I really enjoyed this book, although I have to admit not quite as much as the first of Jewell’s I read (Watching You). It’s strange to read a book about a mystery where the “who” and “what” are exactly what they seem, it’s just a matter of filling in the “how” and “why.” Mysteries by definition are all about piecing things together; there’s a reason they’re often dismissed as “whodunnits.”
Here, without giving too much away, we know exactly who is to blame for Ellie Mack’s disappearance almost immediately; Jewell foreshadows it from the time the character is introduced, so much so that I initially thought it was a red herring. Ellie’s mother starts dating a man with a daughter who looks exactly like her own child, missing for ten years, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to put two and two together regarding the resemblance. So the real mystery is how all the pieces come together and how everyone is involved.
It comes together satisfyingly enough, and it was refreshing to read a book where the author doesn’t jump through logic hoops to make a twist work, but I did want a little… SOMETHING else. Not necessarily a huge upending of expectations, but some subversion of the plot would have taken this from good to great.
Still excited to read more of Jewell’s back catalogue, and happy to see there’s so much of it; I need more mystery in my life of the “shadow lives of everyday people” variety.