After a day trip for work, Hannah returns home to find that her boyfriend, Matt, has left her. Not only has he left her, he’s stripped their shared home of any and every item he brought to it: his dvds and cds are gone and Hannah’s previously packed away books have replaced them on the shelves. His art is missing from the walls. Even the comforter and sheets, his before they were together, have been replaced on the bed. But the worst part? Every trace of Matt has been removed from Hannah’s phone, tablet, and social media – no contact information remains, no texts between the two of them, and every photo of Matt has been deleted.
Hurt and confused, Hannah becomes determined to try and find out what happened – why Matt left her and where he’s gone. But as the days and weeks become months, Hannah becomes convinced Matt is following her, sneaking back into their home and leaving messages on her phone. But why? Why would he leave? And why would he torment her so?
Mary Torjussen’s debut is a twisty psychological thriller that begs the question – just how far would you go to get answers if the person you loved most left you? It begs other questions, too, but those would give too much away.
Hannah is understandably devastated to find that Matt has left her. To her mind, everything had been going great between the two of them. Work was looking up too, but that begins to fall apart as well as she tries to find answers.
As a reader, given the information that Torjussen conveys through Hannah, all kinds of possibilities crossed my mind. Was Matt behind the messages in the first place? Did he leave willingly? And most importantly, what’s missing from this story?
I did not see the end coming. The clues are there, but I didn’t guess at all. Torjussen builds a story that is packed with tension, so much so that getting through it is both frustrating and thrilling. And worth it.
4/17 Becky LeJeune
GONE WITHOUT A TRACE by Mary Torjussen. Berkley (April 18, 2017). ISBN 978-0399585012. 352p.