She’s Not There by P.J. Parrish
ISBN: 9781503945043 (paperback)
ASIN: B00U0N5GDI (Kindle edition)
Publication date: September 8, 2015
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
They say it’s better to battle the devil you know. But what if you don’t recognize him before it’s too late?
She knows her name is Amelia, but after waking up in a hospital battered and bruised with just the clothes on her back, it’s all she knows. Unable to piece together her shattered memory, she’s haunted by a vision: menacing faces and voices implying her nightmare is far from over.
Relying only on her wits and her will to live, Amelia becomes a fugitive from a mysterious man, and a life she can’t even remember. But the past she’s fleeing has no intention of letting her go.
Amelia Tobias wakes up in the hospital with no real memory of where she is, who she is, or what happened to her. All she can remember is a dark-haired man and an overwhelming sense of fear. When her husband arrives at the hospital all she can think to do is run. Alex Tobias is a well-known lawyer in Fort Lauderdale and when his wife runs away from her hospital bed his only concern is finding her and getting her the help she needs. Alex and his business partner hire Clay Buchanan, a well-regarded skip tracer, to track down Amelia in She’s Not There by P.J. Parrish.
Amelia Tobias awakens in a hospital. She’s suffered a severe head injury, possibly due to a car accident and has no memories of who she is or what has happened. Some memories return after she awakens and she knows that her name is Amelia and that she’s in danger. When she leaves the hospital in Florida, she pawns her engagement ring and hops on a bus. Amelia stays a few days in Georgia before running away again. She has vague memories of her family and her life, but she isn’t sure of anything except she needs to run. She stops in Iowa before being tracked down again by Buchanan. The confrontation with Buchanan ends with her shooting him and she runs again, landing in California. The only family she has is her husband who she’s afraid of, and her grandmother who’s suffering from dementia. While Amelia is being chased by her demons and seeking to regain her memories, Buchanan is running away from his demons and trying to forget his past. Can either of them outrun their pasts?
I found She’s Not There to be a fast-paced and enjoyable read. The main storyline is Amelia running away from her husband, but there’s a lot more going on. As Amelia recovers memories, the reader is given her backstory as a ballet dancer, the deaths of her parents and brother, and even her marriage to Alex. Clay Buchanan is a well-known skip tracer, but the disappearance of his wife and infant son continue to haunt him. His in-laws obtained custody of his young daughter after his wife and son’s disappearance, so he no longer has “family” just his career. Clay’s past and current circumstances become a minor storyline that is continued until the very end of the story. Of course there’s a lot more going on that just Amelia running away and Buchanan looking for her, but if I told you everything you wouldn’t need to read the book. She’s Not There is a great choice for mystery-suspense readers or those simply looking for a good story to read. She’s Not There is the first book I’ve read by P.J. Parrish, but it definitely won’t be my last.
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