Watch Me Disappear

Spiegel & Grau. Jun. 2017. 368p. ISBN 9780812989465. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780812989472. F
Essayist and journalist Brown's third novel (This Is Where We Live; All We Ever Wanted Was Everything) explores a family shaken when wife and mother Billie disappears on a solo hiking trip and is presumed dead. Jonathan mourns his restless wife, while adolescent daughter Olive starts seeing her mother in visions and is convinced that she is alive. The duo's journey of grief is delicately handled, alongside their suspenseful search for the truth about Billie. But as they uncover multiple secrets from her past, they find out that you never really know someone. With romantic subplots and surprise elements, including an unexpected finale, this evenly paced novel is multilayered enough to have wide appeal. A domestic suspense novel along the lines of A.S.A. Harrison's The Silent Wife or Shari Lapena's The Couple Next Door, this has less overt violence and a more emotional story at its heart. The mystery behind Billie's disappearance is subtle and intertwined with the idea of family and identity.
VERDICT Readers interested in exploring the fissures in marriages and the arc of a character's journey through a dramatic story will enjoy this.
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