Where They Found Her – Kimberly McCreight
Fiction – Thriller
Published April 14, 2015 by Harper
So let me start by saying that McCreight’s debut novel, “Reconstructing Amelia,” is still one of my favorite mysteries / thrillers. If you also loved that book (as you should because it’s great) you will probably like her second novel a moderate amount. It was enjoyable but not a show stopper. If you have not read “Reconstructing Amelia” do yourself a favor and read that first. It is infinitely better. If you read this one first I fear you will never try her ever again and that would be a shame.
Molly Sanderson and her college professor husband move to the upscale suburban town of Ridgedale with their young daughter. As a reporter for the town paper, she is investigating an infant’s body that was found on the grounds of the local university. As she tries to piece together who the baby is and why the child was killed, she comes across secrets from the town that date back almost twenty years,
Sandy is a high school dropout living with her mess of a mother. All is going good in her life, considering, as she met a boy and is being tutored by Hannah in preparation to take her GED. When things are going as good as they can be for Sandy, so still awful, her mother goes missing. Sandy spends the rest of the story searching for her mom, who has secrets of her own.
Barbara is the Sheriff’s wife and PTA President. Everything is going perfectly for her until her young son starts to have disturbing and violent outbursts that she can’t control.
Told in alternating chapters from the perspectives of Molly, Barbara, and Sandy, the novel unwinds the truth about the baby’s death revealing that these three women have far more in common than they realize.
So for starters this is easily the most readable book I’ve read in awhile. The pacing was good and I could not put it down even though I got a sense of how it would conclude. There were no major curveballs for me but instead it was the little curveballs thrown in that made it more enjoyable. Things that were suspicious the whole time but you knew they were just a diversion so you never cared that much. Then at the end when those little things were explained it was a moment because I genuinely didn’t see it coming. Oh jeez, sidenote, I hate reviewing mysteries because vagueness.
Onto the characters. This is where the novel fell for me. I could not put this book down because I wanted to see how it ended, but I had no stake in the characters. It could have been anyone and I would have gone “alright, I see it.” They were just there to move the plot along and were very interchangeable. While it wasn’t the strongest character development ever, I did enjoy the different povs. Especially Sandy and Barbara. Barbara is literally the worst person in the entire world. She’s that mom you hate and you know her kids hate her and you know you shouldn’t judge but lordy she’s annoying. It was nice to at least get her viewpoint and see her thinking, even if you didn’t agree with her she was easier to tolerate once you had her thought process.
“Let go or be dragged.”
“Happy was my adopted country, not my native land. I was still bracing to be expelled without warning.”
Probably not, but I very rarely re-read mysteries in fear they lose their appeal once they lose their surprise element.
This was not my favorite read but it was an easy read and it kept me entertained and I was genuinely surprised at some aspects for the conclusion, so that was fun. However, I’m looking forward to see what McCreight can do in the future because as much as this book was just average in my head I enjoy her writing style a lot.