About the Book:
Midsummer 2017: teenage mum Tallulah heads out on a date, leaving her baby son at home with her mother, Kim.
At 11pm she sends her mum a text message. At 4.30am Kim awakens to discover that Tallulah has not come home
Friends tell her that Tallulah was last seen heading to a pool party at a house in the woods nearby called Dark Place
Tallulah never returns.
2018: walking in the woods behind the boarding school where her boyfriend has just started as a head-teacher, Sophie sees a sign nailed to a fence.
A sign that says: DIG HERE . . .
A cold case. An abandoned mansion. A family hiding a terrible secret.
Prepare to be hooked. Lisa Jewell’s latest thriller is her best yet.
Published by Penguin Random House Australia – Century
Released 20 July 2021
I wonder sometimes if certain people are more unfortunate than others in the sense that they have personalities that make them more of a magnet for the manipulations of toxic people. It certainly seemed that way for Tallulah, who was just a really lovely young woman, doing her best to juggle motherhood and college, not asking for much at all and completely appreciative of all the help provided to her by her mother and brother, yet she had not one, but two toxic relationships pressing in on her prior to her disappearance.
This is the first book by Lisa Jewell that I’ve read and I found it to be impressive and compelling, so much so, that despite it’s length (465 pages), I read it over one day and late into the night, unable to put it down, that’s how consumed I was with finding out what had actually happened on the night Tallulah disappeared. With it’s complex plotting and strong character development, The Night She Disappeared really is one of the best crime-mystery-thriller novels I’ve read this year. With mounting dread, the story unfolds from multiple perspectives across three different points in time. This story is not only suspenseful, it has deep emotional impact and a strong message about coercive control within relationships, reiterating that domestic violence does not begin and end with physical violence.
I really liked the major players in this novel, Sophie the detective writer who happened upon a clue to the case, Tallulah’s mother Kim, and Tallulah herself. None of the characters were ‘unreliable narrators’ which was utterly refreshing for a crime novel and they were all devoid from clichés. Likewise with the story itself which took the reader on a winding journey that was part domestic suspense, part police procedural crime, part gothic noir, and part psychological thriller. I highly recommend The Night She Disappeared, it was excellent and I’d be hard pressed to name a crime thriller I’ve liked more.
Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy and for inclusion in the blog tour.