By: Amy Stuart
Format/Source: Advance Reading Copy courtesy of the publishers, Simon & Schuster CA
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU VANISH FROM YOUR LIFE AND LEAVE NO STORY BEHIND?
SOMEONE WILL MAKE ONE UP FOR YOU.
Clare is on the run.
From her past, from her ex, and from her own secrets. When she turns up alone in the remote mining town of Blackmore asking about Shayna Fowles, the local girl who disappeared, everyone wants to know who Clare really is and what she’s hiding. As it turns out, she’s hiding a lot, including what ties her to Shayna in the first place. But everyone in this place is hiding something from Jared, Shayna’s golden-haired ex-husband, to Charlie, the charming small-town drug pusher, to Derek, Shayna’s overly involved family doctor, to Louise and Wilfred, her distraught parents.
Did Shayna flee? Was she killed? Is it possible she’s still alive?
As Clare uncovers the mysteries around Shayna’s disappearance, she must confront her own demons, moving us deeper and deeper into the labyrinth of lies and making us question what it is she’s really running from. Twisting and electrifying, this is a get-under-your-skin thriller that will make you question what it means to lose yourself and find yourself in the most unlikely places.
I first heard of this novel when I got an email about it from Simon & Schuster CA. It’s pitched for fans of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl (review), Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train, and A.S.A. Harrison’s The Silent Wife (review) but what drew me to the novel was the setting–a remote mining town–for this mystery and character drama. So I was curious and received an ARC from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. This book will be available on 01 March 2016.
Omg, this book. I pretty much read it in a day as I couldn’t put it down once I started reading it. It’s such an atmospheric read; you really feel as you’re with Clare up in the mountains in this remote mining town where it’s chilly and damp and foggy and ominous. Not to mention the few townspeople that remained are absolutely suspicious of Clare’s arrival as well as hostile and wary towards each other. The animosity is rife, you don’t know who to believe and who to trust, whether Clare’s surrounded by dangerous people, and all of those elements and feelings really just adds to the overall atmosphere and tone of the story.
The story itself is mysterious and foreboding. Clare arrives in town in search for Shayna Fowles but while the reader follows Clare in piecing together what happened to her and what kind of life she led prior to her disappearance, the reader is fronted with a myriad of other questions: who is Clare? Why is she on the run? Why are the similarities between Clare and Shayna so eerily similar? Why did she take this job (that was probably the biggest question I had as I was reading, I thought it was very odd that she just fell into this job)? What is it that these characters are not saying? The townsfolk were an interesting and motley group, though the rampant problem of drug use amongst these small towns had me wondering if this is a statistical fact or a coincidence. As Clare settles into the town and gets to know the townpeople, the reader also starts learning more about Clare and her circumstances and why she’s on the run and what secrets she holds.
I don’t know what else I can say about this book without giving away the twists and turns. The characters really carry a lot of the drama and the flow of the story, you never know how animosities will escalate or who will prove involved in Shayna’s disappearance; the story had me guessing the whole way. Clare was a fascinating and fantastic protagonist: strong but also vulnerable, she has her flaws and failings and everything in her life and all her feelings are very complicated; I just wanted her to be happy and whole again. Oh,
Anyway, I highly recommend Still Mine for readers of thrillers and mysteries, it’s definitely fast-paced, intriguing, and unputdownable (ooh, perfect for the upcoming summer season).