Cemetery Girl

David Bell. NAL, $14 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-0-451-23467-4
Set in a small Ohio college town, Bell’s suspenseful, disquieting debut thriller gets off to a strong start. The disappearance of 12-year-old Caitlin Stuart, last seen four years earlier walking the family dog in a park near her home, has severely tested the marriage of her parents, Tom and Abby. When Abby seeks closure by scheduling a “funeral,” it places the final strain on their fragile relationship. Then the police pick up a teenager outside a mall late one night, somewhat dirty but basically okay, who turns out to be the missing girl. Since Caitlin, a private, self-contained child even before her abduction, is reluctant to share information about her experiences and captor with either her family or police, Tom wonders if she was somehow complicit in her disappearance. Tom’s search for answers to what power held his daughter captive drives the narrative, and all his relationships become defined by his quest. Readers compelled to join Tom in his journey deserve a less pat resolution. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/2011
Release date: 10/01/2011
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