Welcome today and a warm welcome to Claire Douglas to my blog with an excerpt from her book Then She Vanishes, this is burning a hole on my bookshelf so I will make sure I try to get to this very soon!!
What is this book about that everyone is raving about then?Then She Vanishes by Claire Douglas
Also by this author: The Text
Published by Michael Joseph on August 8, 2019
Buy on Amazon UK
Add to Goodreads
THE ONLY THING MORE SHOCKING THAN THE FIRST CHAPTER . . . IS THE LAST. . . ___________
Everything changed the night Flora Powell disappeared.
Heather and Jess were best friends - until the night Heather's sister vanished.
Jess has never forgiven herself for the lie she told that night. Nor has Heather.
But now Heather is accused of an awful crime.
And Jess is forced to return to the sleepy seaside town where they grew up, to ask the question she's avoided for so long:
What really happened the night Flora disappeared?
Ooh, what did happen to Flora?! You can pre-order the paperback on the link above from Amazon, or the Kindle book is out NOW!
Before I share the excerpt, shall we see what else has been said on tour so far? (Click the links on the blog name to see the full review!)
The Book Magnet says
I felt rather smug when I was reading Then She Vanishes; I thought I’d worked it all out, you see. The more I read, the more I was convinced that I was right but then Claire Douglas totally pulled the rug from underneath me! Well played, Ms Douglas, very well played indeed…..
With chapters based on characters’ different points of view, you get to experience the story from every angle. There are a few secrets to uncover and you never know when the next one is going to pop up so this kept me rapidly turning the pages, even though I thought I knew what had happened. I love being wrong; it’s definitely an indication of a good book!
For me, the characters make this story. Douglas’ description and imagery brings them to life before the reader’s eyes. Jess is a likeable character who we sympathise with immediately. The reader is thrown into the deep end along with Jess to uncover the secrets that haunted her childhood friends. What she discovers though, is that perhaps she never knew them at all…
Behind Green Eyes says
It’s the thriller of the Summer so far for me – I would highly recommend it if you like thriller/mystery/crime stories and are seeking something to bring on holiday or curl up with on the next Bank Holiday weekend (or, y’know, a random Thursday).
Candy’s Bookcase says
Another fab book from this brilliant author of suspense.
I really like how her books are always fast-paced with plenty going on. It really kept me on the edge of my seat wanting more, there’s plenty of twists and turns and I also liked the way that each chapter was dedicated to the different characters so you could really get into their minds and find out what was really happening. We also get to go back to when Flora, Heather’s older sister went missing and find out what actually happened.
And OMG ! what a brilliant ending !!
Rachel Read It says
‘Then She Vanishes’ is author Claire Douglas’ fifth novel yet it feels as fresh as a debut.It has a killer hook in the mysterious disappearance of Flora Powell, a family racked by tragedy which looks set to continue as Flora’s younger sister,Heather,inexplicably kills 2 strangers before turning the gun on herself…..
A thrilling, plot driven novel of psychological suspense, this is the kind of story which keeps you up all night after promising yourself ‘Just one more chapter…’
Handwritten Girl says
I really enjoyed the pace of this story and the dual narratives as they gave an interesting insight into the two women. As well as their narratives, there was also Flora’s last movements and this was particularly gripping. It was also insightful seeing Jess battle with morals as journalist she’s looking for the big reveal but also has a connection with the main suspects.
Cleverly written with interesting and unreliable characters that made for thrilling reading, ‘Then She Vanishes’ is a complex and suspenseful psychological thriller. Filled with plot twists and drama, this book was impossible to put down.
My favourite thing about Then She Vanishes was that the story is told from multiple point of views, past and present. This gave a whole picture of the feelings and actions of the people involved.
Then She Vanishes is a gripping, suspenseful and twisty read. Just as I thought the story was going one way, I was presented with something that changed my thinking. The final reveal was excellent and the ending was perfect. I don’t want to spoil anything, as always with this type of novel it is difficult to say too much without giving away the plot.
Then She Vanishes grabs your attention from the opening chapters and holds it for the rest of the book. The chapters from the 1990’s feed our fear of what happened before mobile phones, and how children went out for the full day and had no contact with their parents. The plot is underpinned with a feeling of sinister and unease that stays with you throughout. Very dark in places with the subject of drugs and predatory men, this is a breathtaking, chilling and enthralling thriller, and oneI highly recommend.
Tense and twisty, this thriller keeps you on the edge right until the very last sentence. Don’t ever think that you have worked it out- you’ll find that the plot has taken another turn in the road. Jess is a character with real depth. There is much more to her than meets the eye. She has guilt hidden deep below the surface and there are very few people, if any, who know the real her. Nevertheless, she is a character who you have sympathy for and she has courage and grit as well as a much more vulnerable side.
I loved how this book was plotted. We see events from the points of view of Jess, Margot, who is the mother of the sisters, and then an unnamed person. Jess is a fascinating character, banished from her job on a big London paper, now working in Bristol on a bi-weekly paper. As the story progresses we start to uncover the reasons for her move back to her home area, which is what brings her into contact with Margot again, a woman who was almost a surrogate mother to her during that earlier fateful time.
I really liked the structure that Claire Douglas used. There were multiple POVs and a dual timeline going on, but I felt it all worked well and built up the tension and mystery to an ending that I didn’t see coming. At all. I wasn’t even close with any of my guesses. It wasn’t a surprise twist out of nowhere, it was an extremely well plotted hard hitter of an ending. That ending swung a punch – It was emotional, heart-wrenching and memorable.
Then She Vanishes is a complex suspense story which not only looks at the minutiae of a family caught up in a devastating tragedy, but which also takes in the wider picture of how such a catastrophic event can have so many repercussions. I enjoyed how the story was told in different voices which brought the main characters to life in a believable way and it was interesting to see Jess working on the local paper and her conflicting emotions as she is torn between bringing a newsworthy story to life, whilst at the same time having sympathy towards Heather and her family.
The story itself was a slow burner that I found gripping. As with all good crime fiction all of the characters have secrets which lay hidden until the end, and this is no exception. The story picks up pace and the ending really did surprise. I had suspicions of who was to blame throughout, yet suffice to say I was way off the mark.
I would highly recommend Then She Vanishes for an interesting domestic crime fiction story that will keep you turning the pages until the unseen end.
I was gripped from start to finish by this book and became as immersed in the past as Jess was. Claire Douglas understands how women react to difficulties within relationships, the workplace and more importantly the friendships that they have at different stages of their lives. The storyline has a socially realistic crime at its heart and it is handled with a sensitive depth of perception.
Claire Douglas remains one of my “must read” authors and I highly recommend Then She Vanishes!
Did they all do enough to pique your interest? No? Well, how about this excerpt just for you lucky readers!!
✮ Excerpt ✮
BRISTOL AND SOMERSET HERALD
Tuesday, 13 March 2012
DOUBLE MURDER SHOCKS SLEEPY SEASIDE TOWN
by Jessica Fox
A MURDER investigation is under way after two people were found dead at a house in the seaside Somerset town of Tilby on Friday.
Detectives were called to the beachside property in Shackle‑ ton Road just after 7 a.m. When the police entered the cottage they found two bodies, thought to be local businessman Clive Wilson, 58, and his mother, Deirdre Wilson, 76. They had been shot. The property was cordoned off and police and forensics officers were at the scene throughout the day.
A third person, 32‑year-old Heather Underwood, was found unconscious at a caravan park less than half a mile away. She had sustained a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest and is currently in a critical condition in hospital.
Detective Chief Inspector Gary Ruthgow of Avon and Somerset Police said officers were called to the Georgian property by paramedics. He confirmed that detectives are not looking for anyone else in relation to the deaths. He said: ‘This is a small town and I would urge anyone with any information that could assist with our investigation to please get in touch.’
Neighbours on the well-heeled street, which consists of a boutique hotel as well as permanent residences and second homes, are shocked and saddened by the horrific murders.
I sit back in my chair and re- read the article. The deadline is in twenty minutes. It’s taken me nearly an hour to write just five paragraphs. If I don’t send it soon it won’t make the front page tomorrow, and my news editor, Ted, will have my guts for garters (one of his favourite phrases and always said in a droll tone).
I glance out of the window at the rooftops of Bristol. I can see the cathedral’s spire from up here and the buildings that cluster around College Green. I can tell it’s raining by the sea of colourful umbrellas obscuring the pavements, moving almost as one. A line of traffic chugs up Park Street and a double-decker bus belches smoke as it heaves itself up the hill, like an unfit runner.
Ever since I spoke to DCI Ruthgow this morning I’ve not been able to get the interview out of my head. His words are eating away at me. I’m dying for a cigarette but I daren’t leave my desk until I’ve filed this story. I glance across at Jack, my smoking companion. He’s hunched over his computer, tapping at his keyboard, a phone cradled between shoulder and chin. Sensing me watching, he lifts his head and pulls a silly face. And then, in a placatory voice, he says into the receiver, ‘Yes, yes, I quite understand, Madam. No, I didn’t realize they would use that photo of your cat . . . I agree, quite inappropriate given his untimely demise . . . Uh- huh, yes, not Fluffy’s best side admittedly but, no, I didn’t think he looked fat.’
I can’t help but smile and turn back to my computer, studying the words on the screen again, trying to push away the thought I’ve had since speaking to DCI Ruthgow earlier. But it won’t budge.
Is it my Heather?
Well I hope that did enough for you! It has me!!
Remember the book is out now as an ebook!
Until next time xxx
Thanks to Sriya at Penguin Random House for the tour invite and the author for an excerpt from the book.