Saturday, April 8, 2023

Everything She Feared

Everything She Feared by Rick Mofina
4/11/23; 448 pages

Everything She Feared by Rick Mofina is a highly recommended suspenseful mystery.

Anna Shaw, seventeen, is the babysitter of Katie Harmon, nine. When the two are with a group on a field trip to a Washington State park, Anna falls off the edge of a cliff while taking a selfie. Holding onto a tree, she begs Katie to run to the group they are with and get help. By the time helps arrives, Anna has already fallen to her death. Investigators gather on the scene to gather evidence. While it seems obvious, Detective Kim Pierce is less sure and senses that something else happened here. Pierce is considering that Katie may have pushed Anna. Katie's mother, Sara, also privately fears that something else may have happened but she will never share their connection to her troubling family secret.

This is an extremely well-written mystery. The plot is compelling and full of tension but it is also a slow burn. This slower pace does allow the tension to build, doubts to evolve, and questions to multiply while the investigation unfolds. Adding to the suspense is a journalist, Ryan, who has spent several years searching for a killer who was released from prison.

Sara is a well-developed, fully realized character, as are, really, all the other characters. They all feel like real people with their own concerns and problems. Sara's very real struggle, wondering if evil is inherited or made, nature versus nurture, is an age old question that has been explored many times so her struggle is understandable.

The great fact about a Rick Mofina novel is that in the progress of the narrative his characters are going to examine and experience every aspect of the story while he adds some twists and new revelations all while keeping total control of the plot. Even, as in this case, if the pacing seems slower, you will be entrenched in the novel until all the plot threads are explored, the last final twists shocks you, and then everything is pulled together in a satisfying ending.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of MIRA Books via NetGalley.

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