Moose’s novel grips from the start, with early scenes of Valerie and Tom’s flirtation blending enticement, sharp dialogue, and red flags that it makes sense that Valerie overlooks. It’s the sort of intimate thriller that’s hard to put down, with high personal stakes and a pace swift enough to make it irresistible for readers to keep the pages turning. The plot continually surprises, as Tom targets Valerie and her family for reasons that involve her work as a writer, kicking off a wrenching odyssey that will find Valerie kidnapped and in ever more remote locations—and ever-increasing danger—all as Tom promises that he will make her famous.
A letter from Valerie to her children at the book’s start smartly frames the story that follows as its novelist protagonist’s explanation to her children of what happened, a choice that ramps up the sense of pressing disclosure—When You Read This I’ll Be Gone has the exciting feeling of a ripped-from-the-headlines tale rather than one of pure fiction. Within this thriller tale of abduction lies a second, heart-rending tale of a good woman manipulated to an underworld, aided and abetted by a society determined to turn a blind eye to the criminal behavior of young, promising men.
Takeaway: Knockout thriller of a woman novelist and the man who targets her.
Comparable Titles: Lisa Jewell’s None of This Is True, Stephen King’s Misery.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A-