Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review. This book will be released on October 1, 2019.
Not too much to say except that I found this to be a solid thriller by Tara Laskowski. I have never read a book from her before, but she definitely does a great job with developing the two leads (Maureen and Allison). She sets up the sleepy beach town with dark secrets very well too. I ended up pitying the characters and loved the epilogue.
“One Night Gone” has Allison Simpson struggling to move on. Readers find out that she had an epic tirade against her now ex husband while she was doing her weather report. Due to this, she goes viral and initially basks in the attention until it turns ugly (she’s a woman on the internet, of course it did) and she loses her job. Her sister gets her an opportunity to house sit for a traveling couple in their gorgeous beach house in the town of Opal Beach. It’s during the off season (fall and winter) so Allison is hoping that this will give her an opportunity to reset. However, as soon as Allison arrives in Opal Beach she has caused some of the residents to talk. She reminds them of a young girl named Maureen Haddaway that no one ever saw again decades earlier (1985). Allison soon starts to investigate Maureen’s disappearance and wonders if a very connected and rich local family had something to do with it. Laskowski also goes back and forth and shows Maureen’s POV in the 1980s timeline. We get to see her meeting the teenage versions of the adult characters we see in Allison’s timeline.
So, I thought this was so good. Some people may not end up liking Maureen and the choices she makes, but I pitied her a great deal. She is currently working at a carnival and finds herself drawn in against her will at times into the residents of Opal Beach. Maureen is considered disposable by so many in Opal Beach since she’s considered just a “summer girl.” There’s just one hitch in her story-line that I didn’t find believable, and that was her deciding to do a high stakes poker game for money. Other than that, I loved Maureen just wanting to belong and finding herself falling for local rich boy Clay and being best friends with a local girl named Tammy. Laskowski does a great job of capturing the mood of the mid 1980s I thought.
Allison is very strong and having a public blow up about her marriage definitely gets you on her side straight on. She’s been living with her sister, but is glad tor a chance to stretch her wings to do something else. She honestly doesn’t want to be known in Opal Beach, but finds out that is a bit too much to ask. When she is approached by an older Tammy to help her investigate what happened to her friend Maureen, Allison is pulled in reluctantly.
We have a chance to see so many characters who changed through the decades via both women’s POV’s so I thought that was pretty cool.
The writing was good. I thought that Laskowski does a great job of capturing Maureen’s voice along with Allison’s older and more hesitant one at times.
The flow worked between the alternating POVs though I can imagine some readers may get a bit sick of it. Laskowski does a great job of making sure you know who is “speaking” though so that should help.
The setting of Opal Beach feels very dark though you would expect it to be nothing but sunshine and ocean. Since Allison arrives during the off-season you see how isolated the community is and how it goes “dead” until the summer people arrive that many residents resent having to depend on to make ends meet.
The main reason why I gave this book four stars is that some of the book stretches belief a bit. I already mentioned the high stakes poker game. But I also had a moment of really when it’s revealed who did what and how it related to Allison. It just felt very ridiculous and didn’t make a lot of sense, at least to me. That said, I really enjoyed the majority of the book and think that thriller and mystery readers will like this one too.