26 March 2015

Review: Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight

Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight
Expected Publication: 14 April 2015 by Harper
Pages: 336
Genre/s: Adult, Mystery
Source: Publisher for review
Find It: Goodreads ~ Amazon


At the end of a long winter in well-to-do Ridgedale, New Jersey, the body of a newborn is found in the woods fringing the campus of the town's prestigious university. No one knows the identity of the baby, what ended her very short life, or how she wound up among the fallen leaves. But among the residents of Ridgedale, there is no shortage of opinions.

When freelance journalist, and recent Ridgedale transplant, Molly Anderson is unexpectedly called upon to cover the disturbing news for the Ridgedale Reader—the town's local paper—she has good reason to hesitate. A severe depression followed the loss of her own baby, and this assignment could unearth memories she has tried so hard to bury. But the history Molly uncovers is not her own. Her investigation unravels a decades-old trail of dark secrets hiding behind Ridgedale's white picket fences.

Told from the perspectives of three Ridgedale women, Kimberly McCreight's taut and profoundly moving novel unwinds the tangled truth behind the tragedy, revealing that these women have far more in common than they could have ever known. That the very worst crimes are committed against those we love. And that—sooner or later—the past catches up to all of us. 

My Thoughts

A small town, a body, a woman who is struggling to regain her feet after a traumatic event, a troubled teen and a seemingly perfect mother are the key ingredients of Where They Found Her, and have all the elements of a psychological-thriller-murder-mystery.

McCreight’s debut novel, Reconstructing Amelia, was a Goodreads Choice Nominee 2013 and was quite popular among many of my blogger friends, yet still sets unread on my bookshelf.  So when I was given the opportunity to read her second novel, Where They Found Her, I was pretty eager to find out what all the hype was about.

Where They Found Her is told through three perspectives – Molly, local reporter and recently having suffered a life-altering trauma, Sandy who is the stereotypical struggling teenager with a plethora of family issues, and Barbara, wife of the head of the local police force and candidate for mother of the year.  Whilst I enjoyed the perspective of Sandy, and didn’t have any particular issues with Molly (who, fortunately is the main narrator), I couldn’t stand Barbara – self-righteousness covering up huge insecurities isn’t the way to get me to feel empathy towards a character.

Sadly, I also guessed a large part of the mystery quite early on.  And the bits that I didn’t guess, well by the time they were revealed, I didn’t really care that much anymore and therefore their impact was greatly diminished.  And this is where reviewing mysteries is difficult, because there is a lot I want to talk about, but can’t because then I would spoilt it for the people who DON’T guess the mystery early on.

To McCreight’s credit, although I guessed the key parts of the plot far too early on, I was sucked into the story and was curious to see what happened.  It’s an easy read, something that I could see myself reading on a long-haul flight or, as did happen, whilst waiting for a badly delayed train.  In short, enough to keep my attention, but not to have me sweaty palmed and gripping the pages.

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