Hello, and welcome to my stop on the book tour for Without A Trace!
Someone took her.
Unless she was never there…
A little girl has gone missing.
Lily was last seen being tucked into bed by her adoring mother, Nova. But the next morning, the bed is empty except for a creepy toy rabbit.
Has Nova’s abusive ex stolen his ‘little bunny’ back for good?
At first, Officer Ellie James assumes this is a clear custody battle. Until she discovers that there are no pictures of the girl and her drawers are full of unused toys and brand new clothes that have never been worn…
Is Ellie searching for a missing child who doesn’t actually exist?’
Nova is running from her manipulative, abusive husband Martin. With some help, she manages to take her young daughter Lily, and flee to her their new home. To safety. But she knows Martin won’t wait long, that he will look for them.
When she goes to check on Lily, she finds her bed empty, apart from a toy rabbit that she has never seen before. Convinced that her husband has found them and taken Lily, Nova hysterically calls the local police.
Ellie James, a shunned local officer, shows up and ends up on the case. But the more she searches, the less convinced she is that Lily exists at all. The only person who seems to have seen her is Nova. Things take a darker turn when Nova herself disappears. Now, Ellie and her reluctant partners face a race against time to get to the bottom of the disappearances. And what, if anything, does the neighbour, Clara, know about Nova and Lily?
Without A Trace is a brilliant, fast-paced psychological thriller / mystery novel that will keep you guessing right to the very end. Carissa Ann Lynch skillfully weaves the story together through the voices of the three main female characters – Nova, Ellie and Clara.
Each of the characters’ stories overlap – Clara owns the cabin that Nova moves to with Lily, and is also her neighbour, and Ellie the police officer in charge of finding Lily, and subsequently Nova. But while each character connects with the other, they all also have their own intricate lives and backstory – Nova, with her isolating, cruel husband Martin, trying to keep herself and her daughter safe from him; Clara, who is mourning her long dead daughter, and is still furious with her ex husband; and Ellie, who is branded a cop-killer because she shot an off-duty colleague who reached for her gun while he was drunk and irate.
Each of these sub-stories fuel the characters, they shape their personalities, and they influence their behaviours. What I love about this is it shows that the author really knows her characters, she knows their motivations, and weaknesses, all of which adds to the quality of the story. So, I loved this aspect of the book.
The plot also really kept me guessing, and each time I thought I knew what was coming, I found the book taking a different turn. This, I think, is a key feature of an engaging thriller. I also love when my guesses are wrong, because to me, it shows that the author has really thought out the plot and all of the possible twists! (or maybe I’m just terrible at figuring out what’s coming!). So, I really enjoyed the plot also.
In the efforts of writing a balanced review, I tried to think of some negatives about this book, but I honestly couldn’t. I just really enjoyed it – yes, there were characters I didn’t like, parts of the story that I found a bit hard to read, but that’s because that’s what the author intended. Without A Trace is a great example of what a psychological thriller should be – mysterious, tense, intricate, dark, and full of twists.
About The Author
Carissa Ann Lynch is the USA Today bestselling author of My Sister Is Missing, Flocksdales Files trilogy, Horror High series, Searching for Sullivan, Shades and Shadows, Midnight Moss, This Is Not About Love, 13 anthology, Twisted anthology, and Without A Trace.
She resides in Floyds Knobs, Indiana, with her family and collection of books. With a background in psychology and corrections, she’s always been a little obsessed with the darker areas of the human mind.
Thanks to Anne Cater and Killer Reads for inviting me to join the book tour for Without A Trace, and for sending me my copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review.