The Disappearance of Stephanie Mailer

Written by Joel Dicker

Review written by Ayo Onatade

Ayo Onatade is an avid reader of crime and mystery fiction. She has been writing reviews, interviews and articles on the subject for the last 12 years; with an eclectic taste from historical to hardboiled, short stories and noir films


The Disappearance of Stephanie Mailer
MacLehose Press
RRP: £20
Released: March 4 2021
HBK

In 1994 a Mayor and his family are murdered in the town of Orphea along with an unfortunate witness. The killer is found and convicted.  Fast forward a decade later and just as he is retiring from the Police Force Captain Jesse Rosenberg who solved the murder is approached by journalist Stephanie Mailer who claims that he and his partner wrongly solved the case.  But is she right?

The journalist believes that she has the evidence to prove that the wrong person was convicted but she is not prepared to reveal anymore, until after a meeting with her “source” - but then she disappears. Last seen at the Police Officer’s retirement gathering, Rosenberg and his partner along with a female police officer Anna Kanner, find themselves investigating not only her disappearance, but also the case they thought that they had solved ten years earlier. Their investigation will bring many skeletons out of the cupboard and change the lives of the residents of Orphea forever.

If you have read The Truth About Harry Quebert you will have some idea of what to expect from author Joel Dicker.  In The Disappearance of Stephanie Mailer we have numerous twists and turns that lead to a challenging and complex narrative. Set within two time-lines 1994 and 2014, the story goes back and forth which provides insight into the dual-track narrative. Joel Dicker also uses the trademark countdown to events with flashbacks which enhances the story.

With so many secrets, lies, duplicitous behavior along with red herrings the reader may feel that they are being overwhelmed. This is not the case.   In The Disappearance of Stephanie Mailer we have essentially two different investigations, a re-investigation of the original case, and that of Stephanie's disappearance along with the ramifications of both events.

Intricate, unpredictable and with many false leads that fooled me, the ending is a shocking as it is unpredictable. This is very much a multi-layered novel that will intrigue you to the fraught denouement.

The only quibble is that some of the nuances may have been lost in the translation.  However, do not let this stop you from reading what is essentially a fascinating and intriguing story.

Editor’s note: Translated into English by Howard Curtis



Home
Book Reviews
Features
Interviews
News
Columns
Authors
Blog
About Us
Contact Us

Privacy Policy | Contact Shots Editor

THIS WEBSITE IS © SHOTS COLLECTIVE. NOT TO BE REPRODUCED ELECTRONICALLY EITHER WHOLLY OR IN PART WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION OF THE EDITOR.