The Disappearing: A Novel
Setting – Florida
Dutton (July 17, 2018)
Hardcover: 352 pages
Kindle ASIN: B076NRLQ5L
The Disappearing – Two-time Edgar Award-winning author Lori Roy spins a twisted, atmospheric tale about a small Southern town where girls disappear and boys run away.
When Lane Fielding fled her isolated Florida hometown after high school for the anonymity of New York City, she swore she’d never return. But twenty years later, newly divorced and with two daughters in tow, she finds herself tending bar at the local dive and living with her parents on the historic Fielding Plantation. Here, the past haunts her and the sinister crimes of her father–the former director of an infamous boys’ school–make her as unwelcome in town as she was the day she left.
Ostracized by the people she was taught to trust, Lane’s unsteady truce with the town is rattled when her older daughter suddenly vanishes. Ten days earlier, a college student went missing, and the two disappearances at first ignite fears that a serial killer who once preyed upon the town has returned. But when Lane’s younger daughter admits to having made a new and unseemly friend, a desperate Lane attacks her hometown’s façade to discover whether her daughter’s disappearance is payback for her father’s crimes–or for her own.
With reporters descending upon the town, police combing through the swamp, and events taking increasingly disturbing turns, Lane fears she faces too many enemies and too little time to bring her daughter safely home. Powerful and heart-pounding, The Disappearing questions the endurance of family bonds, the dangers of dark rumors and small town gossip, and how sometimes home is the scariest place of all.
Lane Fielding has returned to a place she had hoped to never see again. The historic Fielding Plantation, her family home. Her marriage fell apart and now she and her two daughters have moved in with her elderly parents. Her father, the former director of the boy’s school across from the home, is failing and needs constant care but he has made it well known he isn’t happy Lane has returned. Her mother, failing too, tries to placate everyone to keep the peace.
A college student that was working at the plantation went missing 10 days ago and now Lane’s oldest daughter has disappeared too. Boys used to disappear but now it is blonde girls. The police are trying to find the girls and after talking to Lane’s other daughter have started to zero in on a suspect. The question is will they find the girls in time.
This book has a haunting, almost Gothic feel. Told from several points of view and a couple different timeframes, this story slowly unfolds to reveal so many secrets and lies all attached to this one family. Twenty years have passed since Lane left her home for New York, but her own secret still has never been revealed. Having read other stories by this author I knew the mystery was not going to be as simple as it seems. There is a mighty twist that turns the story upside down.
There was truly nothing endearing about these characters, except maybe Talley, the youngest daughter, but these character’s story is a very compelling read. The family’s drama set in motion by the sins of Lane’s father had me shaking my head in disbelief of all the happenings. The final line sent chills up my spine.
I had read somewhere this book is based on the true story of the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys and I just had to do a little research myself. I was surprised to see the school was just shut down in 2011 after years and years of investigations. Ms. Roy’s fictional spin on this was so interesting to read.
The only downfall in the story for me was the repetition of events from the different points of view made the plot a bit disjointed, but after getting into the story I found a good rhythm to overlook this issue.
The book ending leaves an open option to visit these characters again. It might be interesting to look back on them, say twenty years again in the future.
You can find out more about Lori Roy and her books HERE.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. 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.”