Tallulah and her boyfriend Zack disappear one night without a trace. Tallulah's mother Kim knows her daughter would never abandon her wee son. But a year passes and the police are no closer to an answer. That changes when a new headmaster and his girlfriend Sophie, a cozy mystery writer move into the village. When she finds a sign saying 'Dig Here" in her back garden, Sophie does. And the first clue to what might have happened is found...
Jewell tells the tale in three timelines with multiple points of view. I was hooked as every chapter gives us more hints to the past, more information in the present and a cold inkling as to what might have transpired.
Jewel gives us well drawn protagonists in grieving parent Kim and amateur detective Sophie. These characters are imbued with personal storylines as well, quite believable in their relationships, doubts, loss and more. Jewell ekes out the story of Tallulah before she disappeared and the reader can see what's coming as her narrative progresses. (Don't peek ahead though! I wasn't entirely right in my guess) There are plenty of supporting characters and each and every one of them seems to have trouble with the truth. Who should we believe?
I really enjoyed Sophie's sleuthing skills. I always wanted to grow up and become Nancy Drew, so mysteries are favorite genre. And Jewell has written a great one - the plotting is excellent, the settings are atmospheric (love the creepy mansion in the woods) and the varying timelines and voices really worked for me. And kept me up late as I really needed to know what (or who) happened to Tallulah. A great page turner. See for yourself - read an excerpt of The Night She Disappeared.