Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Books for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: July 27th, 2021
Synopsis: For fans of Gone Girl and of Harlan Coben and Linwood Barclay’s domestic suspense—a gripping novel by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kevin O’Brien, in which “the other woman” becomes the prime suspect when the wife goes missing.
Some nightmares you can’t forget
From the depths of sleep, Seattle TV reporter Anna Malone awakens to her phone ringing. She rarely drinks, and this hangover is brutal. Why can’t she shake the feeling that something terrible happened last night? And why can’t she recall any of it?
But even worse
What Anna does remember: an awkward restaurant meal with her married lover, Russ Knoll, and his unsuspecting wife, Courtney. Russ’s phone call reveals that Courtney is missing, and as days go by with no trace, he comes under police scrutiny. Anna’s in the spotlight too, thanks to a TV rival with a grudge. Anna’s not proud of her affair, but she and Russ aren’t bad people. They’re certainly not the killing kind.
Is the one you can’t remember . . .
Anna already suspected that Courtney—a successful, charming author—might have a darker side. Is she truly missing? Perhaps the sudden disturbances in Anna’s life aren’t accidental after all. But no scenario that Anna imagines can compare to the twisted game unfolding around her, one chilling piece at a time . . . (Goodreads)
I’ve been a fan of Kevin O’Brien since I read his first book, Only Son over twenty years ago. While The Night She Disappeared isn’t one of my favorites by him, seeing as how my NetGalley request wasn’t approved until late yesterday afternoon, and then I proceeded to gobble it up in three hours, it still was pretty darn good.
O’Brien excels at creating flawed characters and that is very much on display here. I had an extremely difficult time connecting with Anna, Russ, and Courtney in the beginning because, well, they’re just not very likable. However, being secretive, manipulative, and untrustworthy is also a plus because it keeps the reader on their toes as to figuring out what happened and who the villain is. While I’m going to be purposefully and annoyingly vague here, the person who I disliked at the beginning had my sympathy in the end, and the one who I felt badly for in the beginning, vice versa. There are also several secondary characters with their own backstories that I think for the most part weren’t necessary and they slowed down the pace a little. As for the central mystery itself, it was very twisty with a few red herrings thrown in to make it more so. Despite my quibble with too many characters, this was most definitely a page turner right up until the end which brings me to my last critique in that I felt it was a little rushed and tied things up almost a little too neatly.
Even though, as I said previously, The Night She Disappeared isn’t one of my favorite books by this prolific author, I sped through this and found it quite enjoyable. Kevin O’Brien is an author that you really can’t go wrong with in terms of psychological suspense/mystery. If you’re looking for a great beach and vacation read you need not look any farther than this!