She’s Not There by P. J. Parrish (Book Review)

shes not there

She’s Not There by P.J. Parrish is a thriller that unfortunately follows the current story line that many thrillers do right now. Woman has accident. Woman loses memory. But instinctively knows that the people closest to her are out to kill her. And though she has little to no memory of who she is, she has enough of her wits about her to out smart hired professionals sent to find her. For such a thriller to work as it unravels its clues in selective memory or dialogue, it has to sustain a strong level of believable trust and for me, She’s Not There was simply not there.

Amelia wakes up in a hospital, her body and mind battered from a car accident. She cannot remember who she is or how she got there. But what she does understand is that she is in danger and when her husband comes to see her, she feels that the danger is somehow coming from him. Amelia escapes from the hospital and with the sale of her wedding ring from a local pawn shop, she is suddenly on the run.

Alex, Amelia’s husband, is a very rich lawyer who is very used to getting his way. His wife’s disappearance and erratic behavior is drawing attention to both himself and his partner. The decide to hire a professional who can work outside the law to find Amelia.

Buchanan is a tracker. A man who has the innate ability to find people who do not want to be found. But Buchanan has other issues looming over him. A past with his own missing wife and child. He begins to suspect early on that this case presents more than just a runaway bride scenario. That Alex and his partner are more than they same and that returning Amelia to them may not be the best move. But will he get involved or will he just do the job he is hired to do.

She’s Not There is ambitious and the writing is crisp and flows easily from one narration to the other. But where it fails is in its delivery. The story has holes of credibility in it that the best prose cannot repair. Amelia, whose soul background besides being a pampered and spoiled wife, is in dance. Yet she is able to escape and stay hidden and take a trip cross country without being caught? Buchanan who is under suspicion for murdering his own family is trusted to find other people’s families? Finally, the actual attempted killer who is after Amelia. This is the most unbelievable part of the novel and unfortunately, the authors do not sale it well.

Just doesn’t do it for me.

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