RELEASED: June 27, 2019
FORMAT: eBook [AD – eARC]
GOODREADS RATING: 4.32
TRIGGERS: Abuse, mention rape, smoking, drug use
Everything changed the night Flora Powell disappeared.
Heather and Jess were best friends – until the night Heather’s sister vanished.
Jess has never forgiven herself for the lie she told that night. Nor has Heather.
But now Heather is accused of an awful crime.
And Jess is forced to return to the sleepy seaside town where they grew up, to ask the question she’s avoided for so long:
What really happened the night Flora disappeared?
Depending on how long you’ve been following me, you might remember my review on another of Claire Douglas’ novels – Do Not Disturb. It ended up an okay read for me, rating it three cupcakes. Having the opportunity to read and review her most recent work definitely had me curious to see how she would have grown since writing the other one! I didn’t read my older review until after writing this one to keep things fair!
I know I say this way too often, but when it’s true, it’s true. And it’s true this time around as well. [That’s a lot of trues..] This book read. Like. A. Train. Once I got into it, I found all the excuses to go reading – including longer than necessary bathroom breaks whenever the boyfriend was home. I just had to know what exactly happened and how everything fit together.
This equals the writing style being very gripping. Once the story and the writing got a hold on me, it didn’t let go in the slightest. The switching between two POV’s, snippets of a third one, then ending chapters with small – and a few huge – bombshells.. All those things combined made sure I couldn’t put down my phone. The addition of newspaper articles was also a fun feature and a good way of giving more information about things and people on top of that.
Another characteristic of this novel I really loved, was how you start out with a small number of questions – mainly being “What happened to Flora exactly?” but by the time you read a couple of chapters, those questions start multiplying. Compared to other books I’ve read, you never feel overwhelmed by the number of questions you have and that’s something. It’s as if Claire Douglas feels when it’s the right time to give a piece of the truth to appease her readers a bit.
Apart from the mystery itself, there’s also the characters – Jessica being the main one. I really liked how her character was put together. It was obvious from the start how she had her own past, struggles and issues to deal with. Add to that everything happening surrounding Flora and Heather and you get a very layered, fleshed out character dealing with both past and present events.
The same goes for Margot, Heather’s mom. She’s fleshed out, although a bit less so. I did love reading her point of view because it gave a different, less panicked, vibe than Jess’ sometimes did.
This part contains spoilers but is necessary for those sensitive to queer characters having bad things happening – trying to stay vague here but.. yeah. There’s only one thing that irked me the wrong way, and knowing the queer rep and acceptance among my followers.. I can see this being an issue for others as well. Namely there being two queer side characters in this novel and.. they just have to be the two people where bad things happen to, or having a toxic relationship, or whatever. Again, trying not to spoil.
All in all, this could’ve been a five cupcake read for me, except for that last part.. Which automatically made me go “Oh, come oooon!” with a huge sad face attached. Other than that, I definitely recommend reading Claire Douglas’ work. She has a way with thrillers and asking / adding questions; that’s for sure.
I just skimmed my past review and am happy to say this book doesn’t have the unlikable main character Do Not Disturb had!
What’s one thing you feel a thriller should have to succeed?
And what are things that immediately put you off reading them?