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April 16, 2024

Novel Lives

Book Publicity, Book Reviews, And Author Interviews

Five Reasons To Read Still See You Everywhere By Lisa Gardner (Frankie Elkin #3)

Still See You Everywhere (Frankie Elkin #3)

By Lisa Gardner Summary

Goodreads Summary (Review Below) of Still See You Everywhere (Frankie Elkin #3) By Lisa Gardner:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Gardner comes a harrowing new thriller: Frankie Elkin is an expert at finding the missing persons that the rest of the world has forgotten, but even she couldn’t have anticipated this latest request—to locate the long-lost sister of a female serial killer facing execution in three weeks’ time.

Frankie Elkin is an expert at finding the missing persons that the rest of the world has forgotten, but even she couldn’t have anticipated this latest request—to locate the long-lost sister of a female serial killer facing execution in three weeks’ time.

She has called herself “death,” but people called her the devil.

The case was sensational. Kaylee Pierson had confessed from the very beginning and waived all appeals. Despite the media’s chronicling of her tragic circumstances—the childhood spent with a violent father—no one could find sympathy for “the Beautiful Butcher,” who had led eighteen men home from bars before viciously slitting their throats. Now, with only twenty-one days left to live, Pierson has finally received a lead on the whereabouts of the sister who was kidnapped over a decade ago, and she needs Frankie’s help to find her. The Beautiful Butcher’s offer:

When was the last time your search ended with finding the living?

Unable to resist the chance for a rescue, Frankie takes on Pierson’s request. Twelve years ago, five-year-old Leilani went missing in Hawaii. The main suspect? Pierson’s tech mogul ex-boyfriend, Sanders MacManus. Now, on a remote island in the middle of the Pacific—the site of MacManus’s latest vanity project—fresh evidence has appeared. In order to learn the truth and possibly save a young woman’s life, Frankie must go undercover at the isolated base camp. Her challenge: A dozen strangers. Countless dangerous secrets. Zero means of calling for help. And then the storm rolls in…

*Please note that I was on hiatus when the first two Frankie Elkin books, Before She Disappeared and One Step Too Far, were released (I LOVED them). Due to this, some of these reasons apply to the entire series. However, there aren’t any spoilers for Still See You Everywhere.

Reason #1 – Writing

Some of this will overlap with reason two. It is impossible for it not to overlap. Lisa Gardner’s writing is tense, smart, and precise. Because of this, she creates stories that balance between plot and character-driven. It is rare to read a book that not only flutters between plot and character-driven stories. However, Lisa Gardner toes that line brilliantly.

In order to create that balance, a writer must develop not only an enticing plot but also well-developed characters, making them easy to connect with. This is not an easy task. It would be easy for one part to overshadow the other or to let either piece go by the wayside when writing this type of novel. Lisa Gardner pulls it off precisely by providing a gripping plot and layered characters.

Reason #2 – Frankie Elkin

This may seem obvious to those who read a lot of series. For me, it is hard for me to read a series consistently, so I only read a handful. This is for several reasons. One of the main ones is the main character becoming lackluster as the series progresses. In Frankie Elkin, Lisa Gardner has created a character who emotes in her inner narrative with brutal honesty. Sometimes, this honesty is directed to the outside world, but it is often a knock on herself.

Frankie Elkin is a character you will root for, and it will hurt when she seems to be beating up on herself. Regardless, it is essential to know how true to the plights of alcoholics, those who are suffering from PTSD and don’t feel a sense of belonging Lisa Gardner is honing in on. Frankie, being an alcoholic, is consistently expressed throughout the series. Lisa Gardner then adds PTSD to Frankie Elkin’s issues following the events in One Step Too Far. The quote below is a testament to both Frankie Elkin, and Lisa Gardner’s writing.

I had parents once. I loved a man once. And now… I’m just a shadow passing through other people’s lives. One time there was this crazy woman who asked a lot of questions. You don’t remember her? Me neither.

I want to be seen again. Not in pieces and not as a shadow. I want to be really, truly seen. All of me. The lonely child, the grieving lover, the struggling alcoholic. The adult who still feels like an outsider in every room. The person who now cries when it rains. The woman who still longs for the feel of a man’s fingertips sliding down her body…

And yet, I will never allow it to happen. Forget self-sabotage. I’m now roaring full speed ahead toward total death and destruction, with the pedal to the metal and both hands on the wheel.

Reason #3 Mystery/Plot

Another reason I don’t stick with the series long enough, along with the main character getting stale, is that the plots become predictable. Still, See You Everywhere breaks both of those molds. As I mentioned above, Frankie Elkin continues to become deeper, richer, and more complex as the series continues.

Moreover, the plots and mysteries remain unique, outside of it involving a missing person. In each book, Lisa Gardner has created different settings, cast of characters, and situations that make them familiar (through Frankie and the missing person angle) and yet riveting. Still See You Everywhere is no different.

Could each book be read as a stand-alone? Absolutely. However, why miss out on Before She Disappeared and One Step Too Far? They allow you to experience three perfectly laid-out plots while seeing Frankie’s character arc.

Still See You Everywhere Frankie Elkin By Lisa Gardner Summary Review

Thank You to Grand Central Publishing and Hachette Audio for the advance copy of Still See You Everywhere by Lisa Gardner, releasing on March 12th.

Reason #4 Setting

Oh My! Much like the Wyoming wilderness in One Step Too Far, the remote island off the coast of Hawaii is off the charts. Lisa Gardner doesn’t just paint a vivid portrait of this tropical island, but it becomes a character itself. Between the weather to the wildlife, nothing is left to waste. This is not a setting that is just set up and then dropped. It is consistently at the forefront of the story, even in the most suspenseful parts. Additionally, Lisa Gardner depicts how off the grid the island is and, specifically, what is needed to survive in such a location.

All of this comes together to propel the plot even further, making it even more engrossing.

Reason #5 Bonus Audio Book!

How much can I gush over Hillary Huber? Please see my Top Ten Narrators post and my interview with Hillary Huber (both linked). Hachette Audio did a splendid job casting Hillary Huber to narrate the Frankie Elkin series. She not only brings the story off the page but perfectly articulates Frankie’s character. This is essential since each book is told from Frankie’s point of view. Additionally, the brutal honesty and destructive emotional thoughts are splayed out by Hillary Huber. This allows Lisa Gardner’s three-dimensional vision of Frankie’s character to be conveyed.

I know not everyone listens to audiobooks, but I highly suggest listening to this series.

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