Book Review – One Step Too Far by Lisa Gardner – Wonderful Sequel
My Rating – 3.5 out of 5
Plot Summary (Storyline) – One Step Too Far
After 2021’s Frankie Elkin # 1 i.e. Before She Disappeared, comes the sequel in 2022 – One Step Too Far – Frankie Elkin # 2. Frankie has a troubled past, and a present that has her always teetering at the edge of sanity. She is a recovering alcoholic, who is always one drink away from a relapse and a disjointed and disoriented life whose only tenuous anchors are her memories and regrets of what could have been. She is in the unusual business of finding lost persons, who society has given up on, and law enforcement has forgotten. Almost all her past recoveries have been dead but at least that brought the affected families some closure.
It brings her some satisfaction in being able to find these difficult to find people, though it’s a largely unpaid vocation. Frankie manages her frugal lifestyle by tending Bars, at whatever current location her vocation takes her across mainland America. Most of her so-called clients are socially marginalized and economically challenged, making her chosen vocation a largely financially non-rewarding one. She follows internet message boards to find out information about missing persons and only the ones that intrigue her does she follow up on after doing due diligence on the victims and their circumstances. Her investigations are primarily unwelcome to the families and the Police alike, though the families come around sooner to her offers of help.
In this edition of Frankie’s journey, it takes her to the back country locations of Wyoming – the Pogo Agie Wilderness Trail, where five years ago Timothy O’Day and his four friends – Josh, Scott, Neil and Miguel, went in for a week long hike as a sort of Bachelor party for Tim’s impending wedding. Only Tim never came back. In the details that emerged later, it came to light that all five of them had got sozzled out of their minds one night and went to sleep. Only to wake up and find that Scott is missing. The most experienced hiker of them all, Tim went looking for Scott and never came back.
Days later, a dazed Scott was found by the rescue parties – disoriented and with no memory of what had happened. Multiple wide searches spread over the months that followed could find no trace of Tim, and one by one, the agencies lost interest and Tim become another lost statistic. But Tim’s grieving father, Martin, would not give up, and spurred by a dying wife, kept the search going. Only it had now become an annual affair. In this scenario, in pops Frankie, offering her help in trying to find Tim – or his remains, as the case may be. Initially reluctant, Martin accedes to Frankie’s insistence, particularly as Josh falls ill just before the annual search expedition began.
As the chosen eight people embark on their search into the dense wilderness – led by local guide Nemeth, Frankie realizes that she is way out of her depth but her bullheadedness compels her to continue. As the days pass and challenging hike becomes tougher and even dangerous, Frankie realizes that all is not what it seems to be and there are secrets being held by members of the search party and not everyone’s motive is neither clear nor pure, as to why they are there in that party. using her gift of tenacity, Frankie has to speak to all the people concerned and draw out their darkest secrets if she is to solve this unusual mystery.
Conclusion – Book Review of One Step Too Far
With an unusual theme, this well-written novel grips you instantly with its intensity and in-depth characterizations. The only gripe I have is that it tends to meander at times and a more taut narrative would have made a far more pulsating read. Nevertheless, it is a bit more exciting than last year’s prequel and overall a jolly good read! Grab your copy now and get lost in the alluring wilderness of Wyoming. If you can’t find your way back, be assured that Frankie will find you!!
*I hope you have enjoyed reading this book review as much as I have enjoyed writing this! Do watch this space for more such reviews and navigate through the links below for more… Thank you!! *