Traces of Her

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 25 Oct 2019

Member Reviews

The plot is good with some unexpected twists. There was a lot of switching between the past and the now. I'd have liked it if the chapters about the past were more details. Now frequently a lot of time was skipped. There were so many characters, which made it tricky to keep track of who is who. Overal is was a good read.
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3 Stars

"Traces of her" is my first book by Amanda Brittany.  If you like domestic suspense/thrillers, this book is definitely for you. It kept me guessing till the very end. It’s got some great twists and turns, it makes you think.
Rose isn't surprised by the sudden disappearance of her always unreliable sister Willow. 
Well the story is quite complex and revolves around a fairly dysfunctional family that have a past of lies, secrets and the usual, oh and a family wedding where 2 sisters died!
One of the dead sisters daughters is now on the trail of the man she thinks was responsible for the murders, she has 5 or so to choose from and her adopted family receive a call from her to ‘come to Cornwall now and help me’, they do and the book then goes from present to past and you start to piece together just how deep and unresolved the past. 
There are a lot of characters in the book and at times it lost me.
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Good story, strong plot, some unexpected twists, turns and revelations and a rum cast of characters with a writing style that wasn’t my favourite!
So how to review this one then?
Well the story is quite complex and revolves around a fairly dysfunctional family that have a past of lies, secrets and the usual, oh and a family wedding where 2 sisters died!
One of the dead sisters daughters is now on the trail  of the man she thinks was responsible for the murders, she has 5 or so to choose from and her adopted family receive a call from her to ‘come to Cornwall now and help me’, they do and the book then goes from present to past and you start to piece together just how deep and unresolved the past is, to all of them, victims, crim’s, adopted, natural, half and quarter, old, new and those inbetween
There are a LOT of people in the book and at times it lost me and I found myself wandering off while still reading and wondering if was having Nando’s tonight etc, but once reigned myself back in and had a break was able to get back into it
Now the writing style for me was clunky at times, and also at times kinda ‘he said’ then ‘she said’ and also phrases were used by characters that just didn’t suit them
as they were being portrayed,I found the past sections of the book much more to my liking in that respect than the present 
BUT you know I did read it in a day, it did get exciting, as said the plot was good and the ending quite shockingly dark sooooo unusually for me its like a book of 2 halves, yet am still glad read it
3 Stars
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Mind Blown! Those are the best words to describe this book! When Rose's step-sister, Willow disappears it's nothing new. Willow then sends Rose a package with photos of suspects in a cold case. Then Willow disappears without a trace and Rose rushes to pick up where Willow left off. As Rose follows the trail it is clear that someone doesn't want her asking questions. Can Rose figure out what happened before it's too late?

Again I will say mind blown! A psychological thriller that leaves you stunned. There is a lot of build up in the book but I promise it is worth it. The build up in long but not so long that you start to get bored. I thought I had it figured out and I will say I wasn't even close! I would recommend this to anyone who loves a good guessing game. I can't wait to read more by Amanda Brittany!

Thank you to Net Galley and the publisher for a chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Ava is seventeen when she has her daughter, Willow. She still lives with her mother and sister and her brother Justin.
Willow is the center of her life. Justin is also very close to Willow, watching her while her mum is at work.
Ava's sister is getting married soon to her fiancee Rory. Ava will be a bridesmaid, and wear a yellow dress.
Just before the wedding, Ava is drugged and raped. She goes into a deep depression. Justin continues to care for Willow. Ava knows she was drugged and raped but she doesn't know by who.
Then Ava and her sister are both found dead right after the wedding. Ava's body is never found. It looks like Het sister killed Ava and then herself. Years later the murders are still not solved. There are too many questions. Willow was adopted out as a young child. Now she is trying to solve who murdered her mother. Someone out there doesn't want the crime solved and will do anything to stop her. Including murder.
Intriguing! Keeps you guessing right up to the very end.
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I really enjoyed this book. As a thriller lover, this story kept me guessing until the very end. I was a little confused in the early pages, trying to keep track of all the characters, but after a few flashback stories, I had it all nailed down. I truly felt for Ava and adored how much she loved her daughter Willow. This story was definitely heart wrenching at times and I seriously wanted to shake both her mother and sister to understand their incredible cruelty. While the end was a surprise, it also requires a little bit of extended imagination. While it’s not exactly realistic, the outcome is certainly possible, overall, I really enjoyed the constant twists and turns. Overall. A really great thriller!
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“Dear Rose,
I’m sending you these photos because one of these men killed my mother eighteen years ago. Her name as Ava Millar. I’ve been asking questions, and now someone is hanging around the cottage. They want me to leave, but I’m not giving up. I’ll explain everything when you arrive. But Rose-if anything happens to me, please keep digging until you find to truth. 
Love Willow x

I enjoyed this murder mystery novel. I rated this book a 3/5, and the reason I didn’t rate it a 4, was because it didn’t have as many twists and shocking circumstances as other murder mystery novels I have read. That being said, even though I had guessed who the culprit was, the book was well-written, and kept me guessing and waiting until the very last page. I always judge a book by its ability to keep me hooked, and I managed to read this novel on my three hour train journey back to university.

Even though I was tempted to rate this book a 4, my biggest issue with the novel was the fact that I had guessed the culprit by the time I was halfway through the novel. I love to be kept on my toes, and even if I am presented with all the facts, prefer to not be able to guess the culprit until they are found out by the rest of the characters. Brittany writes the mystery well; however, considering it is my favourite genre to read, I noted all of the clues and hints that she was feeding to me as a reader through the narrative. Personally, I would have preferred if these were a little harder to piece together; however, if a reader was either new to the genre, or not as picky as I tend to be, I would have no doubt that this book would have been thoroughly enjoyed.

I was really fascinated by the use of narrative time shifts, where Brittany shifted between different characters’ perspectives, as well as from the time of the murder, as well as from the present day. It provided a unique insight into the different characters’ thoughts, feelings and motives, and it had me gripped. Although I had figured out the culprit, there were still parts to the story that I did not know, and occurrences that I wasn’t aware of, meaning that there were still twists that I wasn’t prepared for.

“Let’s try to piece it all together, shall we? Think like Sherlock.

Overall, I did enjoy this book, and I am sure it will be enjoyed by others. I really struggled with whether or not to rate this a 3 or 4 out of 5, so I had to compare it against other murder mystery novels that I had enjoyed at rated a 4. As a result, I had to rate it a 3, but I am positive that other readers will devour and engage with this book, and be entertained by it for hours.
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I devoured this book in a matter of hours. I couldn’t put it down, I had to find out what was coming next. The suspense throughout had me on the edge of my seat and it’s a constant page turner. I can’t wait to read more by this author. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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“Traces of Her” is my first Amanda Brittany read and I was surprised to learn it is not her debut novel. The story itself follows the aftermath of a woman’s murder—in one perspective, Ava, the victim, shares the events leading up to her death and in another, Rose, the step-sister of Ava’s daughter Willow, articulates her search for Willow once she disappears while searching for answers regarding her mother’s murder. There are plenty of twists in the last quarter of the novel, and while some were obvious, the author did a good job of executing them convincingly.

My gripes with this novel exist in the writing. I found it difficult to feel connected to the characters, especially Rose’s teenage daughter Becky, as most of their development came in the form of vague dialogue. I got a sense of “telling not showing” when it came to their descriptions and felt the author often spelled out characters’ motivations, breaking the natural flow of the scene. In general, I felt the plot relied too heavily on dialogue that felt unnatural and forced. The same plot elements could have been revealed succinctly in a dedicated paragraph. It should be noted that I am not the biggest fan of dialogue-heavy works, though, as I find it difficult to connect to the story when I can’t buy that the character actually said their given line, and I had many of those moments with this book. Oh, and there were a few clichés I couldn’t ignore—most notably “I cut in . . . hoping to prevent World War III”. Admittedly, I’m left with some questions that, if fleshed out, would make “Traces of Her” stand out amongst similar titles this season. I found it difficult to continue reading at some points, but powered through Becky's "OMG"s to avoid DTR-ing.

All in all, “Traces of Her” is interesting story and a quick read, and I am interested in checking out other works by Amanda Brittany to see how they compare, both in story and in composition. This writing style did not work for me so I won't be recommending the title.
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Traces Of Her by Amanda Brittany is a fabulous heart racing contemporary psychological suspense. I was intrigued and glued from the start.
The novel is very cleverly constructed drawing the reader in immediately. It is set in 2001 and present day, from alternating points of view in the first person. As we ‘hear’ different voices, we know who they all are except one. I was gripped and guessing as to who this was, but failed in my attempts.
A cold case murder comes alive as a daughter searches to solve who killed her mum when she was young. She travels to Cornwall and unleashes a can of worms.
Family is important. Love binds members together. Twisted love blows relationships apart. A mother’s love is fiercely protective.
There is the theme of control. Control may be exercised in a number of ways but it is never good.
Obsession is a dangerous thing. When an obsession takes over, there are disastrous results.
Traces Of Her was an exciting read. I failed to predict the outcome as I read greedily towards the end with my heart racing. I look forward to reading more by Amanda Brittany.
I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.
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I really liked the cover. It is very appealing designed. The writing style is pleasant and very fluently to read. The characters are very well described and look well thought out and consistently interesting. The tension is always present. The descriptions of surroundings, feelings and scenes were also very good. The story is told pleasant and it succeeds from the first pages to dive directly into the story. The storyline as a whole is very coherent and it seems very understandable and authentic. A very fascinating story that you won't like to stop reading.
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For me this book sits firmly in the thriller section. Its got some great twists and turns, it makes you think and more importantly its in Cornwall - where all the best Thriller books are based, in my humble opinion.

The story is about Willow and her mum, except we dont follow their life in the book, its all about Rose - Willows Stepsister. Willow disappears often at short notice, but this time is different. She thinks she knows who killed her mum and shes hunting the killer down; Rose, with her teenage daughter in tow, follows her to Cornwall only to find Willow isnt in the cottage and something isnt right. The pair start to investigate.

The story jumps between now with Rose and the past with Willows mum. understanding who was in her life and making you wonder about their motive for now, This is an easy to read story but you need to pay attention to see if you can work out what really happened that night.

For me I wasnt surprised by the answer and the ones that followed but I didnt expect them either. I really enjoyed the book, and would suggest it to anyone looking for their next read but now looking back Im trying to work out where the clues were to the ending, or if they were there at all.

Theres also a small side story with this; Rose's daughter being a typical teenager and having her own issues. I feel that because it was a constant topic in the book (sorry Im trying really hard to not need a spoiler alert!) that it should have had more time given to it as for me whilst it was obvious where Willow was being given priority and importance Rose should have dealt with other issues sooner.
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I DNFed this book because I couldn't get into it.
Even if I found it quite well written the characters grated on my nerves and seemed childish and not very clever.
Not my cup of tea.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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Present: Rose gets frantic phone calls and messages from her stepsister Willow who believes her birth mother has been murdered and wants to solve it. Rose does not take this seriously as Willow has been known for her frantic nature and tend to disappear from home for holidays and such. However when Rose receives a mysterious package from Willow containing 4 photographs of unknown men among whom she believes is her mother's killer, Rose has to know what is going on in her sister's life. She takes a road trip with her teenage daughter Becky to the picturesque village of Cornwall, a gorgeous cottage where Willow seems to be staying. Only to find out, Willow is not there! 
What happened to Willow? Where is she gone??

Past: Meet Ava 2001. A young girl who is shadowed by her older sister and brother at home. Gets pregnant with a local boy and works very hard to survive in her own home without any support from her mother. 
What is her connection to the present? How does her life intervene with the lives of the woman in the present? You'll have to read to find out!

The chapters shuffle between Rose and Ava as the author lets her readers mull over the connection and where exactly the story is leading. There are less number of characters in each timeline and they're well developed for the readers to understand them. Reading between timeless might be confusing at times, but Amanda has done a brilliant job in bridging the chapters without letting the plot down. 

There were enough elements to keep me engaged throughout the book such as the gorgeous mansion overlooking the sea, and the description of the picturesque village of Cornwall. Rose's teenage daughter is a treat with her sparkly ideas and young impulse. Issues such as rape, neglect in a teenager's life are imposed on the characters and makes us think over those difficult situations. 

I read this book on my kindle in one setting and totally devoured it. It was the perfect way to spend my sunday and I'm so glad i found this book. Highly recommended for thriller fans. Thanks to the publisher for inviting me to the official blog tour and my reader copy. All opinions are solely mine and no way biased.
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Thanks Netgalley and the publisher for the advance ecopy. A bit confusing at first but soon started to come into focus.  Very twisty, when you think you got it here comes another twist! Impressive writing Amanda Brittany. Will be waiting for the next one.
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2.5/5 stars: 

I wanted to like this book. In fact, I wanted to love this book, I wouldn't have requested it from NetGalley otherwise. But unfortunately it wasn't for me. I can't say that it is a terrible book or that I hated it but I also can't say that I loved it. 

This is the first time I've ever read a book by Amanda Brittany and if I hadn't checked before actually reading it I would have thought this was her debut novel. The writing reads very amateur-ish, simplistic and almost under-developed. 

I did enjoy the multiple perspectives we get throughout the book. It makes the story go faster and keeps more engaged especially as how it goes back and forth between the present and past. I would have preferred it if the POVs had been consistently only first person or third person instead of the writing style changing every chapter. But that is just personal preference and other people might not mind it. 

The characters in the story didn't feel very fleshed out and they all made some very dumb and immature decisions. I also felt like tons of things were handled too dramatically instead of with nuisance and poise. 

The actual plot line was interesting enough, which is good seeing as how this is a mystery and it should be its main selling point. I found myself wanting to know more about what had actually transpired all those years ago even if the investigation and the getting-to-know-the-truth wasn't actually that interesting to read about. 

About the ending: [ I ACTUALLY DIDN'T SEE IT COMING AT ALL! HOLY FUCK! It was because of the plot twists that I ended up bumping my rating up a little. It was a little convoluted, perhaps, but surprised me it did so I count it as good. I knew there would be some type of false identity thing going on but I didn't think it would be done in the way it actually was. I do have to say I don't think this is a mystery that makes you think much. There aren't many hints or foreshadowing moments. You mostly just have to wait as things are revealed and I prefer my mysteries a little "smarter". 

There isn't much more I can say about this book and I also don't feel like rambling about why I didn't like it because, as I said, it's not like truly I hated it.
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Great read. I finished the book in one sitting. Characters were well developed, and the storyline was compelling and kept me interested.
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"Traces of her" is my first book by Amanda Brittany and it certainly won't be the last. If you like domestic suspense/thrillers, this book is definitely for you. It kept me guessing till the very end. When I thought I had it all figured out then another twist came along (even the last sentence was a twist I didn't see coming). I felt so deeply for Ava and how bad her family treated her. With past and present storylines, the author did a good job tying it all nicely at the end.

Thanks to Netgalley and HQ Digital for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This is who done it murder mystery, but the author writes it from the perspective of the victim, Ava and the step sister of the victims daughter, Rose. 
  I was pulled into the story about halfway through, even though I had a pretty good idea who the killer was. I found some of the situations in the book a bit unbelievable, and the dialogue fell short in convincing me. The ending was still pretty twisty which I didn’t expect. 
  Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the advanced review copy.
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I devoured Traces of Her, desperate to find out the secrets hidden between then pages. Brittany is a superb writer, highly skilled at keeping you gripped, staying up late to uncover the secrets. 

It being set in both Hertfordshire and Cornwall, two places I have lived and recognised, made it even better.
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