Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

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It is a guilty pleasure of mine to read thrillers, in between the novels of translated literature which I so adore. But, sometimes I long for something effortless to read. Something distracting. Something which is both an engaging plot and uncontrived.

Perhaps you’ve seen my scorn for Gone Girl. Or, The Girl on The Train. Things got a little better with The Woman in The Window. But, Then She Was Gone turned out to be pleasant surprise.

I began it this week while walking on the treadmill at the health club. I searched my phone for something distracting, something plot driven, and I downloaded this as an audio book. It was narrated, in a lovely British voice, by Helen Duff. And it told a story which I quickly had to read in text rather than listen to in audio, as I am a much better reader than listener.

When Ellie Mack, a brilliant student and lovely daughter, disappears from home no one finds her until her bones are discovered much, much later in a ditch. This is told fairly early on; I am not spoiling any surprises. The novel goes on to explain her story, which is a rather intricate plot involving her maths tutor, specifically, while simultaneously revealing the tender heart of her mother. I found it quite compelling, and I ended it just now oddly satiated at the outcome of a rather distressing story since it was told so compassionately and effectively.

This is one thriller that did not disappoint me. (And now I am off to read We and Me by Saskia de Coster for Boekenweek, which is March 23-31.)

6 thoughts on “Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell”

  1. M, I am exactly the same. I love these suspense/thriller novels and always read them when I need a break from literature. I remember reading this one and loving it – the story just hooked me from the start. I wound up reading more of her work as a result. Definitely glad you enjoyed this one 🙂

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  2. I’m glad you enjoyed this one. I’ve not yet read any of Lisa Jewell’s books, but she’s had several come out in the last few years that have been praised. I’m laughing about THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW. I liked that one too and our mystery group is discussing it tomorrow night. However, have you seen the New Yorker article about the author, A.J. Finn (aka Dan Mallory)? It’s pretty ‘interesting’ and he’s an odd duck indeed. Not sure what I think about all of it, but it’s turned me off of his writings a bit – just because of how he seems to be in real life. It will make for an interesting discussion tomorrow night I’m thinking.

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  3. I read crime fiction in between my more challenging reads too. This was the first novel I read by Jewell. Well plotted I thought but I wasn’t so taken by the writing style that I’d be in a desperate hurry to read more by her.

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  4. I’m the same: a thriller or a crime novel is a great palate cleanser between my (heavier) literary reads but they’re not guilty pleasures for me; they are NECESSARY pleasures! 😊

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  5. I’m glad that the novel could describe such distressing information with a compassionate and satisfying end. I may not be too afraid to pick it up. But the plot sounds familiar by any chance did this take place in Canada?

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  6. Oooh, I always love it when you recommend a thriller. This one sounds like a winner, but not on audio? I’ve added it to my library list. Thanks, my dear.

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