Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Review: Before She Was Found: A Novel by Heather Gudenkauf

A gripping thriller about three young girlfriends, a dark obsession and a chilling crime that shakes up a quiet Iowa town, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Weight of Silence.

 For twelve-year-old Cora Landry and her friends Violet and Jordyn, it was supposed to be an ordinary sleepover—movies and Ouija and talking about boys. But when they decide to sneak out to go to the abandoned rail yard on the outskirts of town, little do they know that their innocent games will have dangerous consequences.

Later that night, Cora Landry is discovered on the tracks, bloody and clinging to life, her friends nowhere to be found. Soon their small rural town is thrust into a maelstrom. Who would want to hurt a young girl like Cora—and why? In an investigation that leaves no stone unturned, everyone is a suspect and no one can be trusted—not even those closest to Cora.

 Before She Was Found is a timely and gripping thriller about friendship and betrayal, about the power of social pressure and the price of needing to fit in. It is about the great lengths a parent will go to protect their child and keep them safe—even if that means burying the truth, no matter the cost.

Kindle, 336 pages
Published April 16th, 2019
by Park Row

Right from the beginning, I was captivated with this story. The opening pulled at my heartstrings and then I spent my time dawning my sleuth hat trying to unravel this mystery.

There are many layers and different methods as to how this story plays out. Whether it’s a mother or grandfather's voice, pages from Cora's journal along with texting and chat rooms, I was not overwhelmed or distracted reading this book. The story flowed smoothly. It also helped that I really wanted to find out what was going on and found myself lost in the pages.

Before She Was Found is a story of friendship, trust, the need to fit in and how far will a parent go to protect their children. At times it had a YA feel to it, given the ages of the main players that makes perfect sense.

I have been a fan of Heather Gudenkauf's forever, her book Little Mercies (the audio is amazing!) is one of my favorites.

 My thanks to the publisher (via Netgalley) for an advanced digital copy of this book.

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