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What Remains of Her    by Eric Rickstad order for
What Remains of Her
by Eric Rickstad
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2018 (2018)
Softcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Sally has vanished from her home along with her mother. Lucinda, Sally's very best friend, knows that Sally wouldn't go away without telling her she was going and when she would be home.

Lucinda's father, the local sheriff, heads a search party to find the missing girl and her mother. When there is no sign of them, the townspeople look to Sally's father Noah as having killed them and hidden their bodies. But the sheriff believes him when Noah denies any wrong doing.

Twenty-five years go by with never any sign of Sally or her mother. Noah can't leave the area in case they should come back home. He has never given up hope. His standard of living has diminished to poverty level. He simply cannot accept that his wife and daughter are gone forever. He lives with the conviction that one day they will return.

One day, while walking in the woods near his cabin, he comes across a young girl in desperate need of help. Naked and head covered with lice, she allows him to take her to his cabin, where he tends to her needs with the intention of taking her to the sheriff.

He is almost convinced that finding this girl could be just a coincidence. Or maybe a figment of his imagination, the result of his dire need for his wife and daughter. Or is something happening, something sinister, something so awful that this child would appear in his life in horrible condition, needing his help?

What Remains of Her is full of suspense, terribly tragic, and hits at readers' hearts. I actually caught myself muttering about the storyline. I hated that the local townspeople could turn on Noah as savagely as they did. You will never guess at the ending. Prepare yourself for a shock but don't peek ahead. Don't ruin a great story by knowing the mind blowing ending.

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