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When the Stars Go Dark
When the Stars Go Dark: A Novel | Paula McLain
108 posts | 93 read | 1 reading | 59 to read
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Wife comes an atmospheric novel of intertwined destinies and heart-wrenching suspense: A detective hiding away from the world. A series of disappearances that reach into her past. Can solving them help her heal? 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 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 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.
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monkeygirlsmama
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Pickpick

Went in blind on this one, knowing nothing about it other than I'd seen it recommended by a total stranger online. Three cheers for recs from randos because this book was quite good! Lots of mystery and raw tension that worked itself out in the end.

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Also, for the record, this was great on audio. Will be looking to see other titles this woman has narrated. 👍

Kristy_K Love Marin Ireland as a narrator! She does a lot of Fredrik Backman‘s audiobooks. 4d
25 likes1 comment
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LibraryCin
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Pickpick

I really liked this. With the audio, the narrator made it easy to tell which time frame we were in, just by the voice she used for a younger Annie, so I thought that was done well. There was a short author‘s note at the end; it was interesting to find out one of the missing girls in the book was a real person! And I liked that she decided to set the book pre-internet, pre-cell phone, as well (also talked about in the author‘s note).

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Blueberry
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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Excellent choices!! 6mo
Eggs Well done 🖤💙💚 6mo
37 likes1 stack add2 comments
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LadyCait84
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dabbe 🧡🎃🧡 6mo
36 likes1 comment
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emmaturi
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This is one of my current reads and it's really good, albeit a bit dark.

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BBowling
Pickpick

A well written detective story set in Mendocino California. Touches on the themes of childhood adversity, neglect, abuse and suppressed memory. Awareness and control over one‘s environment is a central theme. Outdoor survival parallels mental health challenges leading to a place of healing and hope. Much more than a who done it with a female heroine.

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janeycanuck
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Mehso-so

Not the book for me - bad stuff happening to kids isn‘t anywhere near my wheelhouse - but the writing is good.

My #bookspin for May

TheAromaofBooks I really like this cover!! 10mo
janeycanuck @TheAromaofBooks Yes, it‘s so pretty! 10mo
39 likes2 comments
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RyanMHoward
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Pickpick

When Anna, a missing persons detective, returns to her small hometown after a personal tragedy, she finds herself wrapped up in the search for a recently missing teenage local—a case that may even be similar to an unsolved murder from Anna‘s childhood…

With a strong arc for its protag coupled with several mysteries all playing out at once—each of them intriguing on their own—this well-crafted tale is disturbingly detailed and thoroughly engaging.

kspenmoll Loved this- a pick for my #12booksof2022 1y
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kspenmoll
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#12booksof2022 #February2022

Such a book! Lyrically written, with a flawed,very human, emotionally intense,missing persons‘ detective,whose quest is to find the lost- the novel explores trauma & its reverberations throughout one‘s lifespan- Dec.Anna Hart‘s past & present merge as she seeks to find a missing teenage girl.
I cannot do this novel justice! Just read it!😍

Andrew65 Wow! Stacked. 1y
64 likes1 stack add1 comment
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LisaLovesToRead
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Pickpick

This book was suspenseful, and had a good storyline both.

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amywithbooks
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Pickpick

I loved this book so much, I tore through it in 2 sittings. An intriguing mystery and absolutely incredible characters. Anna's backstory being woven into this mystery really made the story very emotional and I could not put it down. Definitely one of my favorites so far this year. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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BarbaraTheBibliophage
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Pickpick

This is a solid mystery with female child abductions at its core (TW). The main character is Anna, who experiences abandonments if not abductions. She‘s a hot mess, but we like her anyway. McLain combines some real-life details in her 1993 setting, and also uses Anna and others to teach readers about the affects of trauma and more.

Full review https://www.TheBibliophage.com
#thebibliophage2022

CBee I enjoyed this one. And I tend to gravitate towards the hot messes so I definitely liked Anna 😂😊 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @CBee Oh, I do as well. A damaged protagonist is super engaging for me. 2y
CBee @BarbaraTheBibliophage me too! The book I‘m reading right now has one too, it‘s really good so far. 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @CBee I‘ll have to look that one up!! 🤓 2y
59 likes1 stack add4 comments
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DarkMina
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Pickpick

34 of 2022. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
#marvellousmay

Pages read: 384

Andrew65 Well done 👏👏👏 2y
16 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Sleepswithbooks
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AmyG I enjoyed this book. Happy Easter S! 2y
Sleepswithbooks @AmyG - Me too. I should have posted I “devoured” both the book and beans 😅 2y
67 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Sleepswithbooks
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There is nothing better than coming home after a difficult day and laying down to read 📖 #Ilovereading #booklover #booksniffer #readanadventure #havebookwilltravel

charl08 Amen to that. 2y
73 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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LapReader
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2nd 1 this hols! My girlfriend, Kate found this 1 on a run yesterday & walked me there after our trip to the bakery this morn. Afterwards we walked the Broken Head 3 sisters walk, had a swim in the flood effected water & I listened to my racehorse lose while everyone played frisbee. The kids won again! My dinner of everything from the fridge on the last night of holidays was delicious if I do say so myself. Bbq & Mediterranean salad was the main.

45 likes1 stack add
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kspenmoll
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This quote is taken from the Author‘s Note, after the novel‘s end. I still have not reviewed this book; I am still processing it‘s beauty and stark pain. It has moved me in complex and varied ways. It speaks to humanity‘s deepest traumas as well as humanity‘s resilience. In the end, community is what matters.

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kspenmoll
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#krummholz #bentwood #twistedtrees #Mendocino #naturalworld

The author‘s descriptive language is beautifully crafted,lush,lyrical, & immerses me in Anna‘s natural world.

Texreader I do love that! This book is on my tbr list 2y
kspenmoll @Texreader Its so good on so many levels. Tough subjects but handled realistically. 2y
BiblioLitten Those kind of tree branches remind me of my University campus🤎 2y
61 likes1 stack add3 comments
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kspenmoll
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#map

I love to have maps to refer to in a book. Emmy has been clinging to me & following me everywhere since her vet visit Friday. #catsoflitsy

RaeLovesToRead Awww tail!! 🥰 2y
AmyG I love this photo! 2y
peanutnine This is the cutest picture 😻 2y
See All 7 Comments
wanderinglynn So sweet! ❤️🐱 2y
ravenlee Nice bookmark! 2y
kspenmoll @ravenlee You just made me laugh out loud! Bookmark tail! 2y
78 likes1 stack add7 comments
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kspenmoll
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#libraryfind #moodread #epigraph #truth
This sets the mood before opening to page 1.

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MelKelsey
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Pickpick

Book 15

When the Stars Go Dark is a detective mystery novel done Paula McClain style--it's a well-researched, historical fiction. It's engaging, mysterious, and about foster care and childhood sexual abuse. In the Author's Notes McClain shares that she writes from personal experience. My only complaint is that the main character has an unbelievable overload of bad things happen to her. 4.5 stars

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MysticFaerie
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Pickpick

4⭐/5⭐

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Cinfhen
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My new audio 🎧taken from @CBee #Top21of21 list ♥️☺️ so far I‘m intrigued

CBee Ooo! I hope you enjoy it ♥️👋🏻 2y
TrishB This is currently 99p on Kindle. Oh go on then! 2y
Cinfhen Hahaha @TrishB go for it 😁🙌🏻💕 2y
69 likes1 stack add3 comments
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kplovesbooks
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DHill
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I really enjoyed this atmospheric, multilayered novel. I didn‘t realize until the end how very personal it is to the author.

keys_on_fire The cover art is beautiful! 2y
42 likes1 comment
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kplovesbooks
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💔♥️

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kplovesbooks
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Just started this one tonight. I can already tell it's going to be a gut-punch. 💔

33 likes1 stack add
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Victoriahoperose
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Mehso-so

This had a really descriptive story and the setting was such a strong focus point in this book, but it was just so slow for me. The story seemed like it was going to be fast paced and keep me on the edge of my seat, but the mystery didn‘t pick up in the book for me and I had a hard time staying engaged with this one.

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Andrea4
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Pickpick

Author's epilogue pushed it to a pick. I didn't realise how deeply personal this is to the author nor that actual cases are discussed (yes, sometimes I go in fairly blind). That said, I did find that the narrator's inner dialogue was peppered far too liberally with questions that drove me a little insane. I also was annoyed by her supreme authoritative view on all matters re: victims/survivors even if I agreed with a lot of it.

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rather_be_reading
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Pickpick

Wow!! This was my first time reading McLain. It was great! The anticipation was killing me! And you literally do not find out until near the end. The only thing is that I did figure out who it was. Anna returns home after tragedy strikes her not knowing its about to strike again in her hometown.

Cinfhen Great photo 🎃lovely review 2y
66 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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rather_be_reading
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In the home stretch now

Desha I enjoyed this one! Are you liking it so far? 📚♥️ 2y
kspenmoll Sounds really good! 2y
Desha I‘m so glad you‘re liking it!! I enjoyed it so much!! 👍🏻 2y
46 likes5 comments
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rebbyj
Mehso-so

A bit simple. But good structure. Good characters.

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rather_be_reading
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Hoping to finish this one up today. Its going so fast!

BookishMadHatter Love the book sleeve 2y
rather_be_reading @BooksAndYarn ty! Book Barn Galore on Etsy 2y
58 likes1 stack add2 comments
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rather_be_reading
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Getting some afternoon reading done

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rather_be_reading
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Book 193

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rather_be_reading
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Ive been Halloween crafting all day. Now time to settle in for the Dodger game with my book

Desha Dodgers!! So sad they lost out for the World Series! 🥲 2y
56 likes1 stack add1 comment
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candc320
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Pickpick

Wow this was dark! Listening to it as an audiobook might have made it even more so. I love true crime (especially podcasts) and was familiar with the Polly Klaas kidnapping that they discussed happening nearby and at the same time as the kidnapping in the story. There were a lot of twists and I definitely didn‘t know the bad guy until he was revealed. 🌟🌟🌟🌟 Read for #scarathlon2021 , #bookspinbingo , #screamathon , and #anywayyoureadathon

candc320 I‘ll calculate all my total points for reading/participating in another post either tomorrow or Monday! 3y
Eggbeater I wanted to read this! 3y
candc320 @Eggbeater I hope you enjoy it! It‘s pretty dark but really good. 3y
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 3y
kimmypete1 This sounds good! 3y
26 likes1 stack add5 comments
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EvieBee
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Pickpick

“What does it all add up to? What is all the suffering for if not so we can see how alike we are, and not alone? Where will the mercy come from, if not from us?”

What a dark, bumpy ride. Gorgeous Mendocino setting. It was a living character, but boy am I glad this is over. I have the same uneasy feeling I had after finishing THE FACT OF A BODY. Incidentally, McClain credited the book as a research source.
⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Rissa1
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Pickpick

I knew who the killer was long before it was revealed. That would normally take away from the book but this book did not depend on the identity of the killer. This story was so much more than just finding out who did it, it was so much more. 5⭐
This is not for the faint of heart as some details are gruesome not for those who would be triggered by sexual assault content.

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Rissa1
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This paragraph broke me. I wanted to add that this book definitely needs a Content Warning, for childhood sexual abuse. I am posting with spoilers so that someone who would be triggered by this won't see it without a warning.

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Rissa1
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My weekend reading has not gone as planned, time wise, but at 110 pages in I am completely invested in the story. At this point (I know it is early), this may be the most underrated book I have read this year.

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Monica5
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Pickpick

Great book, but a tough topic. Sexual abuse and abduction.
McLain did a wonderful job telling it and taking care to tell it.

Anna Hart is a detective trying to come to terms with some things. She goes home to Mecdino where she gets involved in a case.

Thanks to Goodreads, Penguin Random House and McLain for the book.

#Bookspin #BookSpinBingo
@TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Great progress!!! 3y
19 likes1 comment
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Viji
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How sadness and shame are more than feelings; they‘re an illness, a terrible cancer that spins through the world taking lives in a hidden cyclical way that might never end.

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Lizwarnerpdx
Pickpick

This story follows Anna, a detective as she escapes to her hometown after a devastating event at home. As someone who searches for sexual predators she is uniquely qualified to help out when a teen goes missing. This is hard to read, there is a lot of info about sexual abuse & abductions. I did guess ‘who did it‘ early on, but it was still a thrilling read to follow.

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StellaDz
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Pickpick

A seamless blend of fact and fiction. Real cases, the author‘s experiences, and a story blend so well together that unless you‘re familiar with the crimes, you don‘t realize until the author‘s note. That‘s why it‘s amazing.

It‘s a tough topic: violent and sexual crimes against children. It‘s not easy. But McLain is both respectful and inspiring in her writing. She addresses the victims and investigators, and the struggles for both.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Dcueto
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Pickpick

Always love when Marin narrates and the book itself was good

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StellaDz
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It‘s adorable but she stole my spot! #currentlyreading

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Monica5
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I'm so goofy 🤣 I forgot to post a picture of my August #Bookspinbingo board🤦 Here it is @TheAromaofBooks So enjoyed doing this in July.

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 3y
14 likes1 comment