Book Review: How Quickly She Disappears by Raymond Fleischman

Set in 1941, against the harsh backdrop of a remote Alaskan community, How Quickly She Disappears is the story of Elisabeth, a wife and mother living a very quiet life in the far northern reaches of Alaska. Elisabeth is at a point in her life where she is isolated, geographically and emotionally, from her husband, her community, and family. In addition to her isolation, Elisabeth is still coping with the disappearance of her twin sister Jacqueline. Twenty years ago, when the girls were young, Jacqueline disappeared without a trace. Now, a strange man named Alfred has flown into town and manipulates his way into Elisabeth’s house, her life, and her past. Elisabeth’s life is turned upside down when Alfred commits a heinous crime in her small town, and then offers clues to her sister’s disappearance, clues that are entirely too detailed to be wrong. Before long, Elisabeth is pulled into a deranged cat and mouse game in the hopes of finally discovering what happened to Jacqueline all those years ago—and maybe even directly to the sister she’s always believed is still alive.

How Quickly She Disappears is a stark, haunting novel. I found myself wanting to disbelieve everything Alfred was telling Elisabeth but being drawn into this madness right alongside her.

My one complaint is that it wasn’t wrapped up in this novel, it left an opening for a sequel and it felt as forced and manipulative as Alfred was. This really felt like a standalone novel the entire time I read it and to be left like this at the end kind of ruined a lot of the experience for me.

How Quickly She Disappears will be available January 14, 2020.

*I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of How Quickly She Disappears from Berkley Publishing Group and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

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