Reading «Grace is Gone» reminded me of two very distinct things:
- why thrillers and mysteries used to be my favorite genres, and also
- why I stopped reading them.
This might sound like I disliked this book, which is not true. But I can’t say that it was the best Mystery either, especially since I suspected from the very beginning what the twist will be, and patiently waited for my guess to be confirmed by the author.
Meg and her daughter Grace are the most beloved family in Ashford, the lynchpin that holds the town together. So when Meg is found brutally murdered and her daughter missing, the community is rocked by the tragedy. Her daughter, Grace, has been sick for years and all Meg has ever done is look after her. Now Meg is dead, Grace is gone – and fears are growing for her life.
Who would kidnap a sick teenager? Who would murder a mother who sacrificed everything? As the community come to terms with what’s happened, an unlikely pair start searching for answers: Jon, the most hated journalist in Ashford and Cara, the young woman who found Meg’s body. But once they start digging into the past, they will soon realise there’s no going back.
Thank you Netgalley and Little, Brown Book Group UK – Sphere, for a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the company or its affiliates in any way.
I always find it difficult to review thrillers and mysteries. More often than not, the blurb already gives out too much information for my liking (since I like going into my books not knowing anything about the plot, if possible), and how do I explain my conflicted feelings without giving away certain elements of the story?!
Let’s give this a try, shall we?
WHAT I LIKED:
1 – «Grace is Gone» combines some of the best traits of mysteries and thrillers – from an action-packed page-turner to gripping writing style, I never noticed myself flipping the pages (or, in this case, tapping on my Kindle), and from the first sentence I got transported into the story.
Nikki @The Night is Dark and Full of Books created this new bookish challenge – Battle of First Sentences, and the first sentence of «Grace is Gone» is one of the most captivating out there. It was very difficult to put the book down when I needed to sleep, and my thoughts kept returning to this story over and over again.
Grace doesn’t know, but every night around 2 a.m. I got to her.
2 – Writing thrillers is not an easy task. Besides all the little hints spread through the story that usually neatly tie in a pretty bow by the end of the book, the author needs to be careful to not only “tell”, but also “show” the events to readers. And Emily Elgar’s writing did just that.
I loved how simple and efficient her writing is. How she doesn’t waste a single word, and every sentence conveys some part of the picture. Whether she was talking about dripping blood or “favorite daisy-printed sheets”, her writing always felt purposeful.
3 – It wasn’t just the writing style that surprised me, but also carefully crafted human emotions. The best thrillers and mysteries, in my opinion, need to play with your mind and also with your emotions. Grace, Meg, Cara, Jon, and all their hardships and little secrets made this book impossible to put down.
WHAT DIDN’T LIKE:
1 – Despite all its positive qualities, «Grace is Gone» lacked one important trait – unexpected twists. The hints were there for us to see, but it wasn’t just the hints that made me suspect how it was going to end. From the beginning, I saw these familiar elements that I’ve already seen in other books. At first, I wanted to be right and see my theory confirmed, but as the story progressed and I guessed more and more “twists”, I hoped to get at least one of them wrong.
Even though the plot was predictable, I still enjoyed this book quite a lot. If you’re new to Thriller and Mystery genre this will be a perfect starting point for you. Captivating and very emotional, «Grace is Gone» combines family relationships and small-town setting with interesting, and at points dangerous, investigation.
What was the best thriller/mystery you’ve read so far? Have you read «Grace is Gone»? Did it find it predictable?
Let me know in the comments below!