Author : Lisa Gardner
Title : One Step Too Far
Series : Frankie Elkin #2
Pages : 400
Publisher : Century / Penguin UK
| ABOUT THE BOOK |
A young man disappears during a stag weekend in the woods. Years later, he’s still missing.
But his friends who were with him that day are still searching for him. Still hunting for answers.
They hike deep into the wilderness.
With them is missing person specialist Frankie Elkin.
What they don’t know is that they are putting their own lives in terrifying danger, and may not come back alive.
| MY THOUGHTS |
Holy guacamole! How good is this book? Let me tell you! PRETTY DARN GOOD!
Five years ago, a groom-to-be and his four best friends decide to spend a bachelor weekend camping in the woods. What was supposed to be a fun-filled booze fest turns out to be no fun at all when the groom goes missing, never to be seen again. But Tim, for that is the groom’s name, has not been forgotten and when his father sets off on yet another mission to look for his son, Frankie Elkin is a member of the eight member search party. Or nine, if you include Daisy. More on that later.
‘One Step Too Far‘ is the second book in the Frankie Elkin series. The first book was brilliant. This one is on another level of awesomeness altogether! At first glance it looks like a mystery but I felt there was so much more to it and I loved every minute of it.
First of all, the surroundings. Here we all are (yes, I’m including myself in the search party, what of it?) in the middle of the wilderness with Mother Nature at its most glorious. Mountains to one side, cliffs and ravines to the other side, trees, and trees and more trees. Out in the open, fresh air, one with nature … and yet, somehow Lisa Gardner manages to make the entire outdoors feel like the most claustrophobic place I’ve ever encountered.
Secondly, this eight member search party. And Daisy. The group consists of volunteers, Tim’s father, and his friends. All united, of sorts, focused on the one goal of bringing Tim home. Yet quite a few of them feel remarkably alone. There is a plethora of thoughts and feelings going on in these characters’ heads. From dealing with grief and loss to that ever annoying companion called guilt, with a nice dose of obsession and desperation. Being out there in the wild means you should be able to count on the people you’re with but how do you do that when you know you wouldn’t have been here at all if you’d been able to keep everyone safe the first time around?
Thirdly, Frankie Elkin. She’s one of the most amazing characters ever and I absolutely adore her. Middle aged, a recovering alcoholic, immensely flawed and damaged, always looking for that elusive something … there’s just something about her that for some reason makes her instantly likeable. I can never decide if I want to sit down and hear her life’s story or just give her one massive hug. I do know that I want to spend a lot more time with her, that I root for her every step of the way and that I hope maybe some day (in the very distant future or it might spell the end of this series) she will get her very own happy ending.
As formidable (and stubborn, good heavens) as Frankie is, in this book the show was almost stolen by the guest appearance of Daisy. I know, you’re all dying to know who she is, aren’t you? Daisy is a Search and Rescue dog and if you’re a dog lover like me, you will fall in love with her from the very first second she pops up on the page. She’s a fully drawn character all of her own and you will feel happy when she’s happy and sad when she’s sad and feel immensely jealous of those who get to hug her 😄.
Lastly but by no means any less important, the mystery of what happened to Tim. I had a tough time figuring things out. Is he alive or dead? Did he really go missing or did his friends kill him? I had so many questions and theories that at some point I thought my head would explode. But somehow, solving that mystery became secondary as a sense of utter foreboding took over. Eight people, and Daisy, will enter the woods but you can just feel it in your littlest toe that not all will make it back out because danger is lurking around every … erm … tree.
In case it wasn’t yet obvious, I am just a tad excited about this book. Once you pick it up, you’ll not be able to put it back down. I wasn’t and just this once I was grateful to be an insomniac. It’s an incredibly tense and super thrilling ride that had me glued to the pages and left me feeling like I’d run a marathon. Heart pumping, clammy hands, exhausted, yet ready for more! Other crime fiction writers had better be stepping up their game because Lisa Gardner is on FIRE!