Title: Don’t Try to Find Me
Author: by Holly Brown
Genre: Fiction, Mystery/Thriller
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: July 8, 2014
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
My review (as published at Read, Run, Ramble):
Thank you William Morrow via Goodreads for providing me with an ARC of this book.
Unreliable narrators, psychological twists, and family dysfunction, OH MY!
Holly Brown hit a home run with this debut. Right from the start readers are caught up in a tricky story involving the brokenness of family that sometimes is so hidden even those involved don’t see it.
Marley is gone. She didn't come home from school and all initial evidence seems to point to a runaway situation, but why would Marley run away? Everything is so perfect at home, except for the issues that caused her to need therapy not too long ago. Except for the secrets that Marley’s mom has been keeping. Except for the discussions Marley had with her therapist - discussions which are protected as confidential of course. Except for…okay, you get my drift here, nothing is as perfect as it seems.
Through alternating points of view, Brown tells the tale of Marley’s disappearance. She skillfully dangles secrets and information in a way that draws the reader along without giving up all the answers at once. I was chasing the carrot for a little over 24 hours (damn my aging body and its need for sleep) because the trail never goes dry, there’s always a new crumb to follow. This was one of the strategies that I enjoyed most about the book. It was so obvious that there were lots of background secrets to come and the author shared them at just the right time, with just the right amount of fanfare. I could not turn the pages fast enough – pacing at its BEST!
And the characters, oh the characters! I wanted to jump into the story, smack a few people, and then start handing out instructions. The manipulations taking place in Don’t Try to Find Me span far and wide – they go deeper than any reader will imagine. Even from those you might not suspect!
I've seen some reviews mention confusion towards the tie to Gone Girl mentioned in the synopsis. This is why I think it is dangerous to tout a book as the “next ”. Anytime publishers, reviewers, or authors do that, readers are looking for an exact replica (or something very close) more often than not, and that typically isn't what they’ll get. In this case, I believe that reference is made due to the psychological twists that take place – this novel’s foundation is psychological uncertainty and perception. Add to that the very unreliable narrators (one being told through journal entries) and you've got grounds to throw around the Gone Girl title; however, it is a very different psychological tale with very different characters.
I was provided with a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I am not compensated for any of my reviews.