Title: Grace Is Gone by Emily Elgar
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 327 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss
From the bestselling author of If You Knew Her comes this harrowing tale of suspense—a story ripped from today’s headlines—of a tight-knit English community, who’s rocked by the murder of a mother and the mysterious disappearance of her daughter, and the secrets that lie concealed beneath a carefully constructed facade.
A small town’s beloved family.
A shocking, senseless crime—and the dark secret at the heart of it all.
Everyone in Ashford, Cornwall, knows Meg Nichols and her daughter, Grace. Meg has been selflessly caring for Grace for years, and Grace—smiling and optimistic in spite of her many illnesses—adores her mother. So when Meg is found brutally bludgeoned in her bed and her daughter missing, the community is rocked. Meg had lived in terror of her abusive, unstable ex, convinced that he would return to try and kidnap Grace…as he had once before. Now it appears her fear was justified.
Jon Katrin, a local journalist, knows he should avoid getting drawn back into this story. The article he wrote about Meg and Grace caused rifts within his marriage and the town. Perhaps if he can help find Grace, he can atone for previous lapses in judgment. The Nichols’ neighbor, Cara—contending with her own guilt over not being a better friend to Grace—becomes an unexpected ally. But in searching for Grace, Jon and Cara uncover anomalies that lead to more and more questions.
Through multiple viewpoints and diary entries, the truth about Grace emerges, revealing a tragedy more twisted than anyone could have ever imagined…
Grace Is Gone by Emily Elgar is a twisted domestic mystery set in a small town in Cornwall.
Cara Dorman makes a shocking discovery when she goes to neighbor Meg Nichols’ house to make a delivery. Meg has been brutally bludgeoned to death and her very ill seventeen daughter Grace is missing. The entire town rallies around the much loved and admired family of two and begins their own search for Grace. Cara is somewhat traumatized by her memories of finding Meg’s body and she is also wracked with guilt she has allowed her once close friendship with Grace to fall by the wayside. She unexpectedly teams up with despised journalist Jon Katrin to find the missing teen before it is too late.
Cara and her mum Susan have been close to Meg and Grace for years. They, along with the rest of the town, have nothing but admiration for Meg and her selfless care of her very ill daughter. But as Cara joins forces with Jon to find Grace, she begins to rethink some of the things she has witnessed over the years. They have uncovered some very unexpected information that alters her opinion of Meg and Grace. But the big question is whether or not these shocking new details have any bearing on Meg’s murder and Grace’s disappearance.
Jon has been living in disgrace since his article about Grace and Meg was published in the local paper. Originally from London, he grossly miscalculated the angle of his article and he is now separated from his wife, Ruth and their son, Jacob. During the course of his investigation, he realizes that he might have allowed his personal situation to color his perception of Meg and her estranged husband, Simon.
A few minor findings and insatiable curiosity lead to unexpected clues. With the town’s attention focused on finding Grace, Cara avoids the limelight and inadvertently stumbles onto an absolutely shocking discovery. Jon, too, has found unanticipated information that changes the course of their investigation. Jon and Cara soon put themselves into an increasingly dangerous situation as they try to uncover the truth about what happened to Meg and Grace.
Based on true life events, Grace Is Gone is a clever mystery that is quite riveting. The storyline is well-executed and the characters are well-drawn. Emily Elgar brings this engrossing mystery to a twist-filled yet ethically questionable conclusion. I completely enjoyed and highly recommend this thought-provoking novel to readers of the genre.