Author: April Henry
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Release Date: 13th March, 2012
Source: Publisher for review via Netgalley (Thank you!)
Gabie drives a Mini Cooper. She also works part time as a delivery girl at Pete’s Pizza. One night, Kayla—another delivery girl—goes missing. To her horror, Gabie learns that the supposed kidnapper had asked if the girl in the Mini Cooper was working that night. Gabie can’t move beyond the fact that Kayla’s fate was really meant for her, and she becomes obsessed with finding Kayla. She teams up with Drew, who also works at Pete’s. Together, they set out to prove that Kayla isn’t dead—and to find her before she is.
The Night She Disappeared is a fast-paced thriller that prompts readers to consider the severity of kidnapping/ disappearances that has happened around the world. While it did have its ‘ups’ and ‘downs’, I thoroughly enjoyed this book!
As a hardcover crime fiction fan, I’ve always been fascinated by crime scene investigations, autopsy reports, transcripts of interviews between police and suspect etc. I loved how in addition to the story, there were also newspaper clippings, phone transcripts and even an autopsy report! I was literally over the moon every time I read a police report/transcript/clipping, since these files are such a rare sight in YA fiction these days!
The story is told through multiple perspectives – Kayla (victim), Drew, Gabie, and even the perpetrator! While I must admit, had I not read the title of each chapter (which specifies whose POV we’ll be reading from), I wouldn’t have been able to tell. Drew's and Gabie's ‘voices’ were indistinguishable, in my opinion anyway, but funnily enough, it wasn't a huge problem. But I felt the fact that we got to read from the perspective of the victim & perpetrator defeated the purpose of unravelling the mystery behind the girl’s kidnapping- half the book,everyone were freaking out over whether Kayla was dead or not, but since I knew she was still alive, it just…sort of ruined the mystery :/.
I also had a little issue with the characters. It was difficult to connect with Gabie and Drew; I just couldn’t understand Gabie’s rash decisions and while I did understand her feels of guilt, her actions seemed a little..’over the top’. My biggest issue however, was with the police officer- his actions were unbelievable and just so un-police-like. I highly doubt, even with my very limited experience with cops, that they would yell at a guilt-ridden girl and accuse her of not contributing at all to the investigation? (i.e. yelling “you’ve been no help at all”.) I personally find that a little hard to believe.
And before I finish off, as a crime-fiction freak, I’ve always believed one shouldn’t announce a person has died, until the body is found. (It’s common sense, right? Or…not?) But here, the theories were all over the place and even with inconclusive evidence, it seemed the police, and everyone else, decided to believe this particular theory just to achieve some sort of closure. And guess what? I find that hard to believe.
Overall, I found this a very entertaining read, despite the lack of intense mystery & suspense.Even though it was so short, this still managed to get me thinking about some local, and globally known kidnapping cases. (which reminds me...there was an attempted kidnapping incident near my school! *scary*) Anyway, for a 240-page book, this was pretty good! :)