About Before She Was FoundHardcover: 368 Pages
Publisher: Park Row; Original edition (April 16, 2019)
A gripping thriller about three young girlfriends, a dark obsession and a chilling crime that shakes up a quiet Iowa town
For twelve-year-old Cora Landry and her friends Violet and Jordyn, it was supposed to be an ordinary sleepover—movies and Ouija and talking about boys. But when they decide to sneak out to go to the abandoned rail yard on the outskirts of town, little do they know that their innocent games will have dangerous consequences.
Later that night, Cora Landry is discovered on the tracks, bloody and clinging to life, her friends nowhere to be found. Soon their small rural town is thrust into a maelstrom. Who would want to hurt a young girl like Cora—and why? In an investigation that leaves no stone unturned, everyone is a suspect and no one can be trusted—not even those closest to Cora.
Before She Was Found is a timely and gripping thriller about friendship and betrayal, about the power of social pressure and the price of needing to fit in. It is about the great lengths a parent will go to protect their child and keep them safe—even if that means burying the truth, no matter the cost.
WOW! What an addictive, fantastic book!! It's been awhile since I've read a book in one day, and that's what I did with Before She Was Found. I started it mid morning on a Sunday and finished it after dinner the same night. It was next to impossible to put down--did I HAVE to get up to change the laundry?? Cook dinner?? Be prepared to want to drop everything you are doing and read this book!
From the first page the book jumps right into the action. The chapters are relatively short, jumping between points of view of different characters, including family of the three girls as well as the psychiatrist, transcripts of interviews, text message conversations, Cora's journal, and chat room transcripts that help piece together exactly what happened to Cora. Sometimes with this format it can be hard to keep track of who's who, but not in this book--the characters were clearly defined and you instantly got attached to them and wanted to know what really happened that night at the tracks. Cora, Violet and Jordyn are just 12 years old--the book did an excellent job of capturing the essence of middle school friendships and family relationships.
This book kept me guessing right until the end. This one does have several trigger warnings and can get pretty intense--bullying, social media dangers, violence, and mental illness. It's a highly emotional book, but so well written with respect to these triggers. An excellent five star book you must read if you love mysteries and thrillers!
About Heather GudenkaufHeather Gudenkauf is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Weight of Silence and Not a Sound. Heather lives in Iowa with her family.