Mysteries and thrillers used to be all I would ever read (Hello, Jodi Picoult) but lately it seems I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus from them. Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell was my first mystery back in the game and I’m so glad it was. I forgot how much I love a good thrill that keeps me questioning until the very end.
Then She Was Gone is an intriguing and thoughtful mystery that is unlike any I’ve read. The author’s note in the back of the book mentions her editors weren’t sure about the odd storyline. I laughed because it sure was an odd one! (You’ll see what I mean if you read this). Typically when you hear mystery or thriller, you think of a murder mystery trying to solve who did the killing. This storyline was so meticulous and so well-planned; it was just brilliant. This wasn’t just about solving a crime. It was about difficult relationships, moving forward from the past, regrets, intuition, obsession, love, lust, betrayal and MUCH more! Nothing was laid out for you on a silver platter; I had to think and recall details and attempt to piece them together in my mind the entire time. I LOVE a book with tons of twists and turns!
Ellie left home to study at the library when she was 15 years old. It has now been 10 years and Ellie is nowhere to be found. She was the center of her mom, Laurel’s world and was perfect in every way possible. Laurel has learned to live with the fact that her daughter is gone until she meets and eventually dates Floyd. Floyd’s 9 year old daughter Poppy has such a strong resemblance to Ellie that it makes Laurel question her case all over again. Did Ellie run away? Is she still alive? Is she somehow connected to this young girl? How does Floyd fall into this picture?
This is one of those books where the entire time I was convinced character “A” was responsible for the disappearance of Ellie. Boy, was I wrong! Floyd gives off a very odd persona that makes you a little weary of his intentions with Laurel and the dynamic she has with her estranged children is alarming. All very strong possibilities…
There are many parts of this book that had me thinking I solved the puzzle only to be stumped again by a new twist. I felt engaged and intrigued the entire book and looked forward to what I would discover next.
A story of a mother’s love, the lengths she will go to find justice, and what it means to move forward after tragedy has struck, Then She Was Gone is the thriller that will engulf you for days. I highly recommend this if mysteries with a weird twist are your thing!