“Fans of this incredible author, police procedurals, timely immigrant stories, strong determined women, and tales that are not tied up with a pretty bow at the end will not be able to get enough of this intense page-turner.”
Library Journal

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“[An] outstanding crime novel … Gardner pulls no punches in this socially conscious standalone.” Publishers Weekly

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Think Jack Reacher with a specific mission and a driving purpose. With a new crime and a diverse cast of all-new characters fighting for justice in Boston, Before She Disappeared (Dutton) is Lisa Gardner’s first standalone suspense novel in more than 20 years.

Socially conscious and deeply researched (Gardner has even visited Body Farms for the sake of book research!), this thriller will keep devoted thriller and suspense readers on their toes. Plus, Gardner knows how to write honest, believable female leads.

Frankie Elkin isn’t glamorous. She’s not a licensed investigator and she’s largely at odds with the world around her. She’s a nine-years-sober alcoholic with a singular purpose: finding people the world has forgotten. Frankie exudes Michelle McNamara vibes, and she’s actually based on a real person: Lissa Yellowbird-Chase, an everyday hero who searches for the missing in her own community.

Disappearing a person in this day and age is nearly impossible … and when it happens, lives are at stake. With seemingly limitless technology tracking our every move and teens that are more than savvy when it comes to keeping parents (and anyone else) off their digital trail, if someone does manage to disappear, the likelihood of finding them is low. Enter Frankie, who relies on conversation instead of technology and gut instinct over anything else.

Boston has long been a stomping ground for Gardner, but this book is set in Mattapan, new territory within Boston and a neighborhood worth paying attention to. Usually written off as high-crime and low-income, Mattapan could easily be looked over. But the community is more than its reputation. It’s a vibrant, diverse place — home to one of the largest Haitian populations in the U.S. And it’s where Frankie’s latest case, the disappearance of a teenage student, Angelique Badeau, leads her — and where she’ll stay until Angel is found … dead or alive. 


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Lisa Gardner, a #1 New York Times bestselling thriller novelist, began her career in food service, but after catching her hair on fire numerous times, she took the hint and focused on writing instead. A self-described research junkie, she has transformed her interest in police procedure and criminal minds into a streak of internationally acclaimed novels, published across 30 countries. She’s also had four books become TV movies and has made personal appearances on TruTV and CNN.