This had a really descriptive story and the setting was such a strong focus point in this book, but it was just so slow for me. The story seemed like it was going to be fast paced and keep me on the edge of my seat, but the mystery didn‘t pick up in the book for me and I had a hard time staying engaged with this one.
Author's epilogue pushed it to a pick. I didn't realise how deeply personal this is to the author nor that actual cases are discussed (yes, sometimes I go in fairly blind). That said, I did find that the narrator's inner dialogue was peppered far too liberally with questions that drove me a little insane. I also was annoyed by her supreme authoritative view on all matters re: victims/survivors even if I agreed with a lot of it.
Wow!! This was my first time reading McLain. It was great! The anticipation was killing me! And you literally do not find out until near the end. The only thing is that I did figure out who it was. Anna returns home after tragedy strikes her not knowing its about to strike again in her hometown.
Wow this was dark! Listening to it as an audiobook might have made it even more so. I love true crime (especially podcasts) and was familiar with the Polly Klaas kidnapping that they discussed happening nearby and at the same time as the kidnapping in the story. There were a lot of twists and I definitely didn‘t know the bad guy until he was revealed. 🌟🌟🌟🌟 Read for #scarathlon2021 , #bookspinbingo , #screamathon , and #anywayyoureadathon
“What does it all add up to? What is all the suffering for if not so we can see how alike we are, and not alone? Where will the mercy come from, if not from us?”
What a dark, bumpy ride. Gorgeous Mendocino setting. It was a living character, but boy am I glad this is over. I have the same uneasy feeling I had after finishing THE FACT OF A BODY. Incidentally, McClain credited the book as a research source.
I knew who the killer was long before it was revealed. That would normally take away from the book but this book did not depend on the identity of the killer. This story was so much more than just finding out who did it, it was so much more. 5⭐
This is not for the faint of heart as some details are gruesome not for those who would be triggered by sexual assault content.
Great book, but a tough topic. Sexual abuse and abduction.
McLain did a wonderful job telling it and taking care to tell it.
Anna Hart is a detective trying to come to terms with some things. She goes home to Mecdino where she gets involved in a case.
Thanks to Goodreads, Penguin Random House and McLain for the book.
This story follows Anna, a detective as she escapes to her hometown after a devastating event at home. As someone who searches for sexual predators she is uniquely qualified to help out when a teen goes missing. This is hard to read, there is a lot of info about sexual abuse & abductions. I did guess ‘who did it‘ early on, but it was still a thrilling read to follow.
A seamless blend of fact and fiction. Real cases, the author‘s experiences, and a story blend so well together that unless you‘re familiar with the crimes, you don‘t realize until the author‘s note. That‘s why it‘s amazing.
It‘s a tough topic: violent and sexual crimes against children. It‘s not easy. But McLain is both respectful and inspiring in her writing. She addresses the victims and investigators, and the struggles for both.
Set in ‘93 CA, reeling from a personal tragedy, Anna returns to her hometown, which pulls her into a local investigation about missing teen girl. The cases cause her to wrestle with her own past. For the author‘s debut novel in this genre, I was engaged & intrigued. However, the closure of discovery feels rushed. Interestingly, albeit heartbreaking, are the real-life cases weaved into the story. ⚠️: sexual assault of minors, child‘s death.👇🏻
A near contemporary mystery mixed with true crime & the author's own personal experience. Atmospheric & raw. Good small town vibes & a lot of internal character monologue work. The pacing is a little languid, but not overly bogged down. Not a thriller, but a literary style mystery. It is written in McLain's signature style, which means that the language is very atmospheric & descriptive. Not my favorite McClain read, but still highly recommend.
After the disappointment of my last mystery, this one was a great comeback. Sucked me in, with some awesome writing. There were some great emotional passages which were beautifully written. The story was awesome and well paced. I definitely want to read more by this author.
This novel is definitely in the literary mystery category. The book checks my boxes for good prose, good characterization, and compelling plot. I was disappointed that I guessed the killer so quickly, and I was uncomfortable with McLain‘s use of a true crime as backdrop for a novel. I am also wearied and saddened by mysteries using child abuse as the center of the plot. McLain is compassionate on the subject, but be aware that it is disturbing.
This book was the July 2021 selection for a book club that I belong. It was my least favorite of all of the books we‘ve read together so far. I‘m my opinion, nothing really happened until the book was about 80% through. We knew a girl went missing early on in the story, it took a very long time for much else to happen. I was a little bored with this story. The last 20% redeemed it a bit.
I finished this earlier in the week and realized I forgot to post about it. A good mystery, if a bit long. I was really into the action and wanted to figure out who dunnit but also the “why” behind some other trauma featured in the book. Not sure how memorable this will be for me though.
I fell in love with this author‘s writing when reading The Paris Wife (about Hadley Fitzgerald) and immediately put this book on hold on release. She did not disappoint. It is hard to read about abduction, sexual assault, murder, and police investigations and Paula wrote it respectfully, with humanity, and weaving in true impacts of trauma. If you‘re looking for a “don‘t set down” historical fiction, this is it!
Despite the weird beginning, this book turned out to be really good. It's about Anna, a detective, who goes back to her home town and becomes obsessed with a case involving a missing girl.
A different kind of historical fiction from Paula McLain, but I‘ll read anything she writes. In this one a woman grappling with a difficult past returns to her hometown and gets involved in the search for a missing girl. Set against the backdrop of the Polly Klaas murder.
Grief stricken and lost, detective Anna Hart returns to her hometown in Northern California to hide away and heal. When she gets there, however, she learns about a 15 year old girl who has gone missing under suspicious circumstances and with no clues. Anna feels drawn to the girl and helps her old friend Will, the town sheriff, find her.
5-24-21: My 53rd finished book of 2021! Anna Hart, a detective with a very sad past, travels to Mendocino, where she grew up, to try to find herself. What she finds is her old friend Will, the sheriff, is searching for an actresses missing daughter. Anna decides to help out. This is a tough read about child abduction, sexual abuse, grooming, and murder. But it‘s also about fate, redemption and having faith in yourself. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 👍🏼📖#️⃣5️⃣3️⃣
Long before I reached the author‘s note, I had no doubt the research was laboriously done. Paula McLain‘s dedication to psychological and historical accuracy was commendably clear and, as a reader, I was grateful for that. It was no surprise to learn, upon reading her note at the end, that her whole heart was in this, as well.
Full review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3805380037