Latest Reads

One Step Too Far – Lisa Gardener

My thanks to Penguin and Rachel Kennedy for sending me an ARC of One Step Too Far. Published by Century.

Five men head into the woods for a bachelor party weekend. Only four return. Hours stretch into days, which stretch into weeks. Volunteers go home, police are assigned new cases and the missing hiker Timothy O’Day becomes one more missing person, vanished without a trace.

Until Frankie Elkin – missing persons specialist – comes to town. Fresh off her case in Boston, Frankie heads to Wyoming, determined to find Timothy and bring him home – whatever the cost. Frankie joins a seven-day woodland search team, lead by Tim’s father Martin, as they venture deep into the dark forest to uncover the truth. Broken tree limbs and traces of blood suggest a wild animal may be lurking nearby. But Frankie knows better. And with secrets swirling and tensions raised in the group, it becomes clear that Frankie’s newest case could very well be her last . . .

Our Author – Lisa Gardener

At the tender age of twenty-seven, Lisa Gardner became an overnight success with the publication of her first thriller, The Perfect Husband. Launching to the top of the New York Times bestseller list, Lisa has since become an international bestseller of over twenty thriller novels, including the #1 NYT bestselling series, the FBI Profiler series, the Detective D.D Warren series and the Tessa Leoni series. She has had four books adapted into TV movies: At the Midnight Hour, The Perfect Husband, The Survivors Club and Hide, and has also made personal appearances on TruTV and CNN.

Her novel, The Neighbour, won Best Hardcover Novel from the International Thriller Writers and the Grand Prix des Lectrices de Elle in France. She was also recognized with the Daphne du Maurier Award in 2000 for The Other Daughter. Lisa received the Silver Bullet Award from the International Thriller Writers in 2017 for her work on behalf of at-risk children and the Humane Society. 

The right person, asking the right questions can make all the difference.

My Review – One Step Too Far

As with Lisa’s first Frankie Elkin book – Before She Disappeared, this the second book is just as intense. We find Frankie, still avoiding real life, still helping search for the missing. The lost, who’s families, just like Frankie who can never settle until they get their loved ones back.

Frankie Elkin, recovering alcoholic, loner, expert missing persons recovery agent. She’s had no formal training, doesn’t earn anything from location or search. She’s just there because she’s as mystified by the lost as they’re families are.

This time, in One Step Too Far, Frankie is in Ramsey, Wyoming. She’s never been to Wyoming before, middle America. Arriving by bus she’s soon hit by the heat and height of the mountains she will soon have to trek up in search of missing Timothy O’Day.

Five years ago Tim, Josh, Scott, Miggy and Neil – College friends, headed off into the mountains on Tim’s bachelor weekend, (Tim’s choice, as he loved the outdoors and was well versed in all things camping and hiking). They pitched up and started drinking, drank too much and Josh wandered off and got lost. So Tim set out looking for his missing friend. And went missing himself.

That was 5 years ago and this is the 5th year of searching for him and this time, they are taking a trained cadaver dog, Daisy and her owner Luciana joins the search party too. In the hope of taking something home, even his bones.

Frankie hasn’t been asked to join, she’s just read about Tim and feels her experiences can help. She approaches Tim’s Dad Martin and search party leader Nemeth, local and search party leader, with years of experience of the landscape and searches under his belt. Bob is also part of the crew, he’s a Big Foot hunter who knows the area, and someone Frankie has heard of from the online forums she’s used before. Neil, Scott and Miggy – Tim’s friends also join, but not Josh as he clearly isn’t stable enough to make the journey.

It The hike is hard work, physically and mentally – the terrain is unsteady, the heat unbearable and the landscape unplottable, if your’e not used to this line of work. Frankie’s feet throb, her body aches and the pack she’s carrying is heavy and rubs. And they aren’t even at base camp yet. Add to this the threat of grizzly bears at night and minimal rations and this doesn’t make for a fun experience.

It becomes clear to Frankie that despite years of searching, the sheer expanse of the area and the fact the guys were drunk haven’t lead to the full story being told. What was a great set of friendships turned sour and secrets and lies have turned the friends against each other.

What will be the outcome of the search, does Frankie survive for another search? She’s made of strong stuff, but its touch and go after Devil’s Canyon takes it toll on the whole search party.

A plot that thickens page by page, but fast paced and intriguing with added zest and characters to boot. Another winner from Lisa Gardener.

To purchase One Step Too Far–One-of-the-most-gripping-thrillers-of-2022/26545963

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