Set in a creepy hotel where no one wants to be, not even the owners, a young woman sets out to find out what happened to her aunt, who disappeared 30-odd years before. The point of view switches between the young woman in the current day and her aunt in the early 80s. This back and forth allows the reader to see the two main characters experience similar phenomena in parallel; we also get to see a few secondary characters in both the past and present, which deepens the mystery – we know they are lying in the present, having seen their actions in the past.
Of course, there’s a twist. While I did guess it ahead of time, it didn’t make me as mad as some others I have read. Maybe that’s because while this book does of course draw on the missing dead girl trope, it does so while always centering the fault on the killer and simultaneously underlining the way sexism stands in the way of justice.
The characters are likable, and I wanted them to succeed. While I would never personally choose to hang out , much less work, in a haunted motel, I did somewhat accept their motivations for doing so.
I read a lot of thrillers and most of them are quite formulaic, so I found this one to be a fun change. This was a good, not great, read, and it did start out slowly. By the midpoint, though, I was hooked. Overall, I enjoyed the plot and the characters, and appreciated a thriller that points out the sexism that renders acceptable the disappearance and murder of several young woman.