Author: Lisa Gardner
Published: January 2022 by Penguin
Category: Crime Thriller, Mystery, Contemporary Fiction
If he never left the woods, where did he go?
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 . . .
In this second outing for Frankie Elkin, she reads about Timothy O’ Day in a small local newspaper. Timothy went missing in the Wyoming wilderness several years ago while camping with four friends prior to his marriage. The National Guard and volunteers searched initially but after finding no trace they gradually gave up.
Tim’s father, Martin O’ Day, along with a group of friends and trackers are still looking, but now only searching for a body. Every year on the anniversary of his disappearance they hike into the area where Tim was last seen. This will be Martin’s last attempt as he tries to fulfil his wife’s dying wish.
Frankie is a unique protagonist, a recovering alcoholic, living out of a suitcase, unable to settle, flawed and likeable. This case takes her out of her comfort zone but finding lost people is her driving force.
For me, the question isn’t why have I dedicated my life to this? The question is why hasn’t everyone? So many of our children, who deserve to come home. Loved ones who need to know what happened to their family member. Communities forever haunted by what might have happened, paired with what could have been.
I know who I am. I know why I do what I do. It’s the rest of the world that’s confusing to me.
Despite threatening messages the search is going ahead, although the group aren’t particularly happy about Frankie tagging along. However, one of Tim’s friends has pulled out due to sickness and eventually Frankie is accepted in his place. She is unprepared for the hardships and dangers of the wilderness but grits her teeth and gets on with it.
One Step Too Far is tense and atmospheric, laced with secrets and lies. A seemingly straightforward search that becomes fraught with danger, morphing into a desperate fight for survival. The setting is perfect — the wilderness with its rugged and dangerous beauty where hikers have been reported missing in the past.
Lisa Gardner has created an interesting and diverse mix of characters. Tim’s still grieving father, the driving force behind the expedition. The college friends who obviously didn’t want to be there. Bob, friendly and cheerful, obsessed with Bigfoot. A local guide and Luciana with her cadaver dog, Daisy. The action escalates after a steady start, and with unexpected violence and surprising twists. One Step Too Far is a tense and compelling read.
New York Times #1 bestselling crime novelist Lisa Gardner 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 parlayed her interest in police procedure, criminal minds and twisted plots into a streak of bestselling suspense novels.
Lisa lives in the mountains of New Hampshire with two crazy pups and an ancient rescue dog. When not writing, Lisa loves to hike, play cribbage, and, of course, read!