Monday, September 30, 2019

One Night Gone

One Night Gone by Tara Laskowski
Graydon House Books: 10/1/19
eBook review copy; 352 pages
ISBN-13: 9781525832192

One Night Gone by Tara Laskowski is a recommended novel of suspense where a decades old mystery is solved.

Allison Simpson arrives in Opal Beach to house sit at a beautiful cottage on the beach. She has been let go as a meteorologist in Philadelphia and experienced a messy divorce so this may be a good place to reexamine her life and begin looking for new opportunities. The manager of the local coffee shop, Tammy, immediately befriends Allison, and soon tells her about her friend, Maureen Haddaway, who disappeared thirty years earlier. Maureen was working for the carnival on the boardwalk when Tammy befriended her and the two began to party with the summer crowd. Allison is drawn into the mystery of Maureen's disappearance, especially after a strange package appears on her front step and the contents belonged to Maureen.

The narrative of the story alternates between the points of view of Maureen and Allison. Both tell their story and the reader has to connect the clues to try and figure out the answer to the decades old mystery of Maureen's disappearance. The stories begin to intertwine and people in Maureen's story appear in Allison's present day narrative.

The writing is good and Laskowski has a gift for character development. While I knew where the mystery was going early on, what I really wanted to know was more about Allison's life. She was depicted as a much more interesting character, with little details that could have been developed into an interesting story about starting over. Then again, Maureen could have also been the main character in her own novel. But, together, the two didn't quite merge seamlessly for me into an intriguing mystery that I would care about because it is based on caring about Tammy. To be honest, I didn't and if I were house sitting and had her so eagerly want to befriend me, I'm politely turn down her overly intense attention. A package on the front porch with something odd in it? I'd see if there was some town lost and found to leave it at.

The mystery does go in the direction I predicted and there is a satisfying denouement.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Harlequin.

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