Before She Disappeared

By: Lisa Gardner

“People all over really are the same. They want to fall in love. They’re glad to survive each day. They pray their children will have a better life than they did.”

Frankie Elkin is an average middle age white woman. She doesn’t have any close relationships, she is a recovering alcoholic and doesn’t have many skills. There is one thing she is really good at – finding missing people.

Frankie finds herself in Mattapan, a neighborhood of Boston where Angelique has been missing for 11 months, after vanishing one day after school was dismissed. Frankie works at a bar for a room by night, and investigates Angelique’s disappearance by day. However, Frankie is very much a noticed outsider in Mattapan and someone doesn’t like her poking around. Frankie won’t stop asking questions, she won’t stop looking for Angelique, even if it means her safety is in jeopardy.

I thought I was going to LOVE this book. I really liked the premise and was looking forward to reading it. When I first read that Frankie was just a run of the mill person instead of a dectective or private investigator, I was really excited. However, it quickly went downhill for me.

The book was so long and drawn out. The writing is very dense which made if difficult to read. It was taking me longer than normal to even get through one page. I think that the book would have been better with less description and less of “I went downstairs, I went out the door etc..” type writing. I also didn’t enjoy the author using phrases like “mad skills” – it just felt too forced to try to be “hip.”

I did like, however, that I couldn’t figure out what happened with Angelique and why until the author wanted me to figure it out. I very much felt like I was along for the ride right along side Frankie.

Overall, it was a 3 star book for me.

If you’re interested inreading it, you can find it here.