How Quickly She Disappears is an interesting debut with promise – but ultimately falls a bit flat. The overall plot is interesting and eerie. Elisabeth’s character starts off strong but I found myself growing more and more frustrated with her as the book went on (this may have been intentional!) The villain does have an underlying creepiness but I thought he could have been a bit more fleshed out.
I did find it tough to determine if the flashbacks were memories or dreams at the beginning (again, this may have been intentional, it’s not necessarily a negative). I did think that through the flashbacks, Elisabeth and Jacqueline seemed older than 11 (Jacqueline especially) so sometimes it was hard to buy that it was the dialogue, thoughts and actions of children.
Elisabeth’s daughter was interesting but there’s a shift in her personality that isn’t much accounted for or explained and seems very abrupt.
It doesn’t seem like setting the book in WWII was really necessary to the story. It did provide challenges that wouldn’t exist if set in modern-day, but the background of the war starting wasn’t important enough of a detail to make a difference.
However, there’s a lot of good bits of writing in this book and I think that with more time and experience, Fleischmann could produce a very compelling thriller. (Also, I cannot give half stars but I would put this solidly as a 2.5.)
Thank you Berkley for the NetGalley ARC.