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If I Disappear

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When her favorite true crime podcast host goes missing, an adrift young woman plunges headfirst into the wild backcountry of Northern California and her own dangerous obsession. Sera loves true crime podcasts. They make her feel empowered in a world where women just like her disappear daily. She's sure they are preparing her for something. So when Rachel, her favorite podca When her favorite true crime podcast host goes missing, an adrift young woman plunges headfirst into the wild backcountry of Northern California and her own dangerous obsession. Sera loves true crime podcasts. They make her feel empowered in a world where women just like her disappear daily. She's sure they are preparing her for something. So when Rachel, her favorite podcast host, goes missing, Sera knows it's time to act. Rachel has always taught her to trust her instincts. Sera follows the clues hidden in the episodes to an isolated ranch outside Rachel's small hometown to begin her search. She's convinced her investigation will make Rachel so proud. But the more Sera digs into this unfamiliar world, the more off things start to feel. Because Rachel is not the first woman to vanish from the ranch, and she won't be the last... Rachel did try to warn her.


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When her favorite true crime podcast host goes missing, an adrift young woman plunges headfirst into the wild backcountry of Northern California and her own dangerous obsession. Sera loves true crime podcasts. They make her feel empowered in a world where women just like her disappear daily. She's sure they are preparing her for something. So when Rachel, her favorite podca When her favorite true crime podcast host goes missing, an adrift young woman plunges headfirst into the wild backcountry of Northern California and her own dangerous obsession. Sera loves true crime podcasts. They make her feel empowered in a world where women just like her disappear daily. She's sure they are preparing her for something. So when Rachel, her favorite podcast host, goes missing, Sera knows it's time to act. Rachel has always taught her to trust her instincts. Sera follows the clues hidden in the episodes to an isolated ranch outside Rachel's small hometown to begin her search. She's convinced her investigation will make Rachel so proud. But the more Sera digs into this unfamiliar world, the more off things start to feel. Because Rachel is not the first woman to vanish from the ranch, and she won't be the last... Rachel did try to warn her.

30 review for If I Disappear

  1. 4 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    With a story as odd as its cover, If I Disappear, is perfect for Readers who prefer a more unconventional narrative. After her divorce, Sera Fleece is a boat adrift. She spends her days listening to, and obsessing over, her favorite True Crime podcast, Murder, She Spoke. When the podcast's host, Rachel Bard, suddenly stops posting, Sera feels compelled to figure out why. In fact, she suspects foul play is behind Rachel's sudden disappearance from the air waves. Further, Sera believes, armed with cl With a story as odd as its cover, If I Disappear, is perfect for Readers who prefer a more unconventional narrative. After her divorce, Sera Fleece is a boat adrift. She spends her days listening to, and obsessing over, her favorite True Crime podcast, Murder, She Spoke. When the podcast's host, Rachel Bard, suddenly stops posting, Sera feels compelled to figure out why. In fact, she suspects foul play is behind Rachel's sudden disappearance from the air waves. Further, Sera believes, armed with clues left within the podcast itself, she will be able to find Rachel and possibly save her. She's the only one who can. With this in mind, she travels to Rachel's hometown, Happy Camp, in Northern California to investigate. Once there, she is able to locate Rachel's family ranch and secure a job through one conversation with Rachel's greatly eccentric mother, Addy. Her duties will include working with the horses and general maintenance around the ranch; two things she's not necessarily qualified for. Doubts aside, Sera sees this as the best opportunity to delve into Rachel's life and possibly discover what happened to her. The strangest part is, no one else seems to be disturbed by Rachel's disappearance. Not her parents, her brother, the other ranch hand, or any of her previous acquaintances in town. Sera is able to make some progress and soon it is clear, something is not right with the Bard family. Even though she realizes she is putting herself in danger, Sera cannot leave without solving the mystery. In her eyes, she is the only person left to advocate for Rachel. While the content of this story is intriguing, the writing style did not work that well for me. I never settled into the fact that it is told in the second person. I wish it wasn't, but honestly, I can't imagine it otherwise. I think it just didn't work for my taste. I definitely needed to keep going. I wanted to find out the truth behind Rachel's disappearance as much as Sera did; even though Sera, as a protagonist, drove me a little batty. Some of the elements involved in building the mystery seemed off for me, but overall it is a good story. It's tense and dramatic, with a whole host of suspicious characters, including Sera herself. Additionally, there is some solid commentary in here on the treatment of girls and women within our society. I found that aspect interesting as well. Overall, this is a solid debut and I look forward to reading more from this author in the future. I would absolutely pick up more stories from her. Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. If I Disappear is slated to release on Tuesday, January 26th!!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Michael David

    HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY!! *Review originally published on mysteryandsuspense.com on 11/7/20. https://www.mysteryandsuspense.com/re... Lately, there has been a trend of incorporating a podcast into the telling of a mystery or thriller. I have seen this gimmick used successfully, and I have seen it fail. Luckily, it’s a highly effective plot device in IF I DISAPPEAR. Sera Fleece doesn’t have much going for her. Recently divorced and without a job, she spends all of her time listening to her favorite p HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY!! *Review originally published on mysteryandsuspense.com on 11/7/20. https://www.mysteryandsuspense.com/re... Lately, there has been a trend of incorporating a podcast into the telling of a mystery or thriller. I have seen this gimmick used successfully, and I have seen it fail. Luckily, it’s a highly effective plot device in IF I DISAPPEAR. Sera Fleece doesn’t have much going for her. Recently divorced and without a job, she spends all of her time listening to her favorite podcast, “Murder, She Spoke.” Rachel Bard is the host, and the podcast (currently at 84 episodes) delves into missing women. Then, all of a sudden, the podcast comes to an abrupt stop. Rachel’s social media has no new updates. She is a missing woman. Sera, who feels she knows her so well after obsessing over the podcast, decides she is the one to find her. Sera studies the podcast episodes, finds what she believes are hidden clues layered into the stories, and sets off to the northern backcountry of California, where Rachel lived with her family. Fountain Creek Guest Ranch, to be precise. Sera meets Rachel’s parents under the guise of looking for a job on the ranch. That’s how she starts the investigation. Through clumsy questioning and getting to know a host of suspicious people, it soon becomes clear to Sera that there are many possible motives for making Rachel disappear...and that immediate danger might be making its way to the ranch. “I sometimes wonder if I’m destined to disappear.” This is the debut novel from Eliza Jane Brazier. Color me impressed! It’s a taut mystery with many things to entice the reader: a possibly unreliable narrator, a cast of suspicious characters, suspense that increases at a steady pace...and keeps increasing as Sera wants to confide in someone what she is really doing in town, but doesn’t know who she can trust. Her suspicions change often, and it’s quite exhilarating to guess if she’s on the right path or completely off base. The podcast is cleverly threaded throughout the story, and we get glimpses of numerous episodes at the start of each chapter. Are we also finding the secret clues that Sera found? I devoured this in one sitting, and couldn’t help but race to the finish line, which wraps up with an unexpected and delicious conclusion. If you’re looking for a fast-paced, atmospheric mystery with a strong sense of foreboding and increasing intensity, then look no further. Sincere thank you to Berkley for providing me an ARC to review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews

    4.5 stars! Atmospheric. Suspenseful. Addictive. Tension-filled. Sera has an addiction to listening to true crime podcasts. Rachel is the podcast host of her favourite show. Rachel’s podcast focuses on cases of missing women. Sera listens to each episode repeatedly and knows the cases by heart. When Rachel herself disappears, Sera feels lost. Sera is drawn to Rachel’s small town to search for clues on why the one person who is searching for missing women is now missing herself. What a fantastic deb 4.5 stars! Atmospheric. Suspenseful. Addictive. Tension-filled. Sera has an addiction to listening to true crime podcasts. Rachel is the podcast host of her favourite show. Rachel’s podcast focuses on cases of missing women. Sera listens to each episode repeatedly and knows the cases by heart. When Rachel herself disappears, Sera feels lost. Sera is drawn to Rachel’s small town to search for clues on why the one person who is searching for missing women is now missing herself. What a fantastic debut thriller! The author brilliantly incorporates pieces of podcast episodes into the narrative, both at the start of each chapter as an introduction and also throughout the storyline while Sera is referring back to episodes she is remembering. This flowed extremely well and kept the overall podcast theme strong. I found I became more engrossed by the book as I read further. After the halfway point, I had a hard time putting it down. Sera was an outstanding character! She was flawed yet strong, vulnerable yet determined, alone yet powerful. I thought she was a brilliant main character who I loved rooting for. Each and every secondary character added insightful and clever layers to the storyline. I was suspicious of everyone and everything! The atmosphere was dark, eerie and foreboding. I was creeped out more than a few times but simply couldn’t put the book down. This is a book that thriller fans won’t want to miss. I highly recommend! Thank you to Berkley for my review copy!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sheyla ✎

    I’m sorry but this didn’t work for me. What a frustrating story and character! After a divorce, grieving the loss of her baby, and a series of bad romantic relationships, Sera doesn't have the desire to pick herself up and find a new job. Her sole obsession is to listen to a podcast by a woman named Rachel. Her podcasts are all about women who have disappeared. Sera has learned everything about Rachel from her social media and from the episodes of her podcast. So when Rachel disappears, no new pod I’m sorry but this didn’t work for me. What a frustrating story and character! After a divorce, grieving the loss of her baby, and a series of bad romantic relationships, Sera doesn't have the desire to pick herself up and find a new job. Her sole obsession is to listen to a podcast by a woman named Rachel. Her podcasts are all about women who have disappeared. Sera has learned everything about Rachel from her social media and from the episodes of her podcast. So when Rachel disappears, no new podcasts are coming out and her social media goes silent, Sera decides to go looking for her. When Sera arrives at Rachel's parents' ranch in California, she immediately asks about Rachel. Rachel's mother tells her she thinks Rachel is dead. The townspeople think she has finally left the ranch but Sera is sure she can help find her. She has a list of suspects and she wants to follow the few leads she has. I couldn’t get into this one. Sera sounded unstable. Her incessant obsession with the podcast and Rachel was borderline psychotic. The ending was so out there that I had to stop myself from rolling my eyes. I’m in the minority, most other reviewers seem to love it so take my input as what it is, a personal preference. Cliffhanger: No 2/5 Fangs A complimentary copy was provided by Berkley via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

  5. 4 out of 5

    Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews

    "Would anyone look for me? Would anyone care? If I Disappeared..." If I Disappear is an ambitious story that takes a unique spins while playing on that "women who disappear" "crazy women" trope and layers in some underlining themes, with women's treatment within our society. We see how we can become desensitized to the troubles of others and can find entertainment in that. It defies those harmful tropes here by giving a voice to seen and unseen women along with missing and forgotten women while e "Would anyone look for me? Would anyone care? If I Disappeared..." If I Disappear is an ambitious story that takes a unique spins while playing on that "women who disappear" "crazy women" trope and layers in some underlining themes, with women's treatment within our society. We see how we can become desensitized to the troubles of others and can find entertainment in that. It defies those harmful tropes here by giving a voice to seen and unseen women along with missing and forgotten women while exploring how we can feel invisible when under threat. It's a unique story with a usual narrative here that also gives a different spin to crime pod storylines. I enjoyed how the story is told in a second-person narrative from podcast listener Sera to podcast host Rachel. I loved Sera, and she is a strong character here with her own conflict, goals, and flaws while she searches for missing Rachel. She creates plenty of tension and suspense while she questions a few suspects leaving us with many questions of our own. I loved how she challenged gender roles that gave the story a feminism feel. The other characters added to the strength of Sera's character while adding more depth to the story. Sera does a bit of pill-popping, and every time she popped one I cringed and was annoyed taking away some enjoyment to the story for me. I was disappointed that added a harmful trope to the story with the "damaged pill-popping female" and a poor representation for mental health. Ok, I know that's probably overthinking it a bit. At times, the pace is slow going, and I wanted the story to move forward faster. I mostly listened to this one, and my mind wandered away a few times, but I didn't miss much when that happened. Making this one an easy one to listen too. I enjoyed the narrator to the audiobook and enjoyed listening to her voice. Things did go sideways for me with the ending. It felt like the author forgot to add the clues along the way and then got to the end and made up the conclusion by the characters telling us how the story ends. I highly recommend this one on audiobook. I received a e-galley from the publisher through NetGalley

  6. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    If I Disappear is that rare thriller that's actually thrilling--in that it's actually a beautifully written and truly terrifying story. I got actual goosebumps at the ending. Goosebumps! Ripe with atmosphere and with a main character whose mental state you can never be sure of--not to mention every other character--If I Disappear offers up a murder mystery (and the latest in thrillers, a podcast, although this one is very unsettling and makes the already high creepiness factor even higher) that If I Disappear is that rare thriller that's actually thrilling--in that it's actually a beautifully written and truly terrifying story. I got actual goosebumps at the ending. Goosebumps! Ripe with atmosphere and with a main character whose mental state you can never be sure of--not to mention every other character--If I Disappear offers up a murder mystery (and the latest in thrillers, a podcast, although this one is very unsettling and makes the already high creepiness factor even higher) that ends on a genuinely unsettling and terrifying note. I still, days later, wonder about how everything happened and what will happen next. That's the sign of a great thriller and a great book. If you like thrillers that are unsettling-- and really unsettling, right down to an amazing and brutal end--you have to read this book!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    This is a Suspense Mystery/Thriller. I have to say it took me awhile to get into this book. I have to say the middle was really good, and it keep me guessing/wanting more. The ending was a let down, and I have to say the ending was hard to follow. The characters was more to love, and I do not think the characters where really developed. I think the characters not being developed was done on purpose. I really think the ending needed to be better, and the middle was really good. I also think this This is a Suspense Mystery/Thriller. I have to say it took me awhile to get into this book. I have to say the middle was really good, and it keep me guessing/wanting more. The ending was a let down, and I have to say the ending was hard to follow. The characters was more to love, and I do not think the characters where really developed. I think the characters not being developed was done on purpose. I really think the ending needed to be better, and the middle was really good. I also think this is more of a Suspense Mystery then a thriller. I was kindly provided an e-copy of this book by the publisher (Berkley) or author (Eliza Jane Brazier) via NetGalley, so I can give honest review about how I feel about this book. I want to send a big Thank you to them for that. (*)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gabby

    This was sooooo good until the last 50 pages or so, I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending. Here’s a reading vlog where I read this book and explain more of my thoughts on it: https://youtu.be/p06Cutmiyco This was sooooo good until the last 50 pages or so, I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending. Here’s a reading vlog where I read this book and explain more of my thoughts on it: https://youtu.be/p06Cutmiyco

  9. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    If I could say just one thing to Eliza Jane Brazier, it would be - "forget the epilogue!" This was a weird book. I really wish I had done a buddy read on it because I finished it with more questions than answers. Ultimately, I’m not really sure how I feel about it - at times I was engaged and intrigued, but at other times, I was confused and downright irritated. I love murder podcasts, as does the protagonist, Sera, so I thought this book was right up my alley. And it was - sort of - other than t If I could say just one thing to Eliza Jane Brazier, it would be - "forget the epilogue!" This was a weird book. I really wish I had done a buddy read on it because I finished it with more questions than answers. Ultimately, I’m not really sure how I feel about it - at times I was engaged and intrigued, but at other times, I was confused and downright irritated. I love murder podcasts, as does the protagonist, Sera, so I thought this book was right up my alley. And it was - sort of - other than the fact that Sera has a rather unhealthy obsession with podcasts, and one in particular. When the host of that podcast, Rachel, goes radio silent, Sera convinces herself that Rachel is herself a victim of foul play, and that she is the best person to find her - based solely on listening ad nauseum to her podcasts. On a whim, Sera drives to Rachel's hometown, where she is immediately warned by the townspeople about the ranch Rachel's family owns. Despite the feeling that something is not right at the ranch when she arrives, she takes a job there in order to get close to Rachel's family and figure out what happened to Rachel. Once she settles into daily life on the ranch, Sera realizes no one else seems to be looking for Rachel, which makes her question everyone and everything, and that's where it all goes off the rails. This one started out strong for me, although I wasn't a huge fan of first person narrative. It is written as if Sera is writing a letter to Rachel, but at times I thought it was confusing trying to follow a one-sided dialogue with a nonexistent second person. But then it all just went a bit too crazy for me. Seriously, I ended the book still rather confused about what actually happened to Rachel and who did what, to whom, when, and why. Then the epilogue (some three months later) just threw off everything I thought I had figured out - unnecessarily in my opinion. Overall, it's definitely an interesting read. I like Brazier's writing when it came to the setting, as there were beautiful descriptions of the ranch and surrounds, and her characters were undoubtedly unique and memorable. There were just a few too many plot holes and odd narratives that only served to confuse me, which kept it from being a 4-5 star review for me. If you are in the mood though for a mystifying read with an unreliable, quirky narrator, then you will want to check this one out. 3.5 stars.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Berit☀️✨

    Captivating and creepy. Atmospheric and tense. Uncomfortable and unsettling. Eliza Jane Brazier’s debut had my pulse pounding from first minute to last. Sarah is a lonely and lost 30 something with an obsession with true crime podcasts, the “Murder She Spoke“ podcast being her favorite. When Rachel the host of the MSS podcast goes missing Sarah is compelled to find her. Sarah‘s search for Rachel takes her to small town Northern California and Rachel‘s family ranch. When Sarah arrives in the smal Captivating and creepy. Atmospheric and tense. Uncomfortable and unsettling. Eliza Jane Brazier’s debut had my pulse pounding from first minute to last. Sarah is a lonely and lost 30 something with an obsession with true crime podcasts, the “Murder She Spoke“ podcast being her favorite. When Rachel the host of the MSS podcast goes missing Sarah is compelled to find her. Sarah‘s search for Rachel takes her to small town Northern California and Rachel‘s family ranch. When Sarah arrives in the small town she is surprised to find that nobody seems to be worried about where Rachel has gone. Not her family, not her friends, not the police, but Sarah is certain there are sinister things going on and she is determined to find her favorite podcaster. The story is told in second person with Sarah speaking to the reader as if they are Rachel. There were also snippets of the podcast woven into the beginning of each chapter.The creepy feel of this ranch was so vividly described it just jumped off the pages. Sarah ends up taking a job at the ranch and is housed in disgusting quarters. I had the heebie-jeebies and wanted to gag from the description of the smell of rat droppings. *Yuck* I could just visualize the overgrown blackberry bushes and feel the impending doom. The story is filled with Unusual characters that you never quite get a handle on. Even Sarah our narrator is a complete mystery. Is she reliable? Is she crazy? What’s with the obsession? I knew she was divorced, had a nowhere job, and was about to get evicted, but other than that I really had no idea of her backstory. I think this might have added to the atmosphere of the story? I always felt a little bit off balance, a little uneasy, a couple facts short of understanding completely what was going on. A compelling thriller, looking forward to see what is next from Miss Brazier This book and emojis 🐎 🐈‍⬛ 🐀 🌿 📓 🛻 🚜 *** Big thank you to Berkley for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

  11. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)

    This book was absolutely bizarre. I was SO interested in the premise, but the second person dialogue mixed with the short, stilted writing style really didn't work for me. And not that I necessarily think we were supposed to like the narrator, but I found her to be extremely unlikeable and it kept me from caring at all about anything that happened. This book just unfortunately was not for me. Womp. CW: death of an animal This book was absolutely bizarre. I was SO interested in the premise, but the second person dialogue mixed with the short, stilted writing style really didn't work for me. And not that I necessarily think we were supposed to like the narrator, but I found her to be extremely unlikeable and it kept me from caring at all about anything that happened. This book just unfortunately was not for me. Womp. CW: death of an animal

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jordan (Jordy’s Book Club)

    QUICK TAKE: when a true crime podcaster goes missing, her biggest fan decides to make herself part of the story by trying to track her down and finds herself working for the podcaster's family on their isolated and mysterious dude ranch. As Sera gets to know the family and other members of the community, she finds herself part of a dark and dangerous mystery. This one was a bizarre blast...part I'LL BE GONE IN THE DARK, part SHARP OBJECTS, the author does a brilliant job leaning into the macabre QUICK TAKE: when a true crime podcaster goes missing, her biggest fan decides to make herself part of the story by trying to track her down and finds herself working for the podcaster's family on their isolated and mysterious dude ranch. As Sera gets to know the family and other members of the community, she finds herself part of a dark and dangerous mystery. This one was a bizarre blast...part I'LL BE GONE IN THE DARK, part SHARP OBJECTS, the author does a brilliant job leaning into the macabre and mysterious while writing whip-smart, crackling dialogue and introducing readers to some of the strangest characters I've ever read on the page. Definitely worth prioritizing when this one is out next year.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Samantha Downing

    If I Disappeared is a unique novel about a woman who has given up—on her life, and on herself. The only thing that keeps her going is searching for the missing host of her favorite true crime podcast. The writing is lean, the story is fascinating, and you won’t guess where this one is going. A slick, smart thriller you don’t want to miss.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Chelsey (a_novel_idea11)

    Rachel runs a podcast about missing women called Murder, She Spoke. When she suddenly goes silent - no social media activity, no new podcasts - her biggest fan, Sera, starts to suspect she's gone missing. Sera decides to take matters into her own hands and find out what happened to Rachel. Afterall, it's what Rachel has been training her for with all of the information and tips provided through the podcasts. Sera heads to Rachel's family ranch in the wilderness of Northern California and pretends Rachel runs a podcast about missing women called Murder, She Spoke. When she suddenly goes silent - no social media activity, no new podcasts - her biggest fan, Sera, starts to suspect she's gone missing. Sera decides to take matters into her own hands and find out what happened to Rachel. Afterall, it's what Rachel has been training her for with all of the information and tips provided through the podcasts. Sera heads to Rachel's family ranch in the wilderness of Northern California and pretends to be a drifter looking for work. But once a part of the daily life on the ranch, Sera realizes she may be the only person looking for Rachel making her question everyone and everything surrounding Rachel's mysterious disappearance. I really enjoyed the mystery this book created. Brazier's writing evoked beautiful images of the countryside and painted some pretty unique and memorable characters. I didn't think it was overly predictable but I did find that there were a lot of loose ends that left me with questions. The novel ended without wrapping everything up which I thought worked well for the story but I know can leave some readers wanting more. I love when a novel mixes formats and this included snippets of Rachel's podcast at the beginning of each chapter. Some of the snippets were incredibly intriguing and I wish those had been played up more as the story unfolded. Sera, though in her mid-thirties, felt like a very young, immature and naive character to me. I found her obsession with Rachel over the top and I wish there had been more back story about how that came about. I think it would have made her character more relatable if her history had been fleshed out in more detail rather than sporadic and hazy references to a miscarriage and a loveless marriage. The writing also took some getting used to as it felt to me like the novel was written as if it was a letter from Sera to Rachel, almost making the reader feel as though s/he is Rachel. Overall this was a really enjoyable read and one I would definitely recommend if you like a good mystery, shady and quirky characters, and books that incorporate podcasts. Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley for an advanced copy of this novel.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Eliza Brazier

    Thank you. xEliza

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dannii Elle

    Sera is in her thirties, divorced, and recently jobless. She feels aimless, hopeless, and goalless. Her only passion still remaining is for true crime podcasts. When the host of her favourite series fails to upload at her usual time and her social media presence drops, Sera finds the purpose she has been looking for. With no ties remaining to tether her anywhere, she journeys to the host's home, found through much online detective work, and sets about finding what happened to the girl whose voic Sera is in her thirties, divorced, and recently jobless. She feels aimless, hopeless, and goalless. Her only passion still remaining is for true crime podcasts. When the host of her favourite series fails to upload at her usual time and her social media presence drops, Sera finds the purpose she has been looking for. With no ties remaining to tether her anywhere, she journeys to the host's home, found through much online detective work, and sets about finding what happened to the girl whose voice lulled her to sleep each night. I found this such an intriguing premise and I remained engaged in the storyline throughout, as Sera fought against all odds to solve this mystery all others seemed eager to overlook. The entire cast quickly proved untrustworthy, with many becoming entirely unlikable after Sera's first meeting with them, and the mystery only became more muddied with every interaction. I did guess at some of the final grand reveals earlier on into the book but this was still a solidly enjoyable thriller, nonetheless. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author, Eliza Jane Brazier, and the publisher, Little Brown Book Group, for this opportunity.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Woodbury

    2.5 stars. This is a dreamy crime novel that never quite makes up its mind about what it is. We often find ourselves floating above the action, at a kind of remove. Most of the characters and setting feel vague and foggy. Then there will be scenes given with up close detail and it is almost like you're back in the real world, but it never lasts, and soon we're floating away again. For this book to work, you have to be okay with how nothing in it really makes any sense at all and treat it almost 2.5 stars. This is a dreamy crime novel that never quite makes up its mind about what it is. We often find ourselves floating above the action, at a kind of remove. Most of the characters and setting feel vague and foggy. Then there will be scenes given with up close detail and it is almost like you're back in the real world, but it never lasts, and soon we're floating away again. For this book to work, you have to be okay with how nothing in it really makes any sense at all and treat it almost more as surrealism than realism. (Just for starters, our protagonist's obsession is with a podcast that says it is about unsolved cases but all the excerpts of it lay out exactly what happened and sure seem to know exactly who's responsible, nothing about it seems like a real true crime podcast, but like I said, nothing here seems grounded in reality.) The dreaminess of it would have been okay with me if we'd stuck with it but the end switches tone entirely and while things become even more unbelievable, we are no longer watching everything from far away but up close. Maybe that works for some people, it certainly understands that it is in a climax that it wants to move very quickly. But it just made everything feel more disjointed for me. The themes here are also not all the way clear sometimes while lacking all nuance at other times. Women are in some kind of vague danger, I guess? Women are either too much or they disappear, we are told at one point, which sounds nice but doesn't actually fit with the narrative or mean much of anything. Our narrator exists only to have an obsession, she lacks any other desires and the rest of her life is just a brief biography. It is sometimes more like a faraway allegory but then it's a thriller again. I am not opposed to books that change things up, that try to be different, but at the end of it all there didn't seem to be much there there and the moodiness of it never really worked for me.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)

    Sera Fleece is unemployed, recently divorced, and finding it tough to get out of bed. She spends most of her time listening to true crime podcasts and has found herself invested in one in particular: Murder, She Spoke. The podcast covers the unsolved disappearances of women and is hosted by Rachel Bard from her family’s guest ranch in Northern California. Sera has listened to each of the 84 episodes multiple times and likes to scroll through Rachel’s social media for insight into her everyday li Sera Fleece is unemployed, recently divorced, and finding it tough to get out of bed. She spends most of her time listening to true crime podcasts and has found herself invested in one in particular: Murder, She Spoke. The podcast covers the unsolved disappearances of women and is hosted by Rachel Bard from her family’s guest ranch in Northern California. Sera has listened to each of the 84 episodes multiple times and likes to scroll through Rachel’s social media for insight into her everyday life. When the podcast and social media accounts all abruptly stop updating, Sera fears that Rachel has become an episode of her own podcast. Sera drives to Fountain Creek Guest Ranch to confirm Rachel is missing. She feels ridiculous but she has to know what’s happening. After a spontaneous job interview, Rachel’s mother Addy hires Sera as the new head wrangler. Rachel’s family and the nearby small town of Happy Camp all have secrets to hide and plenty of suspects with motive in Rachel’s disappearance. If I Disappear is an intense debut thriller. Full of suspicious characters, strange clues, and a building sense of unease; I didn’t want to put this one down! I needed to follow along with Sera’s mostly unwise investigation, uncovering secrets and the truth about Rachel. I recommend this book to readers who love an atmospheric thriller that kicks up the sense of dread the closer you get to the truth. Thanks to Berkley and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review. If I Disappear is scheduled for release on January 26, 2021. For more reviews, visit www.rootsandreads.wordpress.com

  19. 4 out of 5

    Erika Lynn (shelf.inspiration)

    3 Stars “We look because we have to. Because no one else will.” - If I Disappear. See more on my Bookstagram: Shelf.Inspiration Instagram REVIEW: Thank you to NetGalley, Berkley Publishing Group, and Eliza Brazier for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This book follows Sera, who is a lover of true crime podcasts. Her favorite are the podcasts that follow the disappearances of women and she feels like they are preparing her for something. So when her favorit 3 Stars “We look because we have to. Because no one else will.” - If I Disappear. See more on my Bookstagram: Shelf.Inspiration Instagram REVIEW: Thank you to NetGalley, Berkley Publishing Group, and Eliza Brazier for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This book follows Sera, who is a lover of true crime podcasts. Her favorite are the podcasts that follow the disappearances of women and she feels like they are preparing her for something. So when her favorite podcast host Rachel goes missing, Sera decides to try to find her. She moves out to a ranch in Rachel’s hometown to search for clues, but the more she looks for clues the more things start to feel off. This was a fun thriller to read at the end of summer! I thought it was really unique the way it incorporated a true crime podcast in with the plot of the story. In addition, the novel had many twists that kept me guessing about what was actually going on. What didn’t work for me with this book was the ending. Although I felt it was good, things got a little confusing and in some ways I felt it was a little too convenient of an ending. It seemed to wrap up very quickly after a long suspense. Overall, I would still recommend this book to thriller lovers as I think it is a unique story! Release Date: January 26, 2021 SYNOPSIS: Sera loves true crime podcasts. They make her feel empowered in a world where women just like her disappear daily. She's sure they are preparing her for something. So when Rachel, her favorite podcast host, goes missing, Sera knows it's time to act. Rachel has always taught her to trust her instincts. Sera follows the clues hidden in the episodes to an isolated ranch outside Rachel's small hometown to begin her search. She's convinced her investigation will make Rachel so proud. But the more Sera digs into this unfamiliar world, the more off things start to feel. Because Rachel is not the first woman to vanish from the ranch, and she won't be the last... Rachel did try to warn her.

  20. 4 out of 5

    ABookwormWithWine

    Well what a ride this one was! If I Disappear by Eliza Jane Brazier is a debut but you could have fooled me. I loved the tenseness in this book, and I thought it was both perfectly suspenseful while also giving the reader a very claustrophobic feel. It is definitely a slow burn, but I could not put it down and there is enough going on that you just want to keep reading until the very end. I love that every chapter starts with an excerpt from Rachel's true crime podcast, and that plus the short c Well what a ride this one was! If I Disappear by Eliza Jane Brazier is a debut but you could have fooled me. I loved the tenseness in this book, and I thought it was both perfectly suspenseful while also giving the reader a very claustrophobic feel. It is definitely a slow burn, but I could not put it down and there is enough going on that you just want to keep reading until the very end. I love that every chapter starts with an excerpt from Rachel's true crime podcast, and that plus the short chapters made the book fly by. You can never be sure of Sera as a narrator, and she was a bit unreliable overall which I think brought something extra to the story. The isolated ranch couldn't have been a better setting, and there are so many things that gave me the heebie-jeebies. If I Disappear is a very unsettling read, and while nothing is overly descriptive, there are still plenty of disturbing and chilling things about it. I thought the writing was fantastic and it was a very unique and smart debut. I definitely had no idea where it was headed, and the end left me with my mouth hanging open and chills. I don't normally love the kind of end this one has, but it really worked here, and I was satisfied with it. Maybe there will be a follow-up in the future?? I can only hope, and no matter what Brazier's next book is I will definitely be reading it! Thank you to the publisher for my advance review copy via NetGalley. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

  21. 4 out of 5

    MicheleReader

    Fans of true crime podcasts will be intrigued by Eliza Jane Brazier’s If I Disappear. Sera Fleece’s life is a mess. She is lonely, can’t keep a job and her marriage fell apart. What keeps her going is a true crime podcast, “Murder, She Spoke,” presented by Rachel Bard. Sera has committed each episode of the series, about the disappearance of young women, to memory. When the podcast abruptly stops airing, Sera is convinced that Rachel has disappeared and is in danger. Sera is compelled to find ou Fans of true crime podcasts will be intrigued by Eliza Jane Brazier’s If I Disappear. Sera Fleece’s life is a mess. She is lonely, can’t keep a job and her marriage fell apart. What keeps her going is a true crime podcast, “Murder, She Spoke,” presented by Rachel Bard. Sera has committed each episode of the series, about the disappearance of young women, to memory. When the podcast abruptly stops airing, Sera is convinced that Rachel has disappeared and is in danger. Sera is compelled to find out what happened to Rachel. Sera travels to Rachel’s hometown and it is clear that the Bards are one strange family. Sera is obsessed and convinces Rachel’s parents to hire her to work on their ranch where her domineering mother, father and a good looking ranch hand ooze creepiness. But solving the mystery has given Sera a new sense of purpose and strength and while there are warning signs all over, she does not back down. I have mixed feelings about If I Disappear. It’s a thriller that is meant to be strange and creepy and it succeeds. Even when the strange factor rises pretty high and it gets a bit claustrophobic to read, the story keeps you wanting to hang in there and find out the truth about Rachel and other possible disappearances. Was the journey worth it? Yes, somewhat. But you might absolutely love it so check this one out. Many thanks to NetGalley, Berkley Publishing Group and the author for the chance to read If I Disappear in advance of its January 26, 2020 publication. This is YA (young adult) author Brazier’s adult debut and I look forward to seeing what she writes next. A television adaptation is in the works and I'll be anxious to watch it. Rated 3.5 (out of 5 stars) rounded up because I simply couldn’t put it down.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Belle

    If I Disappeared begins on a compelling premise: a true-crime podcaster goes missing, but not before planting a subtle call for help in her final episode. Sera Fleece’s subsequent search leads her deep into the remote wilderness of Northern California, where she must contend with an unwelcoming cast of creepy characters. Suspicions swirl in this propulsive debut, a clever, sinister read with a surprising sting in the tail.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    A True Crime Podcaster goes missing A fan goes out to search What do you get... a witty and twisty thriller If I Disappeared is a unique read - a debut author with an amazing voice that makes this book bingeable, addictive and unputdownable. I found it entertaining and to hear that this may be developed for television sounds fascinating. Rachel is the host of a true crime pod cast called Murder She Spoke when she suddenly stops posting and goes missing. One of her fans, Sera whose life is adrift, ta A True Crime Podcaster goes missing A fan goes out to search What do you get... a witty and twisty thriller If I Disappeared is a unique read - a debut author with an amazing voice that makes this book bingeable, addictive and unputdownable. I found it entertaining and to hear that this may be developed for television sounds fascinating. Rachel is the host of a true crime pod cast called Murder She Spoke when she suddenly stops posting and goes missing. One of her fans, Sera whose life is adrift, takes it upon herself to get in the middle of this story by going up to Rachel's ranch in Northern California and start an investigation on her own. Armed with the tools from listening to Rachel's true crime podcast, Sera embarks on a mystery meeting some shady characters along the way. What a fantastic read I enjoyed!! Thank you Berkley Pub for the ARC and all opinions are my own

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ceecee

    Review to come nearer to publication

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lou

    If I Disappear is Brazier's first foray into the world of adult fiction with this compulsive and atmospheric psychological thriller. Sera Fleece's life is all but falling apart. After an emotional divorce and a recent miscarriage she is depressed and feels alone and useless and that if she was so longer here that no one would bat an eyelid. She's looking for an escape from her problems and so she becomes interested in a true crime podcast hosted by Rachel Bard. Focusing on the disappearances of If I Disappear is Brazier's first foray into the world of adult fiction with this compulsive and atmospheric psychological thriller. Sera Fleece's life is all but falling apart. After an emotional divorce and a recent miscarriage she is depressed and feels alone and useless and that if she was so longer here that no one would bat an eyelid. She's looking for an escape from her problems and so she becomes interested in a true crime podcast hosted by Rachel Bard. Focusing on the disappearances of young women, Murder, She Spoke is about the only thing keeping Sera going. But soon her enjoyment of the podcast becomes an obsession taking up vast amounts of her day. It has become an unhealthy addiction. When the podcast ceases abruptly with no announcement to listeners via social media Sera is concerned. By tirelessly and meticulously piecing together snippets of personal information Rachel had shared throughout the podcast episodes, Sera has enough to know which direction she should head to search for her. She believes something bad has happened to Rachel and sets out to find her utilising the investigation skills she had learned through her many, many hours of listening. She arrives at the town of Happy Camp in Northern California, Rachel's hometown, where her parents still run a guest house on their remote ranch known as Fountain Creek Guest Ranch. In order to introduce herself to Rachel's family she pretends to be looking for work and despite how hard ranch work can be she knows how to handle horses. Addy and Emmett Bard offer her a job as head wrangler which gives Sera the perfect excuse to investigate without any suspicion. She finds the ranch quite unnerving as it's way out in the back end of nowhere and she finds it weird that Rachel's parents don't seem to be concerned that she's vanished. The ranch becomes ever more strange as Sera realises there are no guests, the horses look neglected and extremely disconcerting is the fact that there's no internet available either. When she discovers Rachel wasn't the only woman to go missing from Fountain Creek she knows she's in danger too. But despite her flight or fight response having activated telling her in no uncertain terms to run, she can't bring herself to leave without knowing what happened to Rachel. This is a compulsive and enthralling read with ample twists and turns and a unique writing style; I admit it takes a little longer to become fully immersed and absorbed due to the unusual structure, but it soon becomes second nature. I felt sorry for Sera as she is clearly very broken and desperate to escape her thoughts and her everyday life. It's a disturbing, riveting and creepy page-turner that surprised me with quite a few superb twists. Highly recommended.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Juli

    As a fan of true crime podcasts, I identified a little bit with the main character of this book, Sera. A little bit is the key phrase....Sera is obsessed with one podcaster. Rachel, who has a podcast about missing women called Murder, She Spoke. When the host goes silent on social media and no new episodes of Murder, She Spoke are appearing, Sera goes in search of her favorite podcaster.... I liked how snippets of the podcast were worked into the chapters of this story. The point of view was an As a fan of true crime podcasts, I identified a little bit with the main character of this book, Sera. A little bit is the key phrase....Sera is obsessed with one podcaster. Rachel, who has a podcast about missing women called Murder, She Spoke. When the host goes silent on social media and no new episodes of Murder, She Spoke are appearing, Sera goes in search of her favorite podcaster.... I liked how snippets of the podcast were worked into the chapters of this story. The point of view was an interesting effect as well. Sera speaks as if the reader were Rachel. The story is intense....this isn't a comfortable read. Bizarre events. Strange people. A main character who seems strong and intelligent...but so close to a breakdown. An odd and unsettling story told in an odd and unsettling way.....but a compelling one. I binge read this book in one night because I couldn't put it down. The ending was a bit strange....but I had no problem with that as the entire story just pretty much lends itself to strange. Very entertaining book! It kept me on the edge of my seat with a strong case of the heebies from start to finish! **I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from Berkley Publishing. All opinions expressed are entirely my own. **

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kelli

    This book was strange. It reminded me very distantly of the brilliant Sadie, and for that I feel bad because there is really no comparing the two. Written in second person with short sentences made to keep the reader feeling off balance throughout, the story read very YA to me. So much of the behavior of certain characters was never explained and most of the story required a healthy suspension of disbelief. I also found this confusing and repetitive, which is a strange combination. The author is This book was strange. It reminded me very distantly of the brilliant Sadie, and for that I feel bad because there is really no comparing the two. Written in second person with short sentences made to keep the reader feeling off balance throughout, the story read very YA to me. So much of the behavior of certain characters was never explained and most of the story required a healthy suspension of disbelief. I also found this confusing and repetitive, which is a strange combination. The author is a screenwriter and is developing this for television. I could see this translating very well to that and being a hit. This is a tough one to rate. 2 stars means "it was okay" and 3 stars means "I liked it." If I'm being honest, it falls somewhere in between, but all of the glaring plot holes and the need to suspend disbelief is causing me to stick with the 2 star.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)

    This is...an odd book. If you just go with it and dive deep into the swirling paranoia and bizarre story of a missing podcaster, you will probably like it and you're in for a topsy turvy ride. And if you can really start thinking about the overall premise of Sera looking for herself as well as trying to find out what happened to Rachel, the book does offer some unique storytelling. However, there were some gigantic plot holes and other things that just didn't make the story work for me (don't re This is...an odd book. If you just go with it and dive deep into the swirling paranoia and bizarre story of a missing podcaster, you will probably like it and you're in for a topsy turvy ride. And if you can really start thinking about the overall premise of Sera looking for herself as well as trying to find out what happened to Rachel, the book does offer some unique storytelling. However, there were some gigantic plot holes and other things that just didn't make the story work for me (don't read this unless you've already read the book because I give away the twist): (view spoiler)[ First off, the reader never gets a sense of Rachel. We get snippets of her podcast and we know that Sera is totally obsessed with her, but Rachel is gone when we come into the tale. The device of telling the story in the second person for the most part just didn't work for me for that reason. I saw the author's vision, but it was just awkward in basically Sera telling the story to Rachel, whom she had never met. Second, and this is where I almost went down to two stars: the true crime podcast community is rabid, and I mean that in the best possible way. There are endless forums and citizen detectives devoted to solving each and every unsolved crime presented on podcasts. The fact that Rachel was basically making up most of the stories to detail her own crimes and giving them different scenarios would have been uncovered in a hot minute by her listeners and revealed as made-up stories. If these were women who wouldn't be missed, that wouldn't matter. Listeners would follow up with police and find out that the crimes weren't as described. And as a last aside--If I were Sera I would have broken into that darn house much sooner. Not being able to open the windows wouldn't have stopped me. (hide spoiler)] That said, this is a twisty book with suspicion thrown everywhere. Nothing is as it seems and the reader doesn't know who the good guys or the bad guys are until the end, and even then it could be debated. I liked the book and it definitely kept me up late reading to try to puzzle out what exactly was going on. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tabatha (tab.talks.books)

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 So this book took me days to get into and then once I was a little more than half way done I could not put it down. I was so confused and I *needed* answers. I did not see any of it coming. The reason it was not 5⭐️ was because it just left me with such an icky feeling inside, which maybe that’s the whole point and this could be a huge hit. However, idk felt weird giving it 5⭐️ for making me feel like I needed to keep the lights on and call my bestie. The writing from the get go was jus ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 So this book took me days to get into and then once I was a little more than half way done I could not put it down. I was so confused and I *needed* answers. I did not see any of it coming. The reason it was not 5⭐️ was because it just left me with such an icky feeling inside, which maybe that’s the whole point and this could be a huge hit. However, idk felt weird giving it 5⭐️ for making me feel like I needed to keep the lights on and call my bestie. The writing from the get go was just so weird. I didn’t get where it was going and it was building up the story line to make you think one thing but told yourself it can’t be that obvious. Happy Camp is weird, the blackberries are weird, the rocks are weird, the whole dang family is weird, Racheal and her podcast is WEIRD. The ending WAS SOOO WEIRD—but good. I did like Jed though, and wondered what was up with his story kind of, lots of ????? about him & his background. Deff a psych thriller and a make you feel icky inside book but if you’re into these types of books or horror books then I’m sure you’ll love it—or maybe you’ll think it’s predictable?! I’m not used to these stories so all of them hit me with the 😱 factor lol.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    “A propulsive thrill ride full of surprises right through the firecracker ending.”

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