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Friday, October 07, 2016

So-So Psychological Thriller Compelling, But Lacking (With a Giveaway!)

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

From the outside, Zoe Whittaker's rags-to-riches life looks absolutely perfect.  The 29-year-old is the brand-new wife of an influential Wall Street tycoon, she's living in a sparkling Tribeca penthouse, her closet is stuffed with chic designer clothes, and the only work she does is volunteering for a prestigious, well-funded charity for orphans and foster kids.  No one knows Zoe's past, that she, herself, was abandoned as an infant.  No one knows about the terrible things she did as a young adult, the things that propelled her to assume a false name and flee California for the anonymous streets of New York City.  There are other things no one knows—that Zoe is bored with her charmed existence, that she's secretly searching for her birth mother, and that she's feeling stifled by her adoring but controlling spouse.

When a series of suspicious events rocks Zoe's carefully-constructed world, she knows the game is up—after five years, her turbulent past has come calling.  Someone is determined to take revenge and they won't stop until she's dead.  How can Zoe protect herself without revealing the dark secrets she's never told anyone?  If the truth comes out, her glamorous life is over.  With a killer tracking her every move, everything Zoe's ever wanted and everyone she's ever loved are in the utmost danger ...

You all know I love me a good psychological thriller.  The Vanishing Year by Kate Moretti is a psychological thriller, but is it a good one?  Well, it's tense, fast-paced and compelling.  A page-turner for sure.  The plot's twisty—it's also far-fetched, with some big plot holes.  Zoe's not a warm narrator, nor a particularly sympathetic one.  It's tough to care much about her.  That disconnect made The Vanishing Year less than satisfying.  Overall, though, the novel is compelling, just not anything really spectacular.

(Readalikes:  Reminded me of Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris; The First Wife by Erica Spindler; and Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for strong language, violence, sexual content, depictions of illegal drug use, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  I received an e-ARC of The Vanishing Year from the generous folks at Simon & Schuster.  Thank you!


If you're interested in winning a signed copy of The Vanishing Year for yourself, fill out the Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Sounds like some of the so-so books I've been reading lately. If I don't like the main character, or care what happens to her, it's hard for me to really like the book. Even if they're suspenseful and fast-paced. Good characters are everything!

  2. Yeah, see, this is how I felt about Girl on the Train. It was exciting enough but with not one likable character in the whole book what's the point?

  3. I liked this one but agree it was far fetched with some plot holes. Still I enjoyed the story and the way it turned out. Sorry it wasn't better for you. Great review!!


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