Thursday, October 17, 2019

Review: Where She Went - Kelly Simmons

Where She Went
by Kelly Simmons
Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Published October 1, 2019 by Sourcebooks Landmark

What happens when your worst fear comes true?

Her only daughter has just gone away to college, and Maggie O'Farrell knows she's turning into one of those helicopter parents she used to mock. Worrying constantly, texting more than she should, even occasionally dropping by the campus "just to say hi." But Maggie can't shake the feeling that something terrible is about to happen to Emma. And then, just as Maggie starts to relax, her daughter disappears.

The clues are disturbing. An empty dorm room where Emma was supposedly living. A mysterious boy described as Future Husband in her phone. Dormmates who seem more sinister than friendly. As Maggie combs over the campus looking for signs of her daughter, she learns more about Emma's life than she ever thought possible.

Kelly Simmons delivers another gripping novel in Where She Went, an unforgettable story of letting go and the secrets that surface when the person keeping them is gone.

3.5 Stars
Maggie O'Farrell knows the moment she answers the door that something is wrong, you can't be the wife, or widow, of a cop without recognizing right away when a cop is at the door for something bad. She knows something has happened to Emma. As she is escorted to Emma's college she begins to pick apart the things she knows herself, like how Emma couldn't have been staying in the dorm and that something sinister must be lurking in the small college town. As she walks in her daughters footsteps, desperate for answers, she learns she didn't really know Emma at all anymore.

Gripping and fast paced, Where She Went by Kelly Simmons follows Maggie as she pushes for answers in her daughters disappearance. With alternating perspectives, Simmons gives readers a glimpse into Emma's college experiencing leading up to her disappearance and finds Maggie pushing the cops to try harder as she tries to place herself into Emma's shoes. Maggie is the classic, overprotective mom, Emma is the friendly, but naive new college student. They are two peas in a pod, so similar to one another, which I found lent itself to the story. I could see them in one another and believed in Maggie as she followed the few clues she could find. I loved the alternating chapters, it made the book more suspenseful and the anxiety I felt pushed me to keep reading. While I wouldn't call it a thriller, it certainly had all the right elements of a mysterious suspense read.

Where She Went isn't predictable, I really was quite surprised in the end, but it does lack some of the thriller aspects I usually enjoy in my suspense reads. The events leading up to Emma's disappearance feel mundane in comparison to Maggie's encounters as she hunts for clues. The twists are fairly mild and the conclusion felt more like a blanket laid down to soothe fears rather than that feeling of needing a deep breathe after having ran for one's life. It's all a matter of perspective and what you're looking for in your read though. If women's suspense/thriller is what you need for your Autumn cozy read, then I recommend Where She Went for sure.

A quick read that kept me glued to the pages, Where She Went is an intriguing mystery novel with characters that are realistic and relatable. I enjoyed the unraveling of secrets, complicated relationships, and the characters that made this story feel like a true crime read.

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