Book reviews by
Shalini

One Night Gone By Tara Laskowski – Book Review

Nothing can hit you right in the soul more than a good crime thriller novel. But, finding one that really hits the spot can be a bit tricky. So, you are right to be here, ready to find out if ‘One Night Gone’ by Tara Laskowski is the next crime thriller book for you.

One Night Gone' By Tara Laskowski - Book Review

This book is a decent size for its genre, at 352 pages, and it is fairly new, only published in October 2019. 

It is a great book for crime thriller readers who want to delve into a story that is a little bit different. There have been some mixed reviews on this book from readers so far, but those who like it find it really strikes fear into the heart. 

So, let’s get into it. Is ‘One Night Gone The next book you should be picking up from the shelf? 

Book Summary 

Most of us will go into a bookstore, or go on Amazon.com and search for a book, then decide if it should be in our lives by judging the blurb of the book. Does it hook us in and capture our interest? 

To save you the hassle of looking for this elsewhere, we have a summary right here for you, as your first deciding factor.

“It was the perfect place to disappear…”

“One sultry summer, Maureen Haddaway arrived in the wealthy town of Opal Beach to start her life anew, and to achieve her destiny.

There, she finds herself being lured in by the promise of friendship, love, starry skies, and wild parties. But Maureen’s new life could be too good to be true, and before summer ends, she vanishes.” 

“Decades pass, and when Allison Simpson is offered to house-sit in Opal Beach during off-season, it does seem like the perfect chance for her to start fresh after having a messy divorce.

However, when she gets drawn into the mysterious disappearance of a girl thirty years prior, she realizes the beautiful homes of Opal Beach are writhing with dark secrets. And the truth of that long-ago summer is not even the most shocking part of it all”.

What We Think Of ‘One Night Gone’ 

Personally, we are always in the mood to pick up a good mystery book, but in the fall and winter, atmospheric mysteries are just that much more eerie.

We find it even better when it is from a debuting author, and they unexpectedly manage to shock us beyond belief. It is such a bookworm win! 

Anyway, about ‘One Night Gone’…

Right from the start, we find ourselves totally hooked by the suspense filled writing and the eerie, and all-too-fitting atmosphere. Dual time-lines can work really well when they are written the right way, and ‘One Night Gone’ certainly does this super well! 

With this book, you get equally invested in both stories (both timelines) as both of these characters are brilliantly complex and similarly troubled.

It is ideal and well developed how they both have their own issues, and these help make it more worthwhile to invest the time into reading more and finding out even more about them. 

If you want ominous vibes and an eerie feeling, ‘One Night Gone’ will bring you both of these in spades, as you cannot help but thirst to find out what truly happened to Maureen.

One Night Gone' By Tara Laskowski - Book Review

The author is also very talented at making you want to keep on reading too, as she sprinkled in clues at exactly the right moment to keep you hooked on each and every page, you just do not want to put this book down. 

If you are anything like us, you love stories which are wriggling with secrets and include manipulation. If you want something that includes this, then you should be picking this book up right now as it is brimming with manipulation and shady secrets. 

Nothing is what it seems, and there are surprises around every corner, which will undoubtedly leave you eager to keep on reading and highly disappointed when you are done with the book (gosh do we know that feeling!). 

The stories that alternate between Allison and Maureen build closer and closer to truth, and the reader starts to feel as if pretty much everyone in Opal Beach had involvement. All characters become a suspect to the reader very quickly. Everyone seems to be hiding something. 

Laskowski keeps you guessing, non-stop, all the way to the very end, there are even a few red herrings thrown in there just to keep you on your toes.

The story is as bingeable as your favorite Netflix series, but the ending is what really takes the cake and makes you want to tell everyone all about it

This is one hell of a book for a debut thriller from Tara Laskowski, it is a brilliant start, and we are sure to be looking out for more of her work in the future. We hope she keeps up this spooky and suspenseful standard!

Honestly, if you want something that is intriguing, atmospheric and a suspenseful mystery, then One Night Gone is absolutely the story for you! 

About The Author

When you are looking to buy a book, especially one like this, it is good practice to know who the author is, where they came from, and generally what to expect from them.

One Night Gone is written by Tara Laskowski. She is an award-winning author, from 2 short story collections; Bystanders, and Modern Manners for Your Inner Demons. The Guardian named Bystanders one of the best books of 2017 as well. 

She also has managed to get stories published in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, and the Mid-American Review as well. She is also the editor of SmokeLong Quarterly. 

She got her BA in English from Susquehanna University, and received her MFA from George Mason University. 

Tara Laskowski currently resides in Virginia. 

One Night Gone is her first ever novel, and as her debut novel, it is quite the showstopper. 

What Readers Think

Sometimes you can get a better idea of how attractive a book is to read, its quality, and whether or not the plot is good from reviews (which is why you are here, right?) and from the opinions of other readers. 

This is why it is always a good idea to seek out the view of other readers, be they magazine reviews, or reviews on sites such as Amazon.com, Goodreads.com or otherwise. 

Let’s take a look at a range of reviews and get an idea of how most readers feel about ‘One Night Gone’.

One Night Gone' By Tara Laskowski - Book Review

Media Reviews

“The voices of the two narrators are very vibrant, as are the descriptions of Opal Beach. At the very heart of this intriguing thriller (If you like Thriller Books, check out the works of Jack Carr and how to read them) is a disturbing awareness of society’s inclination to view women as disposable. Laskowski is off to a very fine start!” – Publishers Weekly.

Goodreads.com Reviews

“Know those little towns where everyone knows everyone? Opal Beach in this novel reminded me of just that. Constricting, in your business and harboring secrets!

It is not the place you want to get on with the wrong, influential crowd, because you will never see the end of it” – Scarlett Readz, 4 out of 5 Stars.

“This is a decent psychological thriller (If you like psychological thriller, you might also like The Serial Killer’s Wife By Alice Hunter. Check out this book review on it!), I love when someone goes missing and you don’t know what happened to them.

I figured out where this was going midway through, but it didn’t spoil the adventure, which was good overall. And in the ending there were some surprises as well, which elevated the book. 

What I didn’t care for was Allison’s sticking her nose into something that has absolutely positively nothing to do with her.” –Melissa, 3 out of 5 Stars. 

Amazon.com reviews

“One Night Gone doesn’t really work as a novel of plot or of character – the problem, I think, is that the characters are too often forced to act out of the convoluted plot’s needs rather than their own, and as a result, they never really come into sharp focus and deliver lasting emotional resonance for the reader.” – Jim Thomsen, 3 out of 5 Stars. 

“Alternating points of view and blending stories set decades apart are difficult for an author to pull off. Tara Laskowski, however, does it with ease in One Night Gone.

Unreliable narrators, some hard-to-like characters, a touch of the paranormal, and some great twists make this a memorable read.” –L.C. Rooney, 4 out of 5 Stars.

Overview

Overall, One Night Gone is a great book with lots of twists and turns, however it is not for everyone. Some people do not like the plot and the way the stories mash together, but that is up to you to decide. 

Pick it up, and give it a try, it is the only way you will know if this story is for you.

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