When the Stars Go Dark
by McLain, Paula






Retreating to her childhood foster home in the wake of a tragedy, a veteran missing-persons detective becomes entwined in the search for a local teen whose disappearance eerily resembles an unsolved case from the detective's past. Maps.





Paula McLain is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Love and Ruin, Circling the Sun, The Paris Wife, and A Ticket to Ride, the memoir Like Family: Growing Up in Other People's Houses, and two collections of poetry. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, O: The Oprah Magazine, Town & Country, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and elsewhere. She lives in Ohio with her family.





McLain's (The Paris Wife, 2011; Love and Ruin, 2018) latest starts as a mystery involving Anna Hart, who's dedicated her life to finding missing California children, but turns into historical fiction as the story follows the disappearance of real-life victim Polly Klaas. Fleeing an accident in her personal life, the harrowing details of which are only revealed at book's end, Anna can't escape her vocation and helps search for Cameron Curtis, a missing girl who could still be alive. Anna's trauma as well as that of earlier victims, and the hunt for Cameron and for Polly, entwine to immerse readers in a misty world of pain, longing, and sometimes victory and redemption. McLain offers readers flashes of insight-watch out for personal blind spots, for example, as what's too close to see might be what's most perilous-that will linger after the last, tension-packed pages of this thoughtful work. Recommend to patrons seeking a next read after Michelle McNamara's I'll Be Gone in the Dark (2019) and the TV show Criminal Minds, which, like Anna, profiles victims to find killers. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.





A San Francisco homicide detective traumatized by personal tragedy and the many horrors she's encountered returns to Mendocino, once her childhood sanctuary, only to be drawn into the case of a missing girl and the unresolved mysteries of her own past. "For as long as I could remember, I‚??d had reasons to disappear," Anna Hart muses. "I was an expert at making myself invisible." Orphaned at 8 and reared in a series of foster homes, this police detective has an unwavering commitment to the cases of missing and murdered children and an uncanny "radar for victims." Then her own family is shattered by a death she might have prevented. Anna flees to Mendocino, where a foster family once provided not only love, but also survival lessons and where Anna agrees to help a local sheriff‚?"also a childhood friend‚?"as he investigates the case of a teenage girl who seems to have been abducted. But the disappearance of Cameron Curtis recalls for Anna a more distant Mendocino mystery: the vanishing of a childhood friend of hers in 1972. And when two more girls are abducted shortly after Cameron‚?"one of them the real-life Polly Klaas‚?"the stage seems set for a predictable serial killer hunt. But McLain largely avoids that well-trodden path to craft instead a psychological thriller that deftly evokes both the entrancing landscape of the Mendocino hills and the rough terrain of shattered lives. "No one can save anyone," the haunted Anna laments at the outset, but the novel‚??s convincing outcome, while grimly realistic, permits her to think otherwise. Most memorable of all are the girls, past and present, who emerge here not as convenient victims but as vulnerable, believable characters. A muted yet thrilling multilayered mystery enriched by keen psychological and emotional insight. Copyright Kirkus 2021 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.





A San Francisco homicide detective traumatized by personal tragedy and the many horrors she's encountered returns to Mendocino, once her childhood sanctuary, only to be drawn into the case of a missing girl and the unresolved mysteries of her own past. "For as long as I could remember, I‚??d had reasons to disappear," Anna Hart muses. "I was an expert at making myself invisible." Orphaned at 8 and reared in a series of foster homes, this police detective has an unwavering commitment to the cases of missing and murdered children and an uncanny "radar for victims." Then her own family is shattered by a death she might have prevented. Anna flees to Mendocino, where a foster family once provided not only love, but also survival lessons and where Anna agrees to help a local sheriff‚?"also a childhood friend‚?"as he investigates the case of a teenage girl who seems to have been abducted. But the disappearance of Cameron Curtis recalls for Anna a more distant Mendocino mystery: the vanishing of a childhood friend of hers in 1972. And when two more girls are abducted shortly after Cameron‚?"one of them the real-life Polly Klaas‚?"the stage seems set for a predictable serial killer hunt. But McLain largely avoids that well-trodden path to craft instead a psychological thriller that deftly evokes both the entrancing landscape of the Mendocino hills and the rough terrain of shattered lives. "No one can save anyone," the haunted Anna laments at the outset, but the novel‚??s convincing outcome, while grimly realistic, permits her to think otherwise. Most memorable of all are the girls, past and present, who emerge here not as convenient victims but as vulnerable, believable characters. A muted yet thrilling multilayered mystery enriched by keen psychological and emotional insight. Copyright Kirkus 2021 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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