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Evidence of Life

3.47  ·  Rating Details ·  1,071 Ratings  ·  186 Reviews
On the last ordinary day of her life, Abby Bennett feels like the luckiest woman alive. But everyone knows that luck doesn't last forever. As her husband, Nick, and daughter, Lindsey, embark on a weekend camping trip to the Texas Hill Country, Abby looks forward to having some quiet time to herself. She braids Lindsey's hair, reminds Nick to drive safely and kisses them bo ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published March 26th 2013 by Harlequin MIRA (first published January 1st 2013)
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Community Reviews

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With Nick Bennett stressed, trying to pack the car with their camping equipment, and daughter Lindsey, the only other member of the family going, lagging, not ready, Abby decided to cook them French toast for breakfast before they left. Abby was going to have a peaceful couple of days all to herself, with lots of special little things on her agenda, as son Jake was at school, studying for upcoming exams.

When they finally left, Abby felt unsettled, sure there was something wrong with Nick. He se
May 24, 2013 paula rated it it was ok


I was kind of underwhelmed also. What drove me crazy was the almost conspiracy like attempts by everyone around Abby, who spent their lives telling her what to do and what not to do, to stop thinking and feeling what she was thinking and feeling, and just to go home and forget about her husband and daughter. I mean, they called each other after every interaction with Abby, and then someone would track her down, even stopping her on the road, asking questions, poking in
Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~*
3 1/2 stars
When her husband and daughter embark on a weekend camping trip,Abby Bennett is focused on the pleasure of some time to herself,until historic flooding descends on the region and the two go missing. Abby rushes to find them but weeks and then months go by with no sign of her daughter or husband. She refuses to believe they are gone forever,even as family and friends tell her to "move on." As she continues to search,Abby realizes that her marriage and her husband were not all th
Diane S ☔
Aug 05, 2013 Diane S ☔ rated it liked it
In simple and very clear prose, Sissel does a good job with this suspense/mystery of a missing father and daughter. The mother/wife is naturally beyond distraught and refuses to believe that they are actually dead and this is where the author alternately shines and falls down a little. She does an admirable job with the character of Abby, the breakdown, the refusal to believe they are gone but it also slows the story down a little too much. I think it would have better served the story line had ...more
Mar 13, 2013 Valentina rated it it was ok
This book started off well, lots of potential in the first few chapters. For a mystery/thriller, it was a really good start, quickly establishing the characters, the setting, never detailing things in excess which can slow down the plot. The tension started at once, so that the reader immediately got a sense that things were just a bit off. As I said, great beginning.
The problem with this book is that once the mystery starts, nothing really new happens. We get a few clues here and there, but it’
Andrea Corley
I just want to start by saying that I absolutely LOVED this book from the very beginning. I enjoyed reading every page that I turned.

I could only dream of being as strong as the main character, Abby! I admired her strength and refusal to give up! All of the characters were so different from what you normally read and I really appreciated that.

The author did a great job of writing an interesting twisted mystery. I found myself thinking of what I would do if I were in the situation throughout the
Suzanne Palmieri
Jan 26, 2013 Suzanne Palmieri rated it it was amazing
FIrst off, I have to give a disclaimer here... I share an editor with Barbara at MIRA books. I was lucky enough to get an ARC of this novel, but was not asked to rate or review it.

I'm not a fan of contemporary mysteries. Usually. But the premise of this novel was so intriguing I felt I had to read it. I'm so glad I did! Barbara does a wonderful job of creating a fast paced mystery at the same time as she is able to create real characters who have flaws but are truly likable. This book kept me gu
Harlequin Books
Category: Relationship Novel
"The slow pace of Sissel's novel allows readers to savor the language and the well-drawn characters. Exploring love, marriage, deception and trust against the backdrop of a gut-wrenching mystery leaves little time for the hinted-at romance. This quiet story is enjoyable and insightful." ~ RT Book Reviews, rated 4 stars
Neyra ♦
May 15, 2013 Neyra ♦ rated it liked it
Actual Rating: 3.5

Evidence of Life was an interesting read for me, I actually enjoyed it for the most part. I don't usually read Mystery Thrillers, but the cover and synopsis were too good to pass up. Evidence of Life is told in first person perspective from Abbey Bennett's POV. She takes us back to the day where she experienced her last "normal" day with her husband and sixteen year old daughter before a storm hits the state of Texas and leaves many without word from their loved ones or mea
I read this book because I wanted to try this author. The story was full of grief and human nature. Throw in one character who had some mental problems and the story ended up to be a page-turner. The story was not unique, but was worth reading. I respected the character of Jake because he truly cared about what was happening to his mom. I will put this author on my list to read again.
Dec 04, 2013 Wendy rated it really liked it
Shelves: dec-13
Abby Bennett's husband Nick and daughter Lindsay leave for a weekend camping trip. A devastating flood rips through the area and Nick and Lindsay cannot be found and are presumed drowned. This turns Abby's life upside down and she refuses to believe they are gone. Abby sets out to find them and as she investigates she discovers some evidence and disturbing facts that make her question everything she once believed about her husband and marriage.
A compelling mystery with a surprise ending.
May 15, 2013 Shelby rated it liked it
3 1/2 STARS. I think there could of more to this story. Where it makes you wonder what would I do if this happened to me. This book started out strong and had everything I like, mystery, suspense, a little love. It just didnt end on a high note for me.

Thanks to the Sister's for allowing me the time to read this book.
Aug 12, 2015 Nenette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Death in the family, no matter the circumstance, is hurtful. Death of old-aged parents, who've lived long and full lives is not exempt. Even more for spouses... And it's true what is said, how unnatural it is for children to precede their parents in death. So, it didn't surprise me how, in the story, Abby almost lost all of her sense and bearings when her husband and daughter disappeared after a devastating flood.

I've been doing a reading marathon of Sissel's books these past couple of weeks, an
Mar 19, 2013 Glenda rated it really liked it
Abby Bennett is looking forward to some quiet time alone as her husband Nick and daughter Lindsay leave for a weekend camping trip. Abby's life is turned upside down when a devastating flood rips through the area and Nick and Lindsay are presumed drowned and lost in the raging waters. Abby refuses to believe they are gone and sets out to find them. As she investigates, some disturbing facts and evidence come to light and Abby finds herself questioning everything she once believed about her marri ...more
Amy Jacobs
Apr 18, 2013 Amy Jacobs rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
That cover sums this book up for this reader. Mysterious, suspenseful and determination all in one package of a book. As not a regular reader of mystery/suspense unless it falls within the romance genre, I was pleasantly surprised by this book in the woman's mystery fiction world. I found myself really getting into the story and not wanting to put it down.

After Abbey's family goes missing after a storm, they are presumed dead. While it can't be proven, there is always that 1 percent of hope that
Kelly Hager
May 06, 2013 Kelly Hager rated it liked it
I sympathized with Lindsey and I understood her insistence that she learn what happened to her family, as well as her refusal to give up until she had to. If, by some miracle, they were found alive, how could she ever explain that she gave up?

There were parts of the book that made me roll my eyes and tested my credulity. But it was an enjoyable book that kept me turning pages.

When I started reading this, I was pretty sure that it was essentially going to be the Ashley Judd movie Double Jeopardy
Apr 28, 2013 Cheryl rated it liked it
Abby kisses her husband, Nick and daughter, Lindsey goodbye. They are going on a father/daughter camping trip. Abby did not know that this would be the last time she would see her husband and daughter again.

Abby does not believe what the cops are saying about Nick. They are saying that he planned to run away with their daughter and loads of money. Abby decides to investigate herself and find the truth. How will Abby handle the truth when she learns it?

This book is full of emotions. I can not i
Susan Salter
Mar 28, 2013 Susan Salter rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Mystery readers
I have to say the story was very compelling. I was hooked from the very beginning of the book. I can't imagine how I would feel if something happened to a beloved family member and I didn't know if they were alive or dead. So, being a Mom of people I love so much, the novel really hit home. We truly do feel the pain and intense, longing to know, that Abby feels. Living with doubt and fear can rule our lives and lead us to do things we never expect to do. Sissel made me love some of the character ...more
Lisa B.
Mar 30, 2013 Lisa B. rated it really liked it

I thought this was an interesting story. I did find myself wondering how I would handle it if someone in my life just suddenly disappeared and was considered presumed dead. Presumed being the key word here. I think not knowing with 100% certainty would drive me nuts, and I thought the author did a good job of portraying how this impacted Abby.

I was miffed at how some of Abby’s support team treated her. I was annoyed with Abby’s wishy-washy behavior - although I think this was reflective o
Jan 12, 2013 Pam rated it really liked it
What do you do when something you can't imagine happening, happens? How do you continue to go on when you simply can not? How do you have hope when, it seems, all hope is gone? These questions and more are what kept me going with Evidence of Life.

I was lucky enough to receive an ARC and I will recommend this to anyone that likes a little mystery and a little romance and a little struggling to get through life demands. Another reviewer compared Ms Sissel's writing to Jodi Picoult and Anita Shreve
Caren ~ the misfit geek
I had the good luck of receiving an ARC of this book. It was the first book by this author I have read but will certainly not be the last.

This book is wonderfully written. I enjoyed it from start to finish. I felt the story flowed very nicely and the writing was very expressive. The author captured my interest immediately and held it all the way through. I felt that the ending was true to the story and brought closure.

The character development was superb. Each character, even the absent ones, h
Feb 19, 2013 Sasha rated it it was amazing
I would first like to say I have received this book through the goodreads giveaway. I have had the wonderfully good luck to be able to read this advanced copy. This book is a wonderfully well written book dealing with a mother's worst nightmare story line... It was a very interesting novel that kept you glued to your seat and the story all the way through to the end. The author kept you guessing what truly happened. Once I picked it up I didn't wish to put it down. The author did the most wonder ...more
Pauline Tilbe
Mar 31, 2013 Pauline Tilbe rated it it was amazing
Barbara Taylor Sissel does it again. She pulled me in right from the start with this story.
Abby Bennett is faced with the worst fears...the tragic loss of her husband and daughter. As she discovers inconsistencies and unanswered questions, she cannot process grief because she isn't sure of death. Some unexpected events keep this story fresh and give you some surprises. All is not what it seems, sometimes.
The characters are well written. The story takes place in Texas, the descriptions of the t
Deborah Blanchard
Jul 08, 2013 Deborah Blanchard rated it really liked it
I thought this book was well written ,although I feel the story line kind of dragged on for too long before you got to the truth of the matter. The main characters were well developed. I couldn't put the book down because I wanted to know what had happened to Nick and Lindsay. I would have liked a better ending to the story, although at least we got some answers and some action. My heart went out to Abby, because not knowing what happened has got to be the worse thing. All in all, I liked the bo ...more
Jul 22, 2013 Terri rated it liked it
Abby's husband and daughter head out on a camping trip, and terrible floods hit the area, with no sign of them anywhere. They are presumed dead and Abby is encouraged to move on with her life. But her grief and questions are too great and she starts investigating things on her own. And what she finds only leads to more questions.

This was a very sad story. Abby's grief is palpable but it raises the question, is it really better to know the truth?
Gordon Howard
Feb 19, 2014 Gordon Howard rated it liked it
Abby is happily married (or so she thinks) until her husband Nick takes her daughter Lindsey on a camping trip and never returns. Abby is left with her son Jake and refuses to give up on finding her husband and daughter who are presumed lost in a monster flood that occurred in the mountain area where they went camping.

Let me preface this review by saying that my wife, who also read this book, totally disagrees with my opinion. She also read the book and feels that she can relate to Abby's feeli
Sharon Mcalister
Mar 22, 2014 Sharon Mcalister rated it really liked it
Abby Bennett looks forward to having a quiet weekend to herself. Her husband, Nick, and her daughter, Lindsey, are going camping in the Texas Hill Country. Son, Jake, is studying for finals. Abby thinks she has a near perfect life until Nick and Lindsey disappear in torrential rains and wide spread flooding. Abby is intent on finding her husband and daughter. I enjoyed this book. It was a story with a lot of twists and turns. It was a quick read. The only flaw I found was that the book was a lit ...more
Linda Robertson
Jun 04, 2014 Linda Robertson rated it liked it
Found this book at a garage sale, a good read for a quarter!
Nov 06, 2014 Kathy rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I liked the book. It is about a wife whose husband, Nick and daughter, Lindsey are presumed dead in the raging flood when they had set out on a camping trip. Abby, the wife tries to find answers to their disappearance. It ends up that he had a mistress briefly who turned into a "fatal attraction". The mistress, Sondra basically started following him and forced him off the road. She claims to have "loved" him but if she did, why didn't she report the accident and try to help him and his daughter? ...more
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Barbara Taylor Sissel writes issue oriented, upmarket women’s fiction that is threaded with elements of suspense and defined by its particular emphasis on how crime affects the family. She is the author of seven novels, FAULTLINES (coming 9/6) CROOKED LITTLE LIES, SAFE KEEPING, EVIDENCE 0F LIFE, THE NINTH STEP, THE VOLUNTEER, and THE LAST INNOCENT HOUR.

Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, she was raised in v
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