About The Book
Everything changed the night Flora Powell disappeared.
Heather and Jess were best friends – until the night Heather’s sister vanished.
Jess has never forgiven herself for the lie she told that night. Nor has Heather.
But now Heather is accused of an awful crime.
And Jess is forced to return to the sleepy seaside town where they grew up, to ask the question she’s avoided for so long:
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received, Then She Vanishes is the first book I have read by Claire Douglas. After reading it I am happy that there are a few I can read.
The prologue concerns the murder of a mother and son but then most of it concerns Jess and Margot, Heather’s mother. Jess is a journalist but was also a teenage friend of Heather and her sister Flora. She is being pressured into getting a story by her boss but also determined not to let her job damage her relationship with Margot.
I was surprised by how much I liked Jess, I usually dislike journalists in fiction but she was honest in the mistakes she had made in the past and was determined to handle the situation the right way. She has a steady working relationship with her colleagues, especially Jack and it is him she confides in about her past, before her partner Rory. He only really has a role in the latter stages of the novel. They have a great relationship but she has commitment problems, these are revealed in the flashbacks to 1994 when Flora disappeared. Margot was another character who I liked instantly. Never knowing what happened to Flora, wanting to help Heather, and despite her misgivings allowing Jess back into her life.
I enjoyed the flashbacks, the teenage girls are believable with emotions, first love, hurt and jealousy all shown. I also enjoyed listening again to Martha’s Harbour by All About Eve which was a favourite song of Flora’s.
There are plenty of twists but they are slow to come, taking you by surprise when you are least expecting them. Some of it I did work out earlier but I don’t think it was meant to be a huge surprise. Some are chilling, more so because you know that they concern events that have happened. And the final chapter had me lost for words. Brilliant characters, fantastic storyline.