Title: Evidence of Life
Author: Barbara Taylor Sissel
Summary: On the last ordinary day of her life, Abby Bennett feels like the luckiest woman alive. But everyone knows that luck doesn’t last forever. As her husband, Nick, and daughter, Lindsey, embark on a weekend camping trip to the Texas Hill Country, Abby looks forward to having some quiet time to herself. She braids Lindsey’s hair, reminds Nick to drive safely and kisses them both goodbye. For a brief moment, Abby thinks she has it all—a perfect marriage, a perfect life—until a devastating storm rips through the region, and her family vanishes without a trace.
When Nick and Lindsey are presumed dead, lost in the raging waters, Abby refuses to give up hope. Consumed by grief and clinging to her belief that her family is still alive, she sets out to find them. But as disturbing clues begin to surface, Abby realizes that the truth may be far more sinister than she imagined. Soon she finds herself caught in a current of lies that threaten to unhinge her and challenge everything she once believed about her marriage and family.
My Thoughts: I’ve had this book finished for several hours now, and am just not sure what to say about it. It’s not that it was bad; it wasn’t. It’s not that it wasn’t compelling; it was. It’s not that it wasn’t thought-provoking; it was. It’s not that I didn’t like it; I did. So, why can’t I write about it?
So, let’s try something new. Stream-of-consciousness reviewing. I’ll write everything I’m thinking, no matter what. (Don’t worry; I’ll go back, read it over, and make sure to hide any spoilers.)
The book is a bit long in that it meanders and has a slower pace. No, it’s not hard to read. It held my interest from the very beginning. It’s just got lots of narrative and description, and less dialogue. It’s amazing how much longer 300 pages is when there’s less dialogue! But, it works. For this book, it’s the perfect way to tell the story. And the long, meandering narrative has moments that gave me the chills and/or were heart-stoppingly surprising. There is not a lot of that in here; just enough to keep you from getting bored.
The ending, without saying too much, was quite unexpected. Well, yes and no. The main events at the end almost felt out of place with the pacing and style of the rest of the book. Almost. It still works, and definitely packs a powerfully shocking punch. I honestly can say I hadn’t seen it coming. Hopefully you’ll be able to say the same, too. After that big surprise, the last couple of chapters were mostly perfect. The very, very end? Completely perfect. I loved it!
I really liked Abby – and, no, not because her name is the same as my daughter’s name! Because she’s flawed in a very realistic way – and, like most of us, she’s aware of her flaws. She also is stubborn and a whole lot stronger than she realizes. And stronger than her friends and family seem to think she is. Let me just say that I wanted to clobber each and every one of them, especially her oldest friend, Kate. Most especially her. I kinda wanted to smack Jake, but not so much given the circumstances. The position he’s in is one no child should have to navigate through.
So, overall, Evidence of Life is a compelling, interesting, often creepy read. The lies mentioned in the summary weren’t as outrageous as I’d been expecting, but that’s OK. The story is well-written, engaging, and sure to entertain mystery lovers everywhere.
Source: Thank you to Liz Lauer from BookTrib, for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.
Read It: Get your own copy HERE. (This is a Book Depository link, and purchase through this link will result in my receiving a small commission at no cost to you. Your support is appreciated!)
I am able to offer one lucky reader in the U.S. or Canada a paperback copy of Evidence of Life by Barbara Taylor Sissel.
To Enter: Leave a comment with your name.
The Fine Print: Giveaway runs until 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, May 18, 2013. Giveaway is open to those in the U.S. and Canada. One entry per person. You must be 13 or older to enter. Winners will be chosen with the help of the WordPress plugin And the Winner Is … and notified via e-mail. If I do not receive a response within 48 hours of sending the e-mail, a new winner will be chosen. I am not responsible for prizes that are lost, stolen, or damaged en route to you.
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