Title: How Quickly She Disappears
Author: Raymond Fleischmann
Publish Date: January 14, 2020
Genre: Mystery Thriller
My Rating: 3/5
The Dry meets The Silence of the Lambs in this intoxicating tale of literary suspense, set in the relentless Alaskan landscape, about madness and obsession, loneliness and grief, and the ferocious bonds of family….
My proposition is very simple: I am going to ask you for three gifts, and for each gift you deliver, I will take you one step closer to Jacqueline.
It’s been twenty years since Elisabeth’s twin sister, Jacqueline, disappeared without a trace. Now thirty-year-old Elisabeth is living far from home in a small Alaskan town. She’s in a loveless marriage and has a precocious young daughter she loves more than anything but who reminds her too much of her long-missing sister.
But then Alfred, a dangerous stranger with a plan of his own, arrives in town and commits an inexplicable act of violence. And he offers a startling revelation: He knows exactly what happened to Elisabeth’s sister, but he’ll reveal this truth only if she fulfills his three requests.
Increasingly isolated from her neighbors and imprisoned by the bitter cold and her own obsession, Elisabeth can almost hear her sister’s voice saying, Come and find me. And so she will, even if it means putting herself—and her family—in danger.
Elisabeth Pfautz lives in a small Alaskan town with her husband and daughter. While her husband is away on business, a stranger, Alfred Seidel, arrives in town and needs somewhere to stay. The Pfautz home is the place where locals direct someone in need of a room for a night or two, and Elisabeth reluctantly agrees that the man can stay there. Shortly after his arrival, he kills a local man. While in jail, Alfred wants to speak with Elisabeth, and only Elisabeth. To convince her to help him, he says he knows what happened to Elisabeth’s sister, Jacqueline. Twenty years earlier, Jacqueline disappeared, and Elisabeth is consumed by her need to find out what happened to her sister.
The remote setting is fantastic. It really sets the tone for a moody and somewhat depressing read. The characters are intriguing. Elisabeth is lonely, and has never gotten over her sister’s disappearance. Even putting herself and her family in danger doesn’t hold her back from learning about what happened.
A slow burning and atmospheric mystery. While there were some compelling parts to the novel, I was never fully drawn into the story.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.