Skip to content

Then She Was Gone By Lisa Jewell

Then She Was Gone‘Then She Was Gone’ is the thrilling new book by Lisa Jewell.

She was fifteen, her mother’s golden girl. She had her whole life ahead of her. And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone. It’s been ten years since Ellie disappeared, but Laurel has never given up hope of finding her daughter. And then one day a charming and charismatic stranger called Floyd walks into a café and sweeps Laurel off her feet. Before too long she’s staying the night at this house and being introduced to his nine year old daughter. Poppy is precocious and pretty – and meeting her completely takes Laurel’s breath away.
Because Poppy is the spitting image of Ellie when she was that age. And now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back. What happened to Ellie? Where did she go? Who still has secrets to hide?

When it comes to Lisa Jewell, I’m a huge fan of her book, I love and admire how she has transcended beautifully from writing romantic fiction to psychological thrillers that grip you at every page and her latest book is no different.

In this book, we meet Laurel, a mother who’s daughter disappeared one day and was never found. She doesn’t believe that Ellie ran away, her daughter was happy and about to start her exams and prepare for her bright future ahead, she had no reason to leave. Years later, there is a discovery and finally Laurel can put Ellie to rest but she’s left with a lot of unanswered questions.

Laurel decides to move forward with her life, trying to take an interest in her other children’s lives, as she felt she neglected them with Ellie’s disappearance. And with moving on, Laurel meets Floyd, a handsome man with an outspoken and mature daughter called Poppy, who really reminds Laurel of Ellie.

As the story progresses, it is seen through different narratives all giving various perspectives to the tale. As well as the various narratives, the story also travels back and forth in time, setting the scenes.

Laurel is a guilty mother, guilty that she lost her child as well as being guilty of having a favourite child. She tries to form a bond with her other daughter Hanna, but she pushes her away, tired of being second best. When she meets Poppy, she’s curious about the old fashioned child with an opinion on everything and is drawn to her and her father who has brought some happiness into her bleak life.

I adored this book and have to say that I think it’s my favourite book by Lisa to date. The chapters are short, so it’s very easy to keep reading and thinking “just one more chapter before bed” and that’s how I ended up reading into the early hours!

I loved the characters and found them to be engaging, relatable with their troubled that all made for compelling reading. A fast paced thriller with just the right mix of psychological and poignancy to keep the reader on their toes,’Then She Was Gone’ is a cleverly written and delicious read that is perfect for fans of Nicci French.

You can pre-order Then She Was Gone from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 27th July 2017.

The Life I Left Behind By Colette McBeth

The Life I Left Behind‘The Life I Left Behind’ is the latest book by Colette McBeth.

Five years ago Melody Pieterson was attacked and left for dead. She coped by burying the person she was, locking away her memories and creating a new life for herself. Her attacker is behind bars. In four weeks’ time she will get married. She’s almost normal. Then the body of another woman is found, close to where Melody was discovered. Like her she has blond hair and green eyes. Like Melody police find a gold bird cage necklace at the scene. And Melody realises her attacker has been out there all along. The woman’s name is Eve Elliot. Melody sets out to discover everything she can about Eve to work out why they were targeted. But the more she gets to know her the more she realises what’s wrong with her own life. Eve may be dead but she’s the only person who can teach Melody how to live again.

‘The Life I Left Behind’ is the first book that I have read by Colette and it certainly was an enjoyable and suspenseful introduction to the author.

The story is written from the perspective of Eve and Melody. Two women who were attacked but only one of them survived. Years ago, Melody was the victim of a horrible attack which has now left her leading a sheltered and scared life, a shadow of her former self, she was never 100 percent sure about her attacker even though a man was sent to jail for the crime. Years later Eve starts to work on a story about Melody’s attacker David, when he is released from jail. Convinced that he was wrongly imprisoned, Eve starts to gather information to prove David’s innocence, but it seems that someone doesn’t want Eve to finish the case when she is found dead. After finding out that her attack was being questioned, Melody decides to continue on with the research and finds herself beginning to remember facts from the night and begins to doubt herself. Occasionally the story is also seen through the eyes of DI Victoria Rutter, the detective who is investigating Eve’s murder.

This book is a complex and cleverly written story seen from the perspective of both the living and dead, I did find it quite reminiscent of ‘The Lovely Bones’ which is also written through the narrative of a dead person, but that is where the similarities end.

The three leading ladies are quite intriguing characters and as the story flows along, it is written in such a way everyone is a suspect. As Melody delves further into the night of her attack, we see her become stronger and more confident in herself. Whilst Eve from the very beginning, is a strong determined lady, driven to tell the truth and become the voice of the innocent. Together the two of them, make for compelling and interesting reading, as the two women try to piece together the missing parts from that night.

The alternating chapters are seen from the perspective of the three women, which given a new and different insight to the story.

With a dark, eye catching cover, this book is an impressive and intense story from the beginning. ‘The Life I Left Behind’ is a gritty and twisty story, that leaves you chilled at the unexpected ending.

You can buy The Life I Left Behind from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.