Monday, July 5, 2021

Review: Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica

by Mary Kubica
Release Date: May 18th 2021
2021 Park Row
Kindle Edition; 352 Pages
ISBN: 978-0778389556
Audiobook: B08PDWGPSB
Genre: Fiction / Mystery
Source: Review copy from publisher
3 / 5 Stars
Shelby Tebow is the first to go missing. Not long after, Meredith Dickey and her six-year-old daughter, Delilah, vanish just blocks away from where Shelby was last seen, striking fear into their once-peaceful community. Are these incidents connected? After an elusive search that yields more questions than answers, the case eventually goes cold.

Now, eleven years later, Delilah shockingly returns. Everyone wants to know what happened to her, but no one is prepared for what they’ll find…
My Thoughts
Local Woman Missing certainly had a suspenseful and intriguing start, and I was hopeful that would continue throughout the book.  And while the first two-thirds was pretty solid, with an interesting, and suspenseful, story line, when the 'incident' occurred, and I suddenly had to switch gears about a character, it didn't sit well with me, nor did it feel realistic.  And unfortunately, I didn't buy into the ending and the events toward the end of the book.  

First of all, I enjoyed the whole 'child gone missing' trope in this book, until the end.  The author's use of this stylistic suspense was quite well done throughout the first half, and it did make me question and wonder as to what happened, how, when, where, and why.  And I really wanted to know more about the psychological aspects of how the police would deal with what was happening, but the book was not a police procedural, so you learned about it more through the eyes of a fifteen-year-old.  However, that was pretty effective as well as that 15 year old was the Delilah's younger brother who was only four when she went missing, and I loved reading his viewpoint; trying to grasp his struggles, his pain, his wonder, his confusion, and his grasping of memories of an older sister he doesn't really remember, except through videos and pictures, was fascinating.  I actually thought his chapters were some of the strongest in the book. I personally went through a variety of emotions while reading his chapters.

Initially, the strong writing has me turning the pages and I did finish this book in one sitting. Written in dual timelines, and in multiple POV, this worked rather well in setting up an intricate, and detailed, story.  However, as I've already mentioned, about two-thirds into the book, things took a serious nosedive, and unfortunately, I just didn't buy into what happened.  It was just so out of character as to what was happening, that it didn't feel real or believable. I don't know if this was done to shock the reader or if the author just lost track of what the intention was for this book, but for me, it just didn't work.  A lot of work went into setting up a rather suspenseful, and enjoyable, story line, one in which I was quite invested, and exploded into what I consider as something completely unbelievable.  

Local Woman Missing had such a strong start, with enjoyable characters, and a strong, intriguing story line.  However, two-thirds into the book, it took a nosedive into the unbelievable and unrealistic, and I just didn't buy into the ending.  There were definitely some wonderful elements to this book, so I do recommend you check it out for yourself to see what you think.  Unfortunately, I just couldn't get past that ending.