Tag Archives: Missing People

Review: When The Stars Go Dark

When the Stars Go Dark

When the Stars Go Dark
By Paula McLain
Ballantine Books, 9780593237892, April 13, 2021, 384pp.

The Short of It:

A grieving detective flees her family for her old hometown and becomes enmeshed in a missing persons case.

The Rest of It:

Anna Hart’s experience as a missing persons detective comes in handy when she returns to her hometown only to find that a girl has gone missing. Anna left home after a tragic event shook her to the core. Trying to put some space between herself and what’s happened, she quickly agrees to help her friend Will when he shares his concern about the case he’s working on. He has no leads and with Anna’s help, he hopes to piece things together and put the suspect behind bars.

Anna’s ability to accurately read young people is a result of her time spent in the foster care system. She understands them better than most because she’s seen how abuse and emotional damage can play a role in how they view themselves and it’s this edge that allows her to focus on certain details that other detectives might overlook. As Anna and Will work together to find this missing girl, Anna can’t help but become obsessed with the case. She must find her and she must find her alive.

What I liked about When the Stars Go Dark, is that the author weaves in actual missing persons cases like Polly Klaas, which gives this story an edge and a realistic feel. I would have liked a little more of a lead-up to the suspect. The big reveal felt sudden and rushed. I was reading a review copy and it’s possible some paragraphs were left out because all of a sudden the suspect was identified. I actually went back a few pages to verify.

Anyway, I was immediately pulled into this story but felt like it could have gone a little deeper into Anna’s past to make it really compelling.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: Don’t Look For Me

Don’t Look For Me
By Wendy Walker
St. Martin’s Press, 9781250198709, September 15, 2020, 352pp.

The Short of It:

Walker hit it out of the park with this one. It met all my reading wants.

The Rest of It:

Molly Clarke suffered a terrible loss. One that involved her young daughter, killed in an accident right in front of her own home. What’s inconceivable to Molly’s family and even Molly herself, is that she was the one behind the wheel. The one who turned as fast as she could, but not fast enough to avoid her daughter running in front of her car.

The family is left utterly distraught. Molly’s older daughter Nic, remembers the moment like it was yesterday and Molly’s husband can’t even bring himself to look at his wife. An accident, yet one so tragic that the family just cannot move past it.

That’s why when Molly Clarke goes missing one stormy night, only to leave her abandoned car and phone behind, people are quick to call it a “walk away”. She just couldn’t live anymore with all those accusing eyes, reminding her every day of what she did.

Did she really walk away? Or has something happened to her?

Don’t Look for Me is a GREAT read and as I mentioned above, it checked all the boxes for me. A good story. Nice plot twists. Characters you care about. Maybe a tad predictable at one point but a good ride to get there. It kept me guessing in a lot of places and had me stopping to piece things together.

I put household chores aside to read it. I read it during the baseball playoffs. I sat on the couch with it when I wasn’t feeling well and it was just what the doc ordered. These days, you gotta keep your mind busy and off of politics and this wretched pandemic. This book helped me do that.

Highly recommend. I’ve read one other book by Walker, Emma in the Night, which I also enjoyed. If you need to immerse yourself into something other than the news, find yourself a copy.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.