Seeing that it was likened to "The Girl on the Train" I decided to try it despite it's price. I am generally not a fan of American thrillers or mysteries, prefer a good cheap English Murder Mystery. I did enjoy this one. It was full of twists. I had everyone in the story being the murderer at some stage. The twist at the end was got me. I loved the characters, all well profiled. I enjoyed the Autopsy bits as I love "Silent Witness" and thought the detail of them was spot on.
This book had me hooked instantly. From the very first chapter I wanted to find out what happened and get to the bottom of this mystery. Told in different perspectives, we have two main characters in the present, Megan McDonald - the girl who escaped, and Livia Cutty - the sister of the other missing girl - who didn't escape. The book also flicks back to the past in the lead up to the day that both girls were taken.
Between these perspectives, we begin to learn more and more about these characters, and the individuals around them. Livia was a very interesting character for me, because shes a training medical examiner and is very very smart and does a fantastic job using her resources and putting together all the little pieces of this mystery.
Megan is also an interesting character, because we learn who she is after the kidnapping, what she is trying to remember, and who she is trying to be in this new phase of her life.
There were many times in the book I thought we were thrown little clues as to who had taken these girls, but by the end I was totally thrown for a loop and did not see coming who the kidnapper was.
My only gripe with this story is the abrupt ending. Whilst I think it is meant to leave the reader assuming that yes it is what we think - there is no clear answers and definitely has room left open for a sequel or a series. I would love to read more about Livia and get some more answers and cases where she is involved.
Like so many of the books I read (almost all, perhaps?) this book jumps about in time.
The very likeable Livia is doing the hard yards as an intern in forensic pathology, awaiting the inevitable arrival of her sister when a potential suicide ends up on her table. Someone who a friend of Nicole's says was - in fact - Nicole's boyfriend around the time she disappeared.
Also in the present Megan's released her 'tell-all' book, predominantly to offer her parents the closure they so desperately need. It was mostly written by her therapist and Megan continues to struggle with random memories and cannot envision the bright future she once had.
In the past we meet both Megan and Nicole in the days before they were taken. Megan's the town sheriff's daughter and all-round good girl; whereas Livia discovers Nicole's behaviour had taken a turn for the worse and she wonders how well she knew her much-younger sibling.
Donlea seamlessly jumps between timeframes, offering up the context we need to understand our characters as the plot unfolds.
This book wasn't predictable, but there's a limited suspect pool so we know someone we've met is gonna turn out to be far more unpleasant than they are at first glance, but we're kept guessing for quite some time.
This was the second book by this author I have read, and he does a really solid job of it.
Nicole and Megan are high school girls who disappear one day and only Megan comes back, two weeks later. She writes a bestselling book about her ordeal but she has gaps in her memory. Can she figure out what REALLY happened to her?
Livia is Nicole's sister - she is training as a pathologist and feeling guilty because she was busy when Nicole needed her the most. A case lands on her desk which seems to have some connection to Megan....and therefore to Nicole. In her spare time, she starts to dig a little bit into Nicole's case, but does she really want to know what has been going on?
I enjoyed this book because it is multi-layered and the story is quite complex. There are many strands which come together and a revelation which was unexpected. However, it had a very abrupt ending which was annoying, and the jumps between the past and the present could have been done better which is why I gave it 4.5 stars instead of 5. This author is clearly very talented when it comes to story telling, there is just a little bit of tweaking to be done, here and there.
A recommended read from me :)
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book. Thank you to Kensington Publishing Corporation and NetGalley.