Cemetery Girl

Cemetery Girl

by David Bell

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780451491466
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/06/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 213,950
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

David Bell is a bestselling and award-winning author whose work has been translated into six languages. He’s currently an associate professor of English at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky. He received an MA in creative writing from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and a PhD in American literature and creative writing from the University of Cincinnati. His novels include Bring Her HomeSince She Went AwaySomebody I Used to KnowThe Forgotten GirlNever Come BackThe Hiding Place, and Cemetery Girl.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One
(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Cemetery Girl"
by .
Copyright © 2011 David Bell.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

John Lescroart

"Cemetery Girl grabbed me by the throat on page one and never let up. An intense, unrelenting powerhouse of a book, and the work of a master."

Will Lavender

"Trust me: you have never read a missing persons story like this one....A fast, mean head trip of a thriller that reads like a collaboration between Michael Connelly and the gothic fiction of Joyce Carol Oates, Cemetery Girl is one of those novels that you cannot shake after it's over. A winner on every level."

From the Publisher

"A smart, tense, creepy take on the story of a missing daughter, told by her far-from-perfect father. If you think you know this tale—from all- too-familiar newspaper accounts, from lesser movies and books—then this terrific novel will make you think otherwise."—Brock Clarke, national bestselling author of Exley and An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England

Reading Group Guide

Questions for Discussion

1. Do you understand why Tom wants to take Frosty to the pound?

2. Do you think Abby is making the right decision by having a memorial service for Caitlin and attempting to move on with her life? Or do you think Tom is right to resist this step?

3. Tom and his half brother, Buster, have a complicated relationship to say the least. Do you have someone in your life like Buster? A sibling or a friend?

4. When Caitlin is discovered, she makes her father promise to never ask her where she’s been or what she’s been doing. Do you understand why Tom might be tempted to honor that request?

5. When Caitlin comes home, Tom and Abby try to live in the same house again for Caitlin’s sake. Do you understand why they want to do this for their daughter?

6. Abby’s interest in religion drives a wedge between her and Tom. Do you understand why Abby might turn to religion at this time in her life? What did you think of Pastor Chris?

7. Tom finds comfort in talking to Susan, the volunteer victim advocate. What do you think Tom gets out of this relationship that he doesn’t get from talking to a psychologist?

8. What do you think of Tom’s reaction to seeing Jasmine, the girl in the park? Does he do enough for her?

9. Do you understand why Tom wants to confront John Colter, the man who kidnapped Caitlin? What do you think he’s hoping to get out of the confrontation?

10. Tom seems to contemplate giving Caitlin back to Colter in order to learn what happened during those four years. What do you think of his thought process?

11. Were you glad to see Caitlin reunited with Frosty?

12. What do you think Caitlin’s future looks like? How will she move on and recover from the events depicted in the book?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Cemetery Girl 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 57 reviews.
kimba88 More than 1 year ago
Cemetery Girl was an addictive novel, that kept me up till 3 in the morning to reach the conclusion. Bell weaves a believable tale of a parent's worst nightmare. He delivers it with an authentic voice in Tom Stuart. Protagonist Tom Stuart, father of Caitlin and husband of Abby tells this riveting story from his perspective. The story is broken into three parts. The first part deals with events leading up to Caitlin's disappearance. The second takes us through the aftermath and how it impacts them. In the third part of the book Caitlin returns, thin, dirty and silent. She is changed; gone is their beautiful vibrant daughter. This isn't how they imagined her return, and Tom is still seeking answers. This story while fictional could be ripped from the headlines of any news paper. It gives us an in-depth look at the chilling horror of having your child abducted. Tom and Abby are flawed, both as humans and parents. I would be naïve to believe I was a perfect parent. I think we all question ourselves. Bell's characters show us their raw emotions. They give voice to unspeakable thoughts making this all the more surreal. While this isn't a Stephen King novel, the tale is so real, so horrible that you will find yourselves checking on your kids in the middle of night. Cemetery Girl will leave its mark on the reader. The next headline of a child's abduction will draw you back in and make you think about the unthinkable. I will unquestionably be reading more of David J Bell's work.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Four years ago, twelve year old Caitlin Stuart vanished while walking the family dog Frosty. Her disappearance has left the relationship between her parents Tom and Abby on life support. Abby seeks to move on starting with taking Frosty to the pound as he is a reminder of Caitlin; Tom prefers to keep Frosty with them as he is reminder of Caitlin. He leaves Frosty at the shelter Abby prepares for a funeral of her daughter, which is the final shock to her marriage as Tom rejects her notion of closure supported by Pastor Chris. Tom's half-brother Buster comes for the funeral to support his sibling. Tom goes back to the shelter to retrieve Frosty, but he has been adopted. The police pick up a female teenager who is Caitlin. She refuses to discuss what happened to her with anyone. Though his daughter's personality has always been to keep things to herself, Tom fears she was intricately involved in her abduction. He needs the truth so he investigates his offspring's life for the last four years. This is a terrific family drama as David Bell provides a strong look at grief and closure are customized to the individual; what Abby needs is not what Tom needs and visa versa. The amateur sleuthing is fun to follow as Tom still seeks closure by learning what went down. Although the well written ending seems weak compared with the strong story line preceding it; aMr. Bell provides closure to the audience rather than an open ended "non-solution" that appears more appropriate. Still readers will appreciate the aftermath to when a terrible incident impacts family and community. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
From the description and all the reviews, I thought there were going to be some major twists and turns and a really unexpected conclusion. But no, it all boiled down to exactly what you would expect from an abduction case with Stockholm syndrome. The author set up a lot of really interesting scenarios, but then they all turned out to be plot devices he just sort of left hanging. How much was the brother actually know beforehand? Why does no one else notice the 12 year old "ghost girl" running around a small town? Neither of these grown men thought to report this girl to the police for her own safety? This small town police department really didn't bother to investigate what happened to Tracy? What was Liann's weird motivation? Lots of things were hinted at then never really addressed.
KALKY More than 1 year ago
"Cemetery Girl" is the story of Caitlin Stuart, a girl who disappears at age 12 and is found alive four years later. Caitlin refuses to talk about what happened to her while she was gone, and her father, Tom, struggles to uncover the mystery behind those lost years. "Cemetery Girl" is told from the perspective of Tom, and as the story unfolds, the reader is treated to great writing that relays so much more than the typical mystery/thriller abduction tale. The author, David Bell, does an excellent job examining the effect of a tragic event and its aftermath on the different aspects of a person's life, all while showing the varied reactions of people to crises. This is a thought-provoking book, and one that would be good for a book club. I imagine many readers will be made uncomfortable by the choices different characters make in the novel, and the discussion about those choices could be excellent. Finally, let me say that I love the cover art for this book. Disclaimer: I received an ARC of "Cemetery Girl" from the publisher; no payment was received for this review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This thriller grabs your attention at the beginning and never lets go. I found it very difficult to put down. Couldn't wait for all of the secrets to be revealed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Plot kept me interested and twists in the story made it hard to put down. Satisfying ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good novel for a first book. Kept my interest as a father. Looking foreword to the other reads.
Adaptoid More than 1 year ago
Reads like a high school term paper with characters incapable of making intelligent decisions. The story-concept may have been interesting in another author's hands.
JeanBookNerd More than 1 year ago
David Bell¿s thriller debut, Cemetery Girl, is the story of the disappearance of 12 year old Caitlin Stuart and how her parents, Tom and Abby, coped with her being gone. Bell starts the story four years earlier after Caitlin¿s disappearance. Frantic and besieged, Tom vowed to never give up the hope that she is still alive and will come back home. However, Abby has given up and decides it is time to move on. She planned a memorial service and ordered a headstone as she felt the marriage ended when Caitlin disappeared. When Caitlin was found alive, she does not discuss the details of the events leading up to her disappearance and anything in between. Happy that his daughter has returned home safe, Tom is now on a mission to learn about her disappearance. The book is told from the perspective of Tom, which Bell did an excellent job getting the readers intrigued and fulfilled. His writing style made a sensitive issue easy to comprehend. The aftermath of Caitlin¿s disappearance tested the marriage of Tom and Abby and Bell¿s efforts to describe the different aspects and reactions of people were fantastically written. Cemetery Girl is a riveting and powerful novel, maintaining the reader on their toes until the end. Mesmerizing and full with torment, this captivating story shows to be a page-turner. It is a forceful ride, coiling through psychological territory and pulling the reader into emotional suffering. It is worth the read as the book is truly thought-aggravating.
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Tom and Abby Stuart seem to be a couple with the perfect life until their wonderful 12-year old daughter, Caitlin, disappears without a trace. The only witness to Caitlin's disappearance is the family dog. Abby finds solace at church, Tom endures by tracking every lead and keeping their daughter's story out there. Their marriage starts to fall apart as they are both pulled in different directions. Abby needs closure and Tom needs to keep hope alive. Four years later their world is rocked again when Caitlin is found alive... Dollycas Thoughts I think the book cover synopsis gives away too much of the story and loses some of the suspense. That being said it is a gripping story. The psychological part of the story is very compelling as all three main characters deal with serious issues. Losing a child is devastating enough but having them return after time, while fantastic, trying to acclimate together again can be overwhelming. The entire story is told from Tom's point of view and his pain, agony, fear, mistrust, sadness and grief are all poured out on these pages. As his childhood memories are revealed you feel even more of these emotions. At times I thought her was hallucinating visions of his daughter, his mind trying to cope. Maybe because I was taking this journey so closely with Tom I found myself really not liking Abby and her relationship with her pastor really upset me. This author has a voice I will continue to watch. This is a smart novel with keen insight. There are many layers in this story that add to the story making it different from other stories with a similar premise. Parents will hug their kids tight after reading this all too real nightmare. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from New American Library. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
dpappas on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This book was definitely not what I expected it would be. I still can't decide whether it is a good or bad thing that it was different than what I expected it would be. The first thing that I noticed about this book was that none of the characters seemed unlikable. I found myself annoyed with pretty much all of the characters at many points during the book. I understand that certain characters aren't meant to be likable but even the characters that the readers were supposed to be rooting for I just couldn't find much to like about them.At times I was left confused with the actions of certain characters in this book. The book itself just had an odd sort of feeling to me. I do have to say that it grabbed my attention and kept my attention throughout the book. Overall I thought the book was alright.
bookmagic on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Caitlin Stuart is 12 years old when she goes missing. 4 years later, her parents are on the brink of divorce. Abby wants to have a memorial for Caitlin to move on and Tom is furious as he won't believe Caitlin is dead and won't stop chasing down leads. After a new lead comes up, Caitlin is found walking down the road. At first she denies her identity and then tries to run away. Abby had turned to the church (and a love affair with her pastor) and thinks Caitlin will be fine. Tom is obsessed with finding out what happened to her though it is obvious she was abducted, sexually assaulted, and now suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. She refuses to tell anything but Tom persists.I liked the concept of this book, what happens when a child comes home, every parents dream. But the reality is not a happily ever after and how do you pick up the pieces?The story was compelling but I didn't like most of the characters. Abby, having by counseled for years by the same pastor she is leaving her husband for, reminded me of the same brain-washing Caitlin went through. Tom seems more obsessed with finding out the sordid details of what happened to Caitlin than actually finding out who did it to her. Caitlin is only home a day before Tom and the police start grilling her. There were too many characters for my liking and way too much dialogue. I can understand somethings a parent might do but Tom goes beyond and does something near the end that is completely ridiculous. This novel had potential but went off in some strange tangents and needs some editing.
krsball on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Blech. I wanted this to be good, and it just wasn't. The premise is good, but the main character didn't come across as real. His reactions didn't feel authentic. Don't bother. Did I say blech yet?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sorry, but I was very disappointed in this book. The whole story is just a terrible read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put it down....
teachlz More than 1 year ago
image_539193815256471My Review of “Cemetery Girl ” by David Bell Well, David Bell, author of “Cemetery Girl”, I blame you for another sleepless night. I had to start your book, and I couldn’t put it down!! So I do have a WARNING for all readers, don’t read this before you go to sleep, or you will have dark circles under your eyes!! This is an intense, suspenseful, chilling, thrilling and captivating read. Can you even imagine if your child was missing for four years, and then was found walking along the road, and brought home? Isn’t this every parent’s nightmare? In this day and age, we pick up a newspaper and read about kidnappings, murders and terrible crimes. As parents do you blame yourselves? Can you imagine everything that you have gone through for four years? Can you imagine what your daughter has gone through? David Bell is an amazing storyteller and his descriptions are vivid and detailed. He describes his characters as complex and complicated. There are twists and turns and ups and downs. This fells like a crazy roller coaster ride. The genre is fiction, mystery, suspense and thriller, and yet at times it feels so very real. Well, you know the daughter is home after four years being somewhere. This has taken a toll on the parents. The father is obsessed to find out what happened. Don’t you want to know? I would highly recommend this book to readers that enjoy a great thriller and suspenseful story. Just be prepared that things are not like they seem, and several characters could be suspect. Again, this comes with a WARNING: Do not read before you go to sleep!!! Happy Reading !! “Cemetery Girl” has a new cover, and is in a new paperback edition which comes out February 6, 2018.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jeanetteast More than 1 year ago
Never read his work before but I will be buying his books from now on. WHAT A READ! I read a lot & David Bell w/Cemetery Girl had me on the edge I started the book & couldn't put it down until I finished it. I have another of his books bought them on a whim. So glad I did, he really keeps you thinking & doesn't drag a story on, he just keeps you wanting more. If your looking for a good read this is it. WOW! What a wreiter!
Booker13 More than 1 year ago
I was VERY VERY disappointed in this book.  It was not a thriller, definitely not.  AND it was so cliche from the missing child to the marriage to the  iwife and husband.  I found nothing new or interesting in the book.  His writing style is disjointed.  AND THEN IT WAS OFF TO THE RACES TO TIE UP AS  many loose ends before the last page.  SO CLICHE THERE ALSO...NOTHING ENJOYABLE OR SATISFYING ABOUT THIS BOOK. The characters are shallow at best and from the get-go there is no feelings or sympathy for anyone, and the daughter is described in such a way as WHO IS THE PARENT AND WHO IS THE CHILD.SORRY I SPENT MY TIME WITH THIS ONE.
nooklooker More than 1 year ago
Boring. Couldn't get thru it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The plot's "twists" you will see from a mile away, the characters are undeveloped and unrelatable, and the ending is rediculous
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MollyMN More than 1 year ago
Disturbing. A grown man having a sexual relationship with a child under the age of sixteen is sexual abuse. Period. A twelve year old cannot give consent to a sexual relationship with a grown man. Period. It disturbed me that this point was not made abundantly clear in the novel. The only difference between a twelve year old child being forcibly taken away and being lured to run away is that the sex offender in the later case is smarter and more cunning. I suppose it is so much easier to assign blame to a victim than examine why we as a society still allow and accept the abuse of women and children. On the other hand, this is a novel, and the sexual victimization of women and children is still rampant and wildly tolerated in the USA. In the county that I live in, a person will literally do more jail time for driving without a valid driver’s license than for molesting a child. This is a fact. So the author’s portrayal of the conflicting attitudes and opinions in this novel does ring true. So does his griping account of anxiety and psychological disassociation. I also hate knowing ahead of time what is going to happen in a book or a novel. So at first I thought that the novel’s description was a spoiler, in that the girl doesn’t even make an appearance until halfway though the book. But actually, this enhanced the suspense. I found myself not able to put this one down.