When Sadie’s younger sister Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s world falls apart, and after the police fail to find her killer, Sadie takes matters into her own hands. She hits the road to try to find the killer, determined to bring him to justice. Meanwhile, West McCray, a radio presenter working on a piece about small, forgotten towns in America, overhears Sadie’s story and becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl, starting a podcast to record his investigation.
As a true crime obsessive, this book was right up my street. I loved how it was presented as such, with the format of a podcast replicating so many of the podcasts I have listened to. Courtney Summers wrote both the normal prose of Sadie’s chapters and the podcast chapters in a way that felt so authentic you almost forget it isn’t a true story. In addition, I listened to this in the audiobook format, which the book lends itself to extremely well. The actors are excellent and you really feel yourself getting swept away by the story.
I loved Sadie’s character and was in her corner cheering for her throughout the book. Sadie has a compelling background: she is born to a drug addicted mother, becomes an almost mother to her younger sister and is a school drop Her sister is the centre of her universe, and Summers’ writing really makes you feel how Sadie’s love for her sister and how it can be so strong to drive her to do everything that she does over the course of the book. You can feel every ounce of Sadie’s pain and grief.
The plot was fast-paced, and the podcast format was a great way of intertwining the plot with background events in a way that felt real and not like a boring info-dump. It was a really clever way of structuring the story, and means that you slowly piece the story together with the rest of the podcast’s audience.
Overall, I have to give this piece 5 stars. I could find absolutely no faults with it, and demand someone make this into a miniseries.