December 26, 2020

Before She Disappeared Review

Before She Disappeared
Lisa Gardner

Thank you NetGalley and Dutton Publishing for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Before She Disappeared comes out January 19th.

Frankie Elkin is a recovering alcoholic who specializes in finding missing people, cold cases in particular. She’s not a detective, just a regular day civilian but in the last 10 years she has helped provide closure for 14 families. Her next case takes her to a Boston suburb to search for Angelique Badeau who has been missing for 11 months. As Frankie asks questions, she begins to find answers and hopefully she can find Angelique alive and bring her home.

This book was extremely disappointing. The book just didn’t seem that believable. I can’t imagine that a detective would share so many details of an open case with a civilian. The book was also full of racial biases. I lost track of how many times she mentioned the race of all the characters in the book, how terrible and unsafe the neighborhoods were. Spoiler alert: She wasn’t in white neighborhoods. I also lost track of how many times the author clarified Frankies race and how many of the characters didn’t like her at first because of that. Spoiler alert: She’s white. Many of the black characters portrayed as criminal too. I liked the idea of a civilian helping solve cold cases but overall this whole book just left a bad taste in my mouth. Especially when in the first chapter is says, “My name is Frankie Elkin and finding missing people–particularly minorities–is what I do. When the police have given up, when the public no longer remembers, when the media has never bothered to care, I start looking” I guess it felt a little too white saviorish to me.