Wednesday, December 14, 2022


Title: The Disappearance of Trudy Solomon

Author: Marcy McCreary

Publisher: CamCat Books

Pages: 347

My GoodReads Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Detective Susan Ford had been only 13 years old in August 1978 when her dad, William Ford, was the lead detective, grappling with a case surrounding the mysterious disappearance of Trudy Solomon, a waitress at the Cuttman Hotel run by Stanley and Rachel Roth.

Forty years later, a female skeleton is found. At first, police believe it is Trudy, until Trudy is found alive and well, and suffering from dementia. William is keen to solve the cold case, to find out who the skeletal remains belong to, and he wants Susan to be part of the reopened investigation. With the availability of forensics and computer databases, he has a better chance of solving the case now.

But Susan isn’t keen on revisiting the time or place. Lori Roth, one of the four Roth kids, used to be her best friend, until the friendship suddenly disintegrated when they turned 13.

Pretty soon it becomes clear that the Roths all hold a clue to the case.

While Susan doesn’t want to dig up the past, she could do with a respite. She had been shot by a drug dealer and has been accused of shooting and killing an innocent black teen, Calvin Barnes.

Susan and William have two months to solve the case. Will they get answers before their time runs out? Does Susan have the courage to visit the Roth family and the memories they dredge up? And will she have respite in the Barnes case?

The book is largely written in the first person past tense PoV of Susan. We also get the 3rd person past tense PoV of Trudy, whose memories are unreliable. Each of the chapters advances the timeline by a day.

There were so many characters that it was hard to keep track of who was talking. The problem gets compounded in an audio book, when it’s hard to go back and see where we encountered a character before.

Rachel Fulginetti, the narrator, did a good job with all the characters. She changed her voice to suit different characters, but it was difficult when there were two women speaking. If the prose didn’t give us an indication of who was talking, we were on our own. The runtime of this audio book was 10 hours and 36 minutes.

It was refreshing to see a Main Character aged 53. Older women are so little represented in films and books. Older adult fiction should have its own genre. 

Along the way, the author also raises issues relating to racism and race relations, police brutality, alcoholism, depression, gender diversity etc. There’s an inclusion of a subplot relating to racism and Black Lives Matter.

There are many crimes here. The disappearance of Trudy paves the way for murders, kidnap of babies and blackmail.

The book unwittingly makes a case for forgiveness in order to heal the hurt in dysfunctional families.

I liked Susan. What I didn’t like was the abundance of bad language strewn throughout this book. Almost every character swore. That was a huge turn-off for me. The book could have been a lot leaner without all the F-bombs. I would not want to read the next book in the series owing to the foul language.

(I read this book on NetGalley. Thank you to the author, the publisher and NetGalley.) 

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