A Girl Named Anna begins to question her whole world after visiting the Astroland amusement park.
“Today is my eighteenth birthday and, for the first time, I am lying to my mother.”
So says Anna before sneaking off from her religious mamma to visit the park with her boyfriend. Meanwhile, Rosie misses her sister who was three when she disappeared from the same park fifteen years ago.
It is hard not to see Piper Laurie, from the original Carrie movie, playing the bible-thumping mamma of Anna. Just a few more blocks down the crazy street, if you get my meaning. The missing child plot is identical to several other, better, books I’ve read recently. Overall, I didn’t see much originality in A Girl Named Anna, though the writing was good. I would read the next tale by this debut thriller writer. 3 stars.
Thanks to MIRA, Harlequin Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: Missing person, Sep 3 2019
What is causing The Disappearing of blond girls in Waddell Florida is the question in this Southern neo-gothic dripping with moss and memories of the pre-Civil War lifestyle.
After her husband leaves, Lane returns to her hometown in Florida with her two daughters, Annalee and Talley, to live with her parents in the infamous Fielding Mansion with the famous hanging tree out front. Her father, Neil, is becoming forgetful, which may be a blessing after he is blamed for physically abusing hundreds at the now closed boy’s school behind their house.
The town has never felt welcoming to Lane after her abduction by one of the boys from the school at age 13. Now more girls are disappearing. First, her mother’s friend Susannah and then her daughter Annalee.
Mentally slow Daryl strikes up a friendship with Talley while looking for his brother, Wayne. Wayne disappeared 12 years ago while a school resident.
The Disappearing is all about atmosphere and Southern history. It is more a family drama about how the sins of the father visit the children than a thriller or a mystery. The pacing is slow like literary fiction. Not much action happens until the last third of the book. By then, I was just worn down and wanted it to end. While I didn’t like it much and give it 3 stars, your experience may differ.
Thanks to the publisher, Dutton Books, and Edelweiss+ for an advanced copy.
Posted in Mystery & Thrillers Tagged with: Jul 10 2018, Missing person
Bring Me Back is a good twisty thriller!
Twelve years ago, Finn stops in a French picnic area to use the rest room. His girlfriend, Layla, stays in the car. When Finn returns Layla is gone. Fast forward to the present and Finn is engaged to Ellen, Layla’s sister. When Layla is seen by an elderly neighbor, the plot starts swirling into the twisty rollercoaster read I expect from this author. Layla’s body was never found. Could she have returned? Is she leaving Russian nesting dolls to terrify her sister? What happened between her and Finn the night she disappeared? How do Finn’s anger issues fit within the story?
I loved the buildup to the conclusion of Bring Me Back. Just when I thought I had figured out the finish, a final twist caught me off guard. Recommended for thriller lovers and fans of Girl on the Train and Gone Girl. 4 stars!
Thanks to the publisher, St Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.
Posted in Mystery & Thrillers Tagged with: Jun 19 2018, Missing person