Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner (Publication Day: January 19, 2021)

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Title: Before She Disappeared Author: Lisa Gardner Genre: Mystery & Thrillers Format: Kindle No. of Pages: 395 Date of Publication: January 19, 2021 Description:  From #1  New York Times  bestselling author Lisa Gardner, a propulsive thriller featuring an ordinary woman who will stop at nothing to find the missing people that the rest of the world has forgotten Frankie Elkin is an average middle-aged woman, a recovering alcoholic with more regrets than belongings. But she spends her life doing what no one else will--searching for missing people the world has stopped looking for. When the police have given up, when the public no longer remembers, when the media has never paid attention, Frankie starts looking. A new case brings her to Mattapan, a Boston neighborhood with a rough reputation. She is searching for Angelique Badeau, a Haitian teenager who vanished from her high school months earlier. Resistance from the Boston PD and the victim's wary family tells Frankie she's

A Desperate Place: A McKenna and Riggs Novel by Jennifer Greer


Title: A Desperate Place: A McKenna and Riggs Novel
Author: Jennifer Greer
Genre: Mystery, Suspense, & Thriller
Format: Kindle Arc
No. of Pages: 316
Date of Publication: August 11, 2020

Description: Three separate homicides. Three unrelated victims. One grisly secret.

When the body of famous actress Niki Francis is unearthed from its shallow grave, the small town of Medford, Oregon is alarmed, but not shook. After all, there should be plenty of motives and suspects--Niki had fame, wealth, looks. The kill was targeted, premeditated, and it's about her celebrity. Or so they thought.

Whit McKenna is licking her wounds, working as a reporter for the local Medford rag. Fresh from a harrowing assignment for her previous post at the L. A. Times which cost her her husband, Whit must pull herself together for the sake of her two daughters. The wound has hardly begun to scab when she's called to cover the murder, so she teams up with her best friend, medical examiner Katie Riggs. Then two more victims turn up, completely disconnected from one another, and McKenna loses all hope of a breakthrough.

Rather than clarity, the possible suspects and motives become scrambled. But time is running out, and each front page article McKenna writes brings her closer to a killer who will stop at nothing to realize a deadly vision.

My Thoughts: This is Jennifer Greer's first and only book and at first I wasn't quite sure what I was going to think about it but it turned out to be really great. I am hoping for more McKenna and Riggs.

The book takes place in Medford, Oregon, which I have actually visited once. I didn't go into the woods, which is where the first body is found though. Even though the book takes place in Medford, the story itself doesn't focus too much on it's location and is not that descriptive as far as location goes.

It is however, quite descriptive when it comes to the murder victims and suspects. It is very descriptive when it comes to the "grisly secret" of the story, which makes it so that you could actually visualize it in your head as Jennifer Greer is talking about the secret. 

Jennifer Greer did her research when it comes to her story and providing accurate information, which makes sense since she was a journalist. I actually wonder if McKenna is based off her a little bit given that McKenna is a journalist as well. I appreciated the research she did in providing accurate information to base her story on including providing descriptions of the medical terminology in a way that everyone should be able to understand. For example, McKenna suffers from PTSD after the death of her husband and it is clear that she still experiences symptoms of PTSD throughout the book (i.e. flashbacks, fear of forests/woods, etc.).

The story is fast paced and easy to follow. There are three victims and each victims story is easy to follow and not confusing. It is easy to keep track of which victim they are discussing. Jennifer Greer does a great job in her character development as well. 

Jennifer Greer adds a great twist towards the end of the book that had me gasping and saying "no, no, no". She also does a wonderful job at making it so that it is difficult to guess who the killer is. I am often times able to gather some sort of guess on who the killer is, but I was not able to do that in this book and I liked that. It kept me guessing.

Rating: 5 out of 5. I absolutely loved this book. There was not one thing that I did not like about it. As previously mentioned, it is fast paced, keeps you guessing until the end, not easy to figure out who the killer is. I am hoping that Jennifer Greer turns McKenna and Riggs into a series.

Purchase book: Amazon

About the Author: Jennifer Greer began her writing career as a journalist. She graduated from California State University, Fresno with a degree in journalism and worked as a crime reporter for the Fresno Bee. Interested in foreign affairs, she traveled to Russia in the late 80s and lived in London studying art and literature. While abroad she traveled into the war regions of Croatia and wrote an award winning article on the women and children refugees. She lives on the Oregon Coast. This is her first novel.

Thank you Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books for the ARC. This is my honest opinion.

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