Monday, February 29, 2016

She's Not There by Joy Fielding

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not effect my opinion of the book or my review itself.

A work of fiction that seems to owe its premise to the Madeleine McCann case, She's Not There centers around the disappearance of Samantha, a two year old girl who goes missing while her parents eat in a nearby cafe.

While this is most assuredly a mystery, full of psychological suspense, Fielding also tackles some very weighty issues. Cutting back and forth between past and present, readers are shown how Samantha's disappearance completely decimated her family in a way they have never recovered from. Her mother, Caroline, is reminded every anniversary of how the press blamed her for leaving her children alone in their hotel room, even though it was her husband's idea. Her husband, Hunter, moves on to start a new family while grappling with deep guilt from that night. And their older daughter, Michelle, is in a state of constant rebellion, refusing to eat, and getting caught driving drunk.

As I neared the end of this book, I thought I was going to be disappointed. The ending seemed pat, and anticlimactic. But then, to give Fielding a lot of credit, she played off that perfectly. She makes readers think that they know it all, but then offers up a shocking twist that changes everything.

While I didn't love this as much as I've loved other books in this genre, this was a good, quick, gripping read. If you like psychological thrillers, I would say you should give this one a try.

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