Rating: 3.5/5.0 Stars
Main Takeaway: An interesting, exciting look into the relationship between mother and daughter. However, this mystery wrapped up a little too cleanly for my taste.
**I received this novel from the author and publisher in exchange for an honest review. I received no compensation for this review, and the opinions expressed were not influenced by this transaction.**
Maddy, a single mother, and her daughter Vinni have befriended their elderly neighbors, Rudy and Hilda, on their beach vacation in New Jersey. But one day, Rudy drops dead on the beach, and while Maddy runs to call for help, Hilda and Vinni disappear, seemingly without a trace. Thus begins a five year journey for Maddy in accepting the disappearance of her daughter and investigating the truth of what happened. But when Maddy’s investigation leads her into dangerous territory, she must be careful not to put Vinni and herself into even more danger.
The first half of this book hooked me. It was exciting – a death and a kidnapping, suspicious words and behaviors – I kept trying to speculate and theorize on the connections and tricks. But what really hooked me was the main character, Maddy. She was simultaneously relatable, raw, and real; I felt her pain, I understood her drive and impulsivity. But this book lost me in the second half. With the inclusion of the Russian Mafia (this is not a spoiler, it says so on the back cover), I finished this book with many unanswered questions and a feeling that all Maddy’s problems were solved a little too perfectly, possibly too conveniently. My penchant for jaw-dropping plot twists and tragedy went unsatisfied.
Overall, this book was enjoyable and a quick, easy read. While I enjoyed getting to know Maddy and understanding her grief process, I would’ve liked to read more about the actual case, the mystery, and have a real plot twist.