Look for Her by Emily Winslow

Look for Her

by Emily Winslow

on Tour February 12 – March 16, 2018

Genre: Psychological Thriller
Published by: William Morrow
Publication Date: February 13th 2018
Number of Pages: 304
ISBN: 006257258X (ISBN13: 9780062572585)
Series: Keene and Frohmann #4 | Each is a stand alone novel
Purchase Links: Amazon đź”— | Barnes & Noble đź”— | Goodreads

***

I had never read anything by Emily Winslow, and Look For Her offered a promising plot, so I decided to give it a try. This is the 4th book in a series, but it is supposed to work as a standalone.

The book starts with the transcript of the session of a client at a psychologist’s. Annalise Williams is 24 and she says she was named after a beautiful girl who went missing at 16, many years before. Annalise is trying to be as beautiful as that missing girl and she’s fantasizing her life according to her’s. Strangely enough, another client, Hannah-Claire, also talked about Annalise the missing girl to Dr Laurie.
And new DNA has surfaced with the discovery of a body that could be Annalise’s. After so many years, it’s time to reopen this case. On the team we find Morris Keene and Chloe Frohmann (the two protagonists of this series), trying to figure out what really happened to Annalise when she disappeared on her bike on her way home from school.

 

I liked very much the beginning of the book. Chapters alternate with different narrators, all in the first person. It turns out that in everyone’s story, there are subtle warnings inviting you to question the sincerity of the narrators. All of them. From young girls to older guys, including the professionals, the psychologist, the cops, and detectives. I thought this was nicely done.
I also liked the setting, Cambridge and the colleges. A nice change from American suburbia!

 

But then, things start getting quite convoluted. As you can see in the synopsis, which I think says too much actually. The plot was a good departure, maybe the book just needed more editing and focus. There’s way too much going on, at too many levels.
First, yes, the case presented is a standalone, but the pair Keene-Frohmann has been working together for a while (this is the 4th book in the series), and something major happened between them in a previous book that’s hurting their relationship and skills to cooperate. It probably added to the confusion not to have read the previous books.
I’m not going to give details that would reveal the plot, but it really got too complicated to figure out who was who, and what was the real connection between the characters. You really need to take notes to follow what’s going on. Plus of course, you don’t know who’s telling the truth, if any, so that makes it even worse.

 

As for the characters, I’m not sure there was any I really liked. I don’t do too well with over-jealous and envying protagonists. Even the psychologist is a bit of a nut case, still stuck in her past and talking aloud to her dead husband.  The issue of client privacy — what can/should a psychologist tell the police?– however, was a good element in the plot.
And the ending? I saw it coming from afar, and it felt a bit flat after all that investigation.

 

This is the third book I have recently read for Partners in Crime, and each time, they left me wanting more, so I’m going to take a break from these for a while.

VERDICT: A promising plot, muddled in convoluted plots and twists.

Rating systemRating systemRating system

HAVE YOU READ ANY GOOD THRILLER RECENTLY?

Synopsis:

Lilling might seem like an idyllic English village, but it’s home to a dark history. In 1976, a teenage girl named Annalise Wood disappeared, and though her body was later discovered, the culprit was never found. Decades later, Annalise maintains a perverse kind of celebrity, and is still the focus of grief, speculation, and for one young woman, a disturbing, escalating jealousy.

When DNA linked to the Annalise murder unexpectedly surfaces, cold case detective Morris Keene and his former partner, Chloe Frohmann, hope to finally bring closure to this traumatized community. But the new evidence instead undoes the case’s only certainty: the buried body that had long ago been confidently identified as Annalise may be someone else entirely, and instead of answers, the investigators face only new puzzles.

Whose body was unearthed all those years ago, and what happened to the real Annalise? Is someone interfering with the investigation? And is there a link to a present-day drowning with eerie connections? With piercing insight and shocking twists, Emily Winslow explores the dark side of sensationalized crime in this haunting psychological thriller.

Trade Reviews:

“An intriguing, suspenseful, and briskly paced story with complex characters, evocative descriptions of England’s Cambridgeshire, plenty of clever misdirection, and a satisfying ending.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“Using multiple narrators, as she did in The Start of Everything (2013), Winslow spins the plot to a satisfying and humane conclusion, with Keene and Frohmann again proving to be a winning pair.”
—Booklist

“Winslow’s kaleidoscopic narrative technique, employing first-person accounts from multiple characters, makes for engaging reading.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Look For Her is a nuanced, thought-provoking portrait of a crime and its aftermath. Beautifully written with an expertly twisty, surprising story, this is a must-read!”
—Chevy Stevens, New York Times bestselling author of Never Let You Go

“Surprising and satisfying, you won’t be able to stop turning the pages of Look For Her.”
—Karen Dionne, author of The Marsh King’s Daughter

Read an excerpt:

From Chapter One

Annalise Williams (Wolfson College),
University Counselling Service,
recorded and transcribed by Dr. Laurie Ambrose

My mother picked the name Annalise for me because of a girl who was killed. Her name was Annalise Wood, and she went missing when she was sixteen. My mother was the same age when it happened. Annalise was lovely, much prettier than my sister and I ever became. She was the kind of girl you look at and think, “Of course someone would want to take her.”

Don’t look at me like that. I know that what happened to her was awful. It just seems a very fine line between being the kind of person that others want to be with and be like and treat well, and being the kind of person that some others, just a few, sick others, want to take for themselves. That’s the same kind of person, isn’t it? The loved and lovely. Isn’t that from a poem somewhere? That’s what she was like. That’s the risk when you’re the kind of person who’s wanted. Good people want to be close to you, but the bad people want you too.

There were two photos of her that the media used most: her most recent school portrait, and a snapshot of her laughing, with the friends on either side cropped out. Taken together, they presented the two sides of a beautiful and perfect person: poised and thoughtful, and spontaneous and bubbly. The kind of person who deserves help and attention.

Realistically, if they wanted these pictures to help strangers identify her if they saw her out and about with the bad man, they should have used photos of her frowning or looking frightened. Either there weren’t any (which may well be the case; who would take a photo of that?), or they couldn’t bring themselves to advertise a version of her that was less than appealing. The narrative is important. If you want the “general public” to get worked up, you have to persuade. Attractiveness and innocence must be communicated, even if emphasising those traits makes the real person harder to recognise.

In the end, she was already dead, so it’s a good thing, I suppose, that they used the nice photos. They’re the images that everyone remembers. My mum was a teenager when those pictures were in the paper every day for weeks, then weekly for months. Annalise Wood was the most beautiful girl in the world. Everyone cared about her. It’s what any mother would wish for her child, to be the kind of person that everyone would care about and miss if she disappeared.

It wasn’t until Mum was over thirty that what really happened to Annalise Wood was discovered.

***

Excerpt from Look for Her by Emily Winslow. Copyright © 2018 by Emily Winslow. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Emily Winslow

Emily Winslow is an American living in Cambridge, England. She trained as an actor at Carnegie Mellon University’s prestigious drama conservatory and earned a master’s degree in museum studies from Seton Hall University. For six years she wrote for Games magazine, creating increasingly elaborate and lavishly illustrated logic puzzles. She lives with her husband and two sons. She is the author of four novels and a memoir.

Catch Up With Our Author On:
Website đź”—, Goodreads đź”—, Twitter đź”—, & Facebook đź”—!

 

Tour Participants:

Click here to visit the other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Emily Winslow and William Morrow. There will be 1 winner of one (1) physical copy of each of the 1st three books in the Keene and Frohmann Series: The Whole World, The Start of Everything, and The Red House AND there will be 5 Winners of one (1) physical copy of their choice of ONE of the 1st three books in the Keene and Frohmann Series: The Whole World, The Start of Everything, and The Red House. The giveaway begins on February 12 and runs through March 18, 2018. This giveaway is open to US & Canada residents only.
ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

In full compliance with FTC Guidelines,
I received this book for free from the publisher through Partners in Crime in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I was in no way compensated for this post as a reviewer, and the thoughts are my own.
Advertisements