Gone Without a Trace by Mary Torjussen (2 Stars)

Thank you29758021 to the publisher and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book in return for an honest review.

This book is billed as a chilling, twisty, compulsive thriller.  Unfortunately, it missed the mark for me.  It is chilling at times, but the twists don’t come until you have read at least three-quarters of the book, and the story is dragged out so far that there is no compulsion to keep reading.  The story is good, and there is a twist at the end, but it would have been much better as a novella.  I kept turning the pages, but quickly as I skimmed through the story, as I couldn’t take another five or six pages of the main character, Hannah, in her drunken state moaning about her fate.

Hannah and her boyfriend, Matt, live together for four years and one day she comes home to find him gone.  Not just gone, but erased.  All his things are gone, and her belongings are back in their place, as it was when he moved in.  In addition, he is erased from Facebook, Instagram and every other social media.  His phone number, call history and e-mails are erased.  She begins searching for him in the likely places, but he has quit his job and his mother has moved.  Then strange things begin happening.  Someone is watching Hannah, entering her home when she is at work, sending message she thinks are from Matt.

It’s a great plot line, and there is a twist at the end.  However, the repetition of Hannah’s inability to cope, turning to drink, being hungover, attempting to work, coming home to an empty house, etc. is tedious and boring.  I couldn’t quite work up any sympathy for her either (that sounds so terrible), as Hannah wasn’t a nice person to begin with.  While Matt’s disappearance is certainly intriguing, you just know it has something to do with Hannah.

I would have given it 1 star if it weren’t for the ending.  Still, I don’t think I’d recommend anyone read it just for that.


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