The Return of Ellie Black

A Novel

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Pub Date May 07 2024 | Archive Date May 07 2024


The Return of Ellie Black is a page-turning suspense novel, a shrewd character study, and a captivating mystery, all at the same time. The last fifty pages are magnetic. I couldn’t put it down until I’d experienced every last twist and turn.” —STEPHEN KING

Detective Chelsey Calhoun’s life is turned upside down when she gets the call Ellie Black, a girl who disappeared years earlier, has resurfaced in the woods of Washington state—but Ellie’s reappearance leaves Chelsey with more questions than answers.

It’s been twenty years since Detective Chelsey Calhoun’s sister vanished when they were teenagers, and ever since she’s been searching: for signs, for closure, for other missing girls. But happy endings are rare in Chelsey’s line of work.

Then a glimmer: local teenager Ellie Black, who disappeared without a trace two years earlier, has been found alive in the woods of Washington State.

But something is not right with Ellie. She won’t say where she’s been, or who she’s protecting, and it’s up to Chelsey to find the answers. She needs to get to the bottom of what happened to Ellie: for herself, and for the memory of her sister, but mostly for the next girl who could be taken—and who, unlike Ellie, might never return.

The debut thriller from New York Times bestselling author Emiko Jean, The Return of Ellie Black is both a feminist tour de force about the embers of hope that burn in the aftermath of tragedy and a twisty page-turner that will shock and surprise you right up until the final page.
The Return of Ellie Black is a page-turning suspense novel, a shrewd character study, and a captivating mystery, all at the same time. The last fifty pages are magnetic. I couldn’t put it down until...

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ISBN 9781668023952
PRICE CA$14.99 (CAD)

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Average rating from 9 members

Featured Reviews

[arc review]
Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing an arc in exchange for an honest review.
The Return of Ellie Black releases May 7, 2024

Unputdownable. From the moment I started this story until the very last page, I refused to set it down.

On Chelsey’s first day working as a detective, a teenager named Ellie was kidnapped. For two years, she has been missing, until a couple of hikers find her roaming in the woods.
Now, Chelsey gets the chance to finally close the first case she was assigned to as a detective — a case that might just be connected to her in more ways than she could ever imagine.

This story is told through multiple pov’s and navigates familial bonds, sisterhood, trauma, and grief.

I’m finding it so hard to review this one without giving away the whole story, but I really loved the writing style!
The last 20% definitely added a fresh wave of urgency.

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Detective Chelsey Calhoun has dedicated her life to try to seek justice for crimes against women. Her own sister went missing when they were teenagers and her regret from not being able to save her, has led her into this life.

When a missing girl shows up 2 years after going missing, Chelsey thinks this will bring a sense of closure to at least one family. However, she finds herself being unable to get Ellie to divulge any of what happened in the 2 years she was missing. What is Ellie hiding from everyone? What happened and what led to her going missing? And could there be more victims out there?

What a tough read this was. This is told in multiple timelines with multiple POVs. We are primarily seeing present day though Chelsey and Ellie, and we are also seeing Ellie's POV during her time of disappearance.

While we know that Ellie eventually makes it back home, things felt pretty bleak and scary at some points. The last few chapters were very exciting and somewhat nerve-wracking.

I definitely had to put this down a few times because of how heavy it felt at certain parts of the story. Go into this one with great care if you can. If you do, you will be rewarded with an intriguing book. Highly recommend!

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