This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Jennifer Joyce
It’s 1953 and the residents of a small Somerset village have planned a celebration in honour of Coronation Day. Molly Heywood is helping out at the festivities but is worried when her best friend Cassie and her six-year-old daughter Petal fail to turn up. Molly cycles to Cassie’s remote cottage to find out what has kept them and is distraught to find her friend’s lifeless, bloody body. Cassie has been murdered and her daughter is nowhere to be seen.
When the police fail to find a lead in the murder and the child’s disappearance, Molly decides to take matters into her own hands and goes off in search of some answers for herself.
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Without A Trace sets off at quite a nice pace, beginning with the party in the village hall where Molly's suspicions are raised. Cassie’s body is found and the police start their investigation, but they quickly come to a halt and Molly feels she owes it to her friend to find out what happened to her and Petal. Molly leaves the small village of Sawbridge and moves to London. Unfortunately that’s when the pace really slowed down. In fact, with regards to Cassie and Petal, the pace almost came to a standstill. Molly finds herself a job in a department store, and although I did enjoy this part of the book, it seemed excessively covered and wasn’t really necessary to the plot.
It’s some weeks later when Molly continues her investigations and the pace picked up again and provided plenty of drama as Molly starts to unearth Cassie’s mysterious past. Molly realises that she doesn’t know much about Cassie, as she was always evasive when it came to her life prior to moving to Sawbridge with Petal. I was expecting her to discover something pretty spectacular to explain why she had been murdered, but I have to admit I was a little disappointed when the truth was revealed. I also felt that there was a severe lack of emotion considering Molly’s loss and heartbreak throughout the novel. Molly goes through an awful lot in the book but I just didn’t feel any of it. Some of the dialogue didn’t sound natural to me either, which could be off-putting at times. Having said that, it wasn’t a bad read. I can’t say it gripped me or surprised me but it was a nice way to spend a bit of time.