Hardcover, 368 pages Publication: July 11th 2017 by Spiegel & Grau
ISBN13: 9780812989465 Rating 5*
Billie Flanagan was a beautiful woman, a free- spirit, charismatic with a picture perfect life. She had a brilliant beautiful daughter Olive and Jonathan, a husband who loved her! Now it has been a year since Billie went on a solo hike in the Desolation Wilderness and vanished from the trail. After weeks of searching the only things found are one of her hiking boots and a smashed cell phone. No body! And with no body, no closure, no burial, a husband and father desolate now turned to drink; and her determined that her mother is alive and sending her messages from the unknown to come and find her.
Olive’s dreams / hallucinations or whatever they are have convinced her that her mom is alive and she must try to interpret the messages she receives as clues to help her on her search for her mother. Except some of the clues lead to secrets that Billie had kept – shaking the very foundation of the pedestal which Olive and Billie’s husband had kept Billie on!
*** I have to say that this was a very interesting premise on a disappearance plot. Naturally you have lots of red herrings that pop up all over the place but with Billie though one never gets to actually meet her as the story starts with her disappearance and small background glimpses of a person who appeared to have it all! Billie did inspire loyalty though with the friends she did have. Though I question the relationship of friend with regard to Billie whose so called friends kept a few facts from Jonathan that might have helped him determine the person Billie was.
The suspense was palpable and kept the action going. Whether you warmed up to Jonathan or not, who partially neglected his daughter as he drowned his grief with work and drink one can empathize with him – to a certain extent. However, Olive was another matter. As a young teenager Olive needed her mom so much that the visions she was having (believe or not) were traumatic and to not be believed was even worse. What was real, what was not. What did the visions mean and where did they lead. Had Olive followed them correctly and what would she find behind the door of the beach cottage all the clues lead her to?
Bottom line: You will just have to read this very good thriller to find out!