Book Review: The Night She Disappeared

This is the second book I’ve read by the same title this year, both new releases.


On a beautiful summer night in a charming English suburb, a young woman and her boyfriend disappear after partying at the massive country estate of a new college friend.

One year later, a writer moves into a cottage on the edge of the woods that border the same estate. Known locally as the Dark Place, the dense forest is the writer’s favorite area for long walks and it’s on one such walk that she stumbles upon a mysterious note that simply reads, “DIG HERE.”

Could this be a clue towards what has happened to the missing young couple? And what exactly is buried in this haunted ground?

My Review

Tallulah Murray is a nineteen-year-old unmarried mom who still lives at home with her divorced mother, Kim. Tallulah juggles being a mom to Noah while attending college in hopes of becoming a social worker. The baby’s father, Zach, moves in with her, and they try to be a family.

Sophie Beck is the author of several detective stories. She and her significant other, Shaun, move from London to Maypole House, a private boarding school for 16-19 old students, when Shaun becomes the new head teacher.

The story begins with Tallulah and Zach go out for a rare night out, leaving Noah in Kim’s care. When they don’t return home, and don’t answer their cell phones, Kim fears something is wrong. Although both are very young, they are devoted to their son and wouldn’t leave him. Zach’s mother is nonchalant about the entire thing, but Kim decides to investigate on her own.

She learns they were last seen attending a pool party at Dark Place, a historical estate owned by the family of Scarlett Jacques who is also enrolled at the same college as Tallulah. Several people saw them there, but everyone said they planned to call a cab to take them home. After twenty-four hours, Kim calls the police to investigate. The trail goes cold.

The story is told in three timelines—the events leading up to Tallulah’s and Zach’s disappearance, the night of the pool party, and Kim’s subsequent investigation, and present-day when Sophie moves into the cottage at Maypole House.

Shortly after Sophie’s arrival, she finds a sign reading, “dig here,” near the edge of the woods behind her cottage. She uncovers a clue that might lead to what happened to Tallulah and Zach.

The book is more of a slow burn than a page-turner, but it kept my interest. And each tidbit or clue the author dropped was wrapped up nicely—with a surprising twist at the end.

A special thanks to Atria Books and Net Galley for an advanced reader copy.

17 thoughts on “Book Review: The Night She Disappeared

  1. Thank you, Joan, for sharing your review. Those slow-burners can capture our attention and leave tracks long after we finish the book. This sounds like one to read. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like slow burn suspense, so this appeals to me. I’ve also been seeing a lot of good reviews lately for books by Lisa Jewell. I need to start reading her work.

    Wish the title would have been different, given Kevin O’Brien’s July release. I’m surprised publishing houses do that as it’s easy for a reader to get redirected to a different author when shopping by title.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like a slow burn, provided the fire finally lights. Glad to know this one did. Sounds appealing.

    I’m starting to notice duplicate titles, too. And not just from a while ago and now, but in contemporary books. Makes me wonder if people are following a formula to write genre fiction a little TOO closely so that even the titles come out the same.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a coincidence that this is the second new release you’ve read this year with the same title. I’m totally okay with a slow burn story as long as the prose is interesting enough to keep going. Sounds like it is. Good review!


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