Title: Where They Found Her
Author: Kimberly McCreight
Age Group: Adult
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
I've been a fan of Kimberly McCreight ever since I read her debut Reconstructing Amelia (which can also be found on this blog). I love her thrillers, and Where They Found Her didn't disappoint me!
In Ridgdale, a small, idyllic town, the peace is shattered when the body of a female infant is found washed up in a creek. Molly Sanderson, a local reporter and a mother herself, is assigned the case, and is forced to confront her own difficult memories about her lost daughter. She tries valiantly to hold it together, wanting closure for herself and the dead infant. As she struggles to piece together a puzzle long before her own time there, she realizes that the story just might cost her everything.
I'll start with the good parts: I loved the setting. Any thriller set in a small town is an instant hit for me; it makes it all the more creepy when the crime is committed. And Ridgdale was idyllic, tiny, nearly perfect, but there were also dark, almost forgotten skeletons in closets in the most unexpected places.
The characters, too, were a huge part of why I loved this book: Molly, the struggling mother trying to piece her life back together after her own heartbreaking loss, Justin, her loving, literature-obsessed husband working at the local university, Jenna, the residential whore and screwup, and her daughter, Sandy. And let's not forget Steve, Barbara, Hannah, and Cole: the perfect family--on the surface, at least. I loved how each character was flawed and nuanced, and just a smidge dark and twisted as well.
The pacing of this novel was breakneck--a signature of McCreight's work. I couldn't put it down once I started, because that's her gift: McCreight gives you piece by tiny piece, trying to draw out the mystery in your head as well as Molly's.
I really, really liked this book, but it wasn't perfect: It felt a little too neat, a little too easy, toward the ending, and it was a little disappointing, but this book is solid, though I preferred Reconstructing Amelia. The bottom line: A solid, dark, twisting mystery, I enjoyed Where They Found Her! Next on deck: Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neill!