#BookBeginnings Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner


Today I’m highlighting a book that kept me up at night, Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner for Book Beginnings on Fridays.

Book Beginnings is a fun meme hosted by Rose City Reader blog. To participate, share the first sentence or so of a novel you are reading and your thoughts about it. When you are finished, add your URL to the Book Beginnings page linked above. Hope to see you there!



Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Summary:  Frankie Elkin looks for missing persons. It is her obsession. The only problem is that she is an ordinary woman, without training, support, or credentials. Understandably, both the families of the missing and the police distrust her.  When she travels to a Boston neighborhood to look for a girl who disappeared after school, she has to watch for danger around every corner so she doesn’t go missing as well.

First Sentence:

The water feels like a cold caress against my face. I kick deeper down into the gloom, my long hair trailing behind me like a dark eel. I am wearing clothes…Why am I wearing clothes?


Lisa Gardner plays with the trope where a body is supposed to show up in the first scene in mysteries. Is the narrator a victim? Or is she something else? Is what is happening even real?

For me, it worked. I was pulled in, wanting to know what was going on. However, I could see how some readers might find it too disorienting or disturbing.


The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice. The premise is simple. Turn to page 56 in the book and pick a quote.


If I hold in my head where I want to go, my feet take me in the right direction. One glance at the map, however, and all bets are off. Maybe because the transit map bears no resemblance to surface street. It offers an oversimplified series of blue, green, red, and yellow spines that are far too neat for the reality of an overgrown historic district bristling with random byways.

I picked this quote because it seems to me that Gardner is revealing something deeper than just how the transit map works.

What do you think? Have you read anything by Lisa Gardner? Would this one keep you up at night?


  1. Freda Mans-Labianca

    I would definitely read this one! Happy weekend!

    • Roberta

      Lisa Gardner books are addictive!

  2. Anne@HeadFullofBooks

    I’m in. If it kept you up at night reading, I presume, that is a good enough recommendation for me. My selection this week is called Dragon Hoops

    • Roberta

      Thank you for stopping by. I am running late on the rounds today, I’m afraid.

  3. Gilion at Rose City Reader

    I like books set in Boston and this one sounds good!

  4. Lauren @ Always Me

    I know this author is very popular at my library. I might have to try her work sometime. Thanks for visiting my blog earlier and have a good weekend!

  5. Catherine @ Book Club Librarian

    You can never go wrong with this author!

  6. Mariya

    Clearly the author is good at creating certain images for the reader. Sounds like an interesting read, but I can definitely also see how some people might find this disturbing.

  7. Laurel-Rain Snow

    I have this book, and now I am reminded to start reading it soon!

  8. Yvonne

    I haven’t read a Lisa Gardener book in awhile, but I usually like her books. This sounds like a really good one.

  9. Ashley S.

    I’ve gotta try this author one of these days. Her books always sound so good. Thanks for sharing! Hope you have a great weekend! 🙂

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