Adult book reviews, Book Reviews

When She Disappeared by Steph Mullin and Nicole Mabry – ARC Review



My Rating ~ Three Stars

3-gold-stars copy 2

RELEASE DATE:  3 March 2022

Format: E-ARC

Pages: 400

Publisher: Avon Books





‘On May 26, 2004, Jessie Germaine went to school as normal and cheered at the end of year rally. That evening, she rode her bike into the forest and disappeared…into thin air.’

Margo hasn’t been back to Lake Moss since her school friend went missing. But as she returns, running from a failed marriage, the news breaks. Her hometown’s swimming hole has been Jessie’s grave for fifteen years.

Digging out her old diary, and steeling herself to face unfriendly ghosts of the past, Margo sets out to help a documentary crew as they investigate the infamous case the police bungled.

In a town where everyone knows everyone – but they all have secrets – the killer is certain to be close to home…




Thank you so much to Avon Books for providing me with a copy of this book, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review!


Margo is heading back to her home town to look after her dad after any operation.  Her hometown isn’t a comfortable place for her – her mum was killed in a car accident there and her friend went missing in a cold case 15 years ago.  Just as she arrives, the body of her friend is pulled from the lake. 

On a mission to find out what happened to her friend, Jessie, Margo teams up with an old school crush, who is working on a true crime show.  But as they get closer to the truth, someone is making it clear they want them to back off.

I have to say, the ending saved this book.  There was a fair amount here that had me struggling to make it through but the finale was something I never saw coming and Im glad I finished it! However, I felt like there was just far too much waffling conversation and descriptive language along the way.  I mean, I know that can be a good thing, and if I’m reading a fantasy, it’s great to have excellent world building descriptions to help visualize the world in your mind, but in a murder mystery, set in the everyday world?  Not so much. I don’t need an in-depth description of every table they sit at, every drink they order, every time Margot puts on a bit of make-up, every single thing they do. It detracts from the story and I found myself just wading through trying to get to the point of who did it. The ‘romance’ aspect of the story was a bit flat and seemed to be there just to ‘add a love interest’.  It would have worked just as well, if not better, with them just being friends and ‘co-detectives’

This was not a bad book, but it definitely would have benefited from less discussion of the town gossip, the day to day boring bits of Margot’s life and more excitement.  There were a few red herrings along the way, but they didn’t build up enough for that real “oooh” moment I want in a thriller.  The final twist was fantastic, but it was right at the very end of the book and I felt like I just had to slog through too much to get there.  





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