From the New York Times bestselling author of The Silent Girls comes this chilling, harrowing thriller set in rural Vermont about a recluse who believes the young girl he's found in the woods is the reincarnation of his missing daughter, returned to help him solve her and his wife's disappearance.
I won’t say a word. Cross my heart and hope to die…
Jonah Baum, a professor of poetry at a local college in Vermont, sees his ordinary life come tumbling down when his wife and young daughter vanish from their home. No evidence of a kidnapping. No sign of murder. No proof that Rebecca didn’t simply abandon her marriage. Just Sally’s crude and chilling drawings, Jonah’s little lies, and the sheriff’s nagging fears that nothing is what it seems.
For Sally’s best friend, Lucinda, it’s something else. She trusts in Sally not to just disappear, not after they’ve shared so many secrets—especially about the woods and what they saw there. But she’ll never tell. No one would believe her anyway.
As the search for Rebecca and Sally intensifies, and as suspicion falls on Jonah, the disappearances become more relentlessly haunting than anyone can imagine. Because what’s seen in the light of day is not nearly as terrifying as what remains hidden in the dark…
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About the Author
Eric Rickstad is the New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of The Silent Girls, Lie in Wait, and Reap, novels heralded as intelligent and profound, dark, disturbing, and heartbreaking. He lives in his home state of Vermont with his wife, daughter, and son.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Sometimes you just need a good mystery/thriller to curl up with on a rainy weekend and this book was just that. A poetry professor who has been wishing for tenure in a small town in Vermont comes home to find his wife and daughter missing and he has no clue as to where they have gone. 25 years later another little girl goes missing and it just seems way to close to the same thing happening again. With short chapters this book moved so quickly. I find books with short chapters, I keep saying oh one more chapter and all of the sudden I am half way or flipping the last page! I like this set up for mysteries because it keeps the pacing going and going.
I am a huge Eric Rickstad fan, and this new one from him does not disappoint! The mysterious disappearance of Jonah's wife and daughter are a defining moment in his life. There is no evidence of a crime, and yet, the suspicion on him never dissolves, driving him into a life of complete seclusion. His daughter's best friend Lucinda, knows that her friend would never have just disappeared, but she only has Sally's secrets, which don't hold weight in light of her being a child. Twenty five years later, Jonah finds a little girl in the woods and becomes convinced she is related to Sally's disappearance, and Lucinda finds herself trying to put puzzle pieces together from across decades. This is yet another delightfully twisting mystery, wrapped up in perfectly dark character drama. I LOVE how Eric writes his characters, so that they are individually haunted and flawed, while remaining relatable to the reader. Watching Lucinda struggle with the case, and her own life trajectory, while simultaneously watching Jonah's personal struggles in understanding what happened to his family make for compelling reading. I definitely did not see the twists coming in this one, and I love to be left guessing to the last pages. Without offering any spoilers, I will say that this is one that becomes more fast paced the deeper in you get. It became impossible to put down, and I loved the twists that held me to the very last pages. This is one that mystery readers need to add to their piles, without question!
What Remains of Her is Eric Rickstad's latest book. Jonah Baum's wife Rebecca and young daughter Sally went missing twenty five years ago from their home in Vermont. Jonah has never been the same from that day. He's living in a run down cabin in the forest, eschewing society, but hoping against hope that they might still be found. Sally's friend Lucinda might remember something still..... When another little girl is lost in the woods, it is Jonah who finds her. Is she real or has Jonah's mind finally broken? I liked the idea of the long disappearance and memories from a child perhaps holding the answers. The other little girl, Gretel was an unexpected entry in the plot. (Really? Gretel? Fairy tale lost in the woods Gretel?) And I think it was here that Rickstad lost me. Much time is spent on this mystery child with the plot going in directions that seemed utterly ridiculous. The mystery itself has limited options as to the whodunnit is. (Fairly easy to suss out.) The police investigation I was hoping for never really happened. (And c'mon - clues left for 25 years in the victim's house?!) Sorry, this one was overdone and overwrought in my opinion.
3.5 stars Fairly simple mystery involving the disappearance of a mother, Rebecca, and her daughter, Sally. The story jumps back and forth between Jonah, the husband and father who is the prime suspect, and the daughter's best friend, Lucinda. The winter setting of Vermont just adds another layer to an already bleak and depressing situation. The strength of the book is not so much the mystery as it is seeing how the disappearance affects Jonah and Lucinda. There is definitely a haunting type quality to the book as the author really captures their inner struggles as they deal with the aftermath of the disappearance each in their own way. The story is gripping and I ended up finishing the book over the course of an afternoon. The weakness of the book is definitely the "big reveal". When you finally are told what happened it is not really surprising or unexpected as there were a limited amount of directions the story could go in. However, the author is talented enough that it did not ruin the story for me. By the time I was finished reading, I felt much more of an attachment to the main characters rather than the mystery itself. I think if you go into this just wanting a good, solid fiction read with complex characters rather than a mystery filled with twists and turns, you will enjoy this book a lot more. I won a free advance digital copy of this book in a giveaway but was under no obligation to post a review. All views expressed are my honest opinion.