Book Title: Gone Without A Trace
Author: Mary Torjussen
REVIEWED BY: CHELSEA
Genres: Mystery, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Crime Fiction
Date Read: 04/06/17
Pub Date: 04/18/17
No one ever disappears completely…
You leave for work one morning.
Another day in your normal life.
Until you come home to discover that your boyfriend has gone.
His belongings have disappeared.
He hasn’t been at work for weeks.
It’s as if he never existed.
But that’s not possible, is it?
And if he has gone without a trace
why do you still feel that someone is watching you?
The premise of this story is absolutely brilliant. Imagine you are going about life, happily living one day to the next, and all of a sudden your significant other vanishes. He doesn’t just disappear, but somehow all trace of his livelihood ceases to exist. I don’t know about you, but I would be incredibly hurt and extremely curious as to how someone could erase their footprint on this earth so quickly. Had he been planning his Houdini act for months? Why would he just up and leave? What was my part in causing his exit from my life altogether? These are the immediate questions that floated around in my brain after reading the summary; throw in that gorgeous cover art and I was sold. While this ended up being a slightly different read than I expected, it was heavy on the suspense and played well on my need to know WHAT IN THE WORLD IS GOING ON????
This was a case of the slow burner that turned into a wild and crazy ride about halfway through the story. The beginning drew me in; I kept wondering how someone could simply vanish as described with no trace of his existence left behind. My first conclusion was that he must be an imagination of a crazy woman, like so many other books I’ve read previously, but this was not the case. Without giving away any plot details, there is a very controversial twist (controversial in the sense that readers have widely varied in their like or dislike of it), and this has seemed to be the make or break point of their rating of this book. Personally, I was torn; on one hand it was quite unexpected on my end and I couldn’t have seen it coming a mile away (which I love), and on the other it did seem a bit far fetched and unrealistic. I came to the conclusion that this book (and twist) will appeal heavily to the reader who doesn’t need any sense of realism in their thrillers; if you have enjoyed books in the past with lavish twists and can suspend your sense of needing a realistic explanation, this very likely will be a 5 star read. It was exciting and engaging at all the right parts and easily devoured in a matter of hours or days.
I did have some trouble connecting with Hannah at times, which I think is expected as she’s not an entirely likable character. I found myself wanting to smack her across the face a few times while she slowly descended into that spiral of frenzy in finding out what happened to Matt, but that is also to be expected as she’s losing her marbles. The ending was wrapped up nicely and a bit quickly; this piggy backs off of the big twist and causes the reader to pause a moment and think back to previous information we were given.
Again, while I did have minor issues with a few plot points, this overall was an exciting read that was paced well and kept the reader engaged throughout. If you can suspend your need for realistic explanations, I think this could be a winner for fans of twisty psychological thrillers. Gone Without A Trace provided a glimpse into the author’s immense talent as a writer and I look forward to seeing more from her.
*Many thanks to Berkley Publishing for providing my copy via NetGalley; it was a pleasure to provide my honest thoughts on the blog.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Mary Torjussen is the acclaimed author of Gone Without a Trace. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Liverpool John Moores University and worked for several years as a teacher.