Fragile by Lisa Unger (2010)

“[The Hollows] wasn’t the kind of small town where everyone knew one another and nothing ever happened. But it was a relatively safe and quiet community…It had a quaintness to it…a nice place to live.” (p. 46)

When Maggie Cooper was a teenager, all she could think of was how to get away from the Hollows. As an adult, Maggie has come back to make a home with her husband Jones and their teenage son, Ricky. When Ricky’s girlfriend, Charlene, disappears, the small community is thrown into a panic. Some believe the troubled girl ran away; others are reminded of the tragedy that occurred during Maggie and Jones’s high school days when another young girl went missing. As the search for Charlene progresses, the weight of a long-buried secret attempts to crush those who have dared to keep it.

Fragile is more than a typical mystery. Unger peels back the layers on complex family and community relationships. The suspense makes Fragile a page turner, but unfortunately it lost some steam at the end with a conclusion that should have been pages, not chapters, long.

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