Review: Since She Went Away by David Bell

Title: Since She Went Away
Author: David Bell
Pages: 432
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Source: Free ARC from Berkley/NAL

Rating: B+

Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from Berkley/NAL via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review (and trust me, honest is always what you’ll get).

Review: As of late, I’ve read a fair number of mystery/thriller/suspense books, and Since She Went Away sits closer to the top of the heap. Jenna was so easy to relate to. She was on the verge of making some really bad choices (choices I could potentially see myself making in similar circumstances), wrestled with every choice she did make. She was a single parent who was trying to do what was best for her son, trying to make a good life for him, trying to raise a good man. She was always trying to do the right thing, but she wasn’t perfect. Other than her insistence on occasionally leaning towards self-sabotage (which I annoyingly related to!), Jenna was easy to like and to trust.

And I was so frustrated for all that she was going through, and what she was being put through. And not knowing! At some point, not knowing winds up being worse, because it is so hard to put that weight down, to shove hope aside. Who wants to be the person who stopped believing and moved on? How would you even begin to do that?

In terms of the story itself, several different crimes that seem unrelated all tie up into this neat little bow. Pretty early on I suspected the who of one, and even the general why, but how on earth did the other crimes connect??? And I knew the who I had guessed didn’t commit the other crimes, so…who did? And why?

There were some well-placed misdirects that were actually clues to the truth (hindsight). And towards the end, the suspense was fairly well built up, which is an element that has been missing from a few of the books I’ve read recently. There is no way in the last 60 or so pages that I would have gone to bed without finishing. Not the most intense book I’ve ever read, not quite unputdownable, but definitely riveting at the end, and held my interest throughout.

Certainly a book I’d recommend, and David Bell is an author I’ll be looking for again in future.

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