After long years of being away from the A to Z Blogging Challenge, I’m going to write about thrillers of all stripes, mysteries, and crime novels for 26 days in April, based on the letters of the alphabet. All posts will be linked here.
After In Nemesis by Jo Nesbø, I bring you One Step Too Far, by Lisa Gardner.
One Step Too Far by Lisa Gardner: Book Description
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.
One Step Too Far by Lisa Gardner: Excerpt
The first three men came stumbling into town shortly after ten a.m., babbling of dark shapes and eerie screams and their missing buddy Scott and their other buddy Tim, who set out from their campsite before dawn to get help.
“Bear, bear, bear,” first guy moaned.
“Mountain lion!” second guy insisted.
Third guy vomited.
Maybe, maybe not, Marge Santi thought as she sidestepped the spew of liquid. Marge situated the young men in a corner booth of her diner, then got on the phone and summoned Nemeth. To be polite, Marge also contacted Sheriff Jim Kelley, likeable guy, respected by the locals, but an officer with a whole county to tend and the drive to prove it. For immediate action, Nemeth it was.
Nemeth, former Shoshone National Forest district ranger, now local guide, knew what he was doing. First, he plied the three men with coffee. To judge by the rank odor of fear and booze leaking out of their pores, they didn’t need anything else. Two cups later, he had most of the story.
Five guys set out into the woods for a bachelor party weekend. All friends since college, all with some experience camping, though the trio agreed future groom Tim was The Man. Had been backcountry hiking with his father since he was six. He was the reason they were camping. The other four wouldn’t have minded a golf weekend or quality time at a casino/ resort. But for Tim, the woods were his happy place, so into the mountains they’d gone. Fully equipped, packs, tents, sleeping bags, two‑burner propane camp stove, cans of beans and franks, and yeah, as much beer and Maker’s Mark as five fit young men could carry. Which was to say, a lot. But they weren’t total idiots. Again, Tim knew his shit and oversaw their packing himself.
They’d hiked in seven miles yesterday, looking for the perfect camping spot in one of the deep canyons, near a broad river. Once they found it, they unloaded packs, pitched tents, and popped open the first six‑pack, leaving the other four to chill in the ice‑cold water.
Dusk came fast this time of year. But all was good. They built up a fire, roasted hot dogs, and ate baked beans straight out of the can. Many fart jokes ensued.
More beer, followed by whiskey chasers. How much booze can five young healthy men drink? Plenty. But no place to be, no cars to drive, no nagging cell phones to answer given the lack of reception.
Just them and the starlit sky. They killed off the first bottle of Maker’s Mark, started in on the second. Tim sat next to the fire and scratched away on a piece of paper. Working on his wedding vows, writing a letter to his beloved? They teased, but he refused to fess up.
Hour grew late. How late, no one knew and it hardly mattered. They finally turned in for the night, two men each in two tents, Tim, the future groom, in a single shell all by himself. One of his last nights on earth sleeping alone. Should enjoy it while he could, they teased.
Then . . .
A sharp keening wail. Crashing in the trees around them.
About the author, Lisa Gardner
Why pick up One Step Too Far by Lisa Gardner
Well, it goes without saying, the first reason is because it is a Gardner book. She never disappoints me. Second, it is a missing person’s case–and those always tug at my heartstrings. There’s something about the lack of closure that pulls me in. Third, I love this protagonist, having first met her in Before She Disappeared. (If you haven’t, you have a treat ahead of you. )
The story is taut, and not once do you feel a disconnect with a relatively large cast of characters. As Frankie gets to know the men who are searching for their missing loved one, you get to know them and her, as well. And care for them.
The last reason, if you still need one, is Daisy the cadaver dog.
Gardner has done again what she does so well: written characters you can root for, driving a story that does not let up. I hope this gets made into a movie some day.
Have you read the book One Step Too Far by Lisa Gardner? If yes, what did you think of it? What crime novels have you read lately ?
Through the month of April, to celebrate the challenge and get some support for THE BLUE BAR, I’m holding this giveaway:
Entries are simple: click the RAFFLECOPTER link above, and follow the instructions. It calls for a Goodreads add, a subscription request, and a follow on Instagram.
If you enjoyed the post, click on any or all of the following to stay updated: