14 July 2019

Then She Vanishes

Book cover of Then She Vanishes by Claire Douglas
Psychological Thriller
A 2019 Top Rated Read

By Claire Douglas

Paperback 448 pages
Publisher Penguin (8th Aug 2019)

'Few people do psychological thrillers as claustrophobic and as creepy as Claire Douglas.' Tim Weaver, bestselling author of No One Home

📕My Review

Then She Vanishes by Claire Douglas is essential reading and one of the best psychological thrillers I've read this year. Extremely well plotted with believable characters, it tugs at the heartstrings and pulls you in.

Schoolgirls Heather Powell and Jessica Fox are best friends until tragedy strikes in the summer of 1994. Flora, Heather's 16-year-old elder sister, disappears from Tilby in Somerset and is never seen again. It destroys the girls' friendship and they drift apart.

Fast forward to March 2012 and two bodies are discovered in a house in Tilby, apparently shot dead by 32-year-old Heather Powell. Jessica, working as a journalist at the Bristol and Somerset Herald, is shocked to learn her old friend stands accused of murder.

Taking advantage of her past association with the Powells, Jessica re-enters their lives only to become conflicted when her loyalty to the family who once welcomed her into their home clashes with her job to get an exclusive interview for the newspaper. Was Heather really capable of murder? The evidence appears to confirm her guilt. Jessica is determined to discover exactly what happened.

The story is cleverly told through two timelines - the events leading up to Flora's disappearance in 1994 and Heather being accused of a double murder in 2012. I thought it was a gripping, multi-layered thriller. It wasn't particularly fast-paced but it didn't matter - the characters needed to be fully developed and Claire Douglas certainly did them justice. A fantastic read and one I highly recommend.

Book Source: Review copy from the publisher
Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Other Reviews:
Do Not Disturb 

📗The Blurb

Everything changed the night Flora Powell disappeared.

Heather and Jess were best friends - until the night Heather's sister vanished.

Jess has never forgiven herself for the lie she told that night. Nor has Heather.

But now Heather is accused of an awful crime.

And Jess is forced to return to the sleepy seaside town where they grew up, to ask the question she's avoided for so long:

What really happened the night Flora disappeared?

📘The Author

Photo of author Claire Douglas
Claire Douglas has worked as a journalist for fifteen years writing features for women's magazines and national newspapers, but she's dreamed of being a novelist since the age of seven. She finally got her wish after winning the Marie Claire Debut Novel Award, with her first novel, The Sisters, which was followed by Local Girl Missing, Last Seen Alive and Do Not Disturb, all Sunday Times bestsellers. She lives in Bath with her husband and two children.

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