30 July 2021

Blog Tour and Review: The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell

Today I'm participating in the Penguin Random House Australia blog tour for The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell, who signed more than 6,500 tip-in sheets (title pages) while in lockdown in the UK. Oh, and she also wrote this book.


The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell book cover
"Mum, there's some people here from college, they asked me back to theirs. Just for an hour or so. Is that OK?"

Midsummer 2017: teenage mum Tallulah heads out on a date, leaving her baby son at home with her mother, Kim.

At 11pm she sends her mum a text message. At 4.30am Kim awakens to discover that Tallulah has not come home.

Friends tell her that Tallulah was last seen heading to a pool party at a house in the woods nearby called Dark Place.

Tallulah never returns.

2018: walking in the woods behind the boarding school where her boyfriend has just started as a head-teacher, Sophie sees a sign nailed to a fence.

A sign that says: DIG HERE . . .


The start of The Night She Disappeared had me by the throat immediately, with a skin crawling prologue about arachnophobia.
"Arachnophobia. It's one of those words that sounds as bad as that which it describes. The hard 'ack' at the end of the second syllable suggestive of the repulsive angles of a spider's legs; the soft sweep of the the 'fo' like the awful wave of nausea that washes through your gut at the suggestion of a sudden movement across a wall or floor; the loud 'no' at its centre the sound of your brain screaming, in disgust, nononono. Tallulah suffers from arachnophobia. Tallulah is in the dark."
Wow, what a way to start a book! From there, the reader is introduced to Tallulah, a young teenage Mum who is missing along with her boyfriend after attending a friend's party. Living on the school grounds, Sophie is the head teacher's girlfriend and a cosy crime author suffering from writer's block who chooses to distract herself by looking into the cold case of the missing teenagers. Tallulah's mother Kim is left literally holding the baby, and we have access to all three character perspectives throughout the novel.

The Night She Disappeared is part domestic noir, psychological thriller and mystery and I was heavily invested in finding out what happened that night. Following Sophie's enquiries felt like the cosy crime she is famous for (in Scandinavia anyway) and the psychological games deployed by some manipulative characters in the book kept me on the edge of my seat. There was even a police procedural style section towards the end which kept the pace flying along towards a satisfactory conclusion.

The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell has a little bit of everything and is highly recommended for thriller fans looking for a little variety from the genre.

You can seize this book at Booktopia.

My Rating:

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