Book Review

WHEN THE STARS GO DARK by Paula McClain

I received a gifted copy of WHEN THE STARS GO DARK by Paula McClain from Random House / Ballantine Books!

Rating: 5 / 5

WHEN THE STARS GO DARK follows Anna Hart, a woman in a very dark place in her life. She is a missing persons detective from San Francisco on leave from work after a personal tragedy has broken her world apart. She has gone to Mendocino to take some time, the place where she once lived with her foster parents.

The town of Mendocino has been rocked by the disappearance of a local teen girl. Anna gets pulled into the case and it brings back memories of a similar situation from Anna’s own childhood. Her professional instincts and her connections to the community build her interest in the crime, even as she tries to deal (or at times avoid) her feelings about what has gone on in her own life.

This book is one that I have heard so many good things about and I had every expectation that this book would draw me right in. I was definitely right about that! The narrative the author builds out had me instantly hooked to find out what happened in Anna’s past and what was happening in the present day Mendocino community. All of this is done with beautiful language and character development that keeps the reader hooked.

This isn’t a super fast paced mystery as it relies very much on character development in addition to the actual plot. Anna’s story and what has brought her to Mendocino is slowly revealed to the reader and it will absolutely break your heart along the way! I really loved how the author did this, but I do think going in with expectation of a slow burn mystery is important.

This wound up being one of my favorite reads of July, so I would definitely recommend adding it to your TBR! As a bonus, the book mentions s’mores, probably just the once and in a totally offhanded way, but it totally justifies breaking out the chocolate and marshmallows as you read!

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