Review: The Day She Disappeared by Christobel Kent

Title: The Day She Disappeared by Christobel Kent
Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 416 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


From Christobel Kent―whose psychological thrillers have been called “terrifyingly good,” “perfectly paced,” “addictive,” “tense, dense, extremely well-plotted and beautifully written”―a new nerve-racking novel about a disappeared barmaid and the friend who will do anything to find her.

When Beth disappears, everyone says she’s run off with another man. She’s just a fly-by-night party girl who can’t be trusted. But Natalie, her best friend, doesn’t believe it, not at all. She’s sure something more sinister is going on. So sure that proving it just might kill her . . .

Meanwhile, Victor, one of Beth’s and Nat’s favorite bar patrons, has fallen and ended up in the hospital. When he hears that Beth is gone, he doesn’t buy it either. And slowly, a hazy memory comes back to him. Something menacing . . . something important . . . something just out of his grasp . . .

As Nat tries to piece together the events―and people―in Beth’s life, it becomes more difficult to discern who can and can’t be trusted. The little town in the English countryside takes on an ominous air, with a threat behind every corner, outside every window. And someone is always watching . . .

Kent’s most recent novel, The Loving Husband, was an international bestseller, and it is in no way hyperbole to declare The Day She Disappeared her very best. It is as brutally unsettling as The Loving Husband, but even more intricate and surprising; as claustrophobic and atmospheric as The Crooked House, but even more heartbreaking in its truths.

Kent has been compared to such masters as Daphne du Maurier and P. D. James. With The Day She Disappeared, a new crop of writers will be compared to Christobel Kent.


The Day She Disappeared by Christobel Kent is a slow burning yet completely mesmerizing mystery set in small English town.

Natalie “Nat” Cooper seems to be the only one concerned about her co-worker and close friend, Beth Maxwell’s disappearance.  Their boss, pub owner Janine is not overly troubled that other than a handful of texts, no one has seen or heard from Beth since she abruptly left weeks earlier to care for her mum. Now discovering Beth is not returning, Nat is worried enough to do a little digging around and she is distressed to learn that her friend did not go to her mum’s after all. But it is not until Beth’s landlady makes a shocking discovery that Nat is convinced that something terrible has happened. No one, including the police, will take her fears seriously so Nat decides to investigate Beth’s disappearance on her own.

Nat’s life has not exactly gone as planned since after going off to college and living briefly in London, she is back in the town she grew up in. Now close to thirty, she is struggling to make peace with the choices she has recently made. She and Beth may not have much in common, but the pair were quite close.  Initially a little hurt that Beth left without warning, Nat was not worried that something was amiss until Beth’s out of character failure to return to work as scheduled.

Beth is a bit a free spirit who is quite popular with the male customers who come into the pub. Spontaneous and without many inhibitions, she enjoys going out with a variety of men.  Beth is a surprisingly supportive friend and a reliable employee.  Despite their close friendship, Nat is very surprised by some of the information she uncovers about Beth when she begins trying to find out what happened to her.

Around the same time Beth fails to return, Nat’s friend, Victor Powell has been hospitalized after a fall.  In his early nineties, Victor is quite active and well-liked by the rest of the townspeople. While still in hospital, he is afraid for his safety but the reason for his fear remains tantalizing out of reach.  Although he cannot quite recall why he is danger, Victor is fully cognizant of his concerns that his daughter, Sophie, might be in danger from her controlling husband.

The Day She Disappeared is an intriguing whodunit that unfolds from three very different points of view: Nat, Victor and the killer. There is an underlying feeling of menace since Nat feels like someone is watching her but no one will take her fears seriously. Victor is a fantastic secondary character who desperately wants to recall information that might be relevant to what happened to Beth. Brief passages from the killer’s perspective paint a very chilling portrait of a smart but twisted person who has absolutely no remorse for their actions. Through a series of red herrings and misdirects, Christobel Kent brilliantly keeps the perpetrators identity cleverly under wraps until the novel’s action-packed conclusion.

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Filed under Christobel Kent, Contemporary, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, Sarah Crichton Books, Suspense, The Day She Disappeared

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