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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Follow Her Down

Narrator: Nicol Zanzarella

Brilliance Audio

ISBN: 978-1662521683

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

Publication Date: 06/04/2024

Format: Paperback

My Rating: 5 Stars (ARC)



Decades of doubt, fear, and suspicion won’t let a woman overcome her trauma in a riveting novel of suspense by the Amazon Charts bestselling author of Jane Doe and The Hook.


The murder of Elise Rockwood’s sister shattered her family. Their mother’s anxiety kept her housebound. Elise’s paranoid brother, Kyle, saw conspiracies everywhere. Elise numbed her grief in an aimless lifestyle that left her emotionally broken. All of them are victims. A local boy eventually confessed, but the damage was already done.


Years later, Elise is reinventing herself. She’s bought a mountain lodge to be close to home again and to find stability. Not even an email from her ex tempts her into revisiting the past. But Kyle won’t let it go. He still believes there’s more to their sister’s murder―and the confession―than meets the eye. When Elise’s ex is found dead in the same forest where her sister went missing decades before, Elise is finally willing to listen.


The traumas of the past are reemerging. So is the truth. Elise’s greatest fear now is who will survive it.









My Review


From the talented Victoria Helen Stone, author of the popular Jane Doe series (favorite author), comes a dazzling new gritty psychological crime suspense thriller, FOLLOW HER DOWN, exploring the aftermath of a crime and the lives of those left behind.


The atmospheric setting follows the story of Elise Rockwood (35) and the trauma of her teenage sister, Robin's disappearance 25 years earlier. When her former lover is found dead in the same river where her sister was last seen, it sparks a conspiracy investigation led by her brother, Kyle, for an explosive, gripping tale that will have you begging for a sequel!


About...


Twenty-some years ago, Elise Rockwood's older sister, Robin, was murdered. The grief, anger, and aftermath of the trauma wore heavily on the family. The mom's anxiety (agoraphobic and paranoid), the brother, Kyle's conspiracy theories, and Elsie's drinking, addictions, and empty relationships took a toll on all of them. Kyle still sometimes went dark and spiraled into obsessions. Their mother's terror had been real and heartbreaking.


Robin was 18 when she disappeared after a campground party in the woods. Kyle was 13, and Elise was 10. They all became obsessed. Some guy who had gotten too serious later confessed.


Elise is back on track and owns a small cabin rental/motel business, Creekside Cabins, near her mom and brother, in the same wooded area where her sister vanished. Forty minutes from Tahoe with a semicircle of nine tiny homes with forest, creek, and river. She handles all the work herself and has some help during high season.


Then, a man goes missing from the trailhead. He was an old friend and lover, an older married guy. Silicon Valley and rich. They broke up two years earlier. The cops suspect foul play and are questioning Elsie. Then she finds out he is dead. They pulled him from the Mokelumne River. The same river that had hidden her sister's body from her years ago. Now Christian? The cops found out about the affair. What about the wife?


There was a recent email. There are too many parallels with her sister. What were the chances? But Kyle won't let it go. He still believes there's more to their sister's murder―and the confession―than meets the eye. Then Christian's partner winds up being shot to death. What does Silicon Valley have to do with Willow Canyon?


How are they all connected? Will Elise listen to her brother now?


EXPLOSIVE! The past and present collide. Are the cases related? The traumas of the past are reemerging. So is the truth. Is she in danger?


My thoughts...


Atmospheric. Riveting. Binge-worthy! Mix in an unreliable narrator, a twisty plot, compelling characters, intense suspense, and that ENDING?! Explosive. Sequel, please.


FOLLOW HER DOWN is gritty, dark, and character-driven. The author cleverly keeps you guessing about each character's motivations. Stone brilliantly follows Elise's journey from years of living with grief and trauma of her sister's disappearance to another death, and she is a suspect.


From conspiracy theories of the brother into a world of madness (because he needed something more significant to explain his suffering), the sprinkling of letters (past) from the sister Robin to Elsie, to the doubt, fears, suspicion, grief, and unresolved traumas of the past and present, with secrets, betrayal, and jaw-dropping twists, make this a must-read crime/psychological thriller.


A huge fan of the author, have read all her thriller novels, and FOLLOW HER DOWN is stellar! Stone has published 29 romance and nine suspense novels with this being her tenth. 10th and it is mind-blowing. Get this one on your list!


Recs...


For fans of the author, true crime junkies, complex revenge thrillers, and those of Wendy Walker, Heather Gudenkauf, Joshua Moehling, Mary Kubica, Laura McHugh, Christina McDonald, and Lisa Unger.



Thanks to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I am looking forward to listening to the audiobook (pre-ordered) narrated by Nicol Zanzarella.



@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: June 4, 2024

My Rating: 5 Stars







Praise


“Follow Her Down is compulsively readable and surprisingly moving―with a twist that knocked me off my seat. This one will burrow deep into your muscle.”

―Jess Lourey, Edgar Award–nominated author of The Taken Ones


“Follow Her Down pulled me into a tangled web I didn’t want to get out of! Like any good true crime devotee, I couldn’t help but binge this story and heed Stone’s bidding to ‘follow her down’ a path of distrust, denial, and intrigue all stemming from a decades-old mystery that’s suddenly found new life. Fellow fans of true crime will be spellbound by Stone’s tense, empathetic writing and fascinated by the window she provides into the long-lasting effects on a family that’s found themselves at the center of one of these tragic but enthralling stories.”

―Emily Bleeker, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of When I’m Gone


“A must-read for romantic suspense fans, Follow Her Down delivers nonstop tension and a mind-bending twist. You’ll root for Elise to overcome the traumatic past she’s desperate to escape.” ―Melinda Leigh, Wall Street Journal bestselling author


“Victoria Helen Stone delivers an emotional gut punch of secrets, betrayal, and unresolved trauma in this gritty revenge thriller. You’ll cheer for Elise as her life unravels when she’s forced to confront the one thing she wants to forget―the murder of her sister. The tension in Follow Her Down builds until you’re desperate to see how the pieces fit together―and secretly hoping this won’t be the only book in this world.”

―Darby Kane, internationally bestselling author of Pretty Little Wife and The Engagement Party










About the Author



Victoria Helen Stone is the Amazon Charts bestselling author of The Hook; At the Quiet Edge; The Last One Home; Problem Child; Half Past; False Step; Evelyn, After; and Jane Doe. She is a master of dark intrigue and emotional suspense, with novels published in English, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Hungarian, Lithuanian, German, Czech, Hebrew, Estonian, and Polish, and Jane Doe was optioned by Sony for television.


Victoria writes in her home office high in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah, far from her origins in the flattest plains of Minnesota, Texas, and Oklahoma. She enjoys summer trail hikes in the mountains almost as much as she enjoys staying inside by the fire during winter. Victoria is passionate about dessert, true crime, and her terror of mosquitoes, which have targeted her in a diabolical conspiracy to hunt her down no matter the season. For more information visit www.victoriahelenstone.com.




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