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On a summer afternoon in 1998, six-year-old Iris Neff walked away from a barbecue in her small suburban town . . . and vanished.

Missing persons investigator Brenna Spector has a rare neurological disorder that enables her to recall every detail of every day of her life. A blessing and a curse, it began in childhood, when her older sister stepped into a strange car never to be seen again, and it’s proven invaluable in her work. But it hasn’t helped her solve the mystery that haunts her above all others—and it didn’t lead her to little Iris. When a local woman, Carol Wentz, disappears eleven years later, Brenna uncovers bizarre connections between the missing woman, the long-gone little girl . . . and herself.

(Story synopsis and cover image from Goodreads.com)

I finally managed to take a break from my nonfiction reading kick to read one of the books that I received through a giveaway in December. (See my post New Books Thank You.) One of the two books I received was And She Was by Alison Gaylin, and I was so happy to step into the mystery genre for a little while.

And She Was captured my interest because it is not your typical mystery where the reader/audience is only trying to figure out the “who done it” about the current case. Instead And She Was has multiple layers to the storyline, which is fantastic since this is the first in a series. The main character, Brenna Spector, has the ability to recall every detail of an experience even many years later. Brenna often finds herself being drawn into her own memories, which can take her away from her present situation. Many times this is beneficial to Brenna’s work as a private investigator, however there are other times where she should be concentrating on what is right in front of her and can’t afford to become lost in something from the past.

The case that is being investigated in And She Was is not a simple one, and is one that leads back to a missing person’s case from years before…a case that Brenna remembers well (obviously) because of a possible link to her missing sister. As Brenna fights to find the truth she encounters many obstacles, and not just in the physical form.

Gaylin wrote And She Was with a wonderful sense of story. Gaylin was able to pull the reader in to Brenna’s story, and also create all of the layers that make this story so complex. I was captured by the case as well as Brenna’s gift. I’m looking forward to reading more by Alison Gaylin in the future.

(To see more titles by Alison Gaylin, visit her website here.)

Disclaimer: I did not receive any compensation for this review. I read this book for my own pleasure and am sharing my opinions on my blog.

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