WHEN THE STARS GO DARK by Paula McLain

SYNOPSIS:

GOOD MORNING AMERICA BUZZ PICK • “A total departure for the author of The Paris Wife, McLain’s emotionally intense and exceptionally well-written thriller entwines its fictional crime with real cases.”—People (Book of the Week)

“The kind of heart-pounding conclusion that thriller fans crave . . . In the end, a book full of darkness lands with a message of hope.”—The New York Times Book Review

“This mystery will keep you guessing, and stay with you long after you finish. Dive in.”—theSkimm

Anna Hart is a seasoned missing persons detective in San Francisco with far too much knowledge of the darkest side of human nature. When tragedy strikes her personal life, Anna, desperate and numb, flees to the Northern California village of Mendocino to grieve. She lived there as a child with her beloved foster parents, and now she believes it might be the only place left for her. Yet the day she arrives, she learns that a local teenage girl has gone missing.

The crime feels frighteningly reminiscent of the most crucial time in Anna’s childhood, when the unsolved murder of a young girl touched Mendocino and changed the community forever. As past and present collide, Anna realizes that she has been led to this moment. The most difficult lessons of her life have given her insight into how victims come into contact with violent predators. As Anna becomes obsessed with saving the missing girl, she must accept that true courage means getting out of her own way and learning to let others in.

Weaving together actual cases of missing persons, trauma theory, and a hint of the metaphysical, this propulsive and deeply affecting novel tells a story of fate, necessary redemption, and what it takes, when the worst happens, to reclaim our lives—and our faith in one another.

MY THOUGHTS:

This was a tough one to read. About a woman who has lost so much and is a missing persons expert. Mainly missing children. This is my first book by Paula McLain and I will read more after this one.

When tragedy strikes Anna and Brendan’s life Brendan seems to blame Anna and asks her to leave. She does. Sadly and horribly she feels she deserves it. That what happened was her fault. It takes a while but you will learn what happened and how it happened. Can Anna heal and forgive herself though.

This is the story of a missing girls. Young girls have gone missing. Seemingly without a trace. When Anna arrives in Mendocino she overhears two people discussing a missing girl and how someone may be taking advantage of the parents. Claiming to be a physic.

Anna is asked by a childhood friend to help with this case. Will, the sheriff, who Anna has known almost all her life needs her help. She pours all she has into finding a fifteen year old girl who just seemed to vanish into thin air. There is also another teen who has been missing for several month. Are the cases related or is it a fluke. Will either girl be found. Found alive. One is an ex movie stars daughter and the other a very troubled girl who is from a somewhat poor side of life. Do these girls have anything in common or were they just victims of a sick person who randomly took each.

Also during this is the case of Polly Klass. A very young girl who was taken at knife point from her bedroom during a slumber party. Are these three cases at all related. We all know the story of Polly Klass and know what happened to her. But we don’t Cameron and Shannon. They are the two fictitious characters who we root for. Who we want to be found alive and well.

This is a somewhat dark story in many ways. Kidnapping. Sexual assault. Murder. Torture. Abuse. Horrible things that happen in life sometimes. It’s very sad that anyone would even think about these things. Much less do them.

This book goes back and forth at times to when Anna was young and taken as a foster child by a couple. A couple who wanted only the best for her. Who helped her in many ways come to terms what what happened in her young life. She learned survival skills and many other things that will help her throughout this story. You will read about her and Hap. Hap is a Ranger who cares very much about her. He and his wife. Also in this time period you read about another young girl, eighteen, who went missing. Does it have anything to do with what happens in the future?

This is a good story. No doubt about that. It’s one that will keep you turning the pages to find out who did what and why. To find out if these girls will be found. To find out who did this horrible thing. To see if there will be any closure for the girls. For their parents. All your questions will be answered.

I took one star away because I did figure out pretty early own who was doing the kidnappings and possibly why. I was right. It didn’t take away from the story at all though. It was just a bit obvious to me.

Thank you to #NetGalley, #PaulaMcLain, #randomhousepublishinggroup-ballentine for this ARC. This is my own true and honest thoughts about this book.

4/5 stars and I do highly recommend you read it. It’s worth it even with the touchy subject matter. It’s just very good.

Published by Linda Moore

I’m an avid reader and leave reviews on every book I read. I love reading and you will hardly ever see me without my kindle. I have an active blog at: https://lsmoore49.blogspot.com

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