Wherever She Goes

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 25 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

I adore Kelley Armstrong, and while I didn't love Wherever She Goes as much as her urban fantasy novels, it was still a worthy read, and one I did enjoy.
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I received a complimentary ARC of this book from Netgalley but all opinions provided are my own. 

Kelley Armstrong’s Wherever She Goes is exactly the kind of mystery that messes with my emotions best. There’s so much to appreciate here: a tautly paced plot, a compelling mystery, and enough emotional heft to keep me rooting me for the characters. 

Aubrey “Bree” is separated from her husband and she regrets it. She’s bowed down with guilt over things she’s done as a mom and wife and the understanding that everything imploded due to the weight of her secrets. Bree’s worst fear is doing something that might jeopardize custody matters regarding her beloved daughter further.

Then she witnesses a boy being kidnapped at the park, only the police don’t believe her and no one has reported a missing child. But she can’t let it go because she knows what it feels like to be child, in pain, and ignored. 

Who has the child? What happened to his mother? Those are the two biggest questions that send Bree on a quest for answers, a mission that puts her and her family in danger & might also somehow bring them closer together…

Wherever She Goes takes an emotional toll. It’s gripping: I read quickly because I had to find the answers to the mystery and I wanted some peace of mind for myself, Bree, and the boy she was trying to save. Then there was the anxiety I felt reading Bree’s self-criticism, self-consciousness, and blame; it’s difficult to read—it’s probably not light material for mom-guilt-sufferers, especially those that are anxiety-prone—but there’s a pay off as she takes charge of her life and eventually stands up for herself. 

At the forefront is the mystery over the little boy and his missing mother, a compelling storyline that’s satisfactorily resolved. The mystery sensitively picks up some of the heartaches and anxieties in Bree’s own past, and that makes the book have that emotionality I mentioned earlier. 

Though I would have liked seeing a bit more emotional work done by her husband, that wasn’t really the point, I think. The star of this mystery is Bree, who’s a fascinating character and someone of great strength even if she frustratingly can’t always see it. I couldn’t help but want the best for her—and hope that this was what she needed to really see her own worth. It’s a second chance story, thrillingly told. 

4 stars.
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Minotaur Books and NetGalley provided me with an electronic copy of Wherever She Goes. I was under no obligation to review this book and my opinion is freely given.

Aubrey Finch let her husband dictate the custody arrangement when their marriage fell apart, so she subsequently lives a very solitary life without her daughter around full time. Out on a run near the park, Aubrey sees a child being abducted, but the police are skeptical at best. With no one on her side, Aubrey decides to take matters into her own hands. When a child's life is in danger, what else is a mother to do?

Aubrey Finch is a strong, determined woman with mad skills. She may take chances, but always calls the professionals in to take the next steps. The character may not be completely realistic, as she is too good to be true at times, but I found Aubrey to be humanized by the way that the author presents the story. The relationship between Aubrey and her husband was realistic, as poor communication, guesswork, and intuitive leaps are often elements in taking down a marriage. I liked the story because of the author's portrayal of a woman willing to do whatever it takes to help a child. Readers who like mystery and suspense will like Wherever She Goes for its strong characterization and fast paced plot.
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This book was a pleasant surprise. I am used to Kelley Armstrong writing about witches and werewolves. This was a contemporary novel and she definitely has a gift. A woman, who is recently separated from her husband, is at the park with her child and she sees a child being kidnapped. A few days later the child’s mother is murdered. The police won’t listen to her. They think she’s attention seeking. So the only one she can really trust is her husband. She’s so afraid her past will come back to haunt her. This was great from beginning to end!
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I revived an ARC copy of Wherever She Goes in exchange for an honest review. 

“Few crimes are reported as quickly as a snatched kid.” That’s what the officer tells single mother Aubrey Finch after she reports a kidnapping. So why hasn’t anyone reported a little boy missing? Aubrey knows what she saw: a boy being taken against his will from the park. It doesn’t matter that the mother can’t be found. It doesn’t matter if no one reported it. Aubrey knows he’s missing. Instead, people question her sanity. Aubrey hears the whispers. She’s a former stay-at-home mom who doesn’t have primary custody of her daughter, so there must be something wrong with her, right? Others may not understand her decision to walk away from her safe life at home, but years of hiding her past- even from the people she loves- were taking their toll, Aubrey knows she can’t be the mother or wife she envisions until she learns to leave her secrets behind. When the police refuse to believe her, she realizes that rescuing the boy is up to her alone. But after all the secrets, how far is she willing to go?
Even to protect a child. 

I enjoyed this book a lot. I love Kelley Armstrong’s work. It’s challenging in the way of using your brain to figure out “who did it” and she keeps you guessing until the very end! 

4/5 Stars!
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This stand alone book by Kelley Armstrong was awesome. The writing and the Characters really called to me. I love Police type Crime Fiction books. so if you love them you will love this book. I recommend Kelley Armstrong books to anyone and everyone. I think her writing checks off alot of boxes for many diverse types of readers.
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I received an advanced copy of this book from the author, St. Martin's Press and Netgalley.com. Thanks to all for the opportunity to read and review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. 

As with any Kelley Armstrong book, you are in for quite a ride; but unlike other books by Ms. Armstrong this one is very real and visceral. A mystery at it's core but with all too real characters with all too real reasons for making the decisions they've made.  Thoughtful and well written, an excellent page turner that should be on your TBR list.

5 out of 5 stars. Highly recommended.
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Wherever She Goes
By Kelley Armstrong
Minotaur Books
July 2019

Review by Cynthia Chow

What kind of mom voluntarily gives up her daughter?  The complicated answer to that question is a secret Aubrey Finch has held since her divorce, when she allowed her husband Paul to assume primary custody of their daughter Charlotte.   Aubrey feels the judgment of the other mothers at the park, those mysterious women who always seem to fit in and know how to raise a family.  Raised in a series of foster homes since the death of her prostitute mother, Aubrey has learned to blend in and go unnoticed by observing and assimilating.   It’s why it takes the shocking sight of a boy being kidnapped and forced into an SUV to have Aubrey willing to report it to the authorities and face the police.  When no witnesses back up her story and no one else reports that their child has gone missing, the police not only disregard her observations, they begin to look more closely at Aubrey and her life.

Aubrey has done everything she can to erase her former life, the details of which are slowly revealed throughout the novel.  What can be shared is that she has skills that enable her to investigate on her own, using the talents she once exploited for a profit to now track down a seemingly non-existent child and his mother.   Aubrey’s investigation risks shattering the safe life she has attempted to build for herself, one built of comforting lies and a pretend normalcy.  The pressure of keeping up the façade is what led Aubrey to end her marriage to Paul, a pattern of punishment that began with guilt she still feels from the death of her mother.

This extraordinary novel slowly unravels the story of a damaged woman who attempted to live her entire life under the radar without being noticed.  Aubrey thought she could start over and erase her past with Paul and Charlie, but it was a life spent living as another person.   Her interactions with a distant and understandably baffled Paul are painful and fascinating, and one never doubts Aubrey’s love for her daughter.  As the threats ratchet up and Aubrey uncovers an even darker secret held by a powerful criminal family, she will find that in order to survive she must finally decide whether she has the strength to fully allow someone into her life.  This bestselling author ventures successfully into new grounds with a standalone thriller featuring an outstanding heroine, one whose strength is unleashed when it comes to protecting those she loves.
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I loved this book! I thought the main character was well written and I loved watching her bring out skills she had hidden for so long. This was one of those "I'll sleep later" kind of books! Highly recommend!
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Wherever She Goes is a mystery/thriller that revolves around family issues. Aubrey Finch sees a young boy taken from a local park but no one believes her so she decides to investigate on her own. Her family has already been torn apart by her secrets...will this be the final straw.

I really enjoy Kelley Armstrong's Rockton series and this stand alone novel did not disappoint. If you are looking for an enjoyable mystery that you will keep reading to find out how the story ends give this one a try.
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Kelley Armstrong’s newest book Wherever She Goes is a gripping psychological thriller that explores the lengths one woman will go to when she believes the police aren’t doing their jobs.

Single mom Aubrey Finch is in the neighborhood park one day and meets a young woman and her little boy.  After some brief small talk, they go their separate ways, but the next time, Aubrey is in the park, she sees the same little boy being pulled unwillingly in an SUV which then speeds away.  There’s no sign of his mother anywhere, so panicked and concerned for the boy’s safety, Aubrey phones the police.  When they arrive on the scene, the reaction Aubrey gets is not at all what she is expecting.  Because there’s no parent around reporting that their child has been abducted, the police refuse to believe Aubrey’s story and even go so far as to accuse her of being a mentally unstable attention seeker.  Aubrey knows what she saw, and so, frustrated by law enforcement’s lack of action, she decides to take matters into her own hands to bring the little boy home safely…

Wow, what a wild ride this was.  I had tremendous sympathy for Aubrey for so many reasons.  I can’t even imagine trying to report something as important as a child abduction to the police and having them blow me off.  I also honestly can’t imagine law enforcement behaving so irresponsibly, but it definitely serves as an effective device to move the story along and spur Aubrey into amateur sleuth mode.  Even more so than the way she was treated by the police, however, my sympathy for Aubrey lies in the fact that she is newly divorced and trying to make it on her own without help from anyone.  Her own child is living with her ex-husband full time now (Aubrey’s idea) because she’s living in a not-so-great neighborhood where the rent is cheap in hopes of saving up money for a better home that is more suitable for a child.  I commend her for her independence in this matter but also felt bad for her because not having custody of her child immediately opens her up to all kinds of judgment from strangers.  Everyone assumes she has done something terrible to not have her child living with her.

Aubrey also has her fair share of secrets that she has been hiding for years.  I’ll admit that the fact she’s hiding something about herself, coupled with the way people kept questioning her sanity did give me pause as to whether or not Aubrey was a reliable narrator.  I liked her so much though that I wanted her to be right so I was glued to the book to see what, if anything, she would find when she started looking for proof that there really was an abduction.  The author does a fantastic job building up suspense here because when Aubrey starts trying to locate the woman she met in the park that day, she opens up a can of worms that is way more than she bargained for.

My only real complaint about Wherever She Goes is that I actually felt more invested in Aubrey’s personal dramas and in finding out about her past than I did in the abduction storyline.  Both were interesting, of course, but the witnessing of a crime and having no one believe your story just felt a little stale to me, like it has been done many times before (The Girl on the Train and The Woman in the Window immediately come to mind).  Aubrey’s personal story grabbed my attention and held it more since it was the more unique of the two.

Even with that one little quibble though, Wherever She Goes is still a very entertaining read.  There were plenty of plot twists to keep me guessing and I found the ending to be very satisfying.  I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys psychological thrillers and domestic dramas.
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Aubrey and her husband Paul are separated and she only gets to see her daughter, Charlie, on the weekends.  She befriends a fellow mom and her child at the park and soon witnesses the child being taken against his will.  She tries to report it to police but they say no report has come in regarding a missing child - and the mother has vanished.  Aubrey decides to take on finding the boy herself - soon getting in over her head and forced to confront her own past.
This is the first Kelley Armstrong book I've read but it definitely won't be my last!  I enjoyed the quick, easy read that had me wondering "what happens next" all throughout..
Thanks to Kelley Armstrong, St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for the ARC of this great book!
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Thank you so much to St. Martins Press and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book for my review.

I normally adore and devour Kelley Armstrong’s novel
I found myself struggling through this one. I’ve read quite a few of her mystery novels but this one didn’t grip me as her other novels have.

The beginning was the best part to me when we’re first introduced to the character Audrey as she’s trying to rebuild her life with her three-year-old after her divorce. The anxiety and pressure she felt was honestly the most compelling part of the book and then I got kind of lost from there. I’ve read more than a few mystery/thriller novels and I feel like the plot has been recycled over and over. The woman witnesses a crime and has to do the digging herself because the police think she’s just a hysterical lady and doesn’t take it seriously.

Audrey’s past and the beginning of the book were the best parts for me but the rest of the book fell short, unfortunately
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I love this authors Casey Duncan series, such a unusual setting and place. This one is a standalone, or maybe part of a new series. While this was suspenseful in parts, my feelings were mixed.

What I liked

The premise, Aubrey sees a young boy being kidnapped and becomes involved.
Her estranged husband, hard not too since he was a very nice man.
The easy style of writing and smooth pace.

What I had a little trouble with.

Aubrey's constant moaning about her past. Got a little old after a while and her regrets were mentioned way too often
The ending, too late by far.

Don't get me wrong, this is worth reading. It's quick and Armstrong is a good writer.

ARC from Netgalley.
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Kelley Armstrong is a well-known author who has never failed to write a well-written story with convincing, engaging characters. Like me she is from Ontario, Canada yet this was my first Kelley Armstrong novel...and what a blast it was to read. This crime fiction's story line is crisp and riveting, so much excitement, tension and drama. This was such a refreshing read, although another "missing" child thriller, this one is truly unique. The author did a great job at making sure the story-line is woven perfectly. One of the greatest aspects of the book is that the readers will never guess the ending and I loved not knowing what will happen. 

The characters are engaging and well-developed and the author does a great job of making them all real and believable to the reader. There is more than one mystery in this novel and the author makes the situations feel tense and the plot is timely and credible. I love that the protagonist had such a colourful back story and that it was woman, and a very strong one at that. The writing draws you in and keeps your interest piqued from start to finish. This book is well written, very engaging and very interesting. An excellent book for anyone who enjoys genuine mysteries. Definitely worth the read.
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This was my first book by this author and its definitely not going to be the last!! It was fast paced and full of excitement. It had to many twists and turns that I never knew what was going to happen next. There was never a dull moment from start to finish.
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I didn't connect with this book at all. I didn't care for the main character and the mystery/inciting event was not all that intriguing to me. 
It's not a bad book, but after reading the synopsis I was really looking forward to it and in the end, it just fell totally flat. 
What is it with the books lately where total bystanders insert themselves into police investigations, to the peril of their families, jobs, and even themselves--FOR ABSOLUTELY NO REASON? Because of some misplaced sense of justice, like they feel like the police can't do their jobs (and in these books they don't seem to be able to do as well as the main character). 
Aubrey could have been an interesting character, a total badass, but instead she just seemed like she was out of her element even when she wasn't. And don't get me started about her as a mother...maybe I'm one of those judgy moms she saw on the playground but it was incongruous that she could be this amazing investigator, but she couldn't remember to take her daughter to a princess tea that had been planned forever.
Onto the next book, hoping it keeps my interest more.
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I have only read one other Kelley Armstrong book and this was head and shoulders above that one (and it was good). She is a fantastic writer and her characters and story keep you turning the pages. 
I loved that this was a stand-alone thriller and I initially worried that it would fall into the same, tired trope as many other novels of late, where the female protagonist is telling people around her what she has witnessed and isn’t even believed by her own family. Fortunately, although recently separated, her ex- is more willing to listen and without spoiling the plot, this avoids the trope of the pathetic female who no one listens to as the heroine. Aubrey has a hidden past, good and bad, that is complicated. This clearly influences many of her decisions going forward and makes for a compelling and very readable story. 
Highly recommend!! This was a pleasure to read. I hated to have obligations this week because I wanted to get time to read this!
#WhereverSheGoes #NetGalley
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I have read a previous book by Kelley Armstrong and loved it and when I heard about this newest novel I couldn’t wait to get a copy of my own to read. I love her style of writing, and the way her writing draws your attention into the story and demands your attention all throughout. This book was no different and I was not disappointed.

Imagine witnessing a young boy being taken from someone into a vehicle and being driven off to who knows where. Only to report it to the police and they do nothing about it? In fact, they barely pay much attention to your story and you are frustrated because you know.. you are certain something sinister is at play, but what? Would you take matters into your own hands, put your own life on the line and risk your safety and the safety if your own family?

I loved how gripping this novel was. I loved the main character Aubrey. She has a dark, secretive past that even her estranged husband doesn’t know about. She keeps it hidden and secret from everyone she knows, and it eats her up inside. Her and her ex have a daughter together, that lives with her ex. Aubrey takes her on the weekends and many people do not understand why or how a mother can just up and leave their child behind. Don’t most judges side with the mother? Aubrey has her reasons and those reasons are revealed to us as the story moves along.

I enjoyed the various components of this book. We learn about Aubrey’s marriage and what leads to her marriage falling apart. We learn about her dark and mysterious past, that has made her into the woman she is today. What lead her to make all the decisions in life that she has made. We also learn about her current relationship with her ex. The feelings are still there, at least on her part, but he is seeing someone else and has been for a while now. 

There is so much going on in this novel and I loved everything about it. I could seriously not put this book down. I flew through the chapters, completed engrossed in what was happening and wanting to know more. I loved the character development of the lead characters, and I was curious to know if Aubrey would be able to solve the situation with the kidnapped child on her own, with or without the police’s help.

A book that will have you flipping the pages to see what will happen next, be sure to add this book to your TBR list. You will love it!
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I just finished Wherever She Goes by Kelley Armstrong and it was so intense that sitting down to write this review now, my heart is still pounding a mile a minute in my chest. I’m a huge fan of the author’s thrillers, in particular her Rockton series, and it was a delight to find that this was in the same league in terms of excitement and drive, though of course it was also different enough to offer a new and refreshing change of pace.

In this standalone novel, we follow protagonist Aubrey Finch who has just recently separated from her husband Paul. But while she has long since accepted the fate of her doomed marriage, what she refuses to give up on is joint custody of her daughter Charlotte, who is Aubrey’s whole world. Despite being an independent, resourceful and smart woman, Aubrey knows her questionable past and lack of financial resources would not stand a chance in court against Paul, a successful defense lawyer who can provide stability for their child. And so she throws herself into being the best mother she can be, bringing Charlotte to the park on their weekends together, trying to mingle with the other moms to prove to others and herself that she is perfectly capable of taking care of her daughter.

This is how Aubrey first meets the young blonde woman, who shows up at the park sometimes with her little boy. They’ve talked on occasion, though never shared names. Just the usual kind of chitchat you have with your typical friendly mom who brings their kid to the playground. But then one day, during a jog through the park on her lunchbreak, Aubrey witnesses the blonde woman’s son being pulled forcefully into a car, with the woman herself nowhere to be seen. In a panic, Aubrey calls the police to report a kidnapping, expecting them put out an Amber alert, mobilize a search, the whole nine yards. Instead, nothing happens. The police say that no one has reported their child missing, so there’s nothing that can be done other than to follow up on the limited leads that Aubrey has provided, which have been checked and have gone nowhere. Frustrated, Aubrey decides to do her own digging into the situation, knowing what she saw was real, that somewhere out there, a child is in danger. And yet, the more she pushes, the more trouble she seems to find herself in. People are starting to question her sanity, wondering whether her fears of losing her own child might be making her delusional. Worse, her investigation activities might be drawing some unwanted attention, threatening to expose details from her past that she would prefer to leave unexplored.

Leave it to Kelley Armstrong to write such an addictive and immersive thriller! I was captivated from the moment it started, and I don’t think the pace slows down at all. Story-wise, Wherever She Goes might come across as the same old, same old—a missing child, an amateur detective protagonist whose obsession with the case leads others to doubt them, and so on and so forth—but what Armstrong does that few other authors can pull off is a perfect sense of timing and a writing style that can convey a sense of desperate immediacy. We’re with Aubrey every step of the way as she carries out her own investigation, feeling the full brunt of her anxiety, fears, and tension. Any moment this fragile situation could come tumbling down on her, jeopardizing her own life as well as those she loves.

And speaking of Aubrey, what a fascinating character Armstrong has created. Aubrey Finch a bright young woman with a real knack for technology, but life hasn’t exactly gone her way due to some unfortunate circumstances as well as mistakes on her part. Throw in a bit of social awkwardness, and others aren’t always willing to trust her because they find her aloof and slightly strange. The fact that this story takes place in a big city doesn’t help, where people are either apathetic to point of nihilism or so prying and judgmental that they always seem to be sticking their nose in your business. Aubrey finds herself dismissed as a crazy person trying to make trouble, and it was so frustrating seeing her brushed off by everyone. Still, this is a lady you don’t want to mess with. Whether she’s hacking into network systems of fighting off thugs that are more than twice her size, she can take care of herself. She’s also fiercely independent, refusing to accept help even if she could really use it. Despite her occasional bullheadedness and her tendency to run headlong into the unknown though, I still found her extremely likeable and relatable and easy to root for.

There were also some surprises in this otherwise straightforward thriller, including discovering that Paul was actually quite a decent guy despite Aubrey’s initial fears that he might fight her over custody arrangements for Charlotte. And there were so many twists and turns in the second half of the novel, it was hard to know who to trust anymore.

Bottom line, Kelley Armstrong is an author who knows how to keep you on your toes. Granted, I have not read many of her paranormal/fantasy work, but with books like Wherever She Goes, I definitely find myself gravitating more towards her thrillers. This was another winner for me, and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys exciting and suspenseful mysteries.
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