Where They Found Her: A Novel

Where They Found Her: A Novel

4.1 23
by Kimberly McCreight

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“McCreight creates a world that pulls us in completely and genuinely, with characters that can enrage, amuse, and fill us with empathy. It’s a thrilling novel.”—GILLIAN FLYNN, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Gone Girl

Motherhood hasn’t been easy for Molly Sanderson, and the years since the loss of her second


“McCreight creates a world that pulls us in completely and genuinely, with characters that can enrage, amuse, and fill us with empathy. It’s a thrilling novel.”—GILLIAN FLYNN, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Gone Girl

Motherhood hasn’t been easy for Molly Sanderson, and the years since the loss of her second child have been a particular struggle. But six months after moving from New York City to sophisticated Ridgedale, New Jersey, she’s finally enjoying life again, as mother of a five-year-old daughter and fledgling arts reporter for the local paper. But this tenuous stability is threatened when the body of a newborn is found in the woods behind prestigious Ridgedale University and Molly is assigned the story. Over the objections of her increasingly concerned husband, Molly dives into reporting, determined to prove herself by uncovering the truth. What she finds is a decades-old trail of dark secrets that winds through every corner of the town.

Told from the perspectives of Molly; Barbara, wife of Ridgedale’s police chief, whose faltering son is unraveling her picture-perfect life; and a sixteen-year old high school dropout, Sandy, who is dealing with her wayward mother, Where They Found Her reveals that the tragic truth about what happened to the baby lies at the unexpected intersection of these three very different women’s lives. It is a taut and profoundly moving novel about mothers and daughters—the fierce bonds that unite them and the deceit that can drive them apart. But most of all it’s about the heartbreakingly high price of history. The past can be artfully denied, but never truly buried.

Editorial Reviews

Gillian Flynn
“McCreight doesn’t just give us an intense, interwoven, multigenerational, multi-household mystery (as if that isnt enough). She creates a world that pulls us in completely and genuinely, with characters that can enrage, amuse, and fill us with empathy. It’s a thrilling, lovely novel.”
“Did Amelia Baron really get caught cheating and then commit suicide—or is the truth more sinister? A nail-biter for Gone Girl fans.”
Entertainment Weekly
“Like Gone Girl, Reconstructing Amelia seamlessly marries a crime story with a relationship drama. And like Gone Girl, it should be hailed as one of the best books of the year…A”
USA Today
“Clever and scary . . . McCreight has her finger on the private school zeitgeist. . .and this disturbing tale will make older readers fondly recall the days when kids got in trouble for passing (print) notes in class.”
Jodi Picoult
“Just finished a fantastic novel–Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight. So. Well. Done. If you liked Gone Girl, you’ll love this too.”
Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
“Coiled as tightly as a spring, Where They Found Her begins with a small town’s tragedy and doesn’t relent until every secret, and character, is exposed. Kimberly McCreight has written another satisfying, dark page-turner that pounces off the page.”
Chevy Stevens
Where They Found Her is a fast-paced, intensely moving story filled with complex characters who drag you unresisting into their dark and tangled lives. It kept me guessing until the very last chapter.”
Carla Buckley
Where They Found Her is the electrifying story about the power of secrets spilling from one generation to the next, growing larger and more terrifying until they swamp everyone in their path and sweep to a shocking, unforgettable end.”
Booklist Advanced Reviews
“McCreight’s much-anticipated second novel is a gripping and tender examination of misplaced trust.”
“Author Kimberly McCreight is well known for her 2013 best-selling debut, Reconstructing Amelia. With Where They Found Her, she has delivered another eerie, harrowing read.… A deeply satisfying spellbinder that unfolds deliciously to the very last chapter.”
InStyle Magazine
“While many books have been billed as the next Gone Girl, this mystery thriller definitely will intrigue fans of Gillian Flynn’s bestseller.… Told in multiple views, the reader will have to decide what is truth and what is fiction in this heart-pounding read.”
EW.com (Entertainment Weekly online)
“I recently picked up McCreight’s 2013 debut, and I could not put it down…. It’s no surprise that McCreight’s latest novel, Where They Found Her…is at the top of my to-read list.”
Entertainment Weekly “Must List”
“In the latest psychological suspense tale from the bestselling author of Reconstructing Amelia, a journalist uncovers her community’s darkest secrets after an infant’s body is found in the woods.”
“The way McCreight weaves the tale through three different perspectives will both haunt and shock you.”
Columbus Dispatch
“McCreight has done an excellent job of weaving a haunting story of expectation and loss.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Even seasoned mystery readers won’t see the twists coming in this fast-paced read filled with unreliable narrators.”
Charlotte Observer
“McCreight…keep[s] us guessing right to the end...”
Curled Up with a Good Book
“Dark, twisted, and taut, McCreight’s story is like walking through a field of land mines.”
Amy Steele
“Using multiple female perspectives author Kimberly McCreight weaves a page-turning psychological thriller as complex as her first novel Reconstructing Amelia. . . . Many twists will keep readers captivated to the end.”
Strand Magazine
“Even readers familiar with the psychological suspense subgenre may find themselves pleasantly shocked by all the plot’s many twists and turns.”
Elise Cooper
“Told from the perspective of three Ridgedale, New Jersey women who must come to grips with a shocking discovery. . . McCreight skillfully links these characters together, not only with the tragedy, but also with their personal lives, creating an enjoyable read.”
Publishers Weekly
Edgar-finalist McCreight (Reconstructing Amelia) smoothly juggles multiple voices in her strong second novel. Four of them belong to freelance journalist Molly Sanderson: Molly’s own contemporary voice, her recorded psychiatric sessions, her therapy-era journal, and her published articles for the local paper in Ridgedale, N.J., a Princeton-like community where she lives with her professor husband, Justin, and their five-year-old daughter, Ella. Molly is assigned the story of a newborn discovered dead in a creek on university property—a dicey subject given Molly’s loss of her own baby two years earlier and her subsequent depression. Other perspectives include that of Sandy, a bright high school dropout; Sandy’s reckless mother, Jenna, who abruptly vanishes; and Barbara, the “perfect mom” of a kindergarten classmate of Ella’s, Cole, who starts exhibiting troubling behavior. Molly’s reporting uncovers a slew of dark secrets, some too close to home. While McCreight’s plot contains some far-fetched coincidences, her deft writing makes for a thoroughly riveting tale. Agent: Marly Rusoff, Marly Rusoff and Associates. (Apr.)
Library Journal
When a body is found in Ridgedale—an otherwise quiet suburban New Jersey college town—cub reporter Molly Anderson is unexpectedly given the assignment for the Ridgedale Reader. Molly, who recently suffered a traumatic late-term miscarriage, has finally lifted herself out of a debilitating depression and sees her new job as a way to rebuild her life. But when she discovers that the victim in the river is a newborn girl, Molly is forced to confront the haunting pain of her own baby's death; in the process, she uncovers dirty secrets about a town that strives to maintain its idealized image. The story is told from the point of view of three Ridgedale women (high school dropout Sandy, PTA president Barbara, and Molly) and is supplemented with transcripts, journal entries, and newspaper clippings in a manner reminiscent of McCreight's successful debut novel, Reconstructing Amelia. VERDICT Some elements of this plot and narrative feel contrived and too coincidental, but overall this tightly spun sophomore effort will please fans of Amelia. McCreight has a keen grasp of the epistolary technique and is adept at providing readers the puzzle pieces they need to build a broader picture. A solid follow-up. [See Prepub Alert, 10/5/14.]—Erin Entrada Kelly, Philadelphia
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2015-02-05
The discovery of an infant's body rocks a seemingly idyllic New Jersey town in McCreight's intense sophomore effort. Accustomed to writing lifestyle articles, reporter Molly Sanderson—a recent transplant to upscale Ridgedale with her English-professor husband and young daughter—never expected her first hard-news story to involve a dead baby. She's still reeling from her own miscarriage, and when an unidentified newborn girl is found in the woods near the college campus, it hits close to home. Expanding on the alternating-perspectives technique she used in her first novel, Reconstructing Amelia (2013), McCreight slowly lays out the pieces of the grim puzzle, which include Molly's ever widening investigation; the fears of the town as expertly conveyed through comments left on Molly's online news stories; and a complex relationship between two teenage girls from different sides of the tracks. At 16, Sandy Mendelson is more mature than her hard-partying mother, Jenna, who thinks nothing of parading a series of men (and drugs) in front of her daughter. After dropping out of school to help earn money for rent, Sandy is trying to get her GED diploma with the help of tutor Hannah Carlson, a high school senior whose life couldn't be more different. The daughter of Ridgedale's police chief—who's a reluctant source for Molly—and a demanding mother, Hannah is a tightly coiled spring. As rumors abound and Molly investigates the town's—and the college's—squeaky clean image, the baby's identity and her parentage threaten to tear Ridgedale apart. Genuinely suspenseful and disturbing; McCreight delivers a provocative, timely novel that reminds us that sometimes the things that shine the brightest have the dirtiest underbellies.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
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Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Kimberly McCreight is the author of the New York Times bestseller Reconstructing Amelia, which was nominated for the Edgar, Anthony, and Alex Awards, and the USA Today bestseller Where They Found Her. She attended Vassar College and graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters. Visit her online at www.kimberlymccreight.com.

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Where They Found Her 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
MAP1 More than 1 year ago
This is a compelling and intriguing story. The plot is ingenious and impossible to guess ahead of time. I loved "Reconstructing Amelia", but this may just be a better written and yet equally gripping mystery. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I haven't read Recunstructing Amelia, however after this book I am putting it next in my list . Loved the story, the plot line and the characters - opened this book up and didn't put it down until I was finished.
TheBibliophilicBookBlog More than 1 year ago
WHERE THEY FOUND HER is a well-written novel of psychological suspense told from the perspectives of the women involved. Molly Anderson and her family moved to Ridgedale, New Jersey after the loss of her baby. She’s working for the Ridgedale Reader, normally writing more fluff pieces, when she’s called to cover the story of a dead infant found in the woods near the university. When so many people are against Molly covering this story, she digs in her heels and keeps looking for the truth. The characters are all well-developed and even minor characters end up having a bigger role than you’d first imagine. The author, Kimberly McCreight, has a way of dropping small clues which come back into the weave of the full story. All of the threads twine together into a shocking conclusion. WHERE THEY FOUND HER is an excellent sophomore novel and I look forward to Ms. McCreight’s next novel.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Three women in a small town in New Jersey and an infant is found dead in the woods, a who dun it is on in this small town where everyone thinks they know everyone and everything.  Molly is a woman who is trying to put the pieces back together and has been working on the local newspaper and the infant in the woods is her first story beyond her stints in the arts section.  Barbara is the perfect mom in the neighborhood with two kids and lots of opinions.  Sandy is a teenager who has recently moved back with her mom and I don't want to divulge too much about her - you will have to read! With news articles, comments, journals, chat rooms and the novel - this book was so good and full.  Sometimes I find when there are extra things that they take away from the content of the book, but they were so perfectly put in and completely added to the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I literally could not put this book down. I had high expectations because I think she is a great writer, but this book was even better than I expected. The ending was unpredictable and right when you think it's over, there's more to blow your mind. The content was a little rough, from a mother's perspective, but she shed light on subjects that need to be talked about. I highly recommend this book.
CML3 More than 1 year ago
I simply could not put down Reconstructing Amelia, McCreight's first novel.   And now, she's done it again with Where they Found Her.  A gripping and tragic story, it takes you in and doesn't let go. If you like books filled with rich characters, mystery and suspense then get your copy today.  Your entertainment is guaranteed.
BrooklynReader1 More than 1 year ago
Having read and loved Kimberly McCreight's Reconstructing Amelia, I couldn't wait to crack open Where They Found Her -- once I did, I could not put it down. The book has a propulsive forward motion that keeps the pages flying. I almost missed my subway stop, I was so engrossed. The plot is intricately woven, and the characters are so vivid and distinct they jump off the page. This is a gripping, complex, beautiful story about motherhood -- the good, the bad and the ugly. I highly recommend it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a really fun page-turner. Haven't read this author before, but definitely interested. If you liked Gone Girl or The Girl On the Train, you'll enjoy this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book. Really kept you guessing. Lots of twist and shocking turn of events. Must read!
PopFictionMomma More than 1 year ago
I loved Reconstructing Amelia, however Where They Found Her is good but not as great. Reading this book reminded very much of Liane Moriarty's Big Little Lies, which was also predictable but good. The book has more characters than I can count and this is obviously a set-up for you to try to guess who killed who, who got pregnant and how each character's life intersected the others. The book was very similar to Jodi Picoult's writing style where you are dumped into each character's head for a brief time to hear their side of the story. I liked it but didn't love it. I have yet to read something as gripping as Gone Girl where you think you know what's happening but the exciting part is that you're completely wrong. In Where They Found Her I was really hoping for a surprise like that but never got it.
Anonymous 6 months ago
A little disappointing. Okay. Not great!
Anonymous 11 months ago
This book was definitely one that I couldn't put down! The ending came with a twist that I wasn't expecting. I definitely reccomend this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put it down until it was done!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very enjoyable read; kept me interested & guessing as to how it all connected.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Twists and turns!!
feather_lashes More than 1 year ago
Where They Found Her is a standalone, mystery novel written by author Kimberly McCreight. This is only Ms. McCreight's second full-length novel and after an amazing debut (Reconstructing Amelia), I know so many readers were looking forward to it. Sadly, I must admit that I didn't enjoy Where They Found Her anywhere near as much as her debut. I felt confused too many times and I think that had to do with the multiple POV's and storylines going on. It prevented me from following the flow of the story consistently and it definitely impacted how engaged I felt. However, in terms of the main plot, it was interesting to see how the people of a small town can all respond differently to a community crisis, and I liked the addition of the online message boards. Also, I thought Ms. McCreight did an excellent job of drawing awareness to the emotions that often follow a miscarriage. Those parts were well-written and felt profoundly real. Overall, I liked this book. Personally, I couldn't give it more than 3 stars, but I would still recommend it to readers who plan to follow Kimberly McCreight's work. When you love an author, you partake in everything they create, and based on her debut, Ms. McCreight definitely deserves some love-struck followers. I look forward to seeing what other mysteries are hidden in this new writer's imagination! My favorite quote: “Not everything about where you're going has to be about where you've been.”
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The story was too confusing but over all it was good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An okay read, kept me intrigued enough to keep reading, but a little predictable
Anonymous More than 1 year ago