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TITLE: Look For Her
AUTHOR: Emily Winslow
Overall: ★★★★ (4)
Everyone loves a beautiful missing girl…
“Look For Her ratchets up the tension while also offering moments of sheer grace.”-Riley Sager, bestselling author of Final Girls
“Beautifully written with an expertly twisty, surprising story, this is a must-read!”
— Chevy Stevens, New York Times bestselling author of Never Let You Go
Lilling might seem like an idyllic English village, but it’s home to a dark history. In 1976, a teenage girl named Annalise Wood disappeared, and though her body was later discovered, the culprit was never found. Decades later, Annalise maintains a perverse kind of celebrity, and is still the focus of grief, speculation, and for one young woman, a disturbing, escalating jealousy.
When DNA linked to the Annalise murder unexpectedly surfaces, cold case detective Morris Keene and his former partner, Chloe Frohmann, hope to finally bring closure to this traumatized community. But the new evidence instead undoes the case’s only certainty: the buried body that had long ago been confidently identified as Annalise may be someone else entirely, and instead of answers, the investigators face only new puzzles.
Whose body was unearthed all those years ago, and what happened to the real Annalise? Is someone interfering with the investigation? And is there a link to a present-day drowning with eerie connections? With piercing insight and shocking twists, Emily Winslow explores the dark side of sensationalized crime in this haunting psychological thriller.
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MY 2 CENTS:
WRITING (★★★★): I’m not going to lie, when I started this book the writing style threw me off. The first chapter starts with a therapy session transcript. It’s all dialogue, but instead of reading both sides of the conversation you only read one; Annalise Williams, the patients. It makes for a very strange, jarring read. It didn’t flow.
With that said, it does grow on you.
With each chapter, you meet new characters and hear (or rather read) the story through their perspective. When all is said and done, we get to learn about what is happening through the words of four different characters; Annalise Williams, Dr. Laurie Ambrose, Morris Keene, and Chloe Frohmann.
Once I got into the flow of Winslow’s writing style, this was a fast paced, exciting read. I loved the twist at the end, no I won’t give it away, but definitely worth the read to find out.
STORY (★★★★): Look for Her is the 4th book in the Keene and Frohmann series… which would have been nice to know when I started reading it, but I had no idea and I hadn’t read any of the Keene and Frohmann series before picking up Look For Her (Solely based on the cover) and reading it.
Honestly, the story stands on its own. I’m not sure what the first three books were about, but I think this one is easily enjoyable as a stand-alone book. That doesn’t mean I don’t intend to pick up the first three books in the series, because I most certainly do. If this one was this good, why should I expect the others to be any less entertaining?
Look For Her is a murder mystery/thriller… not horror, like the cover and title might make it sound. It takes the reader on a journey to solving a cold case when new DNA evidence is discovered. I love reading stories where the criminals think they’ve gotten away with something only to find that new evidence, years later, links them to the crime… I’m not going to say that’s what happened in this novel, but the idea of a cold case being reopened is very intriguing and Winslow delivered a great story.
CHARACTERS (★★★★): This story takes the reader on twists and turns, not only in plot but also in the character development and how Winslow weaves the characters lives together in unsuspecting ways.
Although I didn’t have the benefit of reading the first 3 books in the series, I didn’t feel like I was at a disadvantage when it came to understanding the characters. Winslow does a beautiful job of feeding the reader bits of backstory throughout the book without it sounding preachy or overdone.
I’m excited that there are more books in the Keene and Frohmann series so I can get to know the characters even more.
APPEARANCE (★★★★): The cover is beautiful, simple, and draws you in with an almost mysterious nature. You can make out woods and the reflection of a lake, but not much more. It doesn’t give away anything about the story, but does make you wonder where the “HER” in the title ‘Look For Her’ may have gone or where she may be.
Emily Winslow is an American writer living in Cambridge, England. She’s the author of the novels The Whole World, The Start of Everything, and The Red House, and the memoir Jane Doe January (HarperCollins, May 2016).
“You can’t control what other people do, Morris. You can only control whether you deserve respect, not whether he gives it to you.” Chloe Frohmann to Morris Keene.
“She only became the important ‘Annalise’ in the eyes of others, once she was gone. She became a kind of symbol, a kind of idol, to strangers, and to me, but she didn’t get to experience being that herself. I don’t think anyone ever gets to experience being that, even if they’re alive and award that it’s happening in other people’s minds. That’s something you can think about others, but you can’t ever be inside of it. When you’re inside yourself, you know better.” Anna Williams during her last therapy session.
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Bonus Features at the end of the book:
- About the Author
- Meet Emily Winslow
- Neighbours in Crime: A Conversation with Sophie Hannah
- About the Book
- Read on…
- Have You Read? (More from Emily Winslow)
OTHER BOOKS BY EMILY WINSLOW:
The Red House: A Keene and Frohmann Mystery
Maxwell’s fiancée, Imogen, is obsessed with her idyllic childhood in Cambridge, England, which was cut short by her parents’ deaths at a young age, causing her and her siblings to be adopted by different families. With plans to move back there, the young couple travel to the city together, where Imogen’s excitement is offset by Max’s deeply unsettling déjà vu: despite having no history there, something about Cambridge is all too familiar. As the wedding planning begins and Imogen’s preoccupation with her lost younger brother intensifies, Maxwell is forced to consider that he may actually be Imogen’s missing brother. Worse, he fears that she may already know that he is, and be marrying him anyway.
Meanwhile, Detective Chief Inspector Morris Keene languishes at home, struggling with a debilitating injury and post-traumatic stress, and his former partner, Detective Inspector Chloe Frohmann, investigates a suicide case in which Morris’ daughter is suspected of having a hand. When buried skeletons are discovered next to an old barn, the suicide is linked back to Imogen’s childhood, revealing horrors of the past and triggering new dangers in the present.
The third book by talented author Emily Winslow and featuring Cambridgeshire detectives Morris Keene and Chloe Frohmann, The Red House is a suspenseful and skillfully written mystery, twisting and unraveling in deft and unusual ways as the simultaneous investigations raise the question: for how long can you call your findings pure coincidence?
The Whole World: A Keene and Frohmann Mystery
Set in the richly evoked pathways and environs of Cambridge, England, The Whole World unearths the desperate secrets kept by its many complex characters—students, professors, detectives, husbands, and mothers—that lead to deadly consequences.
Two Americans studying at Cambridge University, Polly and Liv, who are both strangers to their new home and both running away from painful memories, become quick friends. They find a common interest in Nick, a handsome, charming, seemingly guileless graduate student. For a time, the three engage in harmless flirtation, growing closer while doing research for Professor Gretchen Paul, the blind and devoted daughter of a semi-famous novelist. But a betrayal, followed by Nick’s inexplicable disappearance, brings long-buried histories to the surface.
The investigation, helmed by Detective Chief Inspector Morris Keene and his partner, Detective Sergeant Chloe Frohmann, raises countless questions—from the crime that scars Polly’s past to the searing truths concealed in family photographs which Gretchen cannot see. Soon the three young lovers will discover how little they know about one another, and how devastating the ripples of long-ago actions can be.
At once a sensual and irresistible mystery and a haunting work of penetrating insight and emotional depth, The Whole World marks the beginning of Emily Winslow’s series of psychological suspense.
The Start of Everything: A Keene and Frohmann Mystery
Outside the city of Cambridge, England, the badly decomposed body of a young woman has washed up in the flooded fens. Detective Inspector Chloe Frohmann and her partner, Detective Chief Inspector Morris Keene, must identify the victim and uncover what malice hid her there.
Across the hallowed paths and storied squares of Cambridge University, the detectives follow scant clues toward the identity of the dead girl. Eventually, their search leads them to Deeping House, an imposing country manor where, over the course of one Christmas holiday, three families, two nannies, and one young writer were snowed in together. Chloe begins to unravel a tangled web of passions and secrets, of long-buried crimes and freshly committed horrors. But in order to reveal the truth—about mysterious letters, devastating liaisons, and murder—she may have to betray her partner.
In this stunning psychological thriller, Emily Winslow has crafted a literary prism. With uncommon perceptiveness, she tells her story through the eyes of many intricately drawn characters: a troubled young woman in the University’s dead-letter office, an astronomy professor full of regret, an anxious man willing to kill to keep his past hidden. As their beautifully rendered stories coalesce, a piercing and haunting truth emerges. Masterful and memorizing, The Start of Everything will captivate to the very last page.
Jane Doe January
On the morning of September 12, 2013, a fugitive task force arrested Arthur Fryar at his apartment in Brooklyn. His DNA, entered in the FBI’s criminal database after a drug conviction, had been matched to evidence from a rape in Pennsylvania years earlier. Over the next year, Fryar and his lawyer fought his extradition and prosecution for the rape—and another like it—which occurred in 1992. The victims—one from January of that year, the other from November—were kept anonymous in the media. This is the story of Jane Doe January.
Emily Winslow was a young drama student at Carnegie Mellon University’s elite conservatory in Pittsburgh when a man brutally attacked and raped her in January 1992. While the police’s search for her rapist proved futile, Emily reclaimed her life. Over the course of the next two decades, she fell in love, married, had two children, and began writing mystery novels set in her new hometown of Cambridge, England. Then, in fall 2013, she received shocking news—the police had found her rapist.
This is her intimate memoir—the story of a woman’s traumatic past catching up with her, in a country far from home, surrounded by people who have no idea what she’s endured. Caught between past and present, and between two very different cultures, the inquisitive and restless crime novelist searches for clarity. Beginning her own investigation, she delves into Fryar’s family and past, reconnects with the detectives of her case, and works with prosecutors in the months leading to trial.
As she recounts her long-term quest for closure, Winslow offers a heartbreakingly honest look at a vicious crime—and offers invaluable insights into the mind and heart of a victim.