Richard & Judy Introduce The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell

Richard & Judy Introduce The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell

Judy’s Review

“A remote grand Gothic house in the woods, known as Dark Place, is the setting for a louche teenage summer party, from which 19 year old Tallulah and her boyfriend Zach mysteriously disappear. Kim, the girl’s mother, knows they can’t have “run away” as locals suggest, because they have an adored baby son and Kim knows Tallulah would never leave him. The rich stand-offish family who own Dark Place abandon the house after the police investigation, hiding abroad from the bad publicity.

“The case grows cold, and Kim despairs of ever seeing her daughter again. A year after the party a newcomer moves into a cottage on the edge of the woods surrounding Dark Place; Sophie writes cosy detective stories and when she finds a sign on her garden fence saying “DIG HERE” her curiosity is piqued, and she becomes determined to solve the case.

 

Richard’s Review

There are many, many complicated strands for Sophie to investigate in this gothic tale, but essentially the book is an intriguing multi-family mystery, the kind of story in which Jewell excels. As always, she’s excellent at creating strong and compelling emotional relationships, quirky personalities and intense, twisted sexual entanglements. The key to Jewells’ books is always in the characters, and she makes them irresistible.

The central relationship here is between Kim and her daughter, a beautifully drawn picture of tenderness and care. Kim’s sorrow at Tallulah’s inexplicable disappearance, leaving her mother to look after her beloved baby, is the beating heart of the book. Sophie, the detective story author, is the gregarious pivot around whom the story revolves and is finally solved. It’s a Gothic, multi-layered tale, deeply satisfying. We both loved it.

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