Mary Kubica | Local Woman Missing

local woman missing mary kubica

The Book: 

Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica, 2021

The Characters: 

Josh and Meredith, and their children Delilah and Leo
Couple Kate and Bea, their next-door neighbors

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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The Plot (from Goodreads):

Shelby Tebow is the first to go missing. Not long after, Meredith Dickey and her six-year-old daughter, Delilah, vanish just blocks away from where Shelby was last seen, striking fear into their once-peaceful community. Are these incidents connected? After an elusive search that yields more questions than answers, the case eventually goes cold.

Now, eleven years later, Delilah shockingly returns. Everyone wants to know what happened to her, but no one is prepared for what they’ll find…

In this smart and chilling thriller, master of suspense and New York Times bestselling author Mary Kubica takes domestic secrets to a whole new level, showing that some people will stop at nothing to keep the truth buried. 

Click here for book spoilers for Local Woman Missing
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read Local Woman Missing, I suggest you turn back now.

Meredith was Shelby’s doula, and was helping Shelby sue her OB for medical malpractice.

The Twist:

The girl from the beginning of the book, who came home to Josh and Leo, was not Delilah. She had been kidnapped by copycat killers who wanted the notoriety that Meredith’s killer had received. Her kidnappers had convinced her that she was Delilah, but her real name was Carly.

Bea was the killer. She and Meredith were driving home drunk one evening and Bea hit Shelby and killed her. She forced Meredith to help her hide the body, and staged it to look like a sexual assault had occurred. Meredith couldn’t live with the guilt and was about to come clean, so Bea killed her too. Unfortunately, Delilah witnessed Bea attacking her mother. Bea kept her in her soundproofed backyard studio for 11 years. She was relatively unharmed. 

The Ending:

Bea is arrested, as well as Carly’s kidnappers. Delilah returns to her family, and they all try to move on.

The Review: 

I’ve always loved Mary Kubica, and this read certainly did not disappoint. The alternating timelines took a little bit of getting used to, but once I got the hang of it this thriller pulled me in and begged to be finished in one sitting. There were so many breadcrumbs and red herrings, and I had no idea who I suspected! I thought the plot was extremely clever.

Leo’s perspective was my favorite, as he struggled with how to connect with his long-lost sister and how to help her assimilate back into their lives. He had so much compassion for Delilah and how hard the transition was for her, way more than any of the adults. I also loved Meredith in her early chapters, how she advocated for her clients and insured they were able to give informed consent.

The ending was definitely unexpected, but I took off half a star for a couple things being a little too convenient. If you’ve read it, I’m sure you know what I’m alluding to! I understand that in order for thrillers to be exciting there is always going to be a little bit of the outlandish, but some logistics of the ending were a little too hard to believe. I still found the story enjoyable and compelling.

Overall, an entertaining, twisty thriller that fans of Mary Kubica will love.

Spoiler review comments
I think a few things were a little too convenient and required some suspension of belief. Some girl only tangentially connected to Delilah just happened to notice that Delilah’s chin had changed? 

And Delilah sat in the shed watching her family through a hole for years, but couldn’t somehow signal her location to her father and brother or to Kate? As she grew, she never tried to overpower Bea and escape? They lightly touched on her Stockholm syndrome, but I thought it was a little hard to believe that she just waited there for 11 years to be found.

Regardless, I enjoyed the story and definitely never suspected Bea until she got in the car drunk.

local woman missing mary kubica

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