Title: Where She Went by Kelly Simmons
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 304 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
What happens when your worst fear comes true?
Her only daughter has just gone away to college, and Maggie O’Farrell knows she’s turning into one of those helicopter parents she used to mock. Worrying constantly, texting more than she should, even occasionally dropping by the campus “just to say hi.” But Maggie can’t shake the feeling that something terrible is about to happen to Emma. And then, just as Maggie starts to relax, her daughter disappears.
The clues are disturbing. An empty dorm room where Emma was supposedly living. A mysterious boy described as Future Husband in her phone. Dormmates who seem more sinister than friendly. As Maggie combs over the campus looking for signs of her daughter, she learns more about Emma’s life than she ever thought possible.
Kelly Simmons delivers another gripping novel in Where She Went, an unforgettable story of letting go and the secrets that surface when the person keeping them is gone.
Where She Went by Kelly Simmons is a suspenseful domestic mystery.
As soon as the police show up at her salon, Maggie O’Farrell knows something has happened to her eighteen year old daughter, Emma. Unfortunately, her intuition is not wrong and she is devastated to learn to Emma is apparently missing. Immediately demanding to be taken to her daughter’s dorm room, Maggie notices quite a few things that just don’t add up. She also feels like the detective assigned to the case is not pursuing the investigation vigorously enough so she takes matters into her own hands.
Despite feeling sympathetic for her situation, Maggie is a bit of an unlikeable character. Her reaction to her daughter’s disappearance is understandable but her behavior is over. the. top. Maggie eventually receives help from a very surprising source, but will she and the police find her missing daughter?
While events in the present unfold, chapters from Emma’s perspective detail what she was involved in during the months leading up to her disappearance. College life falls short of her expectations as she fails to make any real connections to her roommates or other students. Interested in becoming a reporter for the university newspaper, Emma stumbles onto a story that could be explosive if she can nail down sources to back up her hypothesis.
Where She Went is a clever mystery with an intriguing storyline. Of the two narrators, Emma is a much more interesting and likable character. Her struggles at university are realistic and relatable. Maggie’s desperation to find her daughter is easy to relate to, but her behavior is exasperating and downright irritating. With the suspense building with every chapter, Kelly Simmons brings the novel to a somewhat abrupt and frustrating conclusion. A bit of a mixed bag but an overall enjoyable mystery with a topical storyline.