EXCERPT: She stopped walking, her feet seemingly glued to the spot. Her heart was racing and chills were crawling all over her body, and she didn’t understand why. Slowly, she backed up a few steps, her feet trailing heavily. She looked over at the dock next door again, her eyes carefully scanning each person there. It was a group of young people, probably college aged by the look of the cheap beer cans scattered everywhere. Some were dancing, some were drunkenly swaying, all were laughing and having a good time. She scanned them faster until her eyes locked onto a girl with lush blonde hair standing to the side, her face half hidden from Kate’s view.
Kate took a step closer, wishing she could jump over the water to be on that same dock. The girl looked so familiar, even just from the side. Kate looked down at her hands, surprised to see pricks of blood on her palm from where her nails had been digging into them. She looked up again just in time to see the girl laugh, her face turning towards Kate briefly.
Kate was vaguely aware of the glass she was still holding in her hand fall to the ground next to her, its drop silenced by both the soft earth and by the shrill ringing in her ears. The iciness in her body had spread everywhere, gripping her heart and lungs and squeezing tight. Kate’s hands flew to her throat as she struggled to breathe. She felt a dark curtain start to fall before her eyes, and determinedly kept her gaze glued for as long as she could on the girl on the dock. On Emily.
ABOUT ‘NOW I FOUND YOU’: Seven years ago, Kate Hartfield’s little sister disappeared.
An ordinary summer day of fun at the lake turned into a nightmare when young Emily Hartfield suddenly could not be found. When badly battered body parts were discovered three days later, the investigation concluded that they were Emily’s and the case was closed as an accidental drowning.
Now Kate has returned to her hometown in the Catskills for the first time since her sister’s death, for a work retreat. While at her boss’s lake house, she briefly spies a familiar face.
She’s all grown up, but Kate knows her sister’s face better than anyone. The sighting reignites the doubts Kate has always had, and forces her to revisit all the mysterious circumstances that surrounded that day. As she desperately tries to track down the girl she saw at the lake house with the help of her hometown ex-boyfriend, Kate discovers shocking secrets from the past, confronts her own guilt from that day, and becomes obsessed with uncovering the answer to one question.
What really happened to Emily?
MY THOUGHTS: Now I Found You is a good debut novel. It’s a very quick and easy read, written, excepting occasional flashbacks which increase in frequency the closer we get to the end of the book, in a linear timeline. This is a family drama/mystery, with a touch of romance.
I liked this, but didn’t love it. The idea was good, but it could have used a little more development. There were a couple of loose ends and a few things that just didn’t ring true.
Loose ends: Kate was on a work retreat, from which she abruptly leaves and to which she doesn’t return. She ignores calls from her boss and workmates, and then we just don’t hear any more about them.
After reuniting with her grandmother in her quest to find Emily, nothing more is heard of her . . .
Things that didn’t ring true: The ease with which Kate just walks back into Luke’s life. Would anyone really just dump their current girlfriend to resume a relationship with someone who has previously walked out of their life with no explanation, and is currently behaving very erratically? And if I were Luke’s mother, I don’t know that I would have welcomed Kate back into my son’s life with open arms.
I find it difficult to believe Kate’s father’s actions concerning Emily. I would have found it more believable if he just hadn’t noticed the difference after eight months away. I just didn’t find the whole explanation concerning him convincing.
I finished this book with more questions than answers. But, having said that, I am interested to watch how this author develops.
#familydrama #romance #mystery
THE AUTHOR: Sorry, I could find no information about this author.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Books Go Social via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Now I Found You by Mila Oliver for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
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