Since She Went Away

Written by David Bell

Review written by Maureen Ellis

Maureen Ellis is a keen reader in the crime genre. She regularly posts on Goodreads.com


Since She Went Away
New American Library
RRP: £11.99
Released: June 30 2016
PBK

Jenna Barton asks her friend Celia to meet her at midnight in a local park. All she wants is to do is to recreate some of their youthful antics - a little excitement maybe, because she feels they're not quite as close as they used to be; and so starts this engaging tale

Jenna turns up fifteen minutes late, and Celia is nowhere to be found. Immediately Jenna feels anxious as Celia is renowned for her timekeeping. Celia's husband reports her missing, and the only clue that she even turned up at the park at all, is the discovery of a single diamond earring identified as belonging to her. This leads to this missing person case being labelled 'The Diamond Mom'.

Jenna tells everyone that it's her fault that Celia is missing because she turned up late for their meeting. Jenna's fifteen year old son Jared however, has reason to believe that he's to blame for her disappearance. The months pass and there's still no clue as to what happened to Celia, or whether she's still alive even. Whilst Jenna comes under immense pressure from the media circus, she does a great job of protecting Jared from the constant intrusion into their personal lives. This intense story is told from both Jenna and Jared's perspectives.

I haven't read David Bell's work before, but I have to say that he writes with great skill, and a natural ability to create a taut and gripping thriller. Jenna and Jared's characters were both likable, though it felt at times that fifteen year-old Jared was perhaps too wise, and sensible beyond his years, and much more so, than his mother.

It was a complex story, with the dual perspectives being brought together really well, plus, the author managed to keep the tension going right until the very end.

All in all, a really enjoyable read.

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