This was my first Lisa Unger book, but it won’t be my last. I couldn’t stop turning the pages (or actually swiping them because I was reading the NetGalley digital ARC copy on my phone). The book, publishing in October but available for pre-order now, is somewhat dark. Although very different, I can compare it to Gone Girl which I also enjoyed and which also featured a missing person. In this case, several missing women. It takes place in New York City, right before the COVID pandemic closed things down and refers to a Chinese virus that was starting to spread.
The main character, Wren Greenwood (not her real name), is the author of the popular Dear Birdie advice column that is also a podcast. Only her friend Jax knows her background, how, at 15, Wren’s world was turned upside down after her family moved to an isolated area because her father, a war veteran, had become what some term a Doomsday Prepper. His actions culminated in a tragedy that caused Wren, born as Robin, to change her name and return to society to build a life to help others facing challenges in their lives.
When Wren hooks up with a man named Adam through Torch, an online dating site, she finds herself opening up to him and revealing her dark past. When Adam unexpectedly disappears and a detective comes to Wren’s door seeking help in finding missing women who used Torch to meet a man he believed was Adam, Wren once again faces horror.
The twists and turns in this book had me on the edge of my seat. Although I liked the ending that featured additional twists, I found the pace a bit slow in the last part of the book after the climax. I thought each character in the book was well depicted and would highly recommend it if you’re a fan of Gillian Flynn and Lisa Diaz Meyer, two dark fiction authors I admire.