If I Disappear by Eliza Jane Brazier | Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group | Publication Date: 26 January 2021 | Genre: Mystery-Thriller | Find it on: Goodreads
Sera’s favorite true-crime podcast host, Rachel, has gone missing. The voice that helped her sleep at night, that let her escape from a life that wasn’t living up to expectations, has gone dark. And no one seems to care.
Pushing herself past her comfort zone, Sera goes out to Happy Camp, Rachel’s hometown, to find out what happened to her–and all of the other women she’s reported missing there–when no one else will.
If you aren’t a fan of true-crime podcasts, and the communities that have been inspired by them, this premise probably won’t make a lot of sense to you. But for those of us who stay sexy and don’t get murdered; are weird, rude, and stay alive; refuse to be an irony; and keep it weird, this plot makes so much sense. In fact, the only thing that didn’t make sense was why Sera hadn’t gone to her favorite social media message board to talk with other fans about Rachel’s disappearance (because there would have been other listeners feeling just like her).
While the mystery unfolds slowly at first, Brazier has managed to maintain a pace that keeps the book moving. She leaves clues for the reader to play with, pushing Sera to the brink of unreliability only to bring her back to reality, and maintains an atmosphere that feels like a cross between a 1980s it-happened-at-camp slasher with a slow-burn cabin-in-the-woods thriller.
The twists at the end are perfect and you’ll finish the book conflicted about who you want to be guilty. Because that’s what narratives do…they make you change your mind when the evidence is all the same.
The first person narration and slight stream-of-consciousness narrative won’t be for every reader, so if that’s not your thing from the start you might have a hard time getting into this book. I think it’s worth the pay off at the end. But you’ll have to be your own judge of that.
The one thing I think we can all agree on is that there’s nothing better than finding a community of women to sit around and talk about murder with.
Read it? Adding it to your TBR? Disagree? Let’s talk in the comments!
*I received a galley of this book for review purposes*