cover image Still See You Everywhere

Still See You Everywhere

Lisa Gardner. Grand Central, $30 (400p) ISBN 978-1-5387-6506-7

Bestseller Gardner’s far-fetched third outing for Frankie Elkin (after A Step Too Far) sees the amateur investigator and recovering alcoholic tracking down the sister of a notorious death row inmate. Frankie, who’s made an “unusual hobby” of reopening cold missing persons cases, can hardly believe it when she receives an inquiry from Kaylee Pierson. Dubbed the “Beautiful Butcher” by the press, Pierson admitted to killing 18 men more than a decade ago after luring them home from nights out. Now, weeks before her execution, she wants Frankie to track down her younger sister, Leilani, who vanished 12 years ago at age five. Pierson believes that her tech mogul ex-boyfriend, Sanders MacManus, kidnapped the girl, so Frankie heads to the private Hawaiian atoll where MacManus is constructing an eco-friendly resort. There, she goes undercover to befriend people close to MacManus, but the more she learns about him and Leilani, the less sure she becomes about who’s pulling the strings—or why she was sent to Hawaii in the first place. The convoluted plot takes too long to get moving, and when it does, Gardner generates more head-scratching questions than gratifying answers. Readers willing to suspend their disbelief will be treated to some pulpy action and armchair tourism, but for the most part, this misses the mark. Agent: Meg Ruley, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Mar.)