“She’s not there” begins in a hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Amelia Tobias has regained consciousness after being in a traffic accident. Her memory is sketchy at best, but her feisty spirit remains intact. It seems she is a wealthy lawyer’s wife. But why does she remember being a ballet dancer? The car she was in when the accident occurred was an $800,000. Mercedes Gullwing. Why then does she flee in fear when she hears her husband in the corridor of the hospital…
Amelia is on the run with little to aid her except her wits and her diamond engagement ring. She pawns the ring, changes her appearance and boards a bus.
She gradually remembers more of her previous life. She was born in Iowa, was a renown ballet dancer, had a grandmother, a brother… another life. Amelia meets some kindly strangers on her journey. Sympathetic and well-rendered characters all. As Amelia tries to piece together her past the reader’s emotions run high and the tension abounds.
Alex, her husband, is filled with guilt and remorse for living the way he has. For losing Amelia, the woman he loves. The reader acknowledges this – which begs the question “Why is Amelia afraid of Alex?” Was her accident not an accident at all?
Told in a trio of narratives, that of Amelia Tobias, her husband Alex Tobias, and of Clay Buchanan, the private investigator/skip tracer hired by her husband’s law firm to find her. The novel was peopled with strong, sympathetic characters, and the reader is so invested in the outcome of Amelia’s plight that the pages virtually turn themselves.
I particularly liked the character of Buchanan. He was just the sort of damaged/admirable type I find attractive.
The descriptions and imagery in this novel were stunning, and you could easily picture every locale Amelia found herself in. Take this quote for instance “The sky was the color of a spring iris, but there was still some scattered snow, like a clothesline had broken and left whole sheets strewn on the ground.” Simply beautifully rendered prose.
I have read many other novels that had co-authors but I have never read one in which the narrative flowed so seamlessly as in “She’s not there“.
“She’s not there” is a stand-alone novel. Once I finished reading I couldn’t help but wish that perhaps the authors would see their way clear to bring Amelia and Buchanan back and make this a series.
The author is actually two sisters, Kristy Montee and Kelly Nichols. Their books have appeared on both the New York Times and USA Today best seller lists. The series has garnered 11 major crime-fiction awards, and an Edgar® nomination. Parrish has won two Shamus awards, one Anthony and one International Thriller competition.