Classification: Adult Fiction
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (September 29, 2015)
Author's website: http://www.karinslaughter.com/
Notes: I received an eARC from the publisher for review purposes. Extreme violence towards women.
On average in the USA at any given time, 90,000 people go missing. The longer the individual is not found, the more likely it is that they've fallen victim to foul play. When someone goes missing, even the closest knit of families can be ripped apart. Such was the case for the family of Julia Carroll.
Nearly twenty years ago, Julia Carroll went missing. While her entire family was devastated, they dealt with the tragic event in different ways and at different paces. Julia's father never gave up hope that one day she'd be found, and desperately tried to find out what happened to her. While the rest of the family tried as best as they could to move forward with their own lives, his seemed to never get past that one tragic moment. Now, some twenty years later, Julia's family may finally find out what happened to her...
When Claire Scott is attacked and her husband is fatally wounded, she thinks she is living her worst nightmare. When she comes across a disturbing video on his computer the night of his funeral, however, she soon realizes her nightmare has only just begun...
They say the truth will set you free, but that is not always the case for once something is seen, it can never be unseen and once something is known, it is seldom forgotten.
This is a dark, heart wrenching, tearjerker of a tale that will leave you reaching for a tissue and giving your kids an extra hug at night. It has twists and turns that leave Claire Scott wondering just how well she truly knew her husband. It may also have you wondering if you truly know all there is to know about your own spouse or significant other. I must warn you that this one is not for the faint at heart. There are some gruesome and disturbing details revealed about what was done to the missing girls over the years. While it is mentioned several times that once you see something, it can't be unseen, likewise once you've read something it can't be unread.
I enjoyed seeing all the missing pieces of what happened to Julia finally fall into place as we learn more about Paul, Claire's husband, and what he was involved in. I equally enjoyed seeing Claire grow as an individual and gain a backbone as she uncovers more and more of the details. I loved seeing the Carroll family pull together to bring about an end to the chaos as things get intense. Parts of the story reminded me a little of what has been said about some real life murders--that people can't believe the person responsible is the nice person who lived down the street. The chilling fact is that we know something like this could actually happen in real life because we've witnessed such things via the media over the years and that just makes my stomach turn. My heart goes out to anyone who has ever lost a loved one this way. I can't even begin to imagine what they've gone through.
I gave this one 4 1/2 out of 5 roses. The extreme violence in this one is what knocked it down half a rose. The author didn't go overboard, but I stayed up reading this one late at night in a silent house which was probably unwise. The story was suspenseful, fast paced, and kept me glued to the pages wanting, yet fearing to know what happened to Julia. An intense and gripping read that I recommend to those who can handle a mystery that is interspersed with a splattering of horror. It gave me the willies, but I enjoyed the ride.