This review is based on a complimentary book I received from NetGalley. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.Since She Went Away by David J. Bell
Genres: Crime and suspense, Thriller
Release Date: June 21, 2016
Format: ARC, E-book
Purchase at: Amazon
Three months earlier, Jenna Barton was supposed to meet her lifelong best friend Celia. But when Jenna arrived late, she found that Celia had disappeared—and hasn’t been seen again. Jenna has blamed herself for her friend’s disappearance every single day since then.
The only piece of evidence is a lone diamond earring found where Celia and Jenna were planning to meet, leading the national media to dub Celia “The Diamond Mom.” And even though Jenna has obsessively surfed message boards devoted to missing persons cases, she is no closer to finding any answers—or easing her guilt.
But when her son’s new girlfriend—who suddenly arrived in town without a past—disappears, a stricken Jenna begins to unwind the tangled truth behind Celia’s tragedy. And as long-buried secrets finally come to light, she discovers how completely lives can be shattered by a few simple lies.
When I requested this book I thought it was going to be a crime and mystery book, it was all that and more. What more could it be you ask? There is a psychological aspect to this book that puts you in the action, right in the front row. The characters are not perfect and you are with them through their thoughts, their actions, and their reactions.
While I was reading this book I was a little “come on, really?” at first in terms of their thoughts and reactions. I wanted to say to the main character Jenna, “don’t be sooooo stupid, think!” Then I actually thought about it 🤔, what would I do if this were my best friend? Would I react the same? Would I make the same choices? That got me thinking and then I appreciated this story a lot more. Yes, I was a bit annoyed at the characters from time to time but that was only because I am rational and my life is not falling apart. If this happened to me would I be any different? That is what I ended up appreciating about this story. It was not a cut and dry crime mystery novel but a story with great perception of the human psyche.
This story is told through the POV’s of Jenna Barton and her fifteen-year-old son Jared Barton and how the disappearance of Jenna’s best friend Celia has an affect not only on them, but also on the town, and on strangers. There are primary and secondary characters sprinkled throughout this story. They are all fleshed out well and given their own identity and nuances that really just add to the overall mystery. It is fast paced, suspenseful, and full plot twists and turns. There is also the addition of the mystery surrounding Jared’s girlfriend that adds spice to the overall mix.
So why only 3.5 stars then? Jenna Barton is a single mom and many, many, many times she reflects that fact to herself and makes decisions that in my mind are just plain ludicrous because of it 🙄. There were also some other minor points that detracted from the story but I can not really discuss them without being a spoiler. The ending was for me, wah wah waaahhh, not a shocker but overall it was an enjoyable way to pass the time and I think that anyone can take something from this story.
*Thank you to Berkley Publishing Group/NAL & NetGalley for this ARC of Since She Went Away*