Review: Then She Was Gone, by Lisa Jewell

Then She Was GoneThen She Was Gone, by Lisa Jewell, is a complete departure from my usual reading fare: thriller, whodunit, mental illness crime.

Jewell offers up a perfect golden girl who suddenly goes missing at the age of 15, and the resulting fallout for her family, most particularly her mother. The novel is sketched with safe tropes and cardboard characters, known entities for lovers of this genre. Everyone is beautiful and brilliant except for the villains who are nasty and smelly.

Is it riveting? Kind of, because I wanted to know if the conclusions I’d drawn after the first chapter were correct. And because once I’m into a novel I really do hate to give up on it.

There are a great number of implausibilities in the novel. The writing is sharp, not at all florid. But by the end I felt as though I’d eaten way too many potato chips and pretzels.

Having said all that, it would be a good novel for a beach read or mindless escapism.

Two stars

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