I read a couple of Lisa Jewell books back in the day when she was a chick-lit writer and I was a chick-lit reader. But people change – authors and readers – and now she’s turned her hand to my favourite genre, thrillers. When I read the blurb to Then She Was Gone, I knew it was a book I had to read.
Ellie was 15 and Laurel’s youngest child, intelligent and happy, with her whole life ahead of her. But, just before her GCSEs, Ellie disappeared without trace and was never seen again. The police thought she was a runaway, buckling under the pressure of her exams, but Laurel knew that Ellie would never run away.
Without Ellie, Laurel’s life falls apart. Ten years on, she is still far from healed. And then she meets a new man who sweeps her off her feet. But it is when she meets his nine-year-old daughter she is shock. Because Poppy is the image of Ellie.
Could there be a connection? What really happened to Ellie?
Told mainly from the point of view of Laurel, but with a couple of other voices fundamental to the plot and even a few short chapters from Ellie herself, Then She Was Gone pieces together the full story of Ellie’s disappearance and the aftermath.
I guessed quite a lot of what had happened, but that didn’t take away the enjoyment for me. This is a real page turner which I read very quickly, because it was easy to read (although fairly disturbing in places) and I was just as desperate as Laurel to find out the truth about Ellie.
If you like a thriller that isn’t too complicated or gory, or perhaps you’ve never tried reading a thriller before and are unsure whether to take the plunge, I would definitely recommend Then She Was Gone. It is a story that will stay with me for a long time.