First published April 18, 2017
My rating: 2 out of 5
*I received a free advance copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The Short Of It:
Another run-of-the-mill, predictable psychological thriller. Blah.
The Long Of It:
I've finally come to terms with the fact that, with the exception of a few standouts like "Gone Girl," thrillers are just not for me (so if you typically adore them, you might want to disregard my review). They're so often formulaic: someone goes missing or is killed, there's some build-up, and then comes the inevitable plot twist -- often in the form of an unreliable narrator. After I cottoned on to the formula, it's been hard for me to enjoy these books because they're so darn predictable -- plus, good writing is pretty important to me, and in this genre it typically takes a backseat in favor of fast-paced action.
"Gone Without a Trace" fell short in quite a few ways for me, right down to to the repetitive, uninspired writing. There was so little actually going on that I skimmed nearly the entire thing and read it in a day. I felt zero connection to our protagonist, thirty-something Hannah, who comes home from work one day to find her boyfriend has vanished and erased every part of himself from her life, even going as far as deleting pictures of himself from her phone and taking every single one of his possessions. Hannah becomes obsessed with tracking him down and discovering why he left her -- and alternately wanting to give him an earful and hoping he'll grovel to come home. After the "twist," I liked her even less.
I do have to give props to Torjussen for one thing: the vanished person is a man! So many of the thrillers I've read involve a kidnapped child or a missing woman. Unfortunately, though slightly fresher than normal (and I do admit, the initial premise was intriguing), the story was kinda weird and just didn't work for me.
Another random issue: the cover. The artwork looks to me like a woman walking down a path to the sea... but I don't remember the ocean ever once being mentioned.
So, yeah, if you've got thriller-fatigue like I do, definitely skip this one. But if the genre is your thing -- and it is for a lot of readers -- you may like it much better than I did.