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Mystery Book Review: One Step Too Far


One Step Too Far is a newly published (in 2022) suspense novel written by Lisa Gardner, an American novelist and the author of more than 20 suspense novels. The only other book I read for this author was “Right Behind you”.

I like reading a whodunit story or suspense novel, mostly because I like guessing who committed the crime or murder. I usually guess right. Halfway through this novel, I worked out who the perpetrator was (yes, it usually takes me that long to figure it out). Exposing the perpetrator came with a twist but I missed the cues about the twist. The cues were given right at the beginning of the story.

A regular Whodunit story depicts a crime of some sort. As a result of the crime, a shrewd investigator is called in to solve the case. What is different in this novel is that the investigator, our protagonist, was not invited or welcomed to join the search and solve the case. She was an amateur detective who butted in to solve this five-year-old mystery. She had made it her mission in life to solve cold cases that had been put aside by the officials for lack of time or resources.

The author, Lisa Gardner, does not usually go into gory details of murders. That is what makes it easy for me to read her novels. I cannot stomach crime scenes with grisly details.


The detective in this story is an old woman in her late sixties and a loner who is battling her own demons. You would think a suspense story where the protagonist is an old woman would be boring. In fact, the plot thickens as it progresses.

What I Liked

This book was an easy read, entertaining, and at times so hilarious that I found myself laughing out loud. The amateur detective’s self-deprecating remarks were at times just amusing, and she does not shy away from cursing or using the ‘F’ word.

A group of people found themselves in dangerous situations. Their relationships went beyond alliance to cheat death. True relationships were formed, and moral support was provided when needed.

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The characters felt real with their regrets, betrayals, loneliness, anger, and grief. Lasting friendships were formed, and regrets dealt with.

Well-placed cliffhangers with a strong element of suspense at the end of some chapters kept me on edge wanting to know more.

The adventures took place outdoors, and the author showed good knowledge of outdoor activities, conditions, and dangers.

The ending of the story gave closure and a good feel.

A Tiny Disappointment

The only thing in this story that I found disappointing was a lack of closure on a rumor whispered at the start of the novel. The author gave no clear explanation as to what happened to the first expedition that was composed of eight people when only one person returned alive.


Thumbs up! I recommend this novel to those who love mystery and suspense novels.

I look forward to reading more of Lisa Gardner’s novels.

© 2022 Liliane Najm

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