MYSTERY

Goodnight Beautiful

Harper. Oct. 2020. 304p. ISBN 9780062881922. $27.99. THRILLER
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Molloy (The Perfect Mother) opens her new thriller with the disappearance of Dr. Sam Statler, a psychologist who recently moved back to his small hometown with a new wife to be close to his mother, who’s living in a care center with dementia. Statler has model good looks, professional success, and a ladies’ man reputation from high school that has made his return the talk of the town. Through shifting narrative perspectives we learn more about secrets in the seemingly storybook Statler marriage that complicate the missing-person case and raise questions about whether Sam willingly disappeared. Molloy employs some of the most believable and jaw-dropping narrative twists since Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl in this smart, single-sitting read. Readers will be flipping back to see just how she performed the sleight of hand right in front of their eyes.
VERDICT Along with a rip-roaring suspense plot, Molloy adds depth with critiques of gender conventions that causes readers to investigate the assumptions they bring to the text. She breathes new life into the unreliable narrator thriller genre in a book everyone will be talking about.

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