"It was the perfect place to disappear...
One sultry summer, Maureen Haddaway arrives in the wealthy town of Opal Beach to start her life anew—to achieve her destiny. There, she finds herself lured by the promise of friendship, love, starry skies, and wild parties. But Maureen’s new life just might be too good to be true, and before the summer is up, she vanishes.
Decades later, when Allison Simpson is offered the opportunity to house-sit in Opal Beach during the off-season, it seems like the perfect chance to begin fresh after a messy divorce. But when she becomes drawn into the mysterious disappearance of a girl thirty years before, Allison realizes the gorgeous homes of Opal Beach hide dark secrets. And the truth of that long-ago summer is not even the most shocking part of all..."
I really enjoyed my time with this book! I was in the mood for an atmospheric read and this one really fit what I was looking for. The story begins with Allison getting the opportunity to house sit in this gorgeous house for a few months while she works on figuring her life out. As the reader, we know that something major has happened to Allison in regards to her work and marriage that she is now dealing with the aftereffects of. She moves into this house which is situated in this almost deserted beach town due to it being offseason. Before too long, Allison is pulled into the mystery of a missing young girl and what happened to her so many years before. This book just totally sucked me in from the very beginning. Who knew that a deserted beach town with hints of mystery would be so intriguing? Add in the fact that the weather (and especially the winter storms) added another element of almost darkness to the book and I was completely hooked! I tried to take my time with this one but the pages just flew on by. And if all of that wasn't enough for you, there were these hints of paranormal where just maybe Maureen's spirit was trying to get Allison's help as well. It all added up to one very solid read that I wasn't ready to see end. I especially enjoyed the fact that I thought that I had all of the answers at one point only to realize that I didn't. I also really liked seeing Allison coming in to her own and getting stronger. Allison's past also plays an important role in this book so it was good to see her come into her own and find both her confidence and strength. I'm really eager to see what other readers think about this book as it was one that I enjoyed immensely!
Overall, I'm so excited to see what this author comes up with next because I thought that this was an really great read! It was just so atmospheric and perfect for this time of year! I loved the way that the author used the weather to build up the suspense in this book. And I also really just loved the story that she was telling. The book is told from both Allison's viewpoint and also from Maureen's viewpoint and it switches between the two so perfectly. I came to care about Maureen just as much as Allison even though we the reader know that something bad has happened to Maureen. I just wanted Allison to find the answers and to finally get some closure on the entire situation. I obviously can't say enough good things about this one. An easy book for me to recommend!
Bottom Line: An atmospheric read perfect for the colder temps that are coming around the corner!
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher as part of a PICT Book Tour. Honest thoughts are my own.
Author Bio:TARA LASKOWSKI is the award-winning author of two short story collections, Modern Manners for Your Inner Demons and Bystanders, which was named a best book of 2017 by Jennifer Egan in The Guardian. She has had stories published in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Mid-American Review, and the Norton anthology New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction, among others. Her Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine story, “States of Matter,” was selected by Amy Hempel for the 2017 Best Small Fictions anthology, and her short story “The Case of the Vanishing Professor” is a finalist for the 2019 Agatha Award. Tara was the winner of the 2010 Santa Fe Writers Project’s Literary Awards Prize, has been the editor of the popular online flash fiction journal SmokeLong Quarterly since 2010, and is a member of Sisters in Crime. She earned a BA in English with a minor in writing from Susquehanna University and an MFA in creative writing from George Mason University. Tara grew up in Pennsylvania and lives in Virginia. One Night Gone is her first novel.
Visit Tara at:
TaraLaskowski.com, Goodreads, BookBub, @TaraLWrites, Instagram, & Facebook!