#BookReview: Gone Without A Trace by Mary Torjussen

A jaw-dropping novel of psychological suspense that asks, If the love of your life disappeared without a trace, how far would you go to find out why?  
 
Hannah Monroe’s boyfriend, Matt, is gone. His belongings have disappeared from their house. Every call she ever made to him, every text she ever sent, every photo of him and any sign of him on social media have vanished. It’s as though their last four years together never happened.

As Hannah struggles to get through the next few days, with humiliation and recriminations whirring through her head, she knows that she’ll do whatever it takes to find him again and get answers. But as soon as her search starts, she realizes she is being led into a maze of madness and obsession. Step by suspenseful step, Hannah discovers her only way out is to come face to face with the shocking truth…

Release Date: April 18, 2017

Amazon / Amazon UK / Amazon CA

 

My Review

Do you ever pick up a book with the intention of hating it? Or course not. What reasonable person does that? When I chose this book to read, I thought I would at least like it, if not love it. Then I read it, which was a test to my stamina and resilience, and I find I didn’t like it even a little bit. I don’t want to bash any book. Really. I want to say nice things. But, oh, I didn’t like this book at all.

I felt different, somehow, as though everything had changed. As though I had changed.

The story starts out with huge promise. As you know from the book’s description, Hannah comes home to find that not only has her boyfriend left her, but all traces of him are erased from her life. The opening is eerie. All sorts of possibilities raced through my mind.

And then we get to know Hannah…

This woman is obnoxious. Seriously. She is an obsessive, childish, whiny, disaster. Her life is instantly consumed with finding Matt. I get that she wanted answers, but this woman couldn’t even manage to wash her hair for days because she was too busy with Post-It notes tacked all over her kitchen. Every phone call she made and every detail she found or remembered went on a Post-It note, so she could spread them out, rearrange them, wallow over them, and rearrange them again. She goes from a high-powered position in accounting to a dribbling mess in no time at all. This goes on and on… and on. The first two-thirds or more of this book is Hannah obsessing and whining. Rinse. Repeat. She is so ridiculous that I couldn’t manage a shred of sympathy for her.

I sat down again, trembling. Then everything came at once: his disappearance, my fruitless searches, having to live on my own. Tears rained down my face.

Then we get to the twist, where something finally happens aside from Hannah’s incessant whining. I won’t give spoilers. If you make it this far in the book, you’ve earned the surprise. But I read this twist in which we learn what happened to Matt, and I said, “Are you kidding me?”

The last quarter or so of the book reads like Hannah is an entirely different character, though no more likable. Nothing about the Hannah we’ve come to know resembles the Hannah with whom we finish. Suddenly, when confronted with the truth, Hannah has a host of new and different memories. She even speaks differently. I suppose her character is meant to fit in with this new trend of ‘unreliable narrators’, though Hannah seems more deluded than unreliable.

I wish I could say something good, but, hey, this is only my opinion. Other readers have loved the story. The great thing is that you can always read it and decide for yourself.

*I was provided with an advance copy by the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.*

 

Thanks for reading. 🙂