In the Vanishing Hour by Sarah Beth Martin
.ePUB, 264 pages
Expected Publication: 19 Oct 2022
Amazon | Goodreads
About The Book:
Massachusetts, Summer, 1951: When a boy drowns in the Charles River, a family is devastated, and the town of Norumbega is changed forever. Eight years later, Frances Adams lives in the shadow of her dead brother, Mac. At her window dresser job, she befriends model Gwen, whose resemblance to Frances inspires her to reinvent herself. When Gwen vanishes into the river, Frances becomes obsessed with her memory. She transforms herself into Gwen’s likeness and feels an identity she has not felt before. An investigation begins, and the police question three young men. Frances and friend Iris follow them to the riverside park, where one of the men—the suspicious Harris—mistakes Frances for Gwen. Intrigued by the idea of haunting him, she continues her secret pursuit, immersing herself in the case. As the mystery unravels, shocking revelations about its connection to a long-past family tragedy come to the surface.
This is a slow burner of a historical mystery with two timelines, one is 1959 and the other fifteen years later in 1974. The two timeline format has always been a favourite of mine and I always seem to like the before chapters best. It gives the reader a feel for what set up the more recent situation and the reason everything happened the way it did. We also get two points of view, another format I enjoy. In this case, we get into the mindset of Frances and Harris.
The earlier timeline is about the suspicious missing person death of Frances' co-worker, Gwen...whom she actually starts to mimic and look like. And Harris just happens to be around Gwen when she disappears. I loved how hauntingly beautiful the writing was, it was also very descriptive in nature and I could easily visualize the setting, clothing, and buildings in my imagination.
This is a well-written, imaginative story that made me wistful for days gone by and I would definitely read more of this author's work, even if I did find the pacing a tad on the slower side.
Many thanks to NetGalley, Sarah Beth Martin, and BooksGoSocial for the giving of the ARC.