Guys, this book was a trip. I devoured it, finding times where I could sneak in some pages in order to finish it quickly. Clarire’s older sister Alison disappearance when they are on vacation on Saint X continues to haunt Claire for the rest of her life. She is only seven years old when the college-aged Allison disappears and spend the rest of her formative years hearing about the disappearance and trying to craft her own life that is separate from that trauma. However, one day she encounters Clive Richardson, one of the men suspected of her sister’s murder and her world changes.
Schaitkin really has a way with words and has crafted a story that is both well-written and gripping. I loved how the book switched between the different POV and in doing so also switched the voice that was being used to the tell the story. I know that narrative choice for the opening of the book bothers some people but I appreciated its almost cinematic quality. I wanted to know what happened to Allison and was pleasantly surprised when my predictions did not come true throughout the book. She seamlessly weaves in discussions of class disparity and race alongside the mystery. These themes are unavoidable when you are writing about the disappearance and death of a wealthy white girl on a predominantly poor island and I think that Schaitkin handled them well. The only part where the book lost me was Clarie’s emotional journey in the middle, where her paragraphs of observations of New York City were often a bit of a distraction from the rest of the story (though might be more appreciated by someone from the city).
Overall, I highly recommend the book and think it is going to be a big one of 2020. 4.5 stars