Everyone in the small Midwestern town of Henderson looks up to my perfect parents. With dependable jobs as a midwife and the town sheriff, they help this close-knit community feel safe.
But the locals didn’t grow up in my parents’ house. They don’t know what I know. And they wouldn’t believe me if I told them…
After my best friend vanished when we were just fifteen, I left town and never looked back. I couldn’t prove it, but I think my parents killed her.
Now, years later, my little sister has vanished. I have no choice but to go home and play happy families again. Because I have to find out what my parents have done to her. I have to try to save her.
But when bones are discovered on a local farm, and all the evidence leads back to our front door, I realize I was wrong about absolutely everything. And that coming back was the deadliest thing I could do…
This is an adult 18+ story that may contain language, possible violence, and/or sexual situations geared to an adult audience.
Title: The Night She Vanished
Author: Wendy Dranfield
Published: March 14, 2023
My Rating: 4.5
First off: Wow! I did not see THAT coming at me!
The Night She Vanished is an intense Mystery/Thriller, the kind that I read in one complete sitting. And because there is a mystery involved, you won’t be finding spoilers in this review, only my reactions to this story.
The basics are that one night in 2008, Nicole’s best friend disappeared. Because of evidence left at the last place she was known to be, it is assumed that she was murdered. From that night onward, Nicole is convinced that her parents had something to do with what happened to her best friend, Lori… but she cannot prove it. She left home as soon as she was old enough, married her high school sweetheart and never looked back, never returned home, and has a very estranged relationship with her parents which unfortunately carried over to the relationship with her younger sister, Aimee. Now, in the present day, Aimee has gone missing, and Nicole is terrified that history is repeating itself as she returns home to search for her sister.
The Night She Vanished gives us a slightly dual time period, with the occasional chapters from 2008 showing us history vs. what is happening in the current time. What follows is an intense search for information, clues being discovered, and the knowledge that not everything Nicole is learning can be trusted to be the absolute truth, for there are lies, explanations not given, and things that simply do not add up. The tension continues to ratchet up throughout this story until it explodes in the final chapters.
I had plenty of suspects, some I dismissed then took another look at later on when more information was given. I did not see the actual villain in all of this at all. When I do a re-read in a few months, I’ll probably see clues that I missed, but for right now… I would never have expected those revolutions or who the killer turned out to be.
If you love an intense Mystery or Thriller that will have you baffled one moment and certain you know whodunit the next… only to discover how totally wrong you were, then The Night She Vanished is a book you need to grab right now. I enjoyed every moment of reading this one, and frankly, would never want to be on the bad side of the author, for she has a deviously wicked imagination! Go check it out for yourself; you will not be disappointed.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*
Available in print or for the Kindle as this title will be in KU