Title: The Night She Went Missing
Author: Kristen Bird
Publication: February 8, 2022
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
An intriguing and twisty domestic suspense about loyalty and deceit in a tight-knit Texas community where parents are known to behave badly and people are not always who they appear to be.
Emily, a popular but bookish prep school senior, goes missing after a night out with friends. She was last seen leaving a party with Alex, a football player with a dubious reputation. But no one is talking.
Now three mothers, Catherine, Leslie and Morgan, friends turned frenemies, have their lives turned upside down as they are forced to look to their own children—and each other’s—for answers to questions they don’t want to ask.
Each mother is sure she knows who is responsible, but they all have their own secrets to keep and reputations to protect. And the lies they tell themselves and each other may just have the potential to be lethal in this riveting debut.
**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**
A missing girl. Suspect Kids. Suspect Parents. Makes for an interesting thriller. I was excited to check out this new writer in the suspense world that was making headlines about this novel. The story follows a few paths, but centers on a missing teenage girl and the secrets this small, exclusive island has hiding.
The ideas that flow in this novel were intriguing to me. The idea of fugue states, and missing time is always intriguing to me and I’ve read a few of the stories referred to in this book. Small town intrigue is also such a fun thriller to read because small towns usually hold the biggest secrets. Kristen Bird definitely led us down a twisty, dark lane of lies, betrayal and suspense.
I really enjoyed a lot of the characters. Emily’s perspective was definitely my favorite. I love her innocence and her open mindedness about the world and nature. I loved her ties between religion and science that she wove together in her stories. I disliked most of the mothers, which was funny because I could relate to that level in this story being a parent myself. These moms were another level, though. I’d probably relate to Morgan the most as she is trying to protect her son and do what’s best for him and doesn’t really blur any ethical lines. However, you then have Catherine, Leslie and grandmother Rosalyn who I just could not stand most of the time. Catherine was a helicopter mom, Leslie was controlling and a bit crazy, and Rosalyn was just too much. I would never be able to live on this island. That’s what it comes down to. I really enjoyed the twisting tales and how these people really didn’t want to be like any of the others, but they were so similar in how they handle things. It was almost comical at times. However, all these characters had interesting tidbits about themselves and their histories that made them unique, which I love in a book. I don’t want to read the same types of characters all the time.
I have one reason that kept me from giving this book a higher rating, and that is the ending. While the ending was definitely an “aha” moment, it was a bit crazy. People’s behavior got to an almost unbelievable level. I could see why some villains in the end (not naming names so I don’t give anything away) did what they did, but it was almost extreme. As a reader my question was, how are they even considering they will get away with this at this point now? As secretive and sly they seemed to be throughout, I was a little disappointed in how messy things got towards the end. It’s a good story, and even a good ending, but I just expected more organization, more thinking things through like they had done the rest of the book. I know in the heat of a moment people can do unexpected things, but this was just really fast and really crazy. We went from a nice steady speed to the last two chapters feeling extremely rushed to the end.
Overall this is a good story and I am definitely interested in reading more from Kristen Bird. She definitely has what it takes to rise up in the thriller writing world and I will be picking up more books from her as she releases them to see what other interesting and unique characters she brings to the table. Pick up your own copy if you want a twisty, suspenseful, domestic thriller that keeps you peeking around corners to see what is next.