Author: Wendy Walker
Source: from publisher for review
Summary: This was fascinating, twisty, gripping – a great thriller.
“One night three years ago, the Tanner sisters disappeared: fifteen-year-old Cass and seventeen-year-old Emma. Three years later, Cass returns, without her sister Emma. Her story is one of kidnapping and betrayal, of a mysterious island where the two were held. But to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter, something doesn’t add up. Looking deep within this dysfunctional family Dr. Winter uncovers a life where boundaries were violated and a narcissistic parent held sway. And where one sister’s return might just be the beginning of the crime.” (summary)
After reading a review from Sarah at Sarah’s Book Shelves raving about this book, I was excited to pick it up. I’m also excited to tell you that it lived up to the hype for me. One of the things Sarah mentioned and one of the things I enjoyed most was that the author managed to surprise me with an ending that made sense. It wasn’t surprising because it came out of left field, just because it was a good mystery. I also liked that I wasn’t sure who to trust. I was constantly reevaluating what was going on, trying to figure out who was hiding what.
Sarah compared this to Gone Girl, mostly because she liked it equally well, rather than because of similarities (I think). However, it did actually remind of Sharp Objects. It wasn’t quite as dark and disturbing, but it was close. It was slightly less violent though and there was less dark imagery, which I actually preferred. The screwed up family dynamics, like a train wreck I couldn’t turn away from, were another similarity.
I’m not sure about how the mother and her narcissistic personality disorder were portrayed. While factors that could contribute to someone becoming a narcissist were explored, I would not describe this as positive representation of a mental health disorder. In fact, I’m left feeling as though the mother was evil for evil’s sake. We never see any other side to her character. That didn’t prevent from enjoying this book, which I couldn’t put down, but it’s some possibly problematic representation to be aware of if you decide to pick this up.