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SPOILER-FREE REVIEW

Then She was Gone is certainly not what we’re personally used to reading from the wonderful Lisa Jewell, however, we literally inhaled this thrilling and suspenseful novel which was brilliantly written. Jumping from past to present we get an eerie sense of foreboding with hints at what’s to come yet Lisa Jewell kept us on the edge of our seats needing to know the what, the how and the why’s. We love a great thriller and this was certainly one that kept us up at night unable to put our kindles down. Such a unique and compelling story. Ellie Mack disappeared ten years ago and this story tells of a dark and twisted web of lies and deception on what happened and how random circumstances played a part of a horrific tragedy initiated by a warped mind.

‘Ellie Mack was possibly the most golden girl I had ever encountered.’

Ellie was fifteen when she disappeared on her way to the library. A happy go lucky in love, studious girl who had no reason to run away. However, this is the belief of the police. Her Mum on the other hand has never accepted that Ellie would’ve run away. Rather she suspects something far more sinister, becoming obsessed and unable to move on; losing the ones she loves along the way clinging on to the hope that one day Ellie will return. However, with no clues or witnesses to her daughter’s whereabouts there is little hope to grasp.

‘She’d never worked out how he’d done it, how he’d found that healthy pink part of himself amongst the wreckage of everything else. But she didn’t blame him. Not in the least. She wished she could pack a couple of large suitcases and say goodbye to herself, wish herself a good life, thank herself for all the memories, look fondly upon herself for just one long, lingering moment and then shut the door quietly….’

Our hearts hurt for Ellie’s Mum as we read of her desperation, her sorrow and her inability to reach any form of happiness in the face of darkness. Her struggles to connect to her other children and the breakdown of her marriage all leading to a downward spiral. That is until a ‘chance’ meeting with a handsome man named Floyd. This meeting changes Laurel’s path completely, one that leads to a sinister and heart-breaking discovery as well as setting a change in motion for Laurel and her family.

‘She was about to know something after ten years of knowing nothing.’

At the heart of this story is the dynamics of a family touched by loss and the consequential behaviours in overcoming grief and the not knowing of what happened to Ellie Mac, their sister – their daughter. Without question this story is superbly character driven and we loved that. Our only gripe was the way in which the police investigation of a missing child was portrayed with what seemed like little research, therefore we sometimes had to remind ourselves that this was fiction. On a last note though…the epilogue……slayed us!!!! We -without question- highly recommend Then She was Gone to anyone who loves psychological thrillers.

Synopsis

THEN
She was fifteen, her mother’s
golden girl. She had her whole life ahead of her.
And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone.

NOW 
It’s been ten years since Ellie
disappeared, but Laurel has never given up
hope of finding her daughter.
And then one day a charming and charismatic stranger called Floyd walks into a café and sweeps Laurel off her feet.
Before too long she’s staying the night at this house and being introduced to his nine year old daughter.
Poppy is precocious and pretty – and meeting her completely takes Laurel’s breath away.

Because Poppy is the spitting image of Ellie when she was that age.
And now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back.

What happened to Ellie? Where did she go?
Who still has secrets to hide?

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