Monday, February 7, 2022

The Night She Went Missing by Kristen Bird


The Night She Went Missing

About the Book

Months after she disappeared, a high school senior is found floating in the town’s harbor, alive but unconscious. Where has Emily been, and how did she get into the water? In Kristen Bird’s “gripping” (Publishers Weekly) debut The Night She Went Missing, three friends-to-frenemies mothers in a close-knit, wealthy Texas community decide to investigate after the police hit a dead end. While each woman has secrets to protect, they’ll all be forced to look at their own children – or each other’s – to uncover the truth.

With the relentless pacing and complex female characters of Big Little Lies and an expertly crafted small town setting, The Night She Went Missing introduces Kristen Bird as a new force in the world of domestic suspense. Her novel goes well beyond that, exploring complex questions about mothers and daughters, loss, and the line between taking chances and living dangerously.

About the Author

Kristen Bird lives outside of Houston, Texas with her husband and three daughters. She earned her bachelor’s degree in music and mass media before completing a master’s in literature. She teaches high school English and writes with a cup of coffee in hand. In her free time, she likes to visit parks with her three daughters, watch quirky films with her husband and attempt to keep pace with her rescue lab-mixes. THE NIGHT SHE WENT MISSING is her debut novel.

Author Links
My Thoughts

The Night She Went Missing by Kristen Bird has high school senior, Emily disappearing after attending a party with her friends.  Catherine, Emily’s mother, along with Morgan and Leslie (mothers of high school children) are frenemies but they need each other if they are going to learn what happened that fateful night.  These women must protect their children as well as their reputations.  Secrets and lies run rampant in this small Texas community.  The Night She Went Missing is the debut novel of Kristen Bird.  We get to follow the story as the three mothers set out to learn what happened to Emily. The story is told from multiple points-of-view which allows us to see what each woman including Emily is thinking and feeling. Some are more likeable than others. The first half of the book sets the stage for the incident while the second half is the search for the truth.  I thought the latter part of the story moved faster plus there is more tension.  You wonder what is the truth and what is a lie.  The Night She Went Missing is a dramatic tale governing grandmother, a musical mother, a lost teen, a superior school, rampant rumors, and protective parents.  



They find me faceup in the murky water of the harbor on the day of my funeral. Or memorial service. Whatever. It’s not like there’s much difference. Dead is dead.

Except I’m not. I. Am. Not. Dead. I would pinch myself if I could move.

“Can you hear me? Hey, what’s your name? Can you open your eyes?”

My eyes are as dense and heavy as basalt. Basalt: rich in iron and magnesium, Mr. Schwartz penned on the board during our volcanic rock unit in eighth grade. I fight to come out of the emptiness that has held me for the past…the past what? Hours? Days? Weeks?

I attempt to whisper my name even though my eyelids re­main anchored. Emily. That’s right. Emily. I can’t remember the last time I voiced those three syllables.

“Pull her up.”

Hands yank at me, jerking me from the arms of the water. Two hands wander up my body—over my feet, my legs, the arch of my hips, my arms, onto my neck, stopping at my fore­head. This touch is not like the familiar plying of the boy I love, so fiery that it almost stings. This touch is necessary, cold, perfunctory. Perfunctory, Mrs. Abbot, my sophomore English teacher had pronounced for us students as we learned the word for the first time. P-E-R-F-U—

The voice cuts in. “Tell them we have a girl, a teenager. No broken bones as far as I can tell but looks like she’s been out here for hours. Unconscious, but breathing on her own.” His voice muffles as he turns his head. “I think she might be Emily.”

Suddenly, a brilliant choir of tenors and baritones and basses burst forth. “The Emily?”

Emily. Yes, that’s me. What a comforting thing to hear one’s name spoken by those who can point the way home. I breathe in gratitude and descend into the lightness of sleep before a hand touches my cheek again.

“You awake, Emily?”

The swooshing of the waves calls to me, a reminder that the song of the deep is steady despite all the new sounds: The bustle of work boots, the hum of the boat waiting to churn to life and set out across the open sea.

“Your mama’s been looking for you, Ms. Emily. You gave us all a fright. You hear me?” The man seems to sense that I can hear his words while my body remains frozen despite the warmth of the water and the sun overhead. “You’re gonna be okay, sweetheart. Yes, ma’am, you’re gonna make it just fine. Got a daughter about your age, and I woulda been worried sick if my girl had gone missing for weeks on end. Your mama sure is gonna be happy.”

A nasally voice now. “Where you think she’s been all this time? Turned into a mermaid?” The boy chuckles.

“Hush, Beau.”

The man’s hand touches my forehead, his fingers sandpa­pery with callouses. “Now, sweetheart, if you can open your eyes for a sec, I can introduce you properly to the crew. We’re getting you help as fast as we can, but you can go ahead and open them eyes before all the medics arrive. They’d be good and relieved to see you looking around.”

I try. Oh, how I want to f licker them open, but my head aches and oblivion pulls harder. The siren call of the void is too tempting to resist.

Are you ready to read The Night She Went MissingThe Night She Went Missing publishes Tuesday, February 8 and it is available from Amazon*,, Harlequin, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, Powell's, and Murder by the Book.  You can check out more of Harlequin's amazing novels by visiting their website. Thank you for stopping by today.  I will return tomorrow to share my thoughts on Trust Me by Kelly Irvin.  I will also let you know about some new releases.  I am going to work outside for an hour.  I am working on fixing up a section of the garden.  The layer of weed cloth I laid down failed to keep the weeds at bay.  I am now putting down plastic and two layers of weed cloth.  It is doing the trick (for now).  The last thing I want to do is pull up weeds when the weather is over 90 degrees (the summer Florida sun is brutal).  I hope that you have a joyful day.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!


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