Spotlight Review: ALL THAT IS MINE I CARRY WITH ME by William Landay

From the publisher:

A mother vanished. A father presumed guilty. There is no proof. There are no witnesses. For the children, there is only doubt. From the New York Times bestselling author of Defending Jacob. . . .

“Astonishing, powerful, and provocative, this book is worth the excruciating wait for another William Landay.”—Louise Penny, author of A World of Curiosities

One afternoon in November 1975, ten-year-old Miranda Larkin comes home from school to find her house eerily quiet. Her mother is missing. Nothing else is out of place. There is no sign of struggle. Her mom’s pocketbook remains in the front hall, in its usual spot.

So begins a mystery that will span a lifetime. What happened to Jane Larkin?

Investigators suspect Jane’s husband. A criminal defense attorney, Dan Larkin would surely be an expert in outfoxing the police.

But no evidence is found linking him to a crime, and the case fades from the public’s memory, a simmering, unresolved riddle. Jane’s three children—Alex, Jeff, and Miranda—are left to be raised by the man who may have murdered their mother.

Two decades later, the remains of Jane Larkin are found. The investigation is awakened. The children, now grown, are forced to choose sides. With their father or against him? Guilty or innocent? And what happens if they are wrong?

A tale about family—family secrets and vengeance, but also family love—All That Is Mine I Carry With Me masterfully grapples with a primal question: When does loyalty reach its limit?

I’ve read a couple of William Landay’s books that were excellent; his first novel, Mission Flats, and his bestseller, Defending Jacob. Defending Jacob became a limited drama series on Apple TV+ with Chris Evans and Michelle Dockery, and was very good. I was looking forward to this new book and was not disappointed.

This is a family nightmare – the mother goes missing one day, and no one knows what happened to her. Of course, the father/husband is the chief suspect, but they don’t get anywhere with him because he is a criminal defense lawyer. His kids, on the other hand, have their own theories. The family is split, but they come together when their mother’s body is found twenty years later. The original detective is retired, but he’s never forgotten this case and has always been sure of the father’s guilt. He starts working with the family to try and solve the mystery.

I don’t want to give anything away here. Most of the book explores the family dynamics, at least until the mystery starts unraveling. I found the ending to be a bit muddled, but definitely worth the read to get there. This is a beautifully written, interesting, and gripping mystery.

5/2023 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

ALL THAT IS MINE I CARRY WITH ME by William Landay. Bantam (March 7, 2023). ISBN:  978-0345531841. 336p.



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