Hannah is in her early thirties and works as a senior manager for a firm of accountants. Attending a training course, she is thrilled when she’s told that she is being considered for promotion to director, and rushes home to tell her partner, Matt, the good news, stopping to buy champagne on the way home.
But when she gets home, Matt isn’t there, and neither are any of his possessions. Everything he has bought has gone, and the house looks exactly as it did before he moved in. Even the books she’d moved into the loft to make some room for him are now back on the shelves. To make matters worse, there are no photos of him left on her phone, his contact details have been deleted, his Facebook account deactivated. It’s like he never existed.
Determined to find Matt, Hannah begins to investigate his disappearance. But while she is hunting for Matt, someone is playing games with Hannah – moving things around the house, making silent calls. Is it Matt tormenting her, or is something more sinister going on?
Gone Without a Trace is one of the novels I picked up at the Headline Blogger Night – I was intrigued by the premise of someone disappearing so completely that you might wonder if they’d ever existed. I didn’t expect to become so completely enthralled by this novel, however. I absolutely loved it, and read it over the course of a single day.
Hannah is a fascinating character, and you feel a great deal of sympathy for her plight, coming to hate Matt in the process. There are often signs that a relationship is coming to an end, and yet Hannah can’t think of anything that she should have picked up to as a warning sign. They hadn’t been arguing more than usual, they were both happy in their work and lives, and there weren’t any signs that he was having an affair. As far as Hannah is concerned, he’s abandoned her completely, and she, understandably, wants to know why.
As you might expect, Hannah’s predicament soon begins to affect her in other ways, and she begins to struggle at work – missing important deadlines and not checking work correctly – and stops seeing friends, with the exception of her closest friend Katie, as she puts everything into finding Matt. There are times when you want to tell her to just let it go, such is the impact on her life, although I was so drawn in to the scenario that I REALLY wanted to know why he’d left in such a way.
Gone Without a Trace that starts relatively slowly, but the pace soon quickens as Hannah’s search becomes increasingly desperate and frantic, and as a reader I found that I was completely hooked, and I think that fans of psychological thrillers will absolutely love it. I didn’t expect the final outcome at all, and I absolutely loved the ending. There are many books that are published with the bold claim to be the next The Girl on the Train et cetera, but this is one of the few that deserves that accolade.
Gone Without a Trace is available to purchase as an eBook (currently at the bargain price of £1.99 on Amazon) and will be published in paperback on 23 March. Many thanks (once again!) to the team at Headline for the opportunity to read and review this novel.