Review: When You Disappeared by John Marrs

Print Length: 350 pages
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (September 7, 2017)

From When Catherine wakes up alone one morning, she thinks her husband has gone for a run before work. But Simon never makes it to the office. His running shoes are by the front door. Nothing is missing—except him.
Catherine knows Simon must be in trouble. He wouldn’t just leave her. He wouldn’t leave the children.
But Simon knows the truth—about why he left and what he’s done. He knows things about his marriage that it would kill Catherine to find out. The memories she holds onto are lies.
While Catherine faces a dark new reality at home, Simon’s halfway around the world, alive and thriving. He’s doing whatever it takes to stay one step ahead of the truth.
But he can’t hide forever, and when he reappears twenty-five years later, Catherine will finally learn who he is.
And wish she’d stayed in the dark.
Revised edition: Previously published as The Wronged Sons, this edition of When You Disappeared includes editorial revisions.


My Rating: 1 star out of 5

I thought the premise of this book sounded really interesting. However, this book was an absolute train wreck. You know, the kind where you know you shouldn't look, but you can't seem to help yourself? 

Due to the nature of the story itself, I knew going into it that I would be reading about events that happened in the past as well as events happening in the present. However, this story not only bounces between events that took place years ago, and now, but it also bounces between points of view as well, and it isn't always clear whose point of view we are experiencing. It often became confusing to the point where as I reader I became frustrated with having to constantly re-read passage to try and decipher just whose thoughts I was reading. 

The second issue I have with this story is the pacing. Even as the author is trying to lay the groundwork for the "big reveal", I felt like the story just went on and on and round and round. There were so many little details that I didn't feel were needed. They added nothing to the overall experience, just wasted more of the reader's time. A lot of Simon's actions, and reactions to things as we watch him exploits just made no sense. There was more at work than just what we were told for him to do the things he did. 

And oh Simon, how I hated thee. There was literally NOTHING redeeming about him. NOTHING. What he did even before he left was utterly despicable. He was a horrid human being that deserved every bad thing that happened to him. 

My last hope for this story was the ending. I was hoping for something that would blow me out of the water, was also a huge disappointment. Not only was I left thinking how utterly stupid these characters were, the actual ending really did not bring closure to anyone. 

Overall, I am sure there are people to whom this story will appeal, I was just not one of them. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

                        When You Disappeared is available from

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