Ashley Flowers / Book Review / Reviews with Spoilers

Ashley Flowers | All Good People Here

The Book: 

All Good People Here by Ashley Flowers
Published August 16, 2022 by Bantam
Date read: August 10, 2022

The Characters: 

Margot

Rating

Buy it on Bookshop.org | Amazon


The Plot (from Goodreads):

Everyone from Wakarusa, Indiana, remembers the case of January Jacobs, who was found dead in a ditch hours after her family awoke to find her gone. Margot Davies was six at the time, the same age as January—and they were next-door neighbors. In the twenty years since, Margot has grown up, moved away, and become a big-city journalist, but she’s always been haunted by the fear that it could’ve been her. And the worst part is, January’s killer has never been brought to justice.

When Margot returns home to help care for her sick uncle, it feels like walking into a time capsule. Wakarusa is exactly how she remembered: genial, stifled, secretive. Then news breaks about five-year-old Natalie Clark from the next town over, who’s gone missing under eerily similar circumstances. With all the old feelings rushing back, Margot vows to find Natalie and solve January’s murder once and for all.

But the police, the family, the townspeople—they all seem to be hiding something. And the deeper Margot digs into Natalie’s disappearance, the more resistance she encounters, and the colder January’s case feels. Could the killer still be out there? Could it be the same person who kidnapped Natalie? And what will it cost to finally discover what truly happened that night?

Click here for book spoilers for All Good People Here
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read All Good People Here, I suggest you turn back now.

The Twist:

Krissy woke up in the night to a crash and found January at the bottom of the basement stairs, with Jace crouching over her body. When Jace saw Krissy, he just asked, “Can we play tomorrow, Mommy? Just you and me?”

When Margot found Jace and interviewed him, Jace said that he had woken up in the night to find January missing from her room. He looked for her in their parents room, where Krissy and Billy were both sleeping, but eventually found her at the bottom of the basement stairs. He threw his Etch-A-Sketch down the stairs to try to wake her up–this was the crash Krissy heard–but then went downstairs to her. He touched her bloody nose and wiped it off on his pajamas.

Krissy thought Jace had done it, and staged the scene to look like a break-in to protect him. She dumped January’s body too. When Jace admitted to Krissy what had happened, she supposedly killed herself.

Jace thought January had an imaginary friend called Elephant Wallace, but that was someone that Margot actually knew (Elliot Wallace). While investigating Elliot, Margot found a picture of Luke at one of January’s performances. Luke had early-onset dementia, and in an episode where he thought Margot was his deceased wife Rebecca, he told her he was worried that Margot might find out “what really happened to January”.

Margot searched Luke’s office and found a collection of January’s dance programs.

Billy wasn’t the twins’ father- it was Dave, their high school friend, who Krissy had been cheating on him with. Dave was Luke…I guessed it!! There was that weird focus on Krissy’s friends’ nicknames in a flashback. That’s why he kept all of January’s programs and why he lied about knowing them.

Jodi kidnapped Margot to tell her the truth about Krissy. She was the one who wrote the message on Billy’s barn. Jodi thought Luke had killed Krissy, but Margot realized there was a reasonable explanation for all Luke’s actions. Jodi and Margot broke into Elliot’s storage unit together and found moments from a handful of little girls’ deaths, including January, Natalie, and Polly.

The Ending:

Despite the evidence framing Elliot, Margot realized that someone had placed a piece of January’s baby blanket in her hand after she died. Billy confessed. He had also killed Krissy once she found out what Billy did. She wrote it in her letter to Jace, but Billy killed her and took the part of the letter explaining.

The Review: 

Thank you to PRH Audio for a complimentary ALC in exchange for an honest review!

My cousins are obsessed with Crime Junkies! On our way to our summer vacation in Maine, they put on the most recent episode–and imagine my surprise when I heard Ashley plug her new book, and I thought it sounded familiar. Turns out it was waiting for me in my PRHA app, without me having made the connection.

I do love a good podcast thriller, but unfortunately ALL GOOD PEOPLE HERE wasn’t laid out that way. Instead, we follow a big-city journalist as she returns home to her small town to care for her ailing uncle. A recent case in the news has stirred up the town’s memory of a child’s disappearance when Margot was little, and the case spurs Margot to investigate her friend’s disappearance.

I definitely enjoyed the past timeline a lot more than the present. January’s case was interesting and held my interest throughout. The plot was resolved in a satisfying manner, although I did have a couple of questions at the end. In the present timeline, though, I never felt like I connected to Margot and her intentions. I was a little surprised that the past and present kidnappings were never compared, despite the present inspiring her to dig into the past.

This was an enjoyable popcorn thriller, and I will certainly be watching out for Ashley’s next book. I’d like to see her to a podcast-themed thriller, since she’s obviously an expert true crime podcaster, but I can also appreciate wanting to branch out a little bit!

Audio Review: I love when the author narrates their own book! Ashley Flowers certainly has the experience necessary to pull it off. She teamed up with Brittany Pressley and Karissa Vacker, two of my favorites, to create a great audiobook production. This book worked really well on audio, and I definitely recommend listening to it.

QOTD: What’s your favorite podcast? Have you listened to Ashley’s?

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