One Step Too Far by Lisa Gardner

Today I am delighted to share my thoughts on the latest book by Lisa Gardner, featuring missing person tracker Frankie Elkin, One Step Too Far. My thanks to publishers Penguin who sent an advance copy of the book for review. Here’s what it’s all about:

Source: Advance Reader Copy
Release Date: 20 January 2022
Publisher: Penguin

About the Book


A young man disappears during a stag weekend in the woods. Years later, he’s still missing.

But his friends who were with him that day are still searching for him. Still hunting for answers.

They hike deep into the wilderness.

With them is missing person specialist Frankie Elkin.

What they don’t know is that they are putting their own lives in terrifying danger, and may not come back alive . . .

My Thoughts

When I first read Before She Disappeared I found myself really liking Frankie Elkin as a character. She is flawed, so very flawed, and nothing like your all action heroes of many a thriller. She’s about as far from the average archetypal Private Investigator type that you can get, well aside from a latent issue with alcohol, but then she isn’t exactly a Private Investigator. There is no big reward at the end of a case for Frankie. No guaranteed payday. In fact half of the people she finds are in no position to thank her as mostly she is only able to bring closure to a grieving family, with next to no exceptions. Drifter by design, lost person tracker by trade, she moves across the various states, drawn by the stories of missing persons, choosing cases where she believes she can make a difference. She longs to find a reason to fnd one place to stay, and yet is equally as scared of what commitment may cost. Fuelled by grief and side order of grit and bloody mindedness, she is someone I was completely drawn to and in One Step Too Far, Lisa Gardner continues her story in an impromptu missing persons search which may well just turn out to be her last …

I don’t want to say too much about the plot. The blurb tells you all you need to know. Man goes missing some five years earlier, in a . His father is determined to bring his son home, embarking on what everyone knows will surely only be a recovery mission. But Frankie has a knack of finding the untraceable and intrigued as she is by the young man’s story, finds herself venturing to the wild reaches of Wyoming to add her talents and instinct to the search. She is well out of her comfort zone on this mission, the very nature of the landscape and it’s punishing spirit a hurdle to overcome before you even consider the scale of the task at hand.

This is one heck of a thrill ride. The tension is high from the start, a never ending kind of threat that pulses along with the narrative. The sense of a key revelation being just out of sight. And the atmospheric setting provides an added kind of jeopardy, the wilderness itself providing as much risk to life as any potential foe. Wildlife, even just the claustrophobic nature of the dense woodland, the sudden drops and ridges that threaten, and torture, Frankie as she strives to keep in step with the more seasoned trekkers in the party, keep that conflict and suspense alive. But this is so much more than a walk through the woods, a retracing of what were potentially the final steps of a missing man.

This is a mystery, but also a chilling action thriller, perfectly camouflaged, the suspense embedded in each and every scene. It’s perfectly paced, with wonderfully observed characters who add colour and heart to the story. Rich in emotion and full of authenticity, the narrative flows, the adrenalin ebbing and flowing with as much force as the afternoon storms they are forced to endure. I loved every minute of this thriller and I am loving this series. Definitely a winner for me.

About the Author

Lisa Gardner started her writing career aged seventeen. Having caught her hair on fire while working in food service, crafting a novel seemed a safer bet. A mere ten years later she became an overnight success with the publication of her first thriller, The Perfect Husband.

Now an internationally bestselling author and winner of the International Thriller Writers Award for best suspense novel, Lisa lives in the mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

When not glued to her computer, she can be found hiking the mountains with her dogs and/or researching new and interesting ways to get away with murder.

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5 thoughts on “One Step Too Far by Lisa Gardner

    1. Hope you enjoy them. Frankie Elkin is definitely not your average action hero but she’s such an authentic, flawed but likeable character, and this story has all the tension I could ask for – loved it.

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