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Reviewed by Tracy Traynor for Readers' Favorite
In When You Read This I’ll Be Gone by Anne Moose, Valerie Hawthorne might never have climbed out of bed on the day she drove to Montana if she’d known what lay ahead. Valerie had taken a gap year from teaching to write her next book, so she happily agreed to be a keynote speaker at a writers' conference in Gallatin Valley. Treating herself, she booked into a posh spa hotel to relax and enjoy the view. In this idyllic setting, she met Tom, a dashing, charming man who was there for the fishing. Having just discovered something about her husband, Valerie had a one-night stand for the first time in her life. When she woke up in the morning, the Paul Newman lookalike had gone. Feeling guilty, she prepared for the long journey home but then her world exploded. Revenge had driven Tom to adopt dire measures and he seemed hell-bent on destroying her life. The devastation that followed was catastrophic. As Tom began to reveal his reasons, Valerie had to try to salvage as much of her wrecked life as she could by doing what he asked.
I was gripped by Valerie’s opening letter until the emotional ending. I cried quite a bit. When You Read This I’ll Be Gone is full of raw feelings. As Valerie's, Tom's, and London’s stories evolved I was so invested in what happened that I couldn’t put the book down. Anne Moose writes superbly and masterfully controls the plot, revealing a little more with each chapter. Her writing style is elegant and her portrayal of how violence rips people’s lives apart was sensitive but real. The ripple effect that spreads out from one act of violence is presented with riveting clarity. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would like to read something more by this talented author. An utterly gripping thriller.