Genre: Thriller, Adult
Rating: 4 STARS
Release Date: May 16, 2017
Confronted by a restraining order and the threat of a lawsuit, failed journalist Leah Stevens needs to get out of Boston when she runs into an old friend, Emmy Grey, who has just left a troubled relationship. Emmy proposes they move to rural Pennsylvania, where Leah can get a teaching position and both women can start again. But their new start is threatened when a woman with an eerie resemblance to Leah is assaulted by the lake, and Emmy disappears days later.
Determined to find Emmy, Leah cooperates with Kyle Donovan, a handsome young police officer on the case. As they investigate her friend’s life for clues, Leah begins to wonder: did she ever really know Emmy at all? With no friends, family, or a digital footprint, the police begin to suspect that there is no Emmy Grey. Soon Leah’s credibility is at stake, and she is forced to revisit her past: the article that ruined her career. To save herself, Leah must uncover the truth about Emmy Grey—and along the way, confront her old demons, find out who she can really trust, and clear her own name.
Everyone in this rural Pennsylvanian town has something to hide—including Leah herself. How do you uncover the truth when you are busy hiding your own?
So, it might not come as a surprise to you that I’m a fan of Megan Miranda. I actually read All the Missing Girls just last month, and really enjoyed it, despite hearing a lot of negative things about the book, mainly about the backwards format. So imagine my surprise when I went through Netgalley’s Mystery and Thriller category and stumbled upon a new release of hers.
Of course, Megan Miranda nailed it. The pacing of this book very much reminded me of her recent best-selling novel: slow, but it still managed to quickly hook me and keep me extremely addicted. I know there are some readers out there who just can’t stand slower-paced thrillers, which I totally get, but for some reason, she just completely and totally pulls me in and fails to let me go. This one takes place in a small, sleepy town, which also reminded me of All the Missing Girls and a little bit like Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects, and I absolutely love thrillers/horrors that take place in creepy towns that hold interesting characters and a hell of a lot of secrets. The setting definitely helps the book and aids it in making everything creepy and suspenseful.
The premise also definitely delivered. The great thing about Miranda’s books is that reading the descriptions keeps me intrigued, but never reveals too much about the plot and what’s going to happen, so I usually go in completely blind. This might be my second book by her, but, again, I’m impressed. There are actually several little mysteries in this novel: the one dealing with Leah’s past, one she’d rather forget; the one dealing with a teacher at school; and the strange mystery surrounding Emmy. It might seem like everything is disjointed at first and doesn’t make sense, but as the reader plods along, everything comes together to make a clever, cohesive story that proved to be unpredictable.
I also really liked the characters. Personally, I’m not a huge character person. There are some people who can’t enjoy the book if they can’t enjoy the characters, but, for me, I see characters less as real people and more as devices that push the plot, even though that sounds a bit un-bookworm-like. We have Leah, who’s a quiet sort of thing that might frustrate some readers, but who I was captivated by, Kyle, a sweet cop just trying to solve the mystery without causing trouble, and Emmy, who’s basically just one big question mark. There’s definitely some other characters we meet, some who readers might originally think nothing about, but end up playing a larger part of the story and showing their true colors. Yeah, the cast of characters might not be the most likeable, but they’re certainly interesting.
The ending was definitely great. Reading the last few chapters kept me on the very edge of my toes, and I just couldn’t stop reading. I’m definitely not going to spoil things here, but I absolutely adored the final chapter. I’m a huge fan of those types of endings that aren’t too crazy, and just realistic enough that I could believe it happened in real life. That’s all I’ll say about that. And I’m also glad that everything wrapped up nicely, since some thrillers seem to be big on leaving some empty strands hanging here and there, which can definitely drive me crazy.
Have you read any of Megan Miranda’s books? Does this book interest you?
I received this book for free from Netgalley. Huge thanks to Megan Miranda and Simon and Schuster for giving me the opportunity to read this!