward to the new Lisa Gardner book being released, so it’s even more exciting when I get to read an advance copy.

One Step Too Far is the second in her new series starring missing person hunter Frankie Elkin. Years ago, a young man went missing whilst on a camping trip for his stag do. His father and friends have never stopped looking for him and each year they go out on a camping trip to search the area where he disappeared. This time Frankie has decided to join them after hearing about the search via an online forum, so she heads off into the Wilderness with the group. However, what starts off as a simple hike and search soon become a race for their lives.

One Step Too Far is not your standard mystery novel. Jack Reacher meets Famous Five springs to mind. This is a fun, if a little far-fetched, story that I read over a few days during the Christmas break.

As with all of Lisa Gardner’s novels they include a great range of characters. I like the main protagonist Frankie, she’s a smart loner who isn’t bothered by the trappings of a settled life. She goes from case to case picking and choosing the cases that she takes and always moving forward despite the majority of her cases not having a happy ending. The other searchers included a big foot hunter, and my favourite one Daisy the cadaver dog. All of them have their secrets to hide and their own reasons for returning to search for their friend. As things go rapidly downhill these secrets start to come tumbling out.

The mystery part of the story is interesting, and it wasn’t one where I guessed the ending. I do think you have to slightly suspend belief in parts but as I often say this is fiction and fiction is allowed to push the boundaries of reality. I really like the style of writing in this book. It was an easy read with descriptions that made the story leap off the page as you follow the misfit group up into the mountains and eventually down again.

I very much hope we get to hear more about Frankie Elkin again soon. Find out what others thought on the blog tour below:

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Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner – a review BLOG TOUR

I am a huge fan of Lisa Gardner so I was delighted to be invited onto the blog tour for her latest book, Before She Disappeared.

In Before She Disappeared we are introduced to Frankie. She dedicates her life to searching for missing people when everyone else has given up. Her latest case brings her to Boston where a young Haitian immigrant Angelique vanished a year ago. Frankie takes a job behind a local bar that comes with accommodation (as well as a rather feral room mate). She starts to look into the case despite a luke warm reception from the missing girls family and hostility from the Boston PD, and soon realises there is more to this case than just a runaway teenager.

Before She Disappeared was a great read that I raced through. The story was interesting with lots of red herrings scattered throughout and I enjoyed the way it seemed to change pace, one minute it is quite slow and the investigation has almost stalled, the next we are in the middle of a gun chase. Whilst the background of the story is quite bleak, as with all of Lisa Gardner’s writings there are elements of humour throughout, and it’s a testament to the skill of the author that the two can sit side by side.

It is a standalone book that was very character focused. I really liked the main character of Frankie, of course she is flawed. An ex-alcoholic with a past that haunts her, she acts with little regard to her own life, yet there was something about her that I really warmed to. Her interaction with other characters shows different sides to her from the tough investigator, to the caring friend.

I very much enjoyed this book and although this is currently a standalone I do hope we haven’t seen the last of Frankie Elkin.

To find out what others thought of Before She Disappeared don’t forget to visit the other stops on the blog tour.

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Gone by Lisa Gardner – a review

I’m a big fan of Lisa Gardner’s books and on the whole this one did not disappoint. In this story we see the return of ex-profiler Pierce Quincy and his wife Raine Connor. She is also an ex-officer and now helps out befriending young people in care.  The husband and wife team have previously been working as consultants to the FBI, and are still trying to get over a particularly shocking murder case. This has lead Raine back into alcoholicism, of which she is in denial. Quincy has left her in the hope it will shock her into sobriety. Unfortunately Raine goes missing, and as you can expect it’s down to Quincy and his daughter to track her down. Along the way they encounter kidnappings, arson, murder, hash farms and bombings.

The story itself has the usual twists and turns we expect from Lisa Gardner and is not just a straight murder ‘who dunnit’. I didn’t guess the perpetrator and was surprised at the reveal. However once I knew who it was, it actually became quite obvious and I was surprised it hadn’t occurred to me earlier.

As with all of Lisa Gardner’s books they are jam packed with feisty female characters which I always enjoy. The women are always just as likely to run into a burning building as the men in these books, and the cast of characters in this one is no exception. I did find it slightly odd reading though, as the new female negotiator that was brought in had my name, right down to the i not y which is probably the first time I’ve ever seen it in print!

Although I did enjoy this book, and felt that there were some clever red herrings within, I don’t feel this was one of her best books. The story for some reason just felt a little flat. I like the way it moved around between the varying characters viewpoints, giving an insight into the emotions of all of them. However for some reason I felt that the middle of the story seemed to drag a bit. Its difficult to explain fully without giving away the plot, but at times you just wanted to shout at characters with frustration. There also seemed to be a few inconsistencies which bugged me. Not least of which was Kimberly running 6 miles in 30 minutes, that would be rather impressive.

Overall, I would say its very hard to find fault with anything Lisa Gardner does, and despite my small reservations I would definitely recommend this book. I think that, like anything else, authors often get better with practice. Lisa Gardner has written another 8 books since this one, and looking back I’ve read most of them. I haven’t however read her earlier ones so maybe I am just used to her current writing style. I shall have to go back to her roots and start at the beginning of the series at some point, just to see how it evolves. Something to look forward to!

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Catch me by Lisa Gardner – a review

Last week I read ‘Catch me’ by Lisa Gardner. I’ve had this book on my too read pile for months and as she unfortunately was not appearing at the festival this year I’ve held off on reading it. As they say though good things come to those who wait, and this book didn’t disappoint.

This is the latest in the D.D. Warren series, she’s now a mother and living with her partner Alex who teaches crime scene analysis which makes for some interesting dinner time conversations. D.D is approached by Charlie who believes that she has four days left to live as both her best friends from school were murdered on the 21st (4 days hence) therefore she must be next. After surviving an abusive childhood she isn’t going to go down without a fight and has spent a year learning to box, shoot and run in an attempt to foil her killer.

Despite police investigations hitting a dead end, D. D wants to look into the cases further and Detective O offers to help. Alongside this potential murder case someone seems to be committing their own personal clean up campaign and hunting down paedophiles, a campaign which Charlie becomes the main suspect in.

As I’ve mentioned before all three of the main female characters were exactly what I want in a novel. They were feisty, clever, strong and independant. Even D.D’s motherhood didn’t slow her down, and unlike many other books that introduce babys into the mix we didn’t have to read loads of monologues about how guilty she felt about leaving the baby blah blah blah. She loves her job, and she loves her baby and will cope with both – very refreshing if you ask me!

I have read alot of Lisa Gardner books (and was lucky enough to see her interviewed at last years festival) and I think they are all excellent. Half way through the book I started to think that I knew who had done it, and that it was going to be a bit of a disappointing and easy result. However as with all good mysteries there were more twists and turns than an average person such as myself can possibly hope to keep up with. Although I thought at the beginning I knew who it was, even though I’d been correct by that point I’d convinced myself that it was someone else!

The story is fast paced and is a great read that keeps you guessing and reguessing. For those who have read previous Lisa Gardner books some old characters make an appearance such as retired profiler Quincy, however it works just as well as a stand alone novel for people who haven’t not yet encountered Detective D.D Warren.

All in all a fantastic read, and I’d definitely recommend Lisa Gardner to anyone!

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