Greetings! The Brighton Guest House Girls by Lesley Eames comes out tomorrow. The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt by Andrea Bobotis, Peach Clobbered by Anna Gerard, and Killer in the Carriage House by Sheila Connolly release on July 9. Will you be doing some reading over the Fourth of July holiday?
Then She Vanishes by Claire Douglas takes readers to Bristol in March of 2012. Jessica Fox is a reporter with Bristol & Somerset Herald, and she is working on a hot story. A woman is accused of murdering a man and woman in the early hours before returning home to Tilby where she takes the shotgun to herself. The woman was found alive but unconscious. Jessica is shocked when she hears the woman accused of killing two people is her old friend, Heather. Jessica and Heather were friends as young teens until the night Heather’s sister, Flora vanished without a trace. Jessica is sent to Tilby by her boss to dig for information, but she has her own agenda. She cannot believe Heather would commit such a heinous crime. Jessica with help from her co-worker, Jack begins searching for answers.
Then She Vanishes is the first novel I have read by Claire Douglas. It is a dark story that touches on the topics of drug dealers, abusive partners, people hooked on illegal substances, predatory older men, and a stalker. The subjects are dealt with lightly (no depth). Then She Vanishes is a slow starter and the pace does not improve. I would have liked a peppier speed. The mystery is straightforward with a red herring or two. Then She Vanishes is more mystery than suspense. With a suspense novel, I want to feel anticipation (be on the edge of my seat). The point-of-view alternates to give readers different perspectives plus it goes back in time (and then back to the present) to tell readers what happened when Flora disappeared. It was too much back-and-forth for me. The story failed to engage me, and I found the ending predictable. I knew how the story would end from early in the book. All the loose ends are tied up neatly at the end (a little too neatly). Then She Vanishes needed more depth, a faster pace and some unexpected surprises. While Then She Vanishes was not the right fit for me, I suggest you obtain a sample to see if it suits you. Then She Vanishes takes readers down a rabbit hole as a reporter searches for the truth after two murders.
Thank you for reading my review today. I hope everyone has a joyful Fourth of July holiday. The Brighton Guest House Girls by Lesley Eames will be featured on July 5. Take care, stay safe and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader