In a Quiet Town : A Novel
published August 8, 2023
ABOUT THE BOOK:
In this chilling new novel, a pastor’s wife discovers that her estranged daughter is missing, but no one will believe her, until she meets a man claiming to be her daughter’s fiancé.
The book is about Tatum, a woman who secretly reconnects with her estranged adult daughter—secretly because Adrienne’s been all but disowned by Tatum’s husband, a pastor at the church in their small California town, where every move is watched and reported by his congregation. When Adrienne doesn’t show up for her shift at the bar where Tatum’s been visiting her, she knows something is wrong. Adrienne may have been a bit of wild child, but she hasn’t missed a day of work without calling in for years.
Tatum tries desperately to get the police or her husband to take her daughter’s disappearance seriously, until a mysterious man shows up claiming to be Adrienne’s fiancé. It’s a relief to finally have someone who believes her and is trying as hard as she is to find out where Adrienne is. But can she trust that this stranger is really who he says he is? And can she find her daughter before it’s too late?
This is the second book I’ve read recently where chapter headings are descriptions instead of the name of the narrator. We have three narrators, the mother, the daughter and the fiancé, describing events leading up to the daughter’s disappearance and the search for her in the present. Let me say the word search is used loosely. The estranged mother is the only one who believes her daughter is missing and my not be a reliable source.
We go on this journey with the three of them and while it all seems like a normal existence, I knew as a reader I was missing some chunks of information. But I also had no idea what I was missing. Just that I was. Sometimes this backfires and annoys me, but this one I was interested to know the characters backstories.
Church stories where there is almost a cult like following don’t always resonate with me, but in this one, it was that combined with a toxic husband. How toxic is he? That slowly surfaces as you read. Did I already mention this is a little bit of a slow burn? Just a little bit. For almost all of the book, I was waffling back and forth whether Adrienne the daughter is missing or has just skipped town.
And there is a heck of a twist, that I had an inkling about, but if you don’t, then it will be massive. But even with my inkling, I wasn’t sure until the reveal.
This one’s a step up from my usual popcorn thriller but has a lot that I love from those. Short chapters, a story that drew me in quickly and ultimately some action. If you are still looking for a summer blockbuster thriller read, run and get this one.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Amber Garza has had a passion for the written word since she was a child making books out of notebook paper and staples. Her hobbies include reading and singing. Coffee and wine are her drinks of choice (not necessarily in that order). She writes while blaring music, and talks about her characters like they’re real people. She lives with her husband and two kids in Folsom, California.