Review: The Disappeared Girl

The Disappeared Girl, Martin J. Smith

Published March 4, 2014 by Diversion Books

255 pages

Source: NetGalley

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Jim Christensen and his late wife adopted their daughter Melissa when she was 5 years-old.  The international adoption was facilitated by Jim’s brother-in-law who worked in the State Department and Jim and Molly were so happy they failed to ask more than surface questions about where Melissa came from.

Now in her 20s, Melissa reveals that she’s pregnant and she’s trying to learn about her biological parents to answer questions for her own baby.  There were things about this pregnancy that really made me crazy.  Melissa has a doctor’s appointment at 11 weeks and magically learns the sex of her baby by ultrasound.  Right.  Or not possible physically.  She then begins to feel movement soon after.  This is a fetus the size of a Brussels Sprout and it is magically kicking in the womb so hard it can be felt!  Yes, this is a male author, but do some research please before making this such an integral and emotional part of your story.  This irritated me so much that I could not really care about the idea of Melissa’s pregnancy for the rest of the book.

My irritation aside, Jim and Melissa try to get answers about her early life from her uncle Michael but do not get any real help from him.  As Jim and Melissa start trying to dig into her past on their own, someone begins trying to cover up what went on.

As this is happening, a plane has been removed from the nearby Monongahela River where it crashed 20 years earlier.  There were no known survivors, but is that true?  Jim digs into the history of the plane as Melissa has nightmares of drowning.  What happened on that plane and who was onboard?  What is Uncle Michael hiding?

Melissa’s history was not what I was expecting in the end, which did make me like the book more.  I appreciated her taking action to search out her history-even if I found it all a bit too improbable.   Without giving too much away, I also enjoyed the tie in with South American history and how that wrapped up Melissa’s story.

2.5 stars

Thank you NetGalley and Diversion Books for this advanced read copy in exchange for an honest review.

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