Book Review / Julia Heaberlin / Reviews with Spoilers

Julia Heaberlin | Night Will Find You

The Book: 

Night Will Find You by Julia Heaberlin
Published June 20, 2023 by Flatiron Books
Date read: May 15, 2023

The Characters: 


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The Plot (from Goodreads):

A scientist with a special gift riles a wasp’s nest of conspiracy theories while investigating a cold case in this riveting novel from the acclaimed and bestselling author of Black-Eyed Susans and We Are All the Same in the Dark.

When she was ten, Vivvy Bouchet saved a boy’s life by making an impossible prediction. Ever since, she has been in a life-long battle between the urgent voices in her head and the science she loves. Now a brilliant young astrophysicist, she wants nothing more than to be left alone with the stars in the Big Bend country of Texas.

But the boy she saved, now a Fort Worth cop, has always believed she is psychic—even though she won’t say that word out loud. He is begging her to help solve the high-profile cold case of a little girl who disappeared in broad daylight from the kitchen of her old Victorian house. A body was never found, and her mother sits in prison still loudly proclaiming her innocence. Vivvy reluctantly agrees to try.

When a popular Texas conspiracy theorist podcaster named Bubba Guns finds out about her involvement, he spews conspiracy theories about the case and muddled truths about Vivvy’s murky past. As his listeners spin dangerously out of control, and with her career and the people she loves on the line, Vivvy decides to fight back.

This sharply observed psychological thriller from the acclaimed, bestselling author Julia Heaberlin explores the insidious nature of conspiracy theories and our urge to believe them—especially when it comes to sensationalized cases.

How did Night Will Find You end?

Click here for book spoilers for Night Will Find You
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read Night Will Find You, I suggest you turn back now.

The Reveal:

Bubba Guns was Lizzie’s father, not Nikki’s husband Marcus. Marcus was, however the kidnapper. He had found out from a medical procedure that he was sterile, so he knew Lizzie couldn’t be his. Out of anger towards Nikki he got the idea to kidnap Lizzie and give her to an adoptive family that wouldn’t ask questions about where she came from. Lizzie was alive and well: she was the sister of Joy, Bubba Guns’ assistant. Joy had taken the job to get closer to Bubba to figure out if he was the kidnapper.

Vivvy knew her mother had sent Nikki a letter about the kidnapper before she died, but that a guard named Brando had censored all the important information. Vivvy convinced Brando to tell her what he had censored and why: the kidnapper had called him and blackmailed him into censoring his name from Nikki’s correspondence. Brando took the money to pay for chemo treatments for his sick sister. It all came to a head when Brando told Vivvy to meet him–Marcus double-crossed her, but the cop Sharpe was there to save Vivvy.

The missing girl with the charm bracelet was Sharpe’s sister. She haunted him because he had never solved her case. Sharpe stole the bracelet out of evidence just to have a piece of her, and the police department looked the other way.

The Ending:

Vivvy reconciled with her sister and got over her infatuation with Mike, her brother-in-law whom she’d been in love with as a child. She and Sharpe ended up together.

The Review: 

Thank you to Macmillan Audio for this gifted ALC!

I love the concept of a psychic helping the police solve murders–it was such a fun plot device in the Booking Agents series, so I knew I’d like it in a “more serious” thriller too. 

“But Caroline, I thought you hated magical realism in your thrillers?” Only when the author uses it as the “twist”. In Night Will Find You, the reader knows from the first page that Vivvy has some kind of unexplained power. When I know about the magical realism up front, I’m able to take off my detective hat and just enjoy where the story takes me, believable or not.

I was completely hooked from the start by Heaberlin’s writing, and listening to this audiobook made a long road trip fly by. Vivvy was a great main character: complex, multi-dimensional, empathetic, and with a well-thought-out past. I loved the glimpses into Vivvy’s unusual childhood. The one thing I could have done without was the romance: Vivvy was caught in a bit of a love triangle with an extra leg (not quite a square). I found it confusing and was eager to get back to the cases of the missing girls.

Some spoiler thoughts
While I thought the psychic angle was well done, I especially enjoyed that most if not all of the things Vivvy found out were through real-world investigating, not her powers. She found people through her mother’s diary and by putting together the clues rather than some kind of magical intuition. It made it way more enjoyable that the psychic theme was a fun unique plot point and not a crutch for the twists.

Karissa Vacker is one of my favorite narrators, so of course the audiobook was amazing. I highly recommend listening to this one!

QOTD: Do you believe in psychic power?

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