Thursday, July 12, 2018

ARC Review: The Disappearing by Lori Roy

The Disappearing
Author: Lori Roy
Publication: Dutton (July 17, 2018)

Description: Two-time Edgar Award-winning author Lori Roy spins a twisted, atmospheric tale about a small Southern town where girls disappear and boys run away.

When Lane Fielding fled her isolated Florida hometown after high school for the anonymity of New York City, she swore she'd never return. But twenty years later, newly divorced and with two daughters in tow, she finds herself tending bar at the local dive and living with her parents on the historic Fielding Plantation. Here, the past haunts her and the sinister crimes of her father--the former director of an infamous boys' school--make her as unwelcome in town as she was the day she left.

Ostracized by the people she was taught to trust, Lane's unsteady truce with the town is rattled when her older daughter suddenly vanishes. Ten days earlier, a college student went missing, and the two disappearances at first ignite fears that a serial killer who once preyed upon the town has returned. But when Lane's younger daughter admits to having made a new and unseemly friend, a desperate Lane attacks her hometown's fa├žade to discover whether her daughter's disappearance is payback for her father's crimes--or for her own.

With reporters descending upon the town, police combing through the swamp, and events taking increasingly disturbing turns, Lane fears she faces too many enemies and too little time to bring her daughter safely home. Powerful and heart-pounding, The Disappearing questions the endurance of family bonds, the dangers of dark rumors and small town gossip, and how sometimes home is the scariest place of all.

My Thoughts: Lane Wallace, newly divorced, is back in her old hometown with her two daughters though she had never intended to return. She and her girls are living with her parents at the Fielding Plantation. She thought that she had escaped her abusive home life. Her father was an abusive bully who made her childhood a frightening thing. He was also employed by the boys' school that was next door. Years after it closed, boys who were at the school got together on Facebook and recalled the beatings and deaths that happened there. Lane's father's name featured prominently as one of the abusers. He was questioned but no charges were filed. However, the rumors alone have made many of the town turn against them.

When Lane was thirteen she had a fight with her mother, ran off, and triggered a manhunt to search for her. Her father was certain that one of the boys from the school had taken her. When she was discovered in the attic of the house, her father couldn't admit that he was wrong. She and her mother were forced to live the lie of her abduction. Attitudes toward Lane changed making he a victim in the town's eyes. She couldn't escape their scrutiny until she ran away with her husband.

Now that she's back, she's still fighting that victim identity. It doesn't help that a young woman who was working on restoring the plantation has disappeared and rumor has it that a serial killer is hunting blonds - like her daughters.

This story is told from four viewpoints. Lane, her mother Erma, her youngest daughter Talley, and Daryl, a man searching for his brother was an inmate at the school, all tell various parts of the story. The voices are distinct but each of them has in common that they are damaged people. Lane is tired of living her lie. Erma is tired of being frightened of her husband and catering to his every need. Talley is lonely and frightened of her sister Annalee. Daryl, raised in a abusive home himself, can't connect with people and therefore takes to following girls who interest him.

The writing style made it hard for me to connect with the characters since each character's fears so filled their sections that it was sometimes hard to follow the story. Fans of introspective mysteries would be the best audience for this one.

Favorite Quote:
Annalee's eighteen now. She needs her space and for Lane to show trust in her. It's something Lane never had growing up because she was, from the time she was thirteen, that girl, and when everyone thinks they know your worst secret, you become something less than everyone else. Nothing about your life is private or even decent. No one trusts you either, because when tragic things happen to a person, the tragedy sticks.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. I know exactly what you say - one persons narration seems overwhelming and then you go to the next and that one is equally heavy. Difficult to put the story together at times.


I love getting comments. Let me know what you think.

This blog is now officially declared an Award Free zone! I do appreciate your kindness in thinking of me and I am humbled by your generosity.

Your comments are award enough for me. Comment away!