Frankie Elkin is 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.
A new case brings her to Mattapan, a Boston neighborhood with a rough reputation, to search for a Haitian teenager who vanished from her high school months earlier. Frankie will stop at nothing to discover the truth, even if it means the next person to go missing could be her.
Frankie reminded me of a real person named Lissa Yellow-Bird Chase, who I learned about some time ago on a This American Life podcast (ep. 706: A Mess to be Reckoned With -- I highly recommend you give it a listen!!) Chase is a tough-as-nails woman who stops at nothing to find the missing. It turns out that Gardner read a BBC article about Chase and was influenced to write this novel based on people like her, amateurs who seek out the missing.
Frankie Elkin is a tough female character who doesn’t just move the needle forward for feminism, she blows up the whole damn record player. She reminds me of what Ibsen did with Nora in “A Doll’s House” back in the late 1800s: shocked us with a completely different view of how a woman can live her life. Or Frances McDormand’s character in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, who showed us that a woman can be flawed and not what the patriarchy might define as ‘nice,’ yet be a heroine because of her sheer determination to make sure that justice prevails.
This is the type of company that Frankie keeps, and she MAKES this book for me. This character is bold and rebellious and *everything*
I also love the way the densely packed and diverse urban communities within Boston come alive on the page.
This is a fast-paced and heart-pounding thriller that had me hooked from beginning to end.
You should get this if you like thrillers with strong female characters or gritty crime dramas.
It hits the shelves Jan. 19, 2021!
Thank you to PENGUIN GROUP Dutton and NetGalley for the ARC!