Welcome to Vanishing Falls, a small town deep in the Tasmanian rainforest with a storied past. The town’s showpiece, built in the 1800s, is its calendar house—an eccentric, lavish mansion. These days, the house is occupied by Jack Lily, a prominent art collector and landowner, and his wife, Celia…or at least, it was. For the pretty and popular Celia has suddenly disappeared. Inspired by the sparsely populated island of Tasmania and its isolated communities, VANISHING FALLS by Poppy Gee (on sale 8/4/2020) is an addictive literary concoction that deftly weaves an empowering narrative of a social misfit into a gritty mystery. At the center of this atmospheric thriller is an utterly charming sleuth: Joelle Smithton. Joelle knows that a few folks in Vanishing Falls believe that she’s simple-minded. It’s true that her brain works a little differently—a legacy of shocking childhood trauma. But she sees far more than most people realize, and remembers details that others cast away. For instance, she knows that Celia’s husband, Jack, has connections to unsavory local characters that he’s desperate to keep hidden. But he’s not the only one in town with something to conceal. Even Joelle’s own husband, Brian, a butcher, is acting suspiciously. While the police flounder, unable to find Celia’s body, Joelle is gradually parsing the truth from the gossip she hears and from the simple gestures and statements that can unwittingly reveal so much.
Just as the water from the falls disappears into the ground, gushing away through subterranean creeks, the secrets in Vanishing Falls are pulsing through the town, about to converge. And when they do, Joelle must summon the courage to reveal what really happened to Celia, even if it means exposing her own past. With one of the most memorable heroines in fiction, VANISHING FALLS captivates from its first page to the shocking, electrifying ending.
“Fans of Jane Harper’s thrillers and their atmospheric Australian settings will be riveted by this gripping novel set in a small town deep in the Tasmanian rain forest…The reader will be hard put to figure this one out and will be amazed by the unique and amazingly resilient protagonist, who is revealed in clear and steadily paced prose.” —BOOKLIST
“Intriguing…Agatha Christie fans will welcome the inhabitants of Vanishing Falls as kin to the residents of Miss Marple’s St. Mary’s Mead.”
“This literary thriller paints as vivid a landscape as any book coming out this summer, setting its story in a mysterious town within a Tasmanian rainforest…Gee creates a lush, tantalizing world that readers will want to travel into deeper and deeper.”
Poppy Gee lives with her husband and children in Brisbane, Australia.
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I’ll be back with a review soon! Very excited to read it!