BOOK REVIEW: One Step Too Far by Lisa Gardner


Title: One Step Too Far
Author: Lisa Gardner
Publication: January 18, 2022
Publisher: Dutton
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Pages: 410


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SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Gardner, a thrilling new novel that sends Frankie Elkin into the woods in search of a lost man–and the shocking truth about why he went missing in the first place.

Frankie Elkin, who readers first met in Before She Disappeared, learns of a young man who has gone missing in a national forest. Law enforcement has abandoned the search, but a crew of people led by the young man’s father are still looking. Sensing a father’s desperation, Frankie agrees to help–but soon sees that a missing person isn’t all that’s wrong here. And when more people start to vanish, Frankie realizes she’s up against something very dark–and she’s running out of time.


**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

Holy cow! This book is phenomenal. I know you are probably thinking I am biased because I usually love Lisa Gardner’s books, but she has definitely done it again. If possible, she went up a notch. Or maybe it’s like a belt where you have to puncture a new hole on your own because there were no more notches left? It’s that good.

One Step Too Far follows Frankie Elkin on another trip as she looks for a missing man that disappeared in a national forest. I have to say, this is far off what Lisa Gardner typically writes about when it comes to setting. Only once before that I can remember did we end up in the wild on a hunt. Of course, this is the second time we are seeing Frankie Elkin, and her cases of missing people are bound to take her to some weird places.

With that said, I have to tell you how much I love Frankie Elkin. While she is closed off and tries to not build ties to any one place, she is very relatable to a lot of people and I feel like we got to see that side of her in this story. I also came to love a lot of the characters as well. Nemeth was that interesting, dad-type. He was in charge, but he would pay respect where respect was do. Bob was probably one of my favorites along side the human/dog duo. Who doesn’t like an adorable dog? All the characters had so many layers and Gardner did a fantastic job of letting us peel those back piece by piece. This slow build of characters and their backgrounds really added to the story. I was suspect of everyone from the beginning. Slowly I started weeding people out as I got to know them. But… I NEVER SAW THE ENDING COMING. Complete shocker.

This story is a jaw clenching, cover your face, one eye open type of suspense. So many times I was devouring the pages, but also trying to look away because I was scared of what was going to happen. Think jump scare but in book form. How does someone even do that? Well, the thriller writer Queen, Lisa Gardner, figured it out. I was on the edge of my seat. Constant suspense, even in the “quiet” moments of the story. I was constantly questioning and trying to figure out who was doing what. I could not put this book down. I’m usually good at figuring things out along the way, but I was even convinced everyone would die in the end because I had no idea how people were going to survive this. I contemplated ghostly involvement at one point. Gardner had me stumped.

So basically if you are a living, breathing human, you should read this book. It doesn’t matter if you don’t typically like suspense or thrillers. This book is SO good. I’m a big fan of Detective D.D. Warren from Gardner’s books, but Frankie Elkin has won my heart! I cannot wait for more Frankie. Here’s to hoping Lisa Gardner starts writing a few books a year to appease my thriller appetite! One Step Too Far is going on my favorites list. Possibly my favorite Gardner book of all time… so far.

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3 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: One Step Too Far by Lisa Gardner

      1. I agree with you. The reasoning behind why Nemeth and Margie killed all those people was silly. OK, so Margie kills her sister in a fit of rage then goes to Nemeth to help cover it up. Why didn’t they just bury her body deep into the woods where no one would find her, why some cave in a rock field and then spend the next 20 years killing anyone that came near it and might discover it? And then how were we supposed to believe that an avid hiker and outdoors survivalist like Tim couldn’t find his way down the mountain in daylight, I get he got off track during the night, but come daylight he would have made it down, and what did he do for food for two weeks? Not to mention that when Nemeth and Margie found him, why not just bring him back to safety, clearly he hadn’t found the other 7 bodies, why kill him and add him to the pile? The book made it seem like everything Nemeth and Margie did was to cover up the original murder, which brings me back to why didn’t they just bury her really deep underground, deep off the trail? The ending just didn’t make any sense. Oh, and the whole Martin not only surviving his multi bullet wounds but is able to follow Nemeth as Nemeth tracks the rest of the group down the steep embankment and just in time fight Nemeth is ludicrous.

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