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Review: When the Stars Go Dark by Paula McLain



Blurb from Goodreads:
Anna Hart is a seasoned missing persons detective in San Francisco with far too much knowledge of the darkest side of human nature. When tragedy strikes her personal life, Anna, desperate and numb, flees to the Northern California village of Mendocino to grieve. She lived there as a child with her beloved foster parents, and now she believes it might be the only place left for her. Yet the day she arrives, she learns a local teenage girl has gone missing. The crime feels frighteningly reminiscent of the most crucial time in Anna's childhood, when the unsolved murder of a young girl touched Mendocino and changed the community forever. As past and present collide, Anna realizes that she has been led to this moment. The most difficult lessons of her life have given her insight into how victims come into contact with violent predators. As Anna becomes obsessed with the missing girl, she must accept that true courage means getting out of her own way and learning to let others in.

Weaving together actual cases of missing persons, trauma theory, and a hint of the metaphysical, this propulsive and deeply affecting novel tells a story of fate, necessary redemption, and what it takes, when the worst happens, to reclaim our lives--and our faith in one another.
My Review:
I love love loved this book and I know it will stay with me for a long time.  It is a haunting, thrilling, and beautiful book.  Once I started it, I did not want to put it down!  I actually have never read anything by this author before but now I must go back and read more from her.  The setting of this book, the criminal procedure, the investigation -- they were all spectacularly written, thought out and conceived.  So rarely is a book a hit from start to finish but this one is one such book!  I am nearly the same age as the victim of the actual missing person in this case and I remember the case vividly.  This book does the case proud!

When the Stars Go Dark comes out next week on April 13, 2021, you can purchase HERE!  I really loved this one and definitely recommend it -- I am still thinking about it!
But there were other memories, too, softer ones, like bits of webbing.  Memories of Hap and Eden and Mendocino, how when I was ten, I found I could crouch down inside the bunchgrasses on the headlands above Portuguese Beach and be grass. I could be the sun setting, smearing light like wild honey over everything it touched.  I was the Pacific with its cold blue eye, the crow in the cypress tree, flapping, talking to itself about the world. For as long as I could remember, I'd had reasons to disappear. I was an expert at making myself invisible, but this was something else. I was part of things now, knitted into the landscape. And not overlooked at all, bur cared about.

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