"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

06 September 2016

2016 Book Review #55: She's Not There

This was a fast-paced novel by an author I enjoy but haven't read in quite some time.

Her books tend to be suspense, mystery with family drama thrown in.  Often they are a bit far-fetched but the endings always seem to have a bit of a twist.  I actually guessed most of the ending in this one although parts of it surprised me.  It's a great, quick read.


The Shipley family are all going to Rosarito, Mexico to celebrate Hunter and Carolyn's 10th wedding anniversary.  They are bringing their 5 year old daughter Michelle, and their 2 year old daughter Samantha.  It all seems like it will be a fun trip.  Upon arriving, Carolyn discovers that Hunter has arranged quite the celebration!  Her brother Steve and his wife Becky are there, as well as Carolyn's best friend Peggy and her husband Fletcher.  Hunter has also invited a couple he knows from business, Rain, a former model, and her husband Jerrod.  

On the evening of the actual anniversary dinner, the resort's babysitter never shows up, so Hunter and Carolyn decide to just leave the girls sleeping in their suite.  The restaurant is directly below and they will take turns checking on the girls every half hour.

 All seems to be going fine, until at about 9:30 pm. Carolyn doesn't see Samantha sleeping in her crib.  After that, all hell breaks loose.

Samantha has disappeared without a trace!  

Days, weeks, months, and years go by with no trace of what happened.

Carolyn has been tormented by the press and accused of being a negligent mother, as well as cold and incompetent.  Meanwhile her marriage falls apart and her oldest daughter Michelle learns to cope with life in dangerous ways.

One day, 15 years later, Carolyn receives a phone call.

And life is changed forever.


This was a roller-coaster ride of a book.
Fast-paced, twists and turns in every chapter, backstory told from Carolyn's voice in the past and then again in the present.

The character development is absolutely perfect.  The author really captures each and every character in words that give you a very clear mental image of their personality.  That was probably my favorite thing about this book.

The book is set in San Diego and Mexico with some Calgary, Alberta thrown in. Again, setting descriptions were very well written.

I love that the book took a turn towards the mother and oldest daughter reconnecting and learning to forgive each other and embrace each other's differences.

The main themes center around the suspense of the kidnapping and the drama that ensued afterwards.

It's a very strong novel about what happens when a family is torn apart......and I loved the revelations that the author wrote into the plot.

This book centers on deception in marriage, infidelity and the consequences of that, alcoholism and those dangers to teens. dishonesty vs. honesty between the parent-child relationship and between siblings and between married couples.

The author does an excellent job weaving all of these dynamics plus mixing in the past with the present.

In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 17 and older.

On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I rate this a 10.

1 comment:

Susanne said...

Well, I certainly perked up at the mention of Calgary, Alberta. I'll have to read this one. :)