Watch Me Disappear by Janelle Brown
Published by Spiegel & Grau on July 11th 2017
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Billie Flanagan decided to go hiking alone and it has been almost a year since she has disappeared. Her body was never found. The only thing which remained was her hiking book. There appears to have been no foul play – she just disappeared leaving her husband and daughter to mourn her loss.
Almost a year after his wife’s disappearance, Jonathon is struggling financially and has decided to write about his wife’s disappearance and life without her. He is in the process of having his wife declared legally dead. He begins to drink a little more than he should and also begins to worry about his daughter Olive. Olive has been “seeing” her Mother. Olive begins to believe that her Mother is not dead but just “missing”. Does Olive have psychic abilities? Is her grief causing her to see things that are not real. Is it wishful thinking that her Mother is still alive?
How much do your really know your spouse? After her disappearance Jonathon begins to find things and learn things about his wife. Things she had kept from him, things he never knew, things he did not want to know. As Olive and Jonathon go on a journey to learn the truth about Billie’s disappearance, they learn about themselves, others and of course about Billie herself.
I went into this book with high hopes. The description sounded very promising. I started this book a couple of times and would put it down to read other books. It just didn’t grab me as I had hoped it would. That is not to say that this is a bad book. I liked it – I just didn’t love it. I wasn’t too shocked by the ending. It did not shock me. I actually expected it.
The writing is solid in this book. The author did a good job describing this dysfunctional family. Jonathon busy at work doesn’t notice the money coming out of the bank account, in fact, he really doesn’t pay much attention at all. Their daughter attends a pricey private school that Jonathon struggles to afford after Billie’s disappearance. Their “perfect” family isn’t so perfect after all.
I really wanted to like this book more. As I already stated….I liked it – I didn’t love it.
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and Spiegel & Grau in exchange for an honest review.
At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen
Published by Spiegel & Grau on March 31st 2015
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This book started slow for me but then it suddenly started picking up and got interesting fast.
Disgraced socialites travel to Scotland in search of the Loch Ness Monster in this historical piece. Didn’t sound like it would be very interesting to me but it was. Guren is a masterful storyteller who has the trio go to Scotland during wartime. The best friends (Ellis and Hank) cannot serve in the war and go in search of the Monster that Ellis’s father took a picture of years ago. Along for the adventure is Maddie who is the wife of Ellis. A wife he won in a coin toss with Hank.
They are an unlikely trio of adventures and they settle into an Inn. Maddie is left alone for periods of time while the men go on their search for the Loch Ness. Maddie begins to make friends with the people who work in the Inn. As the search for Nessie goes on, Maddie and Ellis grow farther apart as Maddie grows closer to another.
Great storytelling. Gruen is at her best when she is showing people at their worst. We see some bad behavior, romance, secrets brought to light, and danger. This made for an enjoyable read.
Arrowood by Laura McHugh
Published by Spiegel & Grau on August 9th 2016
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Received from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Arden Arrowood inherits her family home and returns to where she was initially raised. Once there she is haunted by the past. Her four year old twin sisters went missing believed to have been abducted by a local man. She is haunted by their disappearance and is interested when approached by a man who likes to investigate cold cases. He is haunted by his own brother’s disappearance and approaches her to help shed some light on what happened to her sisters.
While at her family home she re-connects with her childhood friends and their Mother. She is haunted by her memory, time, and the need to know what happened the day her sister went missing. She hopes to find some closure.
The premise of this book is very intriguing. But I did not feel connected to it at all. I did not find Arden, or any other character likable enough to really care. I kept reading to see what happened. Dammit I need some closure but it was more of a fizzle than a loud boom or aha moment at the end. I did not find this to be a “on the edge of your seat book” or a “page turner”. I found I just didn’t feel connected at all but still wanted to see “whodunit”