The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell

The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell


2017: 19 year old Tallulah is going out on a date, leaving her baby with her mother, Kim.

Kim watches her daughter leave and, as late evening turns into night, which turns into early morning, she waits for her return. And waits.

The next morning, Kim phones Tallulah’s friends who tell her that Tallulah was last seen heading to a party at a house in the nearby woods called Dark Place.

She never returns.

2019: Sophie is walking in the woods near the boarding school where her boyfriend has just started work as a head-teacher when she sees a note fixed to a tree.

‘DIG HERE’ . . .


Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed the story telling in this one. Thank you to Book Club Favorites at Simon & Schuster for the free copy for review. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a mystery thriller that has a modern outlook which I think some readers will appreciate and would enjoy discussing in a book club setting. I love stories that take place in creepy aged houses, cottages by the woods type settings, so if that suits your taste, you will want to check this one out.

The Story
If you like a gradual, building up of sorts, mounting into one big aha moment, this one will be a gem for you. I quite like this style of story and along with the setting, became my favorite aspects of the book.

It was well-thought-out with side stories that were intriguing, uneasy settings, and peculiar elements.

Though must say though it was a very long delay and I sort of grew impatient. By chapter 30, it started to be a bit dry for me, at the same time I was also too invested to put it down so I guess it worked its way out.

Page 277 was the recap that made me really reconsider the evidence and think ok this plot is also getting a bit too complicated as the characters developed. Part 2 was more of the backstory I wanted upfront from the characters that I would have like to have read a bit more about in the beginning to sort of come up with a slow formulation of my own, but not too much if that makes sense so surprise elements would be more of a slow reveal, confirming yet surprising still.

The ending was a bit messy but I liked elements in their singular form and was already compelled enough to just enjoy the story as it were.

It’s rare that I would want more police procedural, usually because I’m often bored and fatigued by them, but I sort of wanted a bit more, especially toward the end to explain why certain procedures would have been followed in certain ways rather than slow lead up to “they were all saved, the end” type finale.

As a whole though I really enjoyed the suspense.

They were all so heartless. All of them, maybe except for Kim, which I think was interesting in its own right. There was a lot of explaining of backstory where I would have loved to have seen some unfolding/signals of some of the character attributes on behalf of the villains early on. Maybe I just missed them perhaps. A lot of the characters seemed peculiar in their own right and only 2 were as distinguishable in voice from the rest, but I’m not sure what I wanted though. Maybe more connection with the characters, more symbolism, more character traits I could relate to or explain on their behalf I suppose.

The Writing
I really liked the casual dialogue, wasn’t forced. Conversation-like and not riddled in cryptic modern-speak which was refreshing to follow.

This book would be interesting for a movie plot.

I wonder if it’s because of the amount of detail along with the well-thought-out story. I did feel conflicted about the amount of the details of the rooms and fashion at times though because although I appreciated them, I didn’t always want to be reading about them in every scene at the same time. Often the descriptions became too much to read over. I guess I’m learning about myself and wanting to be spared of too many adjectives and details in books these days. For instance, the descriptions were too abundant when it came to midsummer. A lot about the temperature and a lot of hot summer night which became repetitive for my taste. I would have like some other detail to depict these elements in a different way. Abundant in scene and clothing descriptions but inconsistent in some related events. Example, I found myself thinking Christmas with all the festivities, sweater descriptions, change in weather, and such, it would be an unusual time for calving season.

Certain scenes moved too slow but then when they were sped up, we were already in January and kept feeling like I was missing out on something in between the slower parts when POV/timelines changed. It was just a bit uneven.

As a whole I enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to more.

View all my reviews

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