Where They Found HerGillian Flynn’s Gone Girl inspired a tidal wave of domestic thrillers. Recently, Paula Hawkin’s The Girl on the Train refined the formula. But Kimberly McCreight’s second novel obliterates the formula entirely and is its own beast. Where They Found Her is a tour-de-force of nerve-shredding tension, spiked with revelations that will leave readers aghast, and gasping.

The discovery of the body of an infant near Ridgedale’s prestigious university campus shakes the town’s citizens to their core, unearthing long-buried secrets, and scrubbing away the town’s pre-existing sheen.

Where They Found Her follows three women on very separate, but ultimately connected journeys. Molly Sanderson is a freelance reporter for The Ridgedale Reader and is still recovering from her the loss of her own baby. She’s hardly the editor’s first choice to cover the story, not only because of her past lost, but because she’s still very green – but circumstances mean Molly’s all he’s got, and she is determined to see the story through despite protestations from her husband who fears it may reinstate her depression.  Then there’s Sandy, whose hellish upbringing with her mother hasn’t dampened her intellectuality and capacity to achieve greatness. But when her mother vanishes, Sandy is forced into action, desperately searching for her, fearing the worst, both their futures on the line. Finally, PTA president Barbara is startled by the abrupt deterioration of her son’s temperament. Always a quiet and conscientious child, he is suddenly volatile, prone to frightening outbursts. It’s like he’s seen something, witnessed something so terrible that it has fixed in his mind, a darkness that refuses to dissolve…

Through these three perspectives Kimberly McCreight unravels the mystery of the baby’s identity and its ties to key figures from the Ridgedale community, both present and past. Taut and pacey, Where They Found Her is a thriller with plenty of heart, featuring the baroque twists and red-herrings readers expect, but won’t be able to anticipate the specifics of. The Girl on the Train set the bar very high at the start of the year. I reckon Where They Found Her is a cut above.

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