Lila Ridgefield seems like the perfect wife from the outside, but she and her husband Aaron both have troubled pasts. When he goes missing, she’s very confused. She was the last person to see his body, and now he’s not where she put it.
Her small town in upstate NY is thrown into the spotlight when - on top of Aaron’s disappearance - a true crime podcast focuses on a teenage girl who also went missing in the area. Soon it’s discovered that more girls are missing, and it’s beginning to look like all of these missing persons cases may be linked. Lila is now the object of national media attention, and she has to figure out what has actually happened to her husband before she is found out -- or worse.
This domestic suspense thriller alternates between past and present, and flips between the POV of Lila and Ginny, the detective who is determined to uncover the truth. It has some Gone Girl vibes, which I love. The character of Lila is strong and sexy and complex and flawed, and I am here for it!
The premise is fantastic and unique, so the book starts off with a bang. The middle did drag a bit for me, but the pace picked up again during the climax. I did predict the ending, but I’m not necessarily bothered by that, especially since it closed with such a satisfying theme of female empowerment. Plus, there was an extra twist that I didn’t see coming that was very dark and disturbing.
(This may be a good place to add a trigger warning for those who’ve experienced abuse or sexual assault).
This is a popcorn psychological thriller. Like many commercial thrillers, the emphasis is on plotting and shocking twists more than character, making it one of those easy and fun reads you can devour in one sitting while you escape the world for awhile.
I’d definitely read the next book by Darby Kane! And I’m so grateful for the inspired and creative people like her who can craft stories that allow us to escape things like, oh say, global pandemics and contested elections.