#25 When You Disappeared by John Marrs

When Catherine wakes up alone one morning, she thinks her husband has gone for a run before work. But Simon never makes it to the office. His running shoes are by the front door. Nothing is missing – except him.

Catherine knows Simon must be in trouble. He wouldn’t just leave her. He wouldn’t leave the children.

But Simon knows the truth – about why he left and what he’d done. He knows things about his marriage that would kill Catherine to find out. The memories she holds onto are lies.

While Catherine faces a dark new reality at home, Simon’s halfway around the world, alive and thriving. He’s doing whatever it takes to stay one step ahead of the truth.

But he can’t hide forever, and when he reappears twenty-five years later, Catherine will finally learn who he is.

And wish she’d stayed in the dark.

Paperback | 337 pages

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (7th September, 2017)

I’m leaping back into Marr’s work. Got this in January 2020, after reading his book ‘The One’. Excited to delve back into his world.

I was hampered at the beginning because this book does change character POV and time POV. This was difficult for me to process and it did slow me down. It took me a good number of pages before I had grounded myself and could read smoothly.

The characters in this book were complicated and fabulous. I am limited in what I can say about them because I don’t want to spoil the book for any potential readers. The main characters though, are Catherine and Simon.

To me, Catherine represented the strength that woman have and that ability to rise from any trouble. She was strong and determined but she also showed her troubles and struggles without a glossy film. She was very relatable and it was easy to stand behind her character.

In contrast, Simon was selfish. He lived in this bubble he’d concocted where the only view point that mattered was his own. He was more than a coward. My feelings towards him remained empty and cold throughout the book.

Easy to visualise. The characters were clearly the main focus and I saw them very vividly.

I like Marr’s books because they make me think, especially about human behaviours. I find his writing style complex, his characters rich and his plot twists unexpected. I will say that in this book, I did guess one of the revealed points right at the beginning of reading the book, which annoyed me slightly (and is the only reason I knocked a star off!)

I feel at home with Marr’s writing. Something just clicks and sends my enjoyment up.

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