Then She Was Gone is no exception.
Laurel Mack’s 15-year-old daughter Ellie disappeared 10 years ago on her way to school. Laurel has been unable to get her life back into order following her disappearance. She is mentally unavailable for her other children and she and her husband eventually split up.
One day at a coffee shop, Laurel meets Floyd, and the two hit it off. He is handsome, kind, and funny, and seems to be the perfect man with whom Laurel can get back into the saddle. Except, when she meets his 9-year-old terribly precocious daughter Poppy, Laurel is amazed to see that she looks exactly like Ellie.
Nevertheless, the two become close, and Poppy grows to love Laurel. But is Floyd too clingy? And why-oh-why does Poppy look so much like her long-missing daughter?
In typical fashion, Jewell doesn’t try to fool the reader. We know pretty early on who kidnapped Ellie. However, I dare the reader to figure out why,however. Jewell hands out the books’ secrets little by little, like candy on Halloween.
Then She Was Gone was creepy and suspenseful, with lots of curve balls. I found the ending to be satisfying, if not exactly what I’d hoped for.