Originally posted 2016-02-02 17:00:25.
Everyone needs to quit trying to write the next Gone Girl. More importantly, I need to stop reading books that are advertised as “the next Gone Girl.” I wasn’t even a big fan of that book, but I’m apparently drawn to books claiming to be similar. More often than not, twisty and convoluted plots result in meandering, hard-to-follow novels. Readers lose interest, daydreaming commences, entire chapters need to be re-read, only to have the same thing happen all over again. While I experienced this with small portions of Gone Girl, the blackouts that I endured with Kimberly McCreight’s Where They Found Her were about on par with a night of heavy drinking.
In the picturesque suburbs of Ridgedale, New Jersey, town newbie and freelance journalist Molly Sanderson is sent to the scene of a freshly discovered body. Thinking that this might be the career break that she needs, Molly eagerly races to the location, only to learn that the recovered body is that of a newborn baby. Having recently lost a baby of her own, Molly’s coverage of the crime forces her not only to face her own demons, but to uncover the truth behind this baby’s death.
It sounds straightforward enough, but McCreight tries way too hard to achieve that “What a Twist!” moment. By the time the twist is finally unveiled, my only excitement came from the fact that its revelation signaled the approach of the end.
Where They Found Her is a massive disappointment, especially because it is McCreight’s follow-up to her 2013 pageturner, Reconstructing Amelia. This is her sophomore slump, and I only hope that her next effort doesn’t prove her to be a one-hit wonder.
Previously Published on Danetrain.com on April 25, 2015