Fragile review

9986977Everybody knows everybody in The Hollows, a quaint, charming town outside of New York City. It’s a place where neighbors keep an eye on one another’s kids, where people say hello in the grocery store, and where high school cliques and antics are never quite forgotten. As a child, Maggie found living under the microscope of small-town life stifling. But as a wife and mother, she has happily returned to The Hollows’s insular embrace. As a psychologist, her knowledge of family histories provides powerful insights into her patients’ lives. So when the girlfriend of her teenage son, Rick, disappears, Maggie’s intuitive gift proves useful to the case–and also dangerous.

Eerie parallels soon emerge between Charlene’s disappearance and the abduction of another local girl that shook the community years ago when Maggie was a teenager. The investigation has her husband, Jones, the lead detective on the case, acting strangely. Rick, already a brooding teenager, becomes even more withdrawn. In a town where the past is always present, nobody is above suspicion, not even a son in the eyes of his father.

“I know how a moment can spiral out of control,” Jones says to a shocked Maggie as he searches Rick’s room for incriminating evidence. “How the consequences of one careless action can cost you everything.”

As she tries to reassure him that Rick embodies his father in all of the important ways, Maggie realizes this might be exactly what Jones fears most. Determined to uncover the truth, Maggie pursues her own leads into Charlene’s disappearance and exposes a long-buried town secret–one that could destroy everything she holds dear. This thrilling novel about one community’s intricate yet fragile bonds will leave readers asking, How well do I know the people I love? and How far would I go to protect them?

So because the author said “The Whispers” was the prequel to this book, I had to stop reading “The Whispering Hollows” and turn to this one so the story could continue in a natural flow.  I will do the same with the next two novellas in the book.

This one made me a trifle disappointed when I realized Eloise was going to have a very bit part in it after being the star in “The Whispers” – but understand where the author is going with this.

This story centers around a young girl who disappears one night and how the small town “The Hollows” deals with the mystery.  Some of the adults remember that it wasn’t that many years prior when another young woman went missing and was later found dead.  So the story intertwines with the current and previous disappearance.  The old case was solved long before this girl went missing so it can’t be the same person – so what happened to Charlene?

I liked the story, it was engrossing and I did hate to put it down to go to bed last night but I did.  I liked Maggie and while I started off skeptical about Jones, I ended up liking him quite a bit too.

At this very moment, not far from my home, a 9 year old girl is missing.  Will they find her alive? I certainly hope so.  Reading this book and hearing about the girl, made me shudder that fiction and real life can be so similar. The Bible says “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8.  That verse comes to mind whenever I encounter, via news, reading or real life – a person with evil intentions.

I give the book an A and will look forward to reading more of Unger’s work.

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