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by Kelley Armstrong
Minotaur, June 2019
304 pages
ISBN: 1250181356

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

WHEREVER SHE GOES by Kelley Armstrong will leave you on the edge of your seat. Six months after separating from Paul, Aubrey is, at the very best, struggling. Taking on a job after being a stay at home mom, finding a suitable home to raise her daughter in, and the judgement from the other parents she meets when she goes running at the park are taking a toll. Paul hasn't made a decision on custody arrangements for their daughter, Charlotte, and her weekend visits are too short. But Paul is a defense attorney, and she worries that the choices she is making could take Charlotte away forever.

Soon, she meets a young single mom with a son at the park, and the connection is welcome. Finally, there is someone in her life who isn't judging her and understands the pressures of being a mother. Hoping to meet again, Aubrey returns to the park a few days later only to become the only witness to the kidnapping of the woman's son. Aubrey is quick to report it, but the mother is nowhere to be found. Even worse, as the new day begins, no amber alert is made.

The police don't believe her, and no one else saw the kidnapping, but Aubrey knows it happened. Now with a both a child and his mother missing, Aubrey sets out to find them both. But in doing so, she uncovers dangerous secrets, and struggles to keep her own hidden.

WHEREVER SHE GOES pulls you in from the start with an exciting narrative, and constant action. The story moves quickly, but no significant detail is left out. Armstrong has an energetic writing style that conveys what the reader needs to know but is never overwhelming. Using skills and talents that most people don't have, Aubrey is able to quickly discover the hidden life of the missing mother and son. She has a determination that motivates her throughout the novel, and it helps push things along simply because she refuses to back down even when the very existence of the missing boy is denied..

Told in first person, the story follows Aubrey's struggles with her divorce, and the perspective carefully shows how those struggles impact her mental and emotional health. It's easy to understand why her thoughts are the way they are, but you are constantly aware of her secret past. It's an important part of her development, but the full reveal ends up being a little less shocking than we might have anticipated.

However, that can easily be forgiven in Aubrey's attempts to prove she is a fit mother to Paul. She tries to keep a cordial relationship with Paul, but she is hindered by her worry about his opinions and his authority as a defense attorney. But, even with the missing family consuming her, Aubrey knows how to be the mother her daughter needs. She struggles to accept help with her situation, but she takes it with grace and it's refreshing to see a heroine who knows she can't be superwoman but can still save the day all the same.

Armstrong's writing is serious yet energetic, and it's rewarding to see her characters develop. However, the most compelling part of the story is Aubrey herself. Piece by piece you learn about Aubrey's past, her current life and how she copes, and the lengths she will go to to save a child. It's a book that is difficult to put down.

Keshena Hanson recently earned a degree in English from University of Wisconsin - Green Bay, and was published in the University's Sheepshead Review. Her love for mystery started with Blue's Clues, and now she reads any mystery she can get her hands on.

Reviewed by Keshena Hanson, May 2019

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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