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One of CrimeReads Most Anticipated Books of the Year! "This literary thriller paints as vivid a landscape as any book coming out this summer...Gee creates a lush, tantalizing world that readers will want to travel into deeper and deeper."—CrimeReads Celia Lily is rich, beautiful, and admired. She’s also missing. And the search for the glamorous socialite is about to expose a One of CrimeReads Most Anticipated Books of the Year! "This literary thriller paints as vivid a landscape as any book coming out this summer...Gee creates a lush, tantalizing world that readers will want to travel into deeper and deeper."—CrimeReads Celia Lily is rich, beautiful, and admired. She’s also missing. And the search for the glamorous socialite is about to expose all the dark, dirty secrets of Vanishing Falls… Deep within the lush Tasmanian rainforest is the remote town of Vanishing Falls, a place with a storied past. The town’s showpiece, built in the 1800s, is its Calendar House—currently occupied by Jack Lily, a prominent art collector and landowner; his wife, Celia; and their four daughters. The elaborate, eccentrically designed mansion houses one masterpiece and 52 rooms—and Celia Lily isn’t in any of them. She has vanished without a trace.… Joelle Smithton knows that a few folks in Vanishing Falls believe that she’s simple-minded. It’s true that Joelle’s brain works a little differently—a legacy of shocking childhood trauma. But Joelle sees far more than most people realize, and remembers details that others cast away. For instance, she knows that Celia’s husband, Jack, has connections to unsavory local characters whom he’s desperate to keep hidden. He’s not the only one in town with something to conceal. Even Joelle’s own husband, Brian, a butcher, is acting suspiciously. While the police flounder, unable to find Celia, Joelle is gradually parsing the truth from the gossip she hears and from the simple gestures and statements that can unwittingly reveal so much.   Just as the water from the falls disappears into the ground, gushing away through subterranean creeks, the secrets in Vanishing Falls are pulsing through the town, about to converge. And when they do, Joelle must summon the courage to reveal what really happened to Celia, even if it means exposing her own past…


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One of CrimeReads Most Anticipated Books of the Year! "This literary thriller paints as vivid a landscape as any book coming out this summer...Gee creates a lush, tantalizing world that readers will want to travel into deeper and deeper."—CrimeReads Celia Lily is rich, beautiful, and admired. She’s also missing. And the search for the glamorous socialite is about to expose a One of CrimeReads Most Anticipated Books of the Year! "This literary thriller paints as vivid a landscape as any book coming out this summer...Gee creates a lush, tantalizing world that readers will want to travel into deeper and deeper."—CrimeReads Celia Lily is rich, beautiful, and admired. She’s also missing. And the search for the glamorous socialite is about to expose all the dark, dirty secrets of Vanishing Falls… Deep within the lush Tasmanian rainforest is the remote town of Vanishing Falls, a place with a storied past. The town’s showpiece, built in the 1800s, is its Calendar House—currently occupied by Jack Lily, a prominent art collector and landowner; his wife, Celia; and their four daughters. The elaborate, eccentrically designed mansion houses one masterpiece and 52 rooms—and Celia Lily isn’t in any of them. She has vanished without a trace.… Joelle Smithton knows that a few folks in Vanishing Falls believe that she’s simple-minded. It’s true that Joelle’s brain works a little differently—a legacy of shocking childhood trauma. But Joelle sees far more than most people realize, and remembers details that others cast away. For instance, she knows that Celia’s husband, Jack, has connections to unsavory local characters whom he’s desperate to keep hidden. He’s not the only one in town with something to conceal. Even Joelle’s own husband, Brian, a butcher, is acting suspiciously. While the police flounder, unable to find Celia, Joelle is gradually parsing the truth from the gossip she hears and from the simple gestures and statements that can unwittingly reveal so much.   Just as the water from the falls disappears into the ground, gushing away through subterranean creeks, the secrets in Vanishing Falls are pulsing through the town, about to converge. And when they do, Joelle must summon the courage to reveal what really happened to Celia, even if it means exposing her own past…

30 review for Vanishing Falls

  1. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Buehner

    1.5 stars Months ago, I made a promise to myself. I swore to always write fair and honest book reviews. I swore to never pad ratings out of sympathy. I swore to never award unwarranted low ratings. For honesty is always the best policy. To this belief, I cling tightly. Honesty, however, is not always easy. It’s not fun to deliver bad news. It can be rather challenging. And it pains me to write the words that follow. It truly does. But if I’m being honest, Poppy Gee’s latest mystery/thriller, Vanish 1.5 stars Months ago, I made a promise to myself. I swore to always write fair and honest book reviews. I swore to never pad ratings out of sympathy. I swore to never award unwarranted low ratings. For honesty is always the best policy. To this belief, I cling tightly. Honesty, however, is not always easy. It’s not fun to deliver bad news. It can be rather challenging. And it pains me to write the words that follow. It truly does. But if I’m being honest, Poppy Gee’s latest mystery/thriller, Vanishing Falls, stands to be one of the worst novels I have ever read. It is mind-numbingly terrible. It is the kind of awful the literary world has not seen since Baldacci first published The Christmas Train. (Those of you who have read Baldacci's holiday gem know exactly what I mean. Don’t even try to deny it.) The premise of the novel is solid – Deep within the Tasmanian rainforest lies Vanishing Falls, a town famous for its contentious past. Within Vanishing Falls sits Calendar House, a magnificent mansion owned by the Lily family and currently occupied by art collector, Jack, his socialite wife, Celia, and their four young daughters. All is well with the Lily family -- until Jack returns home one night and discovers that Celia has disappeared. Crazed with worry, Jack enlists the help of the local police, only to then somehow find himself to be the prime suspect in their investigation. Where has Celia gone? Is it an abduction? A planned escape of her own orchestration? Or has something far more sinister and unfortunate happened to her? And I will leave it at that. If I reveal any further information regarding the plot, I fear I may spoil the (minuscule bit of) fun of the outcome. On its face, Vanishing Falls appears to be right up my alley. I love a good mystery; I love a good Gothic house. And there aren’t many stories set in a small town in the middle of the rainforest of Australia. A reader is hard-pressed to find a novel with a more unique scenic backdrop. But all the enticing elements don’t mesh very well. The tone of the novel is scattered and ever changing. One minute it feels like you’re reading a gothic mystery. The next minute it feels like you’re reading a cozy. And then after that, it's as if you’ve stepped into a time warp and switched to reading a historical mystery. Gee fails to successfully blend the various tones and genres together, resulting in a very bumpy and disjointed reading experience. Plus, her prose is beyond rough and choppy. It's infantile, as well. It lacks any sort of flow whatsoever, and the words trip and stumble over one another as you read them silently in your mind. Gee’s writing has no subtlety; she bluntly tells all to the reader, never shows. And Gee’s characterization isn’t any better either. The narrative of Vanishing Falls is told through the alternating viewpoints of three separate characters – Jack, his friend, Cliff, and Joelle, a town resident – and all three are severely underdeveloped and flat. The secondary characters fare even worse. Oh! I mustn’t forget to also mention the dialogue. Wooden, stiff, forced, awkward, and unnatural. Those five adjectives sum it up nicely. Typically, I can somewhat overlook poor technical and stylistic writing skills in a novel if the story is at least entertaining. But in this case, I can’t even claim that to be true. Because Vanishing Falls is downright boring. The core mystery is not anything new, and it’s certainly not very clever. There aren’t any surprising, jaw-dropping twists. It takes way too long to discover exactly what happens to Celia. And it is so simple to predict the outcome and solve the mystery. The final revelation can be seen hundreds of pages away. Boring. Boring. Boring. Still, the setting is terrific! Yes. The Tasmanian rainforest is quite fantastic. (Look at that. I found one positive to share.) Bottom line – Vanishing Falls is a dreadful chore of a read. I tried to like it. Really, I did. I stuck with it to the very end, hoping and thinking it would improve. But if I’m being honest, it just never did. I received an Advanced Readers Copy from William Morrow and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions included herein are my own.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Katie B

    I really enjoyed this mystery and while I had ideas of what happened to one of the characters, I didn't crack the case until right before the author revealed everything. Some readers might not like the slow pace of the story, but that combined with the Tasmanian setting and an intriguing female lead character all worked together nicely to hold my interest. Vanishing Falls is a remote town located in Tasmania, Australia. Jack Lily comes from a prominent family and lives in Calendar House which has I really enjoyed this mystery and while I had ideas of what happened to one of the characters, I didn't crack the case until right before the author revealed everything. Some readers might not like the slow pace of the story, but that combined with the Tasmanian setting and an intriguing female lead character all worked together nicely to hold my interest. Vanishing Falls is a remote town located in Tasmania, Australia. Jack Lily comes from a prominent family and lives in Calendar House which has been the residence for generations of the Lily family. Jack is married to Celia, who goes missing. The story will follow a few characters including Jack, Jack's friend Cliff, and Joelle who some might call simple-minded. So where is Celia and what happened? Joelle is the character who really drives the story. Without her, I don't think the story works as well. Most of the other characters are miserable, self-involved people and so you don't feel as invested in them as you do with Joelle. By far, she was the most fascinating character to me. I do have some mixed thoughts about the ending. The author did have me guessing until the end which is always good. However, I don't really like how things were wrapped up and without getting into spoilers, I questioned the actions of a particular character in the last few chapters. The ending was conveniently wrapped up by using one of those common mystery tropes that feels like the easy way out for a writer. So in some ways, the ending wasn't completely satisfying but I don't think it belongs in the bad category either. Given the slow pace, this book might not appeal to every mystery reader but I thought it had a unique feel to it at least compared to other books I have read recently in the same genre. I won a free copy of this book in a giveaway by Goodreads and the publisher but I was not obligated to post a review. All views expressed are my honest opinion.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

    Celia Lily is from a small Tasmanian town in the rain forest; she is also missing. Joelle Smithton is a little slow and sees a lot of things people are not aware of. People are not ready for what is about to be revealed. This book is described very well, and I believe it will be loved by many!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Faith

    This is a mystery about the disappearance of Claire Lily. Each chapter of this book is rather awkwardly broken into sections describing the doings of three characters - Joelle, a mentally challenged wife and mother, Claire’s husband Jack, a wealthy art collector, and Jacks’s friend Cliff, a meth-addicted chicken farmer. That made the book bloated and disjointed and brought in a lot of details that were irrelevant to the mystery. When I finally got to the end I was annoyed that I had slogged thro This is a mystery about the disappearance of Claire Lily. Each chapter of this book is rather awkwardly broken into sections describing the doings of three characters - Joelle, a mentally challenged wife and mother, Claire’s husband Jack, a wealthy art collector, and Jacks’s friend Cliff, a meth-addicted chicken farmer. That made the book bloated and disjointed and brought in a lot of details that were irrelevant to the mystery. When I finally got to the end I was annoyed that I had slogged through all of the red herrings for nothing (and there were too many dead dogs). It also took too long to actually get to Lily’s disappearance. The book should have stuck with Joelle and explored the situation solely through her child-like interpretation of events. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

  5. 5 out of 5

    DeAnn

    *this one is now available! 4 slow-build stars This one is set on the island of Tasmania, which is located about 150 miles south of Melbourne, Australia. For some reason, I thought it was desert, but it actually has gorgeous lush scenery and rainforests. A slow-building mystery, this one is set in a remote town called Vanishing Falls. Once known for great apple orchards, the town is now limping by and meth addiction is on the rise. There are several characters in this one, the wealthy family that l *this one is now available! 4 slow-build stars This one is set on the island of Tasmania, which is located about 150 miles south of Melbourne, Australia. For some reason, I thought it was desert, but it actually has gorgeous lush scenery and rainforests. A slow-building mystery, this one is set in a remote town called Vanishing Falls. Once known for great apple orchards, the town is now limping by and meth addiction is on the rise. There are several characters in this one, the wealthy family that lives in the fancy house in town – Jack and Celia and their four daughters. There’s Joelle and Brian and their twins, Brian is the town butcher and Joelle is a little different – mostly because of a horrible childhood and trauma she experienced. Then there’s Kim and Cliff who are friends with Jack and Celia. The book opens with Celia going missing and then we go back in time to get all the clues. The town is full of secrets and even some dark history from years ago. This tale was filled with water – rain, waterfalls, rivers – and great descriptions of the beauty of this island. As the police dig into the case, Joelle is trying to put all the pieces together herself. I was a bit worried that some unscrupulous townspeople would take advantage of Joelle, but she can handle things! I really enjoyed her character and I will remember her for sure! Thank you to NetGalley, Harper Collins/William Morrow, and Poppy Gee for an early copy of this one to read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Laurie Murphy

    Jack Lily arrives home to find the front door of his house wide open, the lights on and his wife's coat, jewelry and a half-drunk glass of champagne carelessly abandoned. His wife, however, cannot be found. So begins Vanishing Falls a novel set in a small town in Tasmania. The reader is then taken back a week in time and introduced to the main characters: a slightly mentally-challenged woman named Joelle and her butcher husband, Brian; Cliff, a meth-addicted chicken farmer and his wife Kim; lord Jack Lily arrives home to find the front door of his house wide open, the lights on and his wife's coat, jewelry and a half-drunk glass of champagne carelessly abandoned. His wife, however, cannot be found. So begins Vanishing Falls a novel set in a small town in Tasmania. The reader is then taken back a week in time and introduced to the main characters: a slightly mentally-challenged woman named Joelle and her butcher husband, Brian; Cliff, a meth-addicted chicken farmer and his wife Kim; lord-of-the-manor born Jack and his wife Celia. Unfortunately, the only sympathetic character out of the whole lot is Joelle. Her child-like outlook is refreshing but it's hard to watch the other characters try and manipulate her. Her eventual resolve to do what is right and seeing people for what they are is satisfying. The book starts out slowly as the characters and their relationships are introduced. It seems everyone is hiding something and it feels like it takes forever to find out what happened to Celia. Once it gets going, however, the story moves right along. Overall, I liked this book. There was some animal cruelty I didn't care for but that went along with the less than desirable characters. I liked the writing and felt Joelle's character especially rang true. Thank you HarperCollins and NetGalley for this ARC. The book will be published August 4, 2020.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    I was able to have this free early ebook edition as part of William Morrow Scene of the Crime Early Read program! 4⭐️ The story is a bit slow in the beginning, and it took a while to pick up, maybe like almost halfway through the book. However, I was able to visualize the rainforest and the town of Vanishing Falls based on the author’s very detailed description. The town and its people seem to be hiding too many secrets that push each of them to edge. I mean, the town used to be thriving, people a I was able to have this free early ebook edition as part of William Morrow Scene of the Crime Early Read program! 4⭐️ The story is a bit slow in the beginning, and it took a while to pick up, maybe like almost halfway through the book. However, I was able to visualize the rainforest and the town of Vanishing Falls based on the author’s very detailed description. The town and its people seem to be hiding too many secrets that push each of them to edge. I mean, the town used to be thriving, people are used to be happy, but for some reason, it stopped, and now there’s a murderer that could be anyone, and everyone is doing their very best not to unravel the past they have left behind. I do feel that it leans more on the suspense side rather than a thriller, but it is a good read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Brandy {The Review Booth}

    Vanishing Falls is quite a twisty little thriller. As the tale continues several reasons that could be a motive amongst several different people emerge. I only suspected towards the end of the novel but not quite to the lengths that person went and what they were after encompassed - I was shocked. The moody atmosphere in which Poppy Gee describes the town of Vanishing Falls and the surrounding area is spectacular. I would absolutely visit this area of the world just based on her descriptions of Vanishing Falls is quite a twisty little thriller. As the tale continues several reasons that could be a motive amongst several different people emerge. I only suspected towards the end of the novel but not quite to the lengths that person went and what they were after encompassed - I was shocked. The moody atmosphere in which Poppy Gee describes the town of Vanishing Falls and the surrounding area is spectacular. I would absolutely visit this area of the world just based on her descriptions of it - as well as visiting Calendar House. I had never heard about calendar houses before reading this book and it is an interesting but strange concept upon which to build a house. According to our dear old Wikipedia, they're rare - I would be curious if just not many of them survived or if not many were built in the first place. At least one town mentioned in the book does exist - Launceston which I found interesting and I would love to know if there was a specific area that inspired the town of Vanishing Falls. Vanishing Falls, which was once prosperous is now struggling to find its footing and so are its residents. Many have fallen upon hard times and that has left the town ripe for many issues to take root. I have witnessed some of the same problems emerge in several small towns near me but it was mostly the result of a large influx of people moving to the area and others being forced out to surrounding areas because they could no longer afford where they had been living. The pacing leans more towards a slow burn - but it definitely wasn't uninteresting and there is quite a bit going on. It took me a little while to settle in with the characters of the story but you can't help but like Joelle. Out of the five main characters we spend time with there is only one person who doesn't have something about themselves that they'd rather not let see the light of day. In a small town - that's almost impossible. The only supporting character that saw a lot of page time that seemed a little flat was Brian - Joelle's husband. It didn't really feel like I got to know him as a person; rather just details about him, things he was doing or had done. I would highly recommend Vanishing Falls to readers who enjoy thrillers, suspense, and murder mysteries. I really enjoyed being transported to a part of the world I rarely get the chance to read about through a thriller. A big thank you to William Morrow (via the Scene of the Crime Group) for the opportunity to read and review this excellent thriller - all opinions are my own.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    The setting of this mystery novel sounded intriguing to me, as I couldn't recall having read a novel set in Tasmania previously. I would describe this as having a very slow-burn feel, as the plot proceeds at a very deliberate pace. It is a quiet, but unsettling book that touches on drug use and prostitution in a small town, Tasmania's history, and a past event that continues to impact one of the characters in the present. Based on the book's description, I was surprised by how long it took befor The setting of this mystery novel sounded intriguing to me, as I couldn't recall having read a novel set in Tasmania previously. I would describe this as having a very slow-burn feel, as the plot proceeds at a very deliberate pace. It is a quiet, but unsettling book that touches on drug use and prostitution in a small town, Tasmania's history, and a past event that continues to impact one of the characters in the present. Based on the book's description, I was surprised by how long it took before Celia Lily (Jack's wife) went missing. However, that did allow for several elements to be introduced that factored into the conclusion. The chapters are broken down into smaller portions, focusing primarily on three main characters (Jack Lily, Joelle Smithton, and Cliff Gatenby), which gives the reader a chance to experience the story from various perspectives. Not all of the inhabitants of Vanishing Falls are particularly likable (some could be described as downright unsavory), so some readers may have a hard time connecting to them and the story as a result. That isn't critical for me, but I think it took me a bit longer to get into the story as a result. If you're looking for a book steeped in quiet tension in a remote location, this would be a good choice. It is a fine introduction to this author and I look forward to reading future novels by her. This review was based on the advanced reader's ebook I received via NetGalley courtesy of William Morrow and the Scene of the Crime. Many thanks for the opportunity to read this novel prior to its release!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Vicki

    This is a leisurely paced mystery set in a remote town in Tasmania, not a thriller as it says on the book jacket. As long as you’re not looking for a fast-paced adventure, you may enjoy the lush, exotic setting and the interesting cast of characters as much as I did.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Joshie Nicole readwithjoshie

    Thank you so much to my friends over at HarperCollins Canada and Edelweiss for an eARC of Vanishing Falls in exchange for an honest review. Joelle Smithton lives in the small Tasmanian town of Vanishing Falls. When prominent socialite Celia Lily goes missing, Joelle’s ability to see things differently is about to be put to the test. Will Joelle be able to get to the bottom of who is responsible for Celia’s disappearance? There are many unsavoury characters living in Vanishing Falls, from local ch Thank you so much to my friends over at HarperCollins Canada and Edelweiss for an eARC of Vanishing Falls in exchange for an honest review. Joelle Smithton lives in the small Tasmanian town of Vanishing Falls. When prominent socialite Celia Lily goes missing, Joelle’s ability to see things differently is about to be put to the test. Will Joelle be able to get to the bottom of who is responsible for Celia’s disappearance? There are many unsavoury characters living in Vanishing Falls, from local chicken farmers Cliff and Kim, Brian the town butcher and Joelle’s husband, Brenden and Karen Keegan who own a scrap heap and engage in some scandalous business on the side, to Celia’s own husband, and prominent art collector, Jack Lily. It seems everyone has something to hide. Does Celia’s disappearance have anything to do with the $1 million painting that Jack found discarded on the Keegan’s property? Perhaps the local meth problem has something to do with it. Many secrets are revealed as Joelle searches for answers, including some from her very own disturbing past. Gee’s novel contained much intrigue. She used perspective chapters to build suspense and layer the complexities of the relationships between the characters in the novel. Each chapter dug deeper into their motivations and connections to each other and to the nefarious dealings happening in Vanishing Falls. I thought the interconnectedness of the characters and events was cleverly done. I enjoyed her writing style, and the dialogue felt realistic. I loved reading from Joelle’s perspective; she is a simple-minded woman dealing with significant trauma and her blunt, black and white views were refreshing. She is pure of heart and the reader will easily fall in love with her and want to root for her. This only intensifies the reader’s feelings for the other characters in the story, for better or worse. Joelle is an excellent protagonist, and the novel works because of her. I felt that the novel fell short at its conclusion which felt rushed. The entire book is a slow burn building toward an anticlimactic and quick ending. I wanted more from the decisions of certain characters, and I wanted more originality in the way the loose threads were ultimately tied up. This was my first foray into the Outback noir genre, and I was so grateful for the chance to read this one. While there were some areas that did not live up to my expectations, it was an entertaining read overall. Read if you enjoy: thrillers, mysteries, crime, and multiple perspectives.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    This book is set in the lush Tasmanian rainforest of Australia. Very deep inside the forest is a small town called Vanishing Falls. Vanishing Falls has a storied past, with dubious characters. Some characters I disliked, others I hated, or felt sorry for, and they eventually redeemed themselves. The main character is Joelle, many people think she is simple minded, and she IS different. She just sees the world differently, often literally. She’s always paying attention so she picks up on clues ot This book is set in the lush Tasmanian rainforest of Australia. Very deep inside the forest is a small town called Vanishing Falls. Vanishing Falls has a storied past, with dubious characters. Some characters I disliked, others I hated, or felt sorry for, and they eventually redeemed themselves. The main character is Joelle, many people think she is simple minded, and she IS different. She just sees the world differently, often literally. She’s always paying attention so she picks up on clues others miss. The main premise of the novel is a missing person. Celia Lily goes missing late one night after an event. She is the beautiful, rich, and popular wife of Jack Lily and the mother of 4 daughters. Jack and Lily live in the town’s most famous mansion, The Calendar House. It’s eccentric, with 52 rooms, and an art collection. When Jack come home and finds the front door open and Cecilia missing, he panics. The police immediately suspect him because he’s hiding things. Joelle, drives this story. She decides she needs to find Cecilia so that the people of the town will love her, after all she’ll be the hero and the town will forgive her for her past involvement in a heinous crime. The story also follows Jack’s best friend Cliff and his wife Kim. I enjoyed the setting and atmosphere. The characters were not like-able, they were all shady and deceitful in some way. I did find myself alternating between yelling at Joelle and cheering her on. I did figure out the twist but only right before the reveal. I found the pace a little slower than I like but I can see people that like slower suspense/mysteries loving this one. Overall, I give this 3 1/2 of 5 stars. Thank you @Netgalley and @williammorrowbooks for my advanced digital copy to review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    D.J. Mitchell

    Poppy Gee’s Vanishing Falls is a spell-binding murder mystery set in a once-thriving, now economically-challenged, rural community on the edge of the Tasmanian rain forest. Vanishing Falls has everything a good mystery requires—flawed characters, any one of whom could be a murderer; an historic old estate whose centerpiece mansion holds clues to uncovering the past; and intense suspense presented in the vein of a true psychological thriller. Flora and fauna are main characters in Vanishing Falls Poppy Gee’s Vanishing Falls is a spell-binding murder mystery set in a once-thriving, now economically-challenged, rural community on the edge of the Tasmanian rain forest. Vanishing Falls has everything a good mystery requires—flawed characters, any one of whom could be a murderer; an historic old estate whose centerpiece mansion holds clues to uncovering the past; and intense suspense presented in the vein of a true psychological thriller. Flora and fauna are main characters in Vanishing Falls and add to the allure of the story. Detailed descriptions transport the reader not only to the farms, forests, and towns of Tasmania, but to experience the very sights, sounds, and smells of the location. “On the edge,” summarizes Vanishing Falls nicely. Not only is Vanishing Falls on the edge of reclamation by its adjacent forest, it is on the edge of economic ruin. Each of the main characters is on the edge of a moral or mental collapse, and as the story unfolds, the reader is on the edge of his or her seat until the murderer is revealed. I give the book four shining stars, balking at a fifth only because of one short but raunchy scene. Maybe the scene was integral to plot and character development, but it surely interrupted the intrigue of Vanishing Falls, if only momentarily. Many thanks to Harper Collins, Net Galley, and Poppy Gee for an advance readers‘ copy of Vanishing Falls in exchange for an honest review. I look forward to reading more books by Poppy Gee, and hope to see a movie portraying her murder mystery on the big screen with cinematography featuring wallabies, waterfalls, and the Tasmanian rain forest.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Margie Shaw

    I just finished reading Vanishing Falls by author Poppy Gee. It’s a thriller that takes place in the beautiful setting of Vanishing Falls which is a small town located in a Tasmanian rainforest. The story centers around the disappearance of Celia Lily. She is married to Jack Lily and they live in a mansion called The Calendar House. You learn of all the other characters in the town who are not as well off as the Lily’s but play an important role in the story. This is a town filled with a lot of I just finished reading Vanishing Falls by author Poppy Gee. It’s a thriller that takes place in the beautiful setting of Vanishing Falls which is a small town located in a Tasmanian rainforest. The story centers around the disappearance of Celia Lily. She is married to Jack Lily and they live in a mansion called The Calendar House. You learn of all the other characters in the town who are not as well off as the Lily’s but play an important role in the story. This is a town filled with a lot of dark secrets. Greed, addiction to crystal meth and husbands that prostitute their wives out are just some of the topics the author writes about in this book. This was my first time reading about this area of the world and the descriptions I thought were beautiful. It was a really good story, one I enjoyed and would recommend. All through the book I thought I had it figured out as to who was to blame for Celia’s disappearance but at the end I learned that I was wrong as usual. I’d like to thank the Scene of the Crime Early Read program and NetGalley for the arc to read and review. I’m giving this a 4 star rating.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Gail

    Poppy Gee has written an interesting story. I liked the setting in Tasmania and the descriptions of the landscape. The wife of a rich man has disappeared in the small community. The problem I had with the story was that I didn’t care for many of the characters, but maybe that reflects the author’s writing skill. She described them so well that I didn’t like them or maybe it was just my state of mind while reading the book. Thank you to NetGalley for the advance copy.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Fredrick Danysh

    Vanishing Falls reads like the script for a soap opera. The town is full of secrets and gossip. Joelle is considered backwards by everyone so all the gossip is is repeated in front of her. After a woman disappears, the secrets start to come to light. This was an advance read copy through Goodreads.com.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Glen

    I won this book in a goodreads drawing. In a small town in Tasmania, a woman has disappeared, and a lady sleuth with a reputation for being none too bright investigates. Kind of weird.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Bri

    Thanks to William Morrow for an ARC.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Howard

    This was a little predictable, but really good! The Tasmanian setting was fantastic, and the neuro-diverse main character was delightful. Full review coming for Shelf Awareness.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Never Without a Book

    Ummm. this book was okay. Things didn't pick up until very late in the book. No spice in this one.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    WOW! Vanishing Falls is a fantastic mystery. I loved every second of this book. Vanishing Falls is set in a small village in Tasmania, the author gives the reader an intimate look into the lives of the townspeople. I was fascinated with the complex day to day lives of the characters. The author created a wonderful story of the past meeting the present and human failings. I was kept guessing until the end about the identity of the murderer. The plot is constantly changing and with it the possible WOW! Vanishing Falls is a fantastic mystery. I loved every second of this book. Vanishing Falls is set in a small village in Tasmania, the author gives the reader an intimate look into the lives of the townspeople. I was fascinated with the complex day to day lives of the characters. The author created a wonderful story of the past meeting the present and human failings. I was kept guessing until the end about the identity of the murderer. The plot is constantly changing and with it the possible identity of the killer. It has been a long while since I have read a mystery this good.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kayci

    *ARC was provided by the published via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.* In Vanishing Falls socialite Celia Lily goes missing and everyone is a suspect. While trying to find out what happened to Celia, the seedy underbelly of this seemlingly nice small town is exposed. Unreliable narrators abound in Vanishing Falls. Broken up by days, readers get a glimpse into the mind of each character and understand that each of them has something to hide. Joelle Smithton has a past that she's been t *ARC was provided by the published via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.* In Vanishing Falls socialite Celia Lily goes missing and everyone is a suspect. While trying to find out what happened to Celia, the seedy underbelly of this seemlingly nice small town is exposed. Unreliable narrators abound in Vanishing Falls. Broken up by days, readers get a glimpse into the mind of each character and understand that each of them has something to hide. Joelle Smithton has a past that she's been trying to escape, but is catching up with her. Cliff Gatenby is beginning his descent into addiction, struggling with the fact that his wife, Kim, deserves so much more than he can offer her. Jack Lily, Celia's husband, has his own unsavory "business" association with the Keegan's. Add to this that Celia herself is complex and appears often dissatisfied with her life and the questions keep coming - did Celia find out someone's secret? How far would any of these characters go to keep their secrets safe? Or, did Celia disappear on her own? Vanishing Falls started off slowly for me, but picked up quickly. There were multiple story lines that seemed disparate, but you knew must converge. Given the number of suspects, the uneasy feeling of paranoia set in as you read the book. No one was trustworthy or above suspicion until Gee finally pulled all the pieces together at the end. I certainly caught on to who was ultimately responsible for Celia Lily's disappearance (but no spoilers here), it took a while to get there and was timed pretty closely with the characters in the book as well.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    This goes against the grain of most other reviews currently available for this book, but I felt like Vanishing Falls was an awful mess from beginning to end. The writing style is juvenile and simplistic. The characters are pretty poorly developed and completely inconsistent, with the exception of Joelle. This isn't saying much because Joelle is mentally traumatized from an incident when she was fourteen. This could be a strong point for the book, but it just doesn't work for me. The book is also This goes against the grain of most other reviews currently available for this book, but I felt like Vanishing Falls was an awful mess from beginning to end. The writing style is juvenile and simplistic. The characters are pretty poorly developed and completely inconsistent, with the exception of Joelle. This isn't saying much because Joelle is mentally traumatized from an incident when she was fourteen. This could be a strong point for the book, but it just doesn't work for me. The book is also told from three other points of view, one of which is completely unnecessary and adds no value to what story exists. Which was another issue with the book. What is the book supposed to be about? Cliff's drug usage? Jack's painting that's worth a boatload of money? Jack's wife disappearing? Joelle's husband potentially having a secret past? Then there's the random insinuations that come and go about Cliff and Jack's wife and Jack and Cliff's wife. It was incredibly difficult to follow where the author wanted to take the story and I probably would have never attempted to finish it if I wasn't writing a review for it. I do not recommend this book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Eugenie

    I was initially attracted to this book because it takes place in Tasmania and there is a mystery to be solved. The description of the place is good but the story itself moved slowly at first. I didn't think that most of the characters in the book were that believable. They seemed too much like types. By the second half of the book it was pretty obvious that the missing woman was murdered. The who and why developed well in the second half of the book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    SS

    3 1/2 stars Vanishing Falls is an atmospheric murder mystery that takes place in a small, remote town in Tasmania, which has suffered the loss of most of its major industries. It seems that everyone in town has secrets, and many of those secrets will be revealed before the end of the book. It follows the actions of three characters. There’s Jack, a wealthy lawyer with a long family history in the area. The book opens with his wife’s disappearance. He collects fine art from Tasmania’s colonial per 3 1/2 stars Vanishing Falls is an atmospheric murder mystery that takes place in a small, remote town in Tasmania, which has suffered the loss of most of its major industries. It seems that everyone in town has secrets, and many of those secrets will be revealed before the end of the book. It follows the actions of three characters. There’s Jack, a wealthy lawyer with a long family history in the area. The book opens with his wife’s disappearance. He collects fine art from Tasmania’s colonial period. There’s Joelle, a traumatized, unpretentious, and artless young wife and mother. Finally, there’s Cliff, a chicken farmer in financial trouble, who has a drug problem; although, he doesn’t believe he does. He and his wife, Kim, also seem to have marital issues. While the book takes place in 2017, it reads more like 1940s noir fiction. To me, it seemed disjointed and juvenile, simplistic in ways that did not suit the subject matter. It’s well enough written, but predictable. I felt that the darkness of the story was at odds with the descriptions of the beautiful and lush setting. Even the house, a gothic building, sounded beautiful and airy, filled with fine art and expensive and tasteful furnishings, rather than sinister. It’s a very slow build that never really takes off. Even when the action picks up, it’s still lethargic. I figured out who committed the crimes fairly early on; although, I will admit that there were some interesting twists. It went off on tangents, following Jack’s indiscretions, Cliff’s drug buying, Celia’s and Cliff’s maybe-maybe not attraction, Kim’s apparent attraction to Jack. I never did understand why it tried to connect Joelle’s past to Celia’s disappearance. This could have been an excellent novel, for the bones of it are good, if it had been written in a different style. The ending did not seem to fit with the rest of the story. It felt rushed and too sweet and pat. The characters were not well fleshed out and came across as flat, evoking little sympathy from me. It was easy to tell who was good and who was not. I did like how Joelle stood up for herself, and how she was the one who wound up collecting the important details that led to solving the case. Yet, she seemed too simple to be the one who saw what no one else did. Then, again, perhaps it was her simplicity that allowed her to do that. Know that the book involves drug use, prostitution, and deception of all sorts. In truth, it could have benefited from cutting 25-50 pages without interfering with the story. That likely would have improved it. Overall, it’s a reasonable mystery, but not the best I’ve read. I recommend it only if you have the patience to plow through the slow, slow pace. I kept putting the book down and didn’t feel any compulsion to pick it up again. If I hadn’t promised a review, I might not have finished it. I won an ARC of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. I thank all involved in the giveaway for their generosity, but it had no effect on this review. All opinions in this review express my true and honest reactions to reading this book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Margo Littell

    The small town of Vanishing Falls is quiet and mostly peaceful, and though there are rumblings of unsavory happenings in the rough farmhouses on the outskirts, most of the residents coexist uneventfully. One night, however, a woman named Celia Lily disappears--and her husband, Jack, is the obvious suspect. As the mystery intensifies and more time passes without finding Celia (or her corpse), other possible suspects emerge. There’s Cliff Gatenby, a local chicken farmer, whose meth addiction and d The small town of Vanishing Falls is quiet and mostly peaceful, and though there are rumblings of unsavory happenings in the rough farmhouses on the outskirts, most of the residents coexist uneventfully. One night, however, a woman named Celia Lily disappears--and her husband, Jack, is the obvious suspect. As the mystery intensifies and more time passes without finding Celia (or her corpse), other possible suspects emerge. There’s Cliff Gatenby, a local chicken farmer, whose meth addiction and dire financial circumstances provide ample motives. There’s Keegan and Karen from Marsh End, who end up with a valuable painting belonging to Jack--a painting that could alter their lives substantially. And floating amid the different groups is Joelle Smithton, whose personal history was marked by a traumatic, violent event that not everyone knows much about. Joelle might not seem like the sharpest knife in the drawer, and people tell her things. Things that connect in ways that other people who aren’t as observant as Joelle might not realize. The mystery at the heart of this novel--what happened to Celia Lily?--launches in the prologue, and the novel goes back in time to showcase the circumstances surrounding her disappearance and to establish how very many people in Vanishing Falls might be to blame. The isolation and depravity of the area keep the questions alive through four hundred pages, and even readers as astute as Joelle will be kept guessing until the end. ***Review originally written for the City Book Review. I received a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.***

  27. 5 out of 5

    Bri Childs

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book, but I would recommend it more as a strong character study and interesting look into life in a crumbling small town rather than a suspenseful murder mystery. You begin with the disappearance of a wealthy woman, Celia, in Vanishing Falls - a once fortuitous small town that is slowly crumbling under the weight of harsh drugs and a failing economy. The slow unraveling of details and secrets throughout the book in order to discover what happened to Celia certainly keep I thoroughly enjoyed this book, but I would recommend it more as a strong character study and interesting look into life in a crumbling small town rather than a suspenseful murder mystery. You begin with the disappearance of a wealthy woman, Celia, in Vanishing Falls - a once fortuitous small town that is slowly crumbling under the weight of harsh drugs and a failing economy. The slow unraveling of details and secrets throughout the book in order to discover what happened to Celia certainly keeps you propelled forward, but I was most captivated by the unique characters that author Poppy Gee brought to life. Told through up to four different viewpoints, you see the struggle and imbalance between those in town who are close to rock bottom and the one family that has held the large Calendar House and land for over a century. (Side note: this was my first time reading about a Calendar House and what an intriguing concept!) The star of the book is Joelle - a beautifully innocent woman whose multiple past traumas and abuse have stunted her development, making her a bit slower in mind and an easy target for many in town. If anything, I read this book for her. To see where she ends up and to stay witness to her beat-the-odds life as a mother and as a wife to the wonderfully sweet man, Brian, who loves her unconditionally. I did end up figuring out what happens a good while before the ending, so this isn't a shocking, twist-heavy mystery, but enough diversions are there to keep you guessing for awhile and you get to dive into the varying mindsets of intriguing characters along the way!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Vickie

    This was a slow-paced mystery with a move by the author towards an ending that was satisfying if not totally unexpected. The setting made the book tantalizingly different. Set in Tasmania, this novel enticed me with the lush setting that I knew little about but which the author describes in inviting details. The main thrust of the book is that a rich and famous figure on the island, Celia Lily, is missing. The other characters are players on the stage of Celia’s notoriety. She is missing but she This was a slow-paced mystery with a move by the author towards an ending that was satisfying if not totally unexpected. The setting made the book tantalizingly different. Set in Tasmania, this novel enticed me with the lush setting that I knew little about but which the author describes in inviting details. The main thrust of the book is that a rich and famous figure on the island, Celia Lily, is missing. The other characters are players on the stage of Celia’s notoriety. She is missing but she is still present on every page. There are many characters who are not particularly likable, including Jack Lily, the owner of the mansion where Celia disappeared. The character who intrigued me was Joelle, the wife of the local butcher and a young woman who is ignored by many townspeople because she has a brain that functions differently. What the inhabitants don’t understand is that Joelle notices things that others don’t and may hold the key to what has happened to Celia. The story is twisted and seems to ramble all over the island, but I felt all along that the author was leading me on a deliberate path to the conclusion. I enjoyed the book but I don’t think that it is for everyone who loves mysteries since this one is so slow-paced. I just think it is well worth the read because of the setting and the characters who are so well-developed and complicated. Vanishing Falls became real to me through the author’s colorful descriptions, so that made me want to visit, and other readers may want to experience this exotic and mysterious locale for themselves. Disclaimer Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”

  29. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    Vanishing Falls by Poppy Gee is a suspenseful murder mystery that keeps you guessing, Who did it and Where is she?? Gee takes us to the outskirts of the Tasmanian Rainforest and a town named Vanishing Falls, where everyone has a secret to keep and hide. Celia disappears without a trace. Did she really walk away from everything, including her four daughters or was it something was more sinister? Was she murdered? Did Cliff kill her in his drug-induced rage and completely forget? Was it Jack, her Vanishing Falls by Poppy Gee is a suspenseful murder mystery that keeps you guessing, Who did it and Where is she?? Gee takes us to the outskirts of the Tasmanian Rainforest and a town named Vanishing Falls, where everyone has a secret to keep and hide. Celia disappears without a trace. Did she really walk away from everything, including her four daughters or was it something was more sinister? Was she murdered? Did Cliff kill her in his drug-induced rage and completely forget? Was it Jack, her husband? Joelle, the town outcast and desperate for friends, wants to find Celia and be the town hero. Will she uncover the truth and find Celia before its too late? Gee writes a very good mystery but I found it too confusing to keep all the characters separate and keep who was married to who. Maybe I am in the minority but I had to keep going backwards in the book to decide who was married to who and too keep the characters straight in my mind, even though the chapters and sub-parts are labeled with the name and place. With that being said, I still enjoyed the mystery and suspense of the story. I would recommend this to others but telling them to pay close attention in the beginning to the characters. Special Thanks to NetGalley, William Morrow-HarperCollins Publishing, and Poppy Gee for the advance digital copy in exchange for my honest opinion. #VanishingFalls #NetGalley

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bdalton

    The three main pluses of this book are an unexpected main character, an interesting setting, and a contemporary issue. These three make this a good book to recommend to women’s book group. Joelle, the main character, has a developmental disability that is not fully articulated. She is married, with children, and a wonderful member of her town. Her biggest fear is being excluded from this community that has welcomed her so fully. Joelle has a dark past that she dreads being exposed. Bookclubs cou The three main pluses of this book are an unexpected main character, an interesting setting, and a contemporary issue. These three make this a good book to recommend to women’s book group. Joelle, the main character, has a developmental disability that is not fully articulated. She is married, with children, and a wonderful member of her town. Her biggest fear is being excluded from this community that has welcomed her so fully. Joelle has a dark past that she dreads being exposed. Bookclubs could discuss what inclusive communities should like and whether or not they know anyone like Joelle. What societal limitations prevent them from knowing a person like Joelle? Vanishing Falls, the town in the story, was once a thriving, bucolic town. It has fallen on hard times and many have turned to meth. Addiction and its connection to economic opportunity is a timely topic for book clubs to discuss. What towns across America are similar to Vanishing Falls and what can be done to help them thrive again? Vanishing Falls is located in Tasmania, a different setting for a book. A little bit of Tasmania’s history is woven into the story. Tasmanians’ treatment of aboriginal peoples figures into the plot line. Readers or Book Clubs that like to travel the world via reading will enjoy the atmospheric setting.

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