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The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell

Thriller

The Night She Disappeared

by Lisa Jewell

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Quick Take

The hair-raising story of an unsolved disappearance that connects two women across years and many dark secrets.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, 400

    400+ pages

  • Illustrated icon, Multiple_Viewpoints

    Multiple viewpoints

  • Illustrated icon, Nonlinear_Timeline

    Nonlinear timeline

  • Illustrated icon, Murder

    Murder

Synopsis

2017: 19 year old Tallulah is going out on a date, leaving her baby with her mother, Kim.

Kim watches her daughter leave and, as late evening turns into night, which turns into early morning, she waits for her return. And waits.

The next morning, Kim phones Tallulah's friends who tell her that Tallulah was last seen heading to a party at a house in the nearby woods called Dark Place.

She never returns.

2019: Sophie is walking in the woods near the boarding school where her boyfriend has just started work as a head-teacher when she sees a note fixed to a tree.

'DIG HERE' . . .

A cold case, an abandoned mansion, family trauma, and dark secrets lie at the heart of this remarkable new novel.

Why I love it

If I made a list of all the things I want in a thriller, The Night She Disappeared would check off every single item. Creepy woods? Check! Academic setting? Check! An ancient, sprawling estate called Dark Place? Check! Secrets, illicit affairs, and suspicious characters inhabiting multiple timelines? Check, check, and heck yes! Even better, at its center are three flawed, determined, vivid women—a missing girl, her devoted mother, and a mystery writer who finds a clue that turns a cold case into a bonfire.

The writer is Sophie, who moves to a quaint English village when her boyfriend becomes head teacher at a private school. Before she can settle in, Sophie hears about Tallulah and Zach, a young couple who vanished a year earlier after attending a get-together at Dark Place. Soon after, Sophie stumbles upon a handwritten note on the edge of the storied estate’s vast woods that bears an ominous message—DIG HERE. What she finds buried there brings her into contact with Kim, Tallulah’s mother, who continues to look for her daughter long after everyone else has stopped. Together, the two women set out to learn what really happened to Tallulah.

Once again, Lisa Jewell proves herself to be a master of page-turning suspense. With the ease of a Vegas blackjack dealer, she shuffles between the days after Sophie’s discovery, the months leading up to Tallulah’s disappearance, and Kim’s frantic search in the days that followed. I loved the way Jewell teases out the story in delicious bits and pieces before finally hitting us with the shocking truth about what happened that night. That’s another thing to add to the list. A killer ending? Check!

Thriller
No One Can Know
A Talent for Murder
Listen for the Lie
Kill for Me, Kill for You
Daughter of Mine
The Fury
Only If You’re Lucky
When I’m Dead
The Soulmate
The Other Mothers
What Lies in the Woods
She Started It
People Like Her
Dark Corners
Blacktop Wasteland
All the Dangerous Things
The Only Survivors
The Hunting Party
Things We Do in the Dark
The Golden Couple
The Collective
Gone Tonight
Too Good to Be True
The Last Word
You Are Not Alone
Rock Paper Scissors
Cross Her Heart
A Flicker in the Dark
Reckless Girls
The Wife Upstairs
The Last Thing He Told Me
The Maidens
Everything We Didn't Say
Invisible Girl
The Paris Apartment
The Guest List
What She Knew
The Dark Lake
The Wife Between Us
The Perfect Mother
None of This Is True
Sweet Little Lies
The Silent Patient
The Winter Sister
The Family Remains
Before She Knew Him
Daisy Darker
The Other Woman
Necessary People
The Family Upstairs
The Wives
Truth Be Told
The Night Swim
The Girl in the Mirror
Pretty Little Wife
Goodnight Beautiful
The Writing Retreat
Just Another Missing Person
First Born
Thriller
View all
No One Can Know
A Talent for Murder
Listen for the Lie
Kill for Me, Kill for You
Daughter of Mine
The Fury
Only If You’re Lucky
When I’m Dead
The Soulmate
The Other Mothers
What Lies in the Woods
She Started It
People Like Her
Dark Corners
Blacktop Wasteland
All the Dangerous Things
The Only Survivors
The Hunting Party
Things We Do in the Dark
The Golden Couple
The Collective
Gone Tonight
Too Good to Be True
The Last Word
You Are Not Alone
Rock Paper Scissors
Cross Her Heart
A Flicker in the Dark
Reckless Girls
The Wife Upstairs
The Last Thing He Told Me
The Maidens
Everything We Didn't Say
Invisible Girl
The Paris Apartment
The Guest List
What She Knew
The Dark Lake
The Wife Between Us
The Perfect Mother
None of This Is True
Sweet Little Lies
The Silent Patient
The Winter Sister
The Family Remains
Before She Knew Him
Daisy Darker
The Other Woman
Necessary People
The Family Upstairs
The Wives
Truth Be Told
The Night Swim
The Girl in the Mirror
Pretty Little Wife
Goodnight Beautiful
The Writing Retreat
Just Another Missing Person
First Born