‘The Night She Disappeared’ book review: Predictable but fun

Keyur Basnet

Keyur Basnet

‘The Night She Disappeared’ book review: Predictable but fun

The story is narrated from three different perspectives, which keeps things fresh and interesting

Bookstores in Kathmandu suddenly started stocking up on Lisa Jewell’s thriller novels as ‘every other person kept asking for them’. I’d heard of her, and even downloaded one of her books (‘The Family Upstairs’) on Kindle. But I had never gotten around to reading it. I picked up ‘The Night She Disappeared’ as authors like Lee Child, Marian Keys, Lucy Foley, and Harlan Coben, to name a few, were raving about it. Coben calls it Jewell’s best thriller yet and Child says the suspense is insane. But I thought The Night She Disappeared was okay. It’s not the best thriller I’ve read, definitely not even one of the good ones. But I had fun while it lasted. 

The story follows the disappearance of 19-year-old teen-mother Tallulah and her boyfriend Zach. It’s 2017 and Tallulah goes on a date with her boyfriend, leaving her baby son Noah with her mother, Kim. The next morning, Kim wakes up to find her daughter hasn’t returned. She calls Tallulah’s friends and finds that she and Zach were last seen at a pool party in a private property near the woods in Surrey. She goes there to inquire and is told that they had called a taxi and left in the wee hours of the morning. 

It’s hinted that maybe the couple ran away. But Kim knows something is off. Tallulah wouldn’t just not come home. She wouldn’t leave Noah like that. A year later, the case has gone cold with no more leads to pursue. Sophie Beck, a mystery writer, moves into a house near the property where Tallulah was last seen. She comes across a sign that says ‘Dig Here’. There she finds a ring that Zach had bought for Tallulah. She then tries to piece together what might have happened that fateful night.   

The story is narrated from three different perspectives—Kim’s, Sophie’s and Tallulah’s. That keeps things fresh and interesting. However, you will easily be able to guess what’s going on, especially if you read thrillers. The writing isn’t that great either. The language feels a little lame at times. But I’d still recommend it if you want a light, breezy read to get your mind off something that is bothering you. 

About the author

Lisa Jewell is a New York Times and Sunday Times #1 bestselling author. Since her debut novel was published in 1999, she has written 18 more books and they have been published worldwide in 25 languages. She is best known for a number of dark psychological thrillers like ‘The Girls’, ‘Then She Was Gone’, and ‘The Family Upstairs’. She was born and lives in London.

Three stars 


The Night She Disappeared

Lisa Jewell

Published: 2021

Publisher: Penguin Books

Pages: 482, Paperback