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Review: All Good People Here by Ashley Flowers

Title: All Good People Here

Author: Ashley Flowers
Year published: 2022
Category: Adult fiction (mystery)
Pages: 309 pages
Rating: 4 out of 5

Location: (my 2024 Google Reading map)USA (Indiana and Illinois)

SummaryYou can’t ever know for sure what happens behind closed doors.

Everyone from Wakarusa, Indiana, remembers the infamous case of January Jacobs, who was discovered in a ditch hours after her family awoke to find her gone. Margot Davies was six at the time, the same age as January—and they were next-door neighbors. In the twenty years since, Margot has grown up, moved away, and become a big-city journalist. But she’s always been haunted by the feeling that it could’ve been her. And the worst part is, January’s killer has never been brought to justice.

When Margot returns home to help care for her uncle after he is diagnosed with early-onset dementia, she feels like she’s walked into a time capsule. Wakarusa is exactly how she remembers—genial, stifled, secretive. Then news breaks about five-year-old Natalie Clark from the next town over, who’s gone missing under circumstances eerily similar to January’s. With all the old feelings rushing back, Margot vows to find Natalie and to solve January’s murder once and for all.

But the police, Natalie’s family, the townspeople—they all seem to be hiding something. And the deeper Margot digs into Natalie’s disappearance, the more resistance she encounters, and the colder January’s case feels. Could January’s killer still be out there? Is it the same person who took Natalie? And what will it cost to finally discover what truly happened that night twenty years ago?

Review: I bought this novel at Costco (do we all peruse the Costco book section when we go?) and didn't really know much about it. It was ok. I gave it 4 stars, but almost gave it 3.5; the ending was good so I bumped it up.

Margot is a good character in that having a journalist in the middle of a crime story works well. She has a reason to investigate even if she isn't a detective or police officer. And she was best friends with the main victim when they were little kids, so vested interest. She is tenacious, unwavering, and solid. I liked all that. I also think the author dealt with her uncle's slipping into dementia well. I have a family member going through this and it is tough to see and scary for him.

The mystery itself is compelling, but about half way through I found myself glossing over the book a bit. However, the ending, when it all starts to come together? Really well done. I thought I knew who did it along the way (confession: I had a number of suspects), but I didn't see the very ending of the book at all and it makes sense.

Challenges for which this counts: 
  • Alphabet (Title)--A
  • Cloak and Dagger
  • Literary Escapes--Indiana and Illinois

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