Time for some more reviews to round off the week!
Thanks to Graydon House for the free copies in exchange for our honest reviews
ONE NIGHT GONE – Tara Laskowski (out now!)
It was the perfect place to disappear…
One sultry summer, Maureen Haddaway arrives in the wealthy town of Opal Beach to start her life anew—to achieve her destiny. There, she finds herself lured by the promise of friendship, love, starry skies, and wild parties. But Maureen’s new life just might be too good to be true, and before the summer is up, she vanishes.
Decades later, when Allison Simpson is offered the opportunity to house-sit in Opal Beach during the off-season, it seems like the perfect chance to begin fresh after a messy divorce. But when she becomes drawn into the mysterious disappearance of a girl thirty years before, Allison realizes the gorgeous homes of Opal Beach hide dark secrets. And the truth of that long-ago summer is not even the most shocking part of all…
Chandra’s Thoughts: 4/5 stars
Precisely what I needed at this time. This moderately paced suspenseful mystery of a read has a dual time line. Allison in the present day, still getting over her divorce and public humility, trying to start over by house sitting in a small beach town. Maureen in the past, a carnival “summer girl”, who gets involved with the *rich* group – a terrible family home, making bad decisions and just trying to make things better. Instead, she’s in an endless loop of getting nowhere.
It didn’t make much sense why Allison was SO involved in what happened to Maureen. I get the curiosity but to make it her intention while away – well, maybe she just needed something to focus on. Either way, she becomes entangled in this small town, their secrets and puts herself in danger along the way.
I loved the atmosphere the author creates and could almost feel that coldness – whether from the weather or from the people themselves. The back and forth kept me intrigued and I found myself equally curious of both women. The main theme seemed to be how men find women disposable. They’re selfish users who get what they want and if they don’t – bye. And yet the women use them in their own way as well. Oh why do women get so emotionally attached to the men that don’t treat them as they should?
Did this book give me a draw dropping ending? No. I wasn’t surprised. I wasn’t wowed. But I was pleasantly satisfied in the entirety of this read
My Thoughts: 4/5 stars
I’ve been stuck in a cycle of 3 and 3.5 star reads lately and this was the kind of thriller/mystery I needed! ONE NIGHT GONE by Tara Laskowski is one of those quick thrillers that you’ll find yourself finishing in a couple sittings. Dual timelines, a missing woman in a coastal town, and plenty of secrets to go around. This is a solid mystery from Laskowski – I loved the atmosphere she created for us and how she intertwined the two timelines for us.
Maureen came to Opal Beach as a carnival girl and knew that she could make something better for herself here. Allison came to Opal Beach to be a house-sitter for the off-season months. Both women have their reasons for ending up in the coastal town, and Maureen’s cold case disappearance is what brings them together. Allison hears about Maureen’s disappearance and becomes obsessed with trying to solve it and learn what happened. Of course, you go poking around in a small town like this, you’ll start to wear out your welcome as people try to keep their secrets buried.
The chapters were quick, the alternating timelines are something that I love, and I really enjoyed Maureen’s character and her chapters. I think the author did a great job building these two women and weaving the story. Was I shocked at the ending? Not really. Does that mean I didn’t enjoy it? Absolutely not. The author set the scene so well that I could really feel the change in atmosphere when the busy season started and the day it ended. Lively, fun, welcoming, and warm to a cold, empty, and almost foreboding environment once that season ends. I will definitely be picking up more from her in the future!