Journalist Natalie comes into the office one day to find everyone staring at her, and gets called into the boss’s office, where police are waiting to speak to her. It transpires that her former love has suddenly disappeared without a trace, leaving only a small note reading “Ask Natalie”.
Natalie hasn’t seen Owen for years however, but his sudden disappearance really gets her thinking of him all over again.
She starts to reminisce about her former relationship, how he broke her heart and was the one that got away.
In the meantime, her friend sets her up on a date, but the date is with a widow who seems to be yet to be over his wife.
But with this strange case of Owen’s disappearance, Natalie couldn’t care less. All her attention goes to the time they had together from their initial getting together to the time he broke her heart.
With her journalist instincts and understandable curiosity, Natalie decides to look into the case and take matters into her own hands.
A third of the way into the book, there’s a very interesting development that is sure to keep everyone reading.
The story is told through dual timelines, going back and forth between present day and Owen and Natalie’s teenage relationship.
At first I didn’t like this aspect of the book, because the teenage years seemed to be taking away from all the wit, banter and interest of the older Natalie’s life. But as this part of the story moved from Natalie being nervous around him through to him demonstrating his feelings for her, I was soon turned around.
Natalie’s exploration of Owen’s current circumstances discovers a different name, a wife, kids, a great career, and a relationship through marriage to a well-known wealthy businessman.
Younger Natalie’s story sees a twist that I did not see coming. And there’s a jealousy and hurt there that carries through to the present day.
Natalie’s tracking of Owen takes her further than you might imagine, and really starts to feel like a lost cause, before the book reaches a satisfying, if not surprising conclusion.
I really enjoyed this book, especially the dialogue and wit. But there were certain elements I felt were lacking. Natalie’s admiration of Owen felt like it was based almost solely on his looks, and the reasons for his disappearance could have been elaborated on further.
It was really more of a love story than a mystery, but still quite enjoyable, and in several places laugh-out-loud funny.
Book review from Cari Mayhew