Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
One Step Too Far by Lisa Gardner
Narrator: Hillary Huber
Published by Brilliance Audio on January 18, 2022
Length: 11 hours, 48 minutes
Amazon, Audible, Barnes & Noble, Apple
Frankie Elkin, who readers first met in Before She Disappeared, learns of a young man who has gone missing in a national forest. Law enforcement has abandoned the search, but a crew of people led by the young man's father are still looking. Sensing a father's desperation, Frankie agrees to help--but soon sees that a missing person isn't all that's wrong here. And when more people start to vanish, Frankie realizes she's up against something very dark--and she's running out of time.
I loved Before She Disappeared and thought it would make a great series. My wish was granted and One Step Too Far is the second book in the Frankie Elkin series. Lisa Gardner has long been an author I have enjoyed and I am thrilled with this new series. Here’s what I had to say about the first book, which developed the world and introduced us to Frankie:
… The world is well-developed with the grit of ordinary and desperate lives. The characters also feel so authentic with the nuances of their personalities and relationships drawn for the main characters, the families, the police officers, the neighborhood people, the school personnel and everyone from those at the bar to the coffee place and the transit workers, and the people who attend AA meetings.
Frankie is a recovering alcoholic with no special skills beyond tenacity and the fortitude to uproot and reinvent her life each time she finds a new case to solve. She tackles the “unimportant” missing, mostly teenagers, who are poor or minorities or both. It reminds me of the Equalizer except Frankie doesn’t have the weapons, physical training or any kind of technical or financial resources. However, Frankie has some street smarts and she just doesn’t give up. Oddly, she’s a bit of a luddite with technology.
Frankie starts off to look for an 8 year old boy and gets side tracked reading about a young man who has been missing 5 years from a campout for his bachelor party. What catches her eye is his mother dying of cancer and just wanting to know what happened to her son. Frankie does not have the best skills or experience for this particular type of wilderness search but she knows a little and has the most determined perseverance. She is easy to love with her total commitment to the missing, no matter the danger.
Frankie has her guilt and nightmares from her past, and her time of bingeing alcohol. We get more of her background and flashbacks to her younger life. But she doesn’t let it take over her life. She is dedicated to the search above all else.
Frankie heads to the small Wyoming town near the wilderness and finds the search team. She inserts herself in by taking the place of one of the original friends at the bachelor party who is obviously not up to it. There are two halves to the 8 team members. There are the “professional” well trained including the father, a law enforcement guy, a search and rescue woman with her cadaver dog, and a Bigfoot searcher. Then there are the three college friends and Frankie, who are not really in shape for the trip.
The hike into the wilderness is grueling and quickly becomes terrifying as there are many mishaps with stolen food and injured members of the team. It’s a fast-paced fight for survival with the team clueing in to the dangers a bit too slowly.
Frankie spends time getting to know them all and learning about the past which played into the current search. The college friends do not want to do this but they feel obligated because Tim disappeared and is presumably dead since he was the most skilled outdoorsman of the group. The group really works hard to help each other and save their lives as things continue to go wrong.
Just when it seems things are resolved and they can find closure for the past, Frankie clues in to another twist.
Hillary Huber is one of my favorite narrators so I have chosen to listen on audio. I enjoyed her performance of the characters, both male and female, with distinct voices. Most of the story is in the point of view from the main character, Frankie, and she brings her to life for me. I listened at my usual 1.5x speed.
Listen to a clip: HERE
- 🎧 Her Deadly Game by Robert Dugoni @robertdugoni @SaskiaAudio #Thomas&Mercer #BrillianceAudio #LoveAudiobooks #KindleUnlimited🎧 - March 28, 2023
- 🎧 The Kind Worth Saving by Peter Swanson @PeterSwanson3 #KeithSzarabaijka #KathleenEarly #HelenLaser @MickyShiloah @HarperAudio #LoveAudiobooks - March 26, 2023
- Sunday Post –26 March 2023 @kimbacaffeinate @readingreality - March 26, 2023
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
I also love this series Anne, I review Lisa for Library Journal and found book two to be equal if not surpassing book 1. Some references make me wonder if she’ll ever go back and reconnect with the characters from book 1. What do you think?
Great Review I can’t post my review on my blog but here it is on the LJ site-https://www.libraryjournal.com/review/one-step-too-far-1787111
Thank you Debbie! I really love this series and think it is terrific. I suppose it boils down to loving Franky who just doesn’t give up the fight to save people.
I’m a big fan of Lisa Gardner’s mysteries. I requested this one but was declined, which is a first for me with this author. Kind of discouraging, but I’m in line for a library copy. I’d like to do the audio. Love Hilary Huber!
The audio is fantastic. I would start with the first book Before She Disappeared, and then this one. I got turned down for the eARC but went after the audio and that’s my preferred format for this series now.
I did read Before She Disappeared last year. I thought it was a great start to this series. Looking forward to this one someday. 🙂
I was blown away by Before She Disappeared and this one was no less fantastic.
Sounds so good! I’m going to have to read this one (and the previous book, too!).
It is an excellent story but I will tell you it has the “man’s inhumanity to man” aspects which always hurt me. People are not being good to each other, in fact they are selfish and violent. So be aware.
I’ve heard so many great things about Lisa Gardner, I need to check out her books one day.
I’ve read all of her series and enjoyed them. This is the first series I have tried on audio which is awesome because Hilary Huber is a favorite.
I’d heard this second book was even better than the first and now you’ve confirmed it! I’m trying to squeeze it in this month. Excellent review, Anne💜
Thanks Jonetta. I hope you love it as much as I have. It’s heartbreaking but Franky is awesome.
This sounds absolutely fantastic! I have not read a lot of this author’s work but I do hope to someday. This sounds like a great series to start with.
yes this is only the second one. It’s one of my favorite new things I’ve read. The first book made my top 10 list for 2021.