Title: Evidence of Life by Barbara Taylor Sissel
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
On the last ordinary day of her life, Abby Bennett feels like the luckiest woman alive. But everyone knows that luck doesn’t last forever…
As her husband, Nick, and daughter, Lindsey, embark on a weekend camping trip to the Texas Hill Country, Abby looks forward to having some quiet time to herself. She braids Lindsey’s hair, reminds Nick to drive safely and kisses them both goodbye. For a brief moment, Abby thinks she has it all—a perfect marriage, a perfect life—until a devastating storm rips through the region, and her family vanishes without a trace.
When Nick and Lindsey are presumed dead, lost in the raging waters, Abby refuses to give up hope. Consumed by grief and clinging to her belief that her family is still alive, she sets out to find them. But as disturbing clues begin to surface, Abby realizes that the truth may be far more sinister than she imagined. Soon she finds herself caught in a current of lies that threaten to unhinge her and challenge everything she once believed about her marriage and family.
With a voice that resonates with stunning clarity, Barbara Taylor Sissel delivers a taut and chilling mystery about a mother’s love, a wife’s obsession and the invisible fractures that can shatter a family.
What would you do if your family was missing and presumed dead but no bodies have been recovered? What if the investigation uncovers unexpected and disturbing information about your loved ones? Would you want to know? Or is ignorance bliss?
These are just a few of the questions raised in Barbara Taylor Sissel’s latest release, Evidence of Life. This compelling and thought-provoking novel is full of unexpected twists and turns as Abby Bennett tries to discover the truth about her husband Nick and daughter Lindsey’s disappearance during a flash flood.
Abby is devastated at the loss of her husband and daughter. Theirs are the only bodies unaccounted for in the aftermath of the flood and Abby is far from convinced they are dead. With her husband’s business partners, her family and her friends urging her to accept their deaths and move on, Abby continues her search for answers. What she uncovers will challenge her perceptions of herself, her husband and their marriage.
Abby is a very complex character. Strong in some areas, but fragile in others, she has good instincts but self-doubt undermines her for much of the novel. Abby’s reflections of several events leading up to the flood reveal her tendency to ignore her intuition as well as her propensity to avoid confrontation. As the story progresses, she also becomes increasingly convinced that family and friends are keeping secrets from her.
Evidence of Life is a well written story with an intriguing storyline. The characters are richly developed with realistic flaws and imperfections. The subplots make it virtually impossible to figure out the mystery surrounding Lindsey and Nick’s disappearance.
Another excellent novel by Barbara Taylor Sissel that I highly recommend.