Monday, April 15, 2013

My take on: Evidence of Life

Abby Bennett is looking forward to a little alone time. Her son, Jake, is away at college, prepping for exams. Her husband Nick and daughter Lindsey are set to embark on a camping trip. It should be a nice, relaxing weekend for Abby, but it quickly turns into a nightmare in Evidence of Life by Barbara Taylor Sissel.

A rain storm rips through the Texas Hill Country. Bridges, roads, and highways are flooded with water and debris. Worry and fear set in quickly for Abby. Everyone fears the worst -- Nick and Lindsay must have died in the deadly storm. Everyone that is except Abby. The police, her best friend, Katie, her son, her mother, her mother-in-law, and her husband's law partners all want Abby to face facts. She can't accept that the life she once knew is over. They've vanished without a trace, but Abby refuses to give up hope. Nick will come home and listen to his beloved jazz music. Lindsay will come down the stairs with a brush and ask her mother to braid her hair. Jake will come home from school with a heap of laundry, and then Abby will make a big family meal. Everything will go back to normal as long as Abby doesn't give up hope.

As the book progresses, I kind of wanted Abby to give up. At some point you have to face facts and move on. She has another child who needs her love and attention. She needs to move on. She needs to find a way to get back to normal. But it's easy for people who aren't in her situation to pass judgment. Immediately after their disappearance everyone is understanding. Right away everyone wants to help. Right away everyone has empathy for your situation. But... Soon a month goes by, then another, then another, and another. There are moments when Abby is ready to face facts, but some strange occurrences prevent that. An open door, a missing jacket, and strange phone calls. Maybe Abby's mind is playing tricks on her. Or maybe it's all real, but who will believe Abby?

With each chapter, Abby learns something new about Nick, his job, and her marriage. Nick was accused of stealing money from a big settlement. But he was cleared. Abby never believed he was that kind of lawyer. He wasn't that kind of man. He might have been hiding things from her, but at his core Nick was a man of integrity. Whatever he was worried about or might have been involved in, Nick would never jeopardize Lindsey's safety. There has to be some explanation.

This book will remind you how fragile life can be and how quickly a once comfortable life can quickly fall apart. The resolution is very satisfying, but I think it took a little long to get there. Everyone in Abby's life says over, and over, and over that she needs to move on. That can get a little repetitive. But the last 60-80 pages were very suspenseful. Towards the end I was speed-reading, I couldn't wait to find out the truth. You start to wonder if Nick and Lindsey are alive or is someone playing a cruel joke on Abby? This is a book worth reading.

Rating: Superb

Note: I received a copy from Meryl L. Moss Media Relations, Inc. in exchange for an honest review.

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