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Evidence of Life

Evidence of Life - Barbara Taylor Sissel EVIDENCE OF LIFE was, literally, a book I couldn't put down. I know authors sort of cringe when the book they labored over for quite a long time is devoured in just a couple of hours by a reader. But, Ms. Sissel, your book is going to stay in my mind for quite a long time.More than a mystery, this story explores a woman's guilt and grief. When Abby Bennett's husband and fifteen-year-old daughter head off to the Texas Hill Country for some camping, Abby's first thought is that she will get some alone time. But when pounding rain and thunderstorms cause flooding and when she gets a mysterious call from her daughter, things change for Abby.Abby is determined to go to the Hill Country to find her husband and daughter. She goes to the home of her childhood best friend which has turned into rescue central and begins her search. When they aren't found and when the sheriff starts asking questions that indicate that her husband's disappearance may relate to some embezzled money, Abby doesn't know what to think.Abby searches long past when others have given up. Her life is falling apart. What makes it worse is that everyone--her son, her best friend, the sheriff, her husband's colleagues--are keeping information from her because they think she isn't strong enough to handle it. Then a name and a fax number on a matchbook cover in one of her husband's jackets leads to answers that she would rather not have. This was an excellent story about a woman who was a homebody, who was quiet, who was not adventurous, finding the hidden strength within her that she needs to unravel the disappearance of her husband and daughter and who grows and changes in her search. While both her mother and mother-in-law are urging her to give up, to hold a memorial service, and to move on, Abby is determined to find her own sort of closure. Just a note: My ARC had book club discussion questions in the back that a reader might want to avoid until after they have finished the book. There are some spoilers there. Thoughtful readers will greatly enjoy this mystery and will love getting to know Abby Bennett as she deals with something no wife or mother should ever have to deal with.