Anna Hart is a seasoned missing persons detective in San Francisco with far too much knowledge of the darkest side of human nature. When tragedy strikes her personal life, Anna, desperate and numb, flees to the...Read More
Anna Hart is a seasoned missing persons detective in San Francisco with far too much knowledge of the darkest side of human nature. When tragedy strikes her personal life, Anna, desperate and numb, flees to the Northern California village of Mendocino to grieve. She lived there as a child with her beloved foster parents, and now she believes it might be the only place left for her. Yet the day she arrives, she learns that a local teenage girl has gone missing.
The crime feels frighteningly reminiscent of the most crucial time in Anna's childhood, when the unsolved murder of a young girl touched Mendocino and changed the community forever. As past and present collide, Anna realizes that she has been led to this moment. The most difficult lessons of her life have given her insight into how victims come into contact with violent predators. As Anna becomes obsessed with saving the missing girl, she must accept that true courage means getting out of her own way and learning to let others in.
Weaving together actual cases of missing persons, trauma theory, and a hint of the metaphysical, this propulsive and deeply affecting novel tells a story of fate, necessary redemption, and what it takes, when the worst happens, to reclaim our lives--and our faith in one another.
Paula McLain is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Love and Ruin, Circling the Sun, The Paris Wife, and A Ticket to Ride, the memoir Like Family: Growing Up in Other People's Houses, and two collections of poetry. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, O: The Oprah Magazine, Town & Country, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and elsewhere. She lives in Ohio with her family.
"Paula McLain's absolutely incredible literary thriller about the human journey on the way to solve a mystery includes parts of her own experience in foster care mixed in with her reflections on abandonment and belonging in this genre-bending novel." - Good Morning America
"McLain weaves together actual cases of missing persons, trauma theory, and a touch of the metaphysical in this gripping tale that will keep you up all night, muttering 'just one more chapter' to yourself." - E!
"When the Stars Go Dark is a beautifully written, sharply observed literary thriller with an extraordinary, unforgettable heroine. An unflinching look at the long shadow cast by trauma and the resilience it takes to survive, this is a novel of both great sadness and great beauty." - Kristin Hannah, author of The Four Winds
"This melancholy but gripping tale uses backstory and flashbacks to propel the mystery forward. Part suspense, part self-discovery tale, this first attempt at crime fiction from historical fiction author McLain (The Paris Wife) is hard to resist. Fans of the author's other works will not be disappointed." - Library Journal
"[A] stunning crime novel . . . McLain matches poetic prose with deep characterizations as she shines a light on the kindness in her characters' souls. Fans of literary suspense won't be able to put this one down." - Publishers Weekly
"A total departure for the author of The Paris Wife, McLain's emotionally intense and exceptionally well-written thriller entwines its fictional crime with real cases." - People
"The kind of heart-pounding conclusion that thriller fans crave . . . In the end, a book full of darkness lands with a message of hope." - The New York Times Book Review