Thursday, December 3, 2020

Vanishing Falls by Poppy Gee (thoughts)


Summary from Goodreads:

"Deep within the lush Tasmanian rainforest is the remote town of Vanishing Falls, a place with a storied past. The town’s showpiece, built in the 1800s, is its Calendar House—currently occupied by Jack Lily, a prominent art collector and landowner; his wife, Celia; and their four daughters. The elaborate, eccentrically designed mansion houses one masterpiece and 52 rooms—and Celia Lily isn’t in any of them. She has vanished without a trace.…

Joelle Smithton knows that a few folks in Vanishing Falls believe that she’s simple-minded. It’s true that Joelle’s brain works a little differently—a legacy of shocking childhood trauma. But Joelle sees far more than most people realize, and remembers details that others cast away. For instance, she knows that Celia’s husband, Jack, has connections to unsavory local characters whom he’s desperate to keep hidden. He’s not the only one in town with something to conceal. Even Joelle’s own husband, Brian, a butcher, is acting suspiciously. While the police flounder, unable to find Celia, Joelle is gradually parsing the truth from the gossip she hears and from the simple gestures and statements that can unwittingly reveal so much.  

Just as the water from the falls disappears into the ground, gushing away through subterranean creeks, the secrets in Vanishing Falls are pulsing through the town, about to converge. And when they do, Joelle must summon the courage to reveal what really happened to Celia, even if it means exposing her own past…"

My Thoughts:

Vanishing Falls was an atmospheric mystery with a unique setting that had me eager to pick it up.  I've never read a mystery set in the Tasmanian rainforest so a book set there had me instantly intrigued.  Also, that cover is absolutely gorgeous!  Joelle's character though is what made this book standout for me.  She was just one of those characters that I instantly cared about.  There is something different about her that the author never fully explains.  I think that her past has a lot to do with it even though I didn't feel like we were given enough information to fully confirm that.  It's my theory at least (and if you've read this one, let me know if you agree).  Anyways, for me this book was more about the characters than the mystery.  There were a bunch of different characters and for me I enjoyed reading about them and getting to know their motivations behind their actions.  I admit that I wasn't as focused on the mystery itself which isn't a negative at all.  I was curious on what had happened to Celia but early on I had a theory on who was behind it all.  My enjoyment of this book really came from getting to know more about the characters (especially Joelle) and how all of these different tiny details related to Celia's disappearance.  The characters weren't all likable at times but I still wanted to understand them.  I really don't know how else to explain it.  It was just an intriguing, quieter book that I really enjoyed throughout.  I'm looking forward to reading more by this author and seeing what else she has written.  The focus on all of the characters and unique setting really made this book stand out for me.

Overall, I enjoyed my time with this book and definitely plan to read more by this author.  This is more of a slow burn mystery that really focuses on the characters.  I thought that the author did a wonderful job portraying the characters and the struggles that they faced.  I think that mystery readers who enjoy quiet mysteries that are character focused will really enjoy this one.  I was trying to think of another book that I've read to compare this one to but I really can't.  It's unique and a great addition to the mystery genre because of that.  Recommended!

Bottom Line:  A book with characters that I still think about every now and then.  

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher.  Honest thoughts are my own.

1 comment:

  1. Great review, I haven’t heard of this book before. Thanks for sharing your thoughts


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