When the Stars Go Dark, a review by Cat

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When the Stars Go Dark
Paula McLain

Published April 13, 2021
By Ballantine Books
384 Pages

Find it on Amazon | Goodreads | BOTM

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The moment that I saw When the Stars Go Dark listed on BOTM, I knew I had to grab it. The cover alone was captivating, and then the description sucked me in! Written by Paula McLain, this is a thriller novel that pulls in suspenseful notes, all while exploring the process of grief.
Anna Hart is great at her job. She’s also obsessed with it. Then again, if you were working to find missing people – children – you’d have trouble leaving the job behind when your shift ends. That’s the way it is for Anna.

When tragedy strikes, Anna is forced to take some time away. Try to get her mind and her life back in order. However, even on vacation, she feels the tug of the missing children who need her. Now, a local teenage girl has gone missing, and it’s starting to feel like Anna is the only one with the expertise or drive to bring this girl home.

Prepare to get blown away – When the Stars Go Dark is an evocative and thrilling read, one that is bursting with emotions. Anna’s story is admittedly very dark at times, but her struggles make her feel so much more human because of it.

I should probably mention that this is not going to be a read for everyone. Some very heavy and triggering subjects come up throughout this novel. There’s child death, kidnapping, rape, assault, stalking, animal injury, and child abuse. Plus Anna’s grief, which is a monster all on its own.

I was impressed by how many threads McLain’s writing included, all while leaving room for important commentary to slip in. For that reason alone, I think I would have thoroughly enjoyed the read. Thankfully, there’s plenty more to appreciate as well.

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