The Night She Disappeared is the latest thriller by Lisa Jewell. I love Lisa Jewell’s thrillers and had been looking forward to reading this one, but it’s currently only out in hardback. I have a rule of not buying myself hardbacks as they’re a waste of money. It’s OK for other people to buy them for me though, so I asked my eldest to get me this one for my birthday!
And I’m so glad I did. It’s stunning. It could be Lisa Jewell’s best yet. It took me three days to read as I loved it so much.
It’s a year since a 19-year-old couple, Tallulah and Zach, disappeared without trace following a night out. While the police and Zach’s mum think they just fancied some time away, Tallulah’s mum, Kim, knows they would never have walked away from their baby son, Noah. They were young, but they were good parents, who loved their son more than anything.
Nobody who was out with them that night can tell the police anything and the trail soon goes cold. Kim is left grieving for her lost daughter, while caring for Noah.
Meanwhile, Sophie is starting a new life in the countryside with her partner – the headteacher of a private school. The school specialises in teaching students who have messed up their GCSEs and A Levels. Ex-students from the school were out with Tallulah and Zach the night they disappeared. When Sophie hears about the mystery from a year before, she can’t resist looking into it further.
She follows the trail to an abandoned mansion in the woods. Why would a family just walk away from such a beautiful home? And why do they all seem to have disappeared without trace? Does somebody know more about Tallulah and Zach’s disappearance than they are letting on?
The Night She Disappeared alternates between the time of Tallulah and Zach’s disappearance (and the events leading up to it) in 2017, and Sophie’s story, set in 2018.
The characters are complex and believable, some of them likeable, some of them not at all likeable. The abandoned mansion and the unusual school make the perfect setting for a thriller.
If you enjoy a thriller, you will love The Night She Disappeared.