My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Summary: GONE WITHOUT A TRACE by Mary Torjussen is a chilling, twisty, compulsive thriller about a woman whose boyfriend has vanished. Fans of I LET YOU GO and THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN will be gripped.
No one ever disappears completely…
You leave for work one morning.
Another day in your normal life.
Until you come home to discover that your boyfriend has gone.
His belongings have disappeared.
He hasn’t been at work for weeks.
It’s as if he never existed.
But that’s not possible, is it?
And there is worse still to come.
Because just as you are searching for him
someone is also watching you.
This was a pretty interesting mystery. It held my attention, and by the end, I was mildly horrified at the actions of each character. However, it did have its issues.
Hannah, the protagonist, comes home one day to find every last trace of her boyfriend gone. She then embarks on a journey that ruins her entire life to find him, eventually ending up (view spoiler) Hannah’s descent into madness felt a little too quick for me to believe it completely, and she was a little too obsessive over Matt (the boyfriend) for me to like her very much, but it was still quite interesting to watch her slowly go insane.
I can’t deny that I wanted to see what was going to happen to her in the end, and that was what kept me reading. I wanted to know how far she was going to go to get Matt back, and it was oddly fascinating, watching her ruin her life because of her obsession.
This next section is going to be full of unmarked spoilers. It’s basically spoiler city. If you don’t want spoilers, stop reading here, please.
If there was one thing that I seriously appreciated, it was the fact that the abusive relationships portrayed mainly featured Hannah abusing her boyfriends, and not the other way around. Kudos to the author for portraying something genuinely out of the norm. This is something I haven’t seen in literature before, and I appreciated it.
Now, just because they were abused, that doesn’t excuse Matt and James’ actions. Matt cheated on Hannah with her best friend, Katie, and James screwed with Hannah’s mind by making her think that someone was spying on/stalking her. Both of them contributed to the ending, where Hannah went to confront Matt and Katie.
Katie was the quintessential bad friend- she lied to Hannah, steered her in the wrong direction, cheated on James with Matt, etc. I spent most of the book suspicious of her, and when the reveal finally came, I was just as furious as Hannah was at that moment.
I was pretty glad when Hannah decided to turn herself in to the police, because it was really the only good decision she could have made at that time. And then the very end came, and Hannah went on the hunt for Matt again. I wasn’t really sure how to feel about this, because on one hand, I was happy to see her fall again, but on the other, I just wanted her to stop. It was a pretty strange mix of emotions.
Actually, that describes my reaction to this whole book- a strange mix of emotions. It was interesting, but I had to take off a star because of the characters. Still, very worth a read.
ARC from First to Read.