Author: Diane Chamberlain
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Summary: This was a fun, fast-paced read, but the mystery was a bit predictable and the I didn’t find the characters emotionally engaging.
Riley and her older brother grew up in a family shocked by their sister Lisa’s death. Riley has always been told Lisa committed suicide, but when her father dies twenty years later, she finds hints in his belongings suggesting that Lisa might still be alive. As she digs deeper, the secrets she discover will challenge everything she thought she knew about her family.
This is a book I picked up because it was one of the She Reads Books of Fall selections and like every other book they pick out, it sounded like my kind of book. Ever since reading The Husband’s Secret, I’ve loved books which combine the tension of a thriller with the events of daily life. Unfortunately, this particular book fell a bit flat for me. I think a big part of the problem was that the mystery and excitement all involved Riley’s sister, Lisa, but Riley felt like the main character. Even when we learned about Lisa’s life through flashbacks from her perspective, I felt more distanced from the events taking place because they were happening to someone other than Riley and were happening in the past. This made the thriller part of the story less exciting and the daily life bits less emotionally engaging. I also found the mystery predictable.
Although I liked Riley, I still found it difficult to connect with her emotionally. The secrets she finds out and the way they turn her life upside down was something I couldn’t imagine living through. I don’t know if the author needed to do more to explain how Riley felt or if the events were just too unbelievable, but I didn’t feel like I got even a glimpse of what this experience was like. Despite its flaws, this was a fun book, very easy to read (although not light subject matter) and very fast paced. If you share my love of this type of book, you might want to give it a try, but I’d definitely recommend checking out some of the earlier She Reads selections first.