Title: She's Not There Author: Joy Fielding Published: February 23rd 2016 by Ballantine Books Format: ebook; Hardcover, 368 pages Genre: Suspense Source: My thanks to Netgalley and Penguin Random House for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book.
Taking its opening notes from the Madeleine McCann abduction of 2007, Joy Fielding takes her readers down a lackluster path of an abducted child while on a family vacation in Mexico.
From the outside, the Shipley’s appear to have it all, to celebrate their anniversary, Hunter has planned a dinner for Caroline with a few friends a short distance from their Rosarito hotel room. When their babysitter does not arrive, instead of canceling, Hunter convinces Caroline that their daughters will be fine in their room. They will check every 30 minutes and they can continue with their plans. Unfortunately, Hunter did not live up to his end of the bargain and as the couple returns to their room at the end of the evening, two-year-old Samantha has vanished without a trace.
Years of anguish and torment follow Caroline – that is until the fateful phone call. “I think my real name is Samantha. I think that I’m your daughter.” Caroline is now plunged back fifteen years. She has followed leads in the past, there is no reason to follow another, but yet, there is a pull here. Her daughter Michelle is trying to derail the inquiry and since she has always been a difficult child, Caroline is at a turning point. Does she take one more gamble and risk losing her remaining child or walk away as Michelle wants?
Maybe it is my overly inquisitive natures, but I thought that the responsible party was a little too obvious. Granted, I might have thought that it was the “other person” in the web, but I was darn close. Joy Fielding, gave you the clues all along, but it was not until the end that the full picture was drawn. Regrettably, it was too late. The road to the end was too long and meandering and there was not one character that I was drawn too. You would think that a mother could relate to the anguish of another, but I found myself bored.