Book Review: And Now She’s Gone by Rachel Howzell Hall

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Content Warning: Domestic abuse

I discovered Rachel Howzell Hall earlier this year and I am so happy I did.  Her books never fail to entertain and always have my full attention.  I previously read They All Fall Down and expected this book to be similar.  Well, I was wrong because this book had a totally different feel and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Goodreads Synopsis:

Isabel Lincoln is gone.

But is she missing?

It’s up to Grayson Sykes to find her.  Although she is reluctant to track down a woman who may not want to be found, Gray’s search for Isabel Lincoln becomes more complicated and dangerous with every new revelation about the woman’s secrets and truth she’s hidden from her friends and family.

Featuring two complicated women in a dangerous cat and mouse game, Rachel Howzell Hall’s And Now She’s Gone explores the nature of secrets – and how violence and fear can lead you to abandon everything in order survive.

Review:

And Now She’s Gone is perfect for readers who enjoy multiple timelines.  This book toggles between the past, telling the story of Natalie Dixon and her abusive husband Sean, and the present, following the investigation into missing woman Isabel Lincoln.  Both stories have one thing in common and that is Grayson Sykes.  I don’t want to spoil anything, so I won’t elaborate, but both timelines were riveting and the transition between to the two is seamless.

Grayson Sykes is a private investigator, but her biggest case so far has been finding a missing Chihuahua.  When she is finally assigned a missing person case, Sykes goes through a range of emotions and feels the pressure to find the missing woman as quickly as possible.  The only problem is that Grayson isn’t sure Isabel wants to be found.  As more details come to light, the story becomes more complex and calls into question all Grayson has been told by those close to Isabel.   

Isabel Lincoln was reported missing by her boyfriend, Ian O’Donnell, a cardiologist in Los Angeles.  Not only has Isabel gone missing, but she’s taken Ian’s precious Labradoodle Kenny G.  As soon as we are introduced to Ian, I knew I didn’t like him.  He came across controlling, narcissistic, and whiny.  He definitely seemed to care more about getting Kenny G back than finding Isabel. 

I loved the character of Grayson!  She was incredibly relatable, especially as she fumbled through the first day of the investigation.  For example, she arrives to talk to Ian only to realize she doesn’t have a working pen, she wears bright colors, which is a big no-no for a PI, and she just has no idea what she’s doing.  I found all these moments endearing and each made me love Grayson even more.  Despite all the missteps, Grayson finds her stride and uses her past experiences to help move the investigation forward. 

As the story progresses, we find out more and more about Grayson and her life before she began working at Rader Consulting.  Each revelation was like peeling back another layer and gives us a glimpse into why working this case is so tough for Gray.  Her past plays a huge role in the way she investigates and at times interferes with her ability to see things clearly. 

One of my favorite things about this book is how it is an unexpected story of healing.  The search for Isabel takes its toll on Grayson, but it also helps her confront things she’s kept hidden away for years.  Going through the investigation forces Grayson to decide what path she wants her future to take.  Will she continue to be haunted by her past or will she finally find the strength to move on? 

And Now She’s Gone is a twisty, suspense filled novel and not at all what I expected.  I was stumped and left guessing all the way to the end.  I would recommend this book to readers of Lisa Jewell or Ruth Ware and it’s the perfect fall read.

Thank you Netgalley and Forge Books for my advanced copy.  All opinions are my own.    

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