In this era of domestic thrillers, a novel about a functional, loving family can feel refreshing and downright unexpected ... The drama gets a little thin in spots ... Downplaying the conflict might be a trade-off for the novel’s greater focus on character development and relationships. Hannah’s insights and epiphanies about how to parent an untrusting teenager aren’t all that revelatory, but they certainly are reminders of what’s most important ... As a result, Dave pulls off something that feels both new and familiar: a novel of domestic suspense that unnerves, then reassures ... Dave has given readers what many people crave right now—a thoroughly engrossing yet comforting distraction.
... suspense is a new genre for [Dave] and it works. Set aside some time because this one is a page-turner with a mystery you’ll want to get to the bottom of quickly. You can almost imagine the race against time that Hannah is under with a Jack Bauer-esq 24 clock ticking away.
The first-person, present-tense point of view makes the pace quick; readers will be hooked from the start. Skillfully woven into the present mystery are flashbacks of scenes between Hannah and Owen, showing their tender relationship and Owen’s behavior that hints at his past. For readers who like a resilient, resourceful heroine and a compelling domestic suspense story.
... gripping ... The twists and turns, suspenseful as they are, take a back seat to the budding relationship between stepmother and stepdaughter. Hannah and Bailey’s path to defining their roles in relation to one another comes at an unfortunate time, but it’s a solid reminder that mother-daughter bonds (or stepmother-stepdaughter, as it were) don’t always fit into the cookie-cutter Gilmore Girls fantasy. As for Owen, though his mysterious vanishing is at the center of the novel, he fades into the background, allowing two strong women to direct the course of the narrative.
Bestselling author Dave’s latest (after Hello, Sunshine, 2017) is a well-written story, and though readers may have trouble connecting with the characters, the plot is strong enough that the mystery will keep them hooked.
Hannah’s narrative alternates past and present, detailing her early days with Owen alongside her current hunt for him, and author Dave throws in a touch of danger and a few surprises. But what really drives the story is the evolving nature of Hannah and Bailey’s relationship, which is by turns poignant and frustrating but always realistic. Light on suspense but still a solid page-turner.