Written by: Holly Goddard Jones
Narration by: Cassandra Campbell
Published by: Blackstone Audio/ Touchstone
Length: 14 hours 35 minutes
Source: Publisher via Audiobook Jukebox Reviewer program
Three loosely related persons have one thing in common. They each know something about a missing person. Ronnie Eastman has lived a hard and fast life in Roma, Kentucky. Openly known for her habits of over drinking and picking up men, when Ronnie is missing it takes a lot to get the community involved. Her younger sister Susanna begins to worry when she realizes she hasn’t spoken to her sister in weeks. When she stops by her house, concerned she may find her wasted and angry, she is suspicious when she finds nothing but half eaten rotting food, and a receipt for two meals. She is surprised when the detective turns out to be a former forbidden high school crush, Tony. He was the star baseball player who left town and has now returned a different man. Emily is a 13 year old outcast. She is a loner, no close friends, an emotionally challenged brother , she prefers to explore the undeveloped woody lots behind her home. Wyatt is a 55 year old blue collar worker, unhappy in his job and life. After a night of hard drinking and then a recent heart attack, Wyatt’s regrets are growing, amid his hazy memory.
When I realized author Holly Goddard Jones was attending the UCF Book Festival I was doubly thrilled to listen to this audiobook. The publisher synopsis caught my interest, I love a mystery.
What I found most compelling about this book wasn’t so much where is Ronnie, and who did something to her, but what people in a typical small town think of each other, and how their opinions impact each other. The three characters of Susanna, Emily and Wyatt are people caught up in unhappy lives. Susanna a school teacher with a distant husband she’s unhappily married to. Emily is bullied in her school, and when she discovers a secret in the woods she doesn’t share it, an odd choice. Wyatt considers himself a failure in life and love, until he is recovering from a heart attack and he meets a sympathetic nurse who sees the kinder side of him.
Jones is able to bring together the stories of these three people, the prejudices of a small town, and the mystery of a missing woman and take the reader on a wonderful journey.
The audio production was awesome! Already a fan of Cassandra Campbell hers was a welcome voice as I started this audiobook. Her pacing and voice were a good match for this book.
I’ve given this book 4.5 out of 5 stars. Some things about the mystery were predictable, but the character development and small town story is so well told this book is well worth the time.