Monday, January 15, 2018

WATCH ME DISAPPEAR (2017) by Janelle Brown

Watch Me DisappearWatch Me Disappear by Janelle Brown
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

For the New Year I am trying to catch up on Net Galley titles from 2017 that I was given access to but never read. Watch Me Disappear started slowly and I wasn't sure where it was going, but once I committed, I had a hard time putting it down.

FIRST SENTENCE: "It's a good day, or maybe even a great one, although it will be impossible to know for sure later."

THE STORY: A year ago Billie Flanagan went hiking alone and never came home. Her family has not been able to move on since all that was ever found was a boot. Husband Jonathan is writing a memoir about his years with Billie, an charismatic woman, admired by many. But 'missing presumed dead' is taking its toll on the family. Jonathan needs Billie to be pronounced dead so he can access their money. Teenage daughter Olive suddenly starts having visions of her mother urging her to come find her. What does that mean? Will it lead to closure?

Jonathan has always been jealous of Olive's relationship with her mother. But both their stories about perfect Billie reveal troubling aspects. "Who you want people to be makes you blind to who they really are."

WHAT I THOUGHT: Alternating with what's going on with Olive and Jonathan, is the text of a memoir being written by Jonathan, Where the Mountain Meets the Sky: My Life with Billie Flanagan. Using this technique offers the reader layer after layer from different points of view. Things that didn't draw attention suddenly seem to have different meanings. Solving the mystery becomes fascinating as well as watching the problems caused between father and daughter and the missing Billie.

None of the characters were particularly likeable but that makes it more difficult to decide who and what to believe.

Eventually I started thinking I was near the end (it's harder to tell on an E-Reader), turned the page, and the story went on. I started skipping paragraphs to keep things moving wanting to know the final answer. With lots of twists and turns, the story comes to an unexpected ending.

BOTTOM LINE: If you liked Gone Girl, you will find this a compelling read. RECOMMENDED,

Disclaimer: An electronic copy of this book was provided to me by NetGalley/Spiegel & Grau for a fair review.

Janelle Brown is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Watch Me Disappear, All We Ever Wanted Was Everything, and This Is Where We Live. A native of San Francisco and graduate of UC Berkeley, she has since defected to Los Angeles, where she lives with her husband Greg, their two children, and a geriatric lab mix named Guster.  (from her website)

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