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The Night She Disappeared    by Lisa Jewell order for
Night She Disappeared
by Lisa Jewell
Order:  USA  Can
Atria, 2021 (2021)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Lisa Jewell's The Night She Disappeared opens in 2017, when Kim Knox is babysitting her teen daughter Tallulah's infant son Noah. Tallulah, Noah and the baby's dad, Zach, all live with Kim. They had split up while Lula was pregnant but are together again and out on a date night, with Kim's blessing. But they don't return.

Fast forward one year, when mystery writer Sophie Beck accompanies her partner Shaun, who takes up a new position as head teacher at a private boarding school, Maypole House. Shaun and Sophie have a small Victorian cottage in the grounds. When Sophie goes out to explore her surroundings, she comes upon a sign, 'Dig Here' nailed to the garden fence. Gradually, Sophie is pulled into the mystery of Tallulah's disappearance. More clues appear; she gets to know Kim; and helps her investigate.

The story moves back and forth in time, between what actually happened to Tallulah and Zach, and Sophie's later involvement. The day after the disappearance, Kim learned that the couple had gone to the mansion, Dark Place, of a posh college friend of Tallulah's - Scarlett Jacques. When Kim enquired there, she was told that her daughter and Zach had left in a minicab. The police searched the woods but found nothing. The story gradually reveals a different relationship between Lula and Zach than Kim ever saw.

Eventually, the mystery author does get to the bottom of what happened the previous year and it's a shocker of a conclusion, brought about by love turned to obsession. The Night She Disappeared is an intriguing read.

(Note that an ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.)

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