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Review: Then She Was Gone

Updated: May 21

4/5 stars

I've read two Lisa Jewell books before and really enjoyed them (The Family Upstairs and The Family Remains), and I'm starting to see the pattern - that her mystery/thrillers are DARK, and edgy, and... very fun! At least to me. More suspenseful/psychological thriller than jump-scares or gore.

The narrative changes POV between characters as well as between timeframes.

THEN, Ellie is 15 years old and has just disappeared.

NOW, it's been 10 years since Ellie disappeared, and her mother, Laurel, has never recovered. The police believe Ellie ran away, but Laurel is convinced she'd never do that. The disappearance ruined her marriage, and alienated her from her other two children, but she's never fully given up hope that she might still find Ellie alive. When Laurel meets a man, Floyd, at a local café she finds herself finally beginning to heal, slowly, as she starts a relationship with him. That is, until she meets his 9-year old daughter, Poppy, who looks exactly like her daughter Ellie did at that age.

The mystery of what happened to Ellie is told in bits and pieces, with information being slowly doled out by Laurel, Ellie herself (from beyond the grave), Floyd, Ellie's math tutor, and more. Different motivations emerge and the revelations are... did I already say DARK? Yeah, it gets a little creepy, but I also loved Laurel's transformation from depressed zombie to woman-in-love to determined sleuth. I also thought Laurels evolving relationships with her family - ex-husband, and two kids - was realistic and relatable.

So, if you're ok with reading some real sociopathic thinking, then I recommend it, but if you think that might bother you, skip this one and read the NEXT murder mystery I'm about to review instead! (See below!)


UP NEXT: Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for Murderers, by Jesse Q. Sutanto

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1 Comment

Jaymee Turner
Jaymee Turner
May 20

I’m so glad you reviewed this it is in my to read list

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