Genre: Psychological

Gone Without a Trace by Mary Torjussen

Posted April 13, 2017 by Taryn in Reviews / 0 Comments


I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Gone Without a Trace by Mary TorjussenGone Without a Trace by Mary Torjussen
Published by Penguin on 2017
Genres: Fiction, Thrillers, Suspense, Crime, Psychological
Pages: 352
Format: Electronic ARC
Source: NetGalley
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three-stars

Hannah is having a great day! She can’t wait to get home and tell her boyfriend Matt about how well she did during her training course. Her excitement is dampened when she walks in through her door and notices that everything is rearranged. It looks exactly like it did before Matt moved in. His belongings are gone and her possessions are back in their original places. His social media accounts are deleted and his phone number is disconnected. All remnants of him are gone, even the photos and text messages on her phone. It’s like he never existed. After four years together, the relationship is over and she never saw it coming. Hannah was on the fast track to a promotion before Matt went missing, but it all starts to slip away as she becomes obsessed with finding him. Where could he have gone and why couldn’t he have just told her it was over? While she’s looking for him, it seems that someone is looking for her. Who’s sending her creepy messages from an unknown number? Could it be Matt?

The whole thing seemed like a dream. His living there, I mean. Like a dream, or like he’d died. It was as though it belonged in another place, another realm. Because there was no sign of him, it was as though he hadn’t existed, as though I’d made him up.

Hannah is humiliated. Everything she thought she knew feels like a lie now. How long had he been planning this? What does it say about her that he left like this? Hannah’s devastation was understandable, but she’s such an exhausting character. She’s a very immature 32-year-old and a total drama queen. Her closest relationship besides Matt is her best friend Katie, but they have more of a toxic rivalry than a friendship. They’re constantly making subtly rude comments to each other. Katie encourages her to move on, but Hannah isn’t ready for that yet. As Hannah descends into madness, little things slip that show that she’s an unreliable narrator–manipulative habits, selfish thoughts. I got the feeling she was glossing over something major. She comes across as deluded and I didn’t trust her perceptions at all. Sometimes we don’t know how far she’s fallen until someone else calls her out on it.

No matter how long you’ve known someone, you never truly know them.

My biggest criticism is that Hannah’s investigation is so slow. She doesn’t have much to go on because Matt was extremely thorough in extricating himself from her life! Hannah tends to make logical leaps and become obsessed with easily confirmable possibilities. At the three-month mark, I was more than ready for her to get over it and move on. He obviously didn’t want to be found. The pace picks up about 2/3s of the way and it was a wild ride. I actually guessed most of the reveals, except for the very last one. That twist was actually my least favorite, because the scene was oddly tensionless after everything that had happened.

What would cause someone to disappear on their partner without a trace? Hannah’s story kept me turning the pages, but it didn’t make my heart pound.

three-stars

A Separation by Katie Kitamura

Posted April 11, 2017 by Taryn in Reviews / 0 Comments
A Separation by Katie Kitamura

Between two people, there will always be room for failures of imagination. The narrator receives an urgent call from her mother-in-law, wanting to know why her son Christopher isn’t answering her calls during his travels in Greece. The narrator and her unfaithful husband have been separated for six months, but they’ve decided to keep it […]

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

Posted March 6, 2017 by Taryn in Reviews / 2 Comments
The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

I was clueless about this book’s subject, so my eyes just about popped out of my head when a character blurts out the scandalous family secret! The Roanoke Girls is exactly the type of twisted tale that I’d sneak into my library book stack when I was a teenager, so it triggered a nostalgic feeling in […]

Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enríquez

Posted February 22, 2017 by Taryn in Reviews / 4 Comments
Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enríquez

3.5 Stars. Twelve macabre short stories set in Argentina. It’s very dark and disturbing. We all walk over bones in this city, it’s just a question of making holes deep enough to reach the buried dead. (No Flesh Over Our Bones) Tens of thousands of people were disappeared or killed from 1976 to 1983, when […]

Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton

Posted September 15, 2016 by Taryn in Reviews / 0 Comments
Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton

3.5 Stars. Solidly entertaining crime novel that doesn’t make the detective work easy for you. Handsome and charismatic doctor Hamish Wolfe was convicted of murdering three overweight women. He’s also suspected in a fourth case involving a missing woman whose body hasn’t been found. His only hope for exoneration is Maggie Rose, a true crime writer and defense attorney with a […]

Watching Edie by Camilla Way

Posted July 29, 2016 by Taryn in Reviews / 0 Comments
Watching Edie by Camilla Way

A story revolving around an unhealthy friendship. The chapters alternate between Heather’s perspective as a teenager and Edie’s perspective as an adult. A traumatic event destroyed their friendship, but seventeen years later Heather reinserts herself into Edie’s life. “I’ll look after you. Don’t worry. I’ll always look after you.” After (33 years old): Edie is shocked […]

The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan

Posted July 19, 2016 by Taryn in Reviews / 0 Comments
The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan

3.5 Stars. Three people living their day-to-day lives in a time of great upheaval. 5-star character/setting & beautiful writing, but I was at a 2-star level of engagement. It was slow moving and not much happened. That isn’t always a deal-breaker for me, but I just didn’t click with this book. All the villagers look worried […]

The Invoice by Jonas Karlsson

Posted July 12, 2016 by Taryn in Reviews / 0 Comments
The Invoice by Jonas Karlsson

It didn’t stir any strong emotions in me, but it was an extremely quick read. A part-time employee at a video shop receives an invoice for 5,700,000 kronor (≃671,635 US Dollars) from World Resources Distribution. Surely it must be a mistake, so he calls the company to inquire about the absurd bill. WRD informs him […]

The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis

Posted June 23, 2016 by Taryn in Reviews / 0 Comments
The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis

Survival/revenge/redemption + tough-talkin’, knife-wieldin’ heroine + post-apocalyptic setting + a strong female friendship. “The Wolf Road is an intimate cat-and-mouse tale of revenge and redemption, played out against a vast, unforgiving landscape—told by an indomitable young heroine fighting to escape her past and rejoin humanity.” “Way I reckon it, men killed more wolves than wolves ever […]

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

Posted April 25, 2016 by Taryn in Reviews / 0 Comments
I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

3.5 Stars. Suspense novel with a gradual build and some shocking moments. Vague keywords for anyone who might be sensitive to certain issues that frequently appear in suspense novels: (The spoiler-tagged text in this review is all vague/non-critical and no more than I have already seen posted elsewhere, but it is all stuff I would […]