So I read a lot of mysteries, usually cozies or thrillers. No news there. However, this time I was surprised to find myself engrossed in a new YA mystery – She’s Gone by David Bell, which released earlier this month.
When a girl disappears, who do you suspect?
When 17-year-old Hunter Gifford wakes in the hospital on the night of homecoming, he’s shocked to learn he and his girlfriend, Chloe Summers, have been in a terrible car accident. Hunter has no memory of the crash, and his shock turns to horror when he is told Chloe’s blood has been found in the car—but she has disappeared.
Back at school, his fellow students taunt him, and his former best friend starts making a true-crime documentary about the case—one that points the finger directly at Hunter. And just when things can’t get any worse, Chloe’s mother stands in front of the entire town at a candlelight vigil and accuses Hunter of murder.
Under mounting pressure from the police, Hunter takes matters into his own hands by questioning anyone who might know the truth and posting videos to prove his innocence. When Hunter learns he and Chloe were seen arguing loudly outside the dance, he faces a sickening possibility. Was he angry enough to kill the person he loved?
*As appears on Amazon.
After a terrible car accident, Hunter faces accusations which he honestly has no way of proving or disproving. He doesn’t want to believe he might have hurt Chloe but he simply doesn’t remember the events leading up to the crash. A pretty level-headed teenager, he is a likable character and it’s easy to sympathize with his plight and his emotions. He may want to do the right thing, but he is a teenager after all, and in his efforts to root out the truth some of his actions are ill-advised, impulsive, risky. His sister and sometimes partner-in-crime is delightful, a bit snarky, and totally loyal.
The story is told entirely from Hunter’s point of view in an easy to read style that puts the reader in touch with his thoughts and feelings. The writer’s style in this novel is well suited to both teen and adult audiences. The plot was well-placed, building in intensity as the story progressed and Hunter comes closer to discovering the truth. The novel was intriguing enough to keep those pages turning. Like Hunter, I had to know what happened to Chloe.
Content advisory: This novel includes light description of sex between teens (not erotic at all) and profanity, thus may not suit those seeking “clean” reads.
FTC disclosure: I received an advance review copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This has not affected the content of my review.