cover image Almost Missed You

Almost Missed You

Jessica Strawser. St. Martin’s, $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-10760-2

In Strawser’s nerve-wracking debut, a woman’s husband leaves with their son, shattering her life and catching others in his devastating wake. Violet and Finn Welsh and their three-year-old son, Bear, are on vacation in Florida when Violet’s world is turned upside down. Although Finn’s life before marrying Violet was marked by tragedy, Violet thought they were happy, but now all she knows is that she will do anything to get her son back. In between them is Caitlin Bryce-Daniels, Finn’s longtime best friend and now Violet’s close friend as well, whom Finn blackmails into helping him by threatening to reveal a horrible secret. The narrative, which alternates between the three, as well as past and present, is undeniably suspenseful. The conclusion is a bit neat, but Strawser’s exploration of marriage, its expectations, and motherhood are spot-on, making for an absorbing read. (Mar.)