The Disappearing

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Dec 2018

Member Reviews

Lori Roy's Disappearing is told from mulitple points of view to create a gripping suspenseful thriller. What happens to a town when its girls start going missing or are found dead? Why did Lane Fielding decide to return to her hometown? When her daughter goes missing, old wounds resurface and there are more questions than answers. 

There were times this book dragged a little for me. I put this one down a few times and it took a few days to finish. However, the ending was fantastic like a classic should be. It was a great read!
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It starts promisingly;  Lane Fielding is tending bar, back in Wadell, her hometown, about to celebrate her divorce from a famous author, longing to see Mark, a cop, the love she left behind, when a strange fellow enters the bar. She thinks he's a journalist; they still come into town, three years after the reform school for boys was closed, chasing the story about her father, responsible for the wellbeing of the boys, a man accused of abusing those kids.
When the point of view changed in the next chapter, I was disappointed. I was resisting leaving Lane behind. I supposed the intricacy of the voices matches the meandering plot, past, and present interwoven in a tale of violence, abuse, lies, and denial erupting to the surface. The Disappearance gives room to several voices, including the bad guy, but Lane remains the most exciting character.
The focus of the story set in the past is the way the family is involved and affected by what went on at the Reform School for boys next door to the Fielding Plantation. This is based on a true story:  Waddell was the home to a reform school where the boys were beaten and sometimes killed, buried in unmarked graves.
In the present story, college student, Susan goes missing and soon after Lane's daughter Annalee disappears. You would think this leads to a race against the odds, a nail-biting thriller, but the Disappearance is foremost a family drama: what is considered a possible kidnapping or murder doesn't get the priority. Everyone is still trying to come to terms with the abuse perpetrated by the paterfamilias, nobody is dealing with it, or speaking about it healthily. Not one person in this family is capable of an honest and open conversation. But slowly things spill out, and of course, this is put in motion by the curiosity and empathy of the youngest among them.
It is not a scary read or a page-turner. The crisscrossing POW don't fit seamlessly, there's a lot of overlapping information, and I wasn't drawn in by the stalker/bad guy/or not? parts, but that is something I often dislike in thrillers. The POV of the so-called villain or perceived villain is tough to pull off. You don't want to be in their shoes, and to convince me that I should, you have to make it palatable somehow.
The Disappearance works well as a dark gothic family drama, haunted by its history, dripping in guilt, sin, you know the usual. Lane is a very sympathetic character, and her voice keeps the momentum going. I think that structure of different POW works when the characters sit on opposite sides of a conflict, crisscrossing, and clashing. Here, it's used to unravel the truth slowly and can test your patience.
Of course, this story is tragic, twisted and the end could take you by surprise. It is not exactly my kind of tale, but its well written and has an engaging main character.
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The disappearing by author Lori Roy is an intense, well written mystery/thriller that has great character developments and a good plot line. 
Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of The Disappearing in exchange for an honest review.
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I was so intrigued by the premise of this story, possible serial killer from years back resurfacing, missing girls and being set in the south all usually work for me. The plot device of Lane, the main character returning to the small town she escaped from is a trop I feel is overdone but I was willing to give it a try. After returning to her small Florida town, her daughter Annalee goes missing and people are wondering if it could be connected to an earlier disappearance of a girl days earlier. I enjoyed the mystery at the heart of this and suspected that they were connected. Overall, this is a very slow burn mystery which is told in 4 alternating perspectives. For me, this was way too many perspectives and it caused me to disconnect from the story. It felt repetitive and sometimes confusing. I think it's a personal preference but I don't enjoy reading stories with this many perspectives. In the end, the story ended up being predictable for me as well
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The Disappearing by Lori Roy was very slow and a bit of a letdown for me. 

What it's about: Lane Fielding has been living in New York for 20 years after fleeing her life and past in small-town Waddell, Florida. But now she's back after a divorce with her two daughters Talley and Annalee in tow, living with her parents Neil and Erma in their historic plantation. Suddenly Annalee goes missing and people start wondering if it has to do with another disappearance of a girl just 10 days earlier, or worse, if the serial killer from years earlier is back. As the death count mounts, Lane is desperate to find her daughter and is forced to confront the fears of her past, as well as the secrets having to do with the school for boys that her father used to work at next to their home. 

The Disappearing looks at the bonds of family, small town gossip, and figuring out who you can trust. The book switches between 4 different viewpoints - Lane, Lane's mother Erma, Lane's daughter Talley, and Daryl who works at a church in town. I liked the different viewpoints as they were very helpful for building suspense, but sometimes they could be a little repetitive.

The main thing you need to know is that this book is decidedly NOT fast-paced, nor did I find it to be "heart-pounding". The pace is very slow, but the pages still turn very quickly in the quest for whodunnit and figuring out just what Daryl's role is in it all. 

Unfortunately, I was also able to predict most of what ended up happening, and by the time I got to the ending I was pretty underwhelmed. I also didn't really connect with any of the characters in the book. I didn't find any of them all that likable, which isn't necessarily an issue, but the fact that I couldn't make a connection with any of them was pretty disappointing. 

Final Thought: If you like a good slow-burning mystery I would recommend checking this one out. I found it predictable, but I don't think everyone will. I think not having as many POVs may have been better (and I NEVER usually say that), but that is just my opinion. I'm not sure if it is just that I didn't connect to the author's writing or what it was, but I would definitely still try out another book from her.
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The Disappearing by Lori Roy is a story in which a woman returns home only to face ghosts from the past.  The idea for this novel sounded so promising and I was so excited to start reading it.  The beginning of the book really dragged for me, instead of capturing my attention.  I think this may have been due to the point of view chosen by the author-- it really interfered with the flow and believability of the story.  I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher with no obligations.  These opinions are entirely my own.
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Lane Wallace -- well, Lane Fielding again since her divorce is final -- has moved back home to Waddell, FL with her two daughters. She swore she would never come back, but her divorce forced her to return. She's living with her parents at the Fielding Mansion, the house she grew up in. Reporters still arrive, blocking the driveway, bothering Lane at work, bothering her teenage daughter....they will do anything to dredge up more facts about her father, and the rumors of violent abuse of boys at the reform school he ran until 3 years ago. It's not just about abuse....some of the boys disappeared. People in town have taken sides. Some say Neil Fielding couldn't have done the things he's accused of. And others believe he's a monster. Waddell residents are still riled up about the reform school rumors when a Florida university student disappears after volunteering at the mansion. Then Lane's oldest daughter Annalee disappears. Maybe returning to Florida was a really, really bad idea. Lane will have to confront a web of lies and family secrets to discover what happened to Susannah, her own daughter, and the boys who disappeared from her father's reform school. 

Wow -- once I started reading this story I couldn't put the book down! Each chapter is written from the point of view of a different character. Usually I don't really care for that sort of jumping around, but in this case, it worked. The shifting from one character to another heightened the suspense and really kept me guessing about what was going on until the very end. The story developed at a nice pace, and there were plenty of twists and surprises. I really enjoyed this story! The ending was perfect. Very well done!

Lori Roy has written several other books. I'm definitely going to read more. 

**I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from Penguin via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**
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Totally new take on zombies. Good horror story, scary too. Main character is a loner in more ways than one. This effects some decisions and actions she makes. Story moves along but a little slow in some sections. Only complaint is that story tends to jump ahead and the reader doesn't always know what happened. It felt like author not sure how to bring it together. Of note, has a flavor of "The Body Snatchers" so makes you think "would I go along or not?" Could lead to some lovely conversations .
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2.5/5 stars. I wanted to love this book, I really did. There were a lot of intriguing parts to the story. 

There's four narrators: Lane, Erma, Talley and Daryl. Lane, who I would say is the main character who grew up in Waddell, had a traumatizing day when she was 13, and moved away as soon as she could. Her mother, Erma, always stayed in Waddell with her husband and had to deal with the fall out of what happened (or not) to boys at the school where her husband worked. Talley is Lane's daughter, who just wants to make friends in her new school, but can't due to her mother's past. And Daryl is a bit of a mystery man. He's looking for his brother who went to the school where Lane's dad worked and is looking for him.

The story bounces between present day, the day a girl named Suzannah went missing and back thirty years. Today, blonde girls are going missing and it's eerily similar to what may have happened to Lane. There are a few twists I didn't see coming, but I did figure out the big one about halfway through the book. The ending felt rushed, like all of a sudden it was over and we're now 20 years in the future. I feel like Lori Roy was trying to set this up for a sequel, but I don't know that I'd be interested. Overall, it was an entertaining read, just not one of my favorites.

I received an advanced copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
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“You fear the truth, Mama said, and one day it’ll be bigger than you. One day, it’ll come for you.”

I didn’t realize it, but I’ve been on a European reading roll. Set firmly in Floridian soil, page one of The Disappearing felt like coming home.

This is the story of the Fielding family who always seem to make headlines for the wrong reasons. At the age of thirteen, Lane was abducted and miraculously returned. Decades later, another pretty young blonde girl goes missing, and Lane keeps a closer watch on her own daughters. But when one of them disappears anyway, Lane knows the time of reckoning is upon the Fieldings. The sins of her father demand retribution.

This book comes alive with drawling language, Southern charm, and vivid characters. It was a relief to read a work of suspense delivered in quality writing. I just added all of Lori Roy’s work to my “Must Read” list.

Thank you to the author, publisher, and Net Galley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for a fair review. My thoughts on this book can also be found on Goodreads as well as my blog, Cheap Thrill Book Reviews.
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The Disappearing by Lori Roy 
Two-time Edgar Award-winning author Lori Roy spins a twisted, atmospheric tale about a small Southern town where girls disappear and boys run away.
This is a well written story about fear and loss. Lane Feilding is newly divorced and financially forced to move back home with her two daughters. After finding a job bartending and moving back home with her parents, she finds that not all of the way her hometown was is still the same. Lanes oldest daughter goes missing and she has trouble trusting anyone. This makes the second young woman that has gone missing in a short amount of time. Add to that her youngest daughter has met someone online and has been talking to him regularly. Could he be the one who took her daughter? Is he planning on taking her other daughter also? This is definitely a psychological thriller that is written to keep your interest and keep you on the edge of your seat. Roy writes with great descriptive powers while telling a story that is fast paced and add items at just the right time to keep you guessing. I recommend this novel highly.


Thank you to netgalley as well as the author for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review. 

5 stars ⭐️ out of 5
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I received The Disappearing by Lori Roy from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. 

I have read Roy's other three books and loved them all. The mix of mystery and drama is just right along with societal issues and make for great quick reading. So I had high expectations for Disappearing and it didn't disappoint. The only issue I had was the final ending felt really stilted and jumped around too much but given I was reading an as yet published story that may change. 

The story is told alternating with Lane, a newly divorced mom of two who is forced to return to her roots in Florida and dealing with accusations and things that happened in her past and present. Then we have Tally who is a the younger daughter and learning to navigate her way in a new town, wanting to make friends and worrying about her the girl who has disappeared. Then we have Erma, Lane's mother, and a woman who has dealt with the sins and temper of her husband for decades, and now with the disappearance of Susannah and her granddaughter Annalee she is even more scared. Lastly we have Daryl who tells his story leading up to Susannah's disappearance. 

What I really enjoyed about this story is the mystery of what happened to Susannah and Annalee. Then of course there is the subplot of what happened to Lane when she was 13, and what her father did when she went missing, did he kill a boy? Did he beat the boys? And then there is the ordeal of Lane sleeping with a married man that has consequences for everyone. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this story, aside from what felt like a stilted ending but that wasn't enough to stop me from giving it 4 stars.
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Two dark moments of Florida history -- Ted Bundy and the Dozier School for Boys -- shadow Lori Roy's modern Gothic, The Disappearing (Dutton/Penguin, digital galley). The residents of little Waddell in rural North Florida refer to a serial killer who took his last victim, a teenage girl, from their town years ago as "Ted.'' These days, out-town-reporters keep showing up as former students of the now-closed Fielding School report crimes of abuse and even murder. Former headmaster Neil Harding, sliding into dementia in his historic home, has nothing to say. His long-suffering wife shields him from outsiders; his grown daughter Lane, recently divorced, has reluctantly moved home with her two daughters. She remembers when she was a girl and used to leave food outside for boys running away from the reform school. She also remembers being shunned in high school after an incident involving a runaway. When a Florida State student disappears, Waddell wonders if a serial killer like Ted has returned. But when Lane's older daughter Annabel vanishes, too, Lane fears a connection to her father and the school's tainted history. Roy, who has won two Edgar Awards for her previous books, uses multiple perspectives to tell her story: Lane, her younger daughter Talley, fretful Erma, and an odd handyman, Daryl, who spies on Waddell's young girls. It's all suitably complicated and creepy, doubly so for Floridians familiar with the real-life crimes that inspired Roy.
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Overall this book was pretty slow for me. It started off strong with an interesting plot, but it didn't live up to the hype for me. 
The story centers around Lane Fielding who after twenty years away has returned to her hometown after getting a divorce. Moving back with her two daughters to the family home isn’t exactly where Lane has wanted to end up since she’s not really welcomed in the small town due to things her father had done.
Just as Lane returns she finds that a young college student has gone missing and the fear that Lane had growing up returns. Twenty years before the town had been haunted by a serial killer and now as a parent Lane worries about her girls the way she had once been the one that her parents had worried about.
A few things that bothered me about this book: There were too many narrators. There was a lot of back & forth and the timelines made it a bit confusing. I was hoping for more action in this suspense thriller, but unfortunately it read a little slow for me.
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Dollycas's Thoughts

Lane Fielding has returned to a place she had hoped to never see again. The historic Fielding Plantation, her family home. Her marriage fell apart and now she and her two daughters have moved in with her elderly parents. Her father, the former director of the boy's school across from the home, is failing and needs constant care but he has made it well known he isn't happy Lane has returned. Her mother, failing too, tries to placate everyone to keep the peace.

A college student that was working at the plantation went missing 10 days ago and now Lane's oldest daughter has disappeared too. Boys used to disappear but now it is blonde girls. The police are trying to find the girls and after talking to Lane's other daughter have started to zero in on a suspect. The question is will they find the girls in time.

This book has a haunting, almost Gothic feel. Told from several points of view and a couple different timeframes, this story slowly unfolds to reveal so many secrets and lies all attached to this one family. Twenty years have passed since Lane left her home for New York, but her own secret still has never been revealed. Having read other stories by this author I knew the mystery was not going to be as simple as it seems. There is a mighty twist that turns the story upside down.

There was truly nothing endearing about these characters, except maybe Talley, the youngest daughter, but these character's story is a very compelling read. The family's drama set in motion by the sins of Lane's father had me shaking my head in disbelief of all the happenings. The final line sent chills up my spine.

I had read somewhere this book is based on the true story of the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys and I just had to do a little research myself. I was surprised to see the school was just shut down in 2011 after years and years of investigations. Ms. Roy's fictional spin on this was so interesting to read.

The only downfall in the story for me was the repetition of events from the different points of view made the plot a bit disjointed, but after getting into the story I found a good rhythm to overlook this issue.

The book ending leaves an open option to visit these characters again. It might be interesting to look back on them, say twenty years again in the future.
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This well-written book is bursting with dark, buried secrets, town rumors and gossip as well as resilient family bonds.  The Fielding family has a lot to contest with due to past events becoming potential future dangers.  Lane returns home to the scrutiny of her past while trying to preserve the safety of her daughters futures in an unforgiving town that she once called home.

This story released a slow burn that did not take away from the suspense. The author made sure the characters as well as their back stories and perspectives were represented in a way that left you wondering what was going to happen next.  I reveled in the pace which I believe was necessary to create the ebb and flow of the unfolding events and allowed me to indulge in the unpredictability of the story without confusion.

I especially enjoyed the way the book concluded which tied things together in a nice, neat, psychologically, suspense-filled bow where the ending you hope for isn't always real-life.  This is a great psychological story which left me wanting more. I would like to know what happens next which gives me goosebumps.  I plan to look for this author’s books in the future.

I received an advanced review copy (ARC) of this book from the publisher through NetGalley for my honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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I read about 25% of this book and decided to put it down. I felt like nothing was really happening and the pace was just too slow for my preference.
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Wow!!! This book was very well written. Had me on the edge of my seat the whole time!!! This is the book you read with all the lights on while peeping out the window the whole time!! Five stars!!!!
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3 stars

This book was as slow as molasses for me. It started off strong with an interesting plot, but I often had to force myself to pick it up so I could finish it.

The Disappearing read much like southern gothic fiction. I don’t have much experience in this genre, but I would recommend for fans that enjoy that type of setting. 

The main things that bothered me about this book:  There were too many narrators. Now, I typically enjoy books that have multiple POV’s. It makes things interesting. This time it did not. There was too much going back and forth in timeframes and it became kinda messy. I felt that Neil should have been convicted of his crimes. I think that may have added a little thrill to the book. There was not enough action or suspense happening. I am okay with slow burns, but I got bored while waiting for something to wow me. It never happened. 

The things I liked:  I really loved Talley. Actually, she’s the only character I liked. I felt for Erma and Lane and I thought Neil was a domineering tyrant. I felt like the last quarter of the book gained some of its luster back with the revelations. The ending was meh, but I felt it wrapped up nicely. 

I read this with many of my Traveling Sisters. 🌺

Thanks so much to NetGalley, Penguin Group Dutton and Lori Roy for an advanced copy.
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"...when everyone thinks they know your worst secret, you become something less than everyone else. Nothing about your life is private or even decent. No one trusts you either, because when tragic things happen to a person, the tragedy sticks."

Lane Fielding thought she would never return to small hometown in Florida. When she left twenty years earlier she swore that was the last the town would see of her. Then her marriage ended, and she found herself with two daughters and decided to go back to her hometown and live in her family home on the historic Fielding Plantation. 

Her family has always been steeped in controversy. Her father is the infamous former director of a boy's school. A boy’s school full or horror and misery. Many boy's perished at the school while others ran.  Many allegations of abuse and various lawsuits have been filed against Lane's father over the years.  Lane's own past haunts her as she attempts to build a life for her children.

Then one day, Lane's oldest daughter, Annalee, goes missing two days after another girl in town has been missing. Is there a connection? Is this the work of a serial killer? Did her daughter run away? Making things worse, Lane's youngest daughter Tally admits that she has been spending time with a new friend in the hopes that she will be accepted into the Little sisters of the south group which is held at the local church. Why does Lane not know what is going on with her children?

As Lane searches for her daughter, family secrets, secrets, lies and revelations come to light.  The past and the present collide in this book at a nice pace.  I found this book to be well written and enjoyed how the reader is given a glimpse into various characters thoughts. The book started out strong for me but then lost a little momentum. I kept waiting for something big to happen - something that would really WOW me. I didn't really get it but still found the book to be enjoyable.  Once the revelations start coming, the book picks up steam again and leaves the reader with answers and a satisfying final chapter.

Thank you to Penguin Group Dutton and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions in this review are my own.
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