2017 – Kim is an attractive woman of thirty-nine who is a grandmother of a one year old named Noah. She lives in a modest house in the Surrey Hills with her teenage daughter Tallulah (the baby’s mother), and her teenage son, Ryan. Her daughter goes to college and she cares for baby Noah part-time. Then, on a hot night in June her daughter goes missing…2018 – Kim‘s daughter and her boyfriend have been missing a full year. Kim’s life is now a never-ending cycle of caring for Noah and working some shifts in the local pub. Her son has moved out to live with his girlfriend, so Kim has no adult company. She is filled with anger at the way her life has panned out. She is tired all the time. She is extremely lonely and desperate to know what became of her beloved daughter Tallulah.
2017 – Tallulah is a devoted young mother who is quiet and studious. She is taking college courses to become a social worker. She adores her baby boy, but doesn’t love his father, her boyfriend. He has become a tad controlling and she feels claustrophobic in his presence. He is a good dad to Noah, and is working hard to save for a home for the three of them. A home that Tallulah doesn’t want…
Scarlett has a clique of friends who gravitate around her. She is a deeply troubled girl, yet she exudes charisma. She is a skilled manipulator. She has taken a real shine to Tallulah.
2018 – Sophie is a mystery novelist. She has just moved to the area with her boyfriend Shaun, who is now the head teacher at Maypole House, a private boarding school. She was reluctant to leave London, and when she moves to Surrey she suffers from writer’s block. She quickly becomes embroiled in a local mystery. Just one year ago, two teenagers disappeared very near her new home. In the woods behind her cottage she discovers a cardboard sign with the words “DIG HERE” nailed to a fence. When she does, the missing persons investigation is re-opened.
Curiously, there was a similar scene in her first novel…
When I open a book by Lisa Jewell I know that I’m in for a rewarding reading experience. “The Night She Disappeared” was an engrossing mystery/psychological thriller.
The characters were very well drawn and the writing skilled.
The setting, a chocolate-box Surrey village, was the perfect backdrop for the boarding school and old manor house.
This was a missing persons mystery, yet it was more complex than that. Many threads were woven into the story, all engrossing, yet the author managed to end the novel with all those threads woven into a tapestry – with a denouement that satisfied my thirst for justice and explained all.
Highly recommended to all those who enjoy an expertly crafted psychological thriller. Lisa Jewell never disappoints. I’ll be on the alert for her next novel.This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Atria Books/Simon & Schuster via NetGalley.
ISBN: 9781982137366 ASIN: B08NMQCYY8 416 pages
Links to my reviews of some earlier titles by Lisa Jewell:
Lisa Jewell was born in London in 1968.
She worked for the fashion chain Warehouse for three years as a PR assistant and then for Thomas Pink, the Jermyn Street shirt company for four years as a receptionist and PA. She started her first novel, Ralph’s Party, for a bet in 1996. She finished it in 1997 and it was published by Penguin books in May 1998. It went on to become the best-selling debut novel of that year.
Lisa Jewell is now the #1 New York Times bestselling author of eighteen novels.
She lives in an innermost part of north London with her husband Jascha, an IT consultant, her daughters, Amelie and Evie and her silver tabbies, Jack and Milly.