“I can’t take another dead girl”
Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.
But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meagre clues to find him.
When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.
TW: child pedophilia
I don’t even know how to start this review. Sadie blew me absolutely away and has tied with Kara Thomas’ Little Monsters as being my favorite thriller books.
The dual perspectives between West and Sadie were perfect and they corresponded so well together. They didn’t blend together seamlessly and we would often be missing parts of Sadie’s side but it was always for a reason. West gave us the outside perspective, the perspective we would have as readers of the case or, in this case, readers of the book.
West was someone I immediately sympathized with. I am also a journalist so I related a lot to his struggle with whether to cover this case or not. It felt like we were right there on the planes and in the cars along for the journey. I find myself wondering if I would’ve chosen to go a different way than West did. We also see him struggle with the way he chose to go about the investigation, thinking a decision had delayed his findings. We get snippets of West’s home life in small details from him, but I was blown away by how much of West I knew simply by his reporting. The pauses in speech, his diction, and his decisions during the investigation spoke more about West than anything he told us could have.
Sadie broke my heart into a million pieces and I was instantly rooting for her. Her perception gives us insight into what actually happened and what West gets right and wrong. The devotion Sadie had to her sister was heartbreaking. Outside of May Beth, they were all each other had. After a constant slew of their mother’s boyfriends and eventually her abandonment of them, the girls were stuck together. Whether Mattie wanted it or not, Sadie became her mother. The relationship we see between the sisters was breathtakingly real, the lines blurred between friend, sister, and mother. Sadie has one goal throughout this book. She was going to go kill the bastard who killed her sister, whether she made it back or not.
The other characters we hear from bringing the story even further to life. The crime podcast aspect felt real and each one brought pieces to the investigation, either helping or hindering it. We also get to see their transformation from what we see with Sadie and the fallout of their decisions when West comes knocking.
This was a beautifully woven story that I couldn’t put down. From a setting I could reach out and touch to unbelievably real characters, this book has it all.
*Thank you NetGalley for this review copy*
Don’t forget to check out the podcast too!