Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Half Moon Bay” as Want to Read:
Half Moon Bay
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Half Moon Bay

2.64  ·  Rating details ·  538 ratings  ·  168 reviews
A smart, haunting tale of psychological suspense from the award-winning New York Times bestselling author of Turn of Mind.

Jane loses everything when her teenage daughter is killed in a senseless accident. Jane is devastated, but sometime later, she makes one tiny stab at a new life: she moves from San Francisco to the tiny seaside town of Half Moon Bay. She is inconsolable
Published by Titan Books (first published July 10th 2018)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Half Moon Bay, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Half Moon Bay

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
2.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  538 ratings  ·  168 reviews

Sort order
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley

The book starts off so convoluted I couldn’t make heads or tails of it. Just nonsensical. Jane is enveloped in grief from the loss of her teenage daughter. And that grief has obviously affected her mind and we are the unwilling witnesses.

Unfortunately, this style of writing grates. I needed something more concrete. LaPlante has us wandering in the fog, in more ways than one. Unreliable narrators are all the rage these days. And sometimes it works well. Just not here. Or at least for me. And Alm
Apr 22, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Wow... so I'm not going to sugar coat anything in this review. This was just awful. I don't like giving negative reviews but this was not a well written novel AT ALL.

The only thing I liked about this book was the cover. It's gorgeous! Unfortunately, I just could not get into Half Moon Bay by Alice LaPlante.

The two main issues I had with this book was the writing style and the main character Jane. I felt for Jane... how awful to lose your child. BUT, I didn't like her character at all. The autho
Chris Mara
Two stars overall. The first half of the book has main character, Jane, now a loner, having moved to the small town of Half Moon Bay after the deaths of her mother, her father, and worst, the devastating auto accident of her teen aged daughter. She’s also lost her husband to infidelity. She is trying to cope with her grief and loneliness by being quiet and not openly socializing with other people in her new town. She is flying under the radar.

Her story is told from her POV from growing up in a
The Pfaeffle Journal (Diane)
A haunting tale of a woman driven a little crazy by the loss of her teenage daughter in a senseless accident. Jane O'Malley has lost her daughter and husband, in an attempt to restart her life she moves from Berkeley to Half Moon Bay and takes a job at a local nursery that specializes in native plants. When not working she walks the desolate beaches and rides her motorcycle into the city. Jane keeps herself at arm's length from the local inhabitants, that is until Edward, an environmental activi ...more
Stacey Camp
**1 Goodreads Stars**

I really hate giving bad book reviews. I know how much they hurt as someone who also writes (but for an academic audience) for a living. Unfortunately, I just could not get into Alice LaPlante's  Half Moon Bay. I finished it because I wanted to know the book's ending, but I am not sure if the book was worth persevering. 

The book takes place in the foggy, touristy seaside town of Half Moon Bay (in California), which is lusciously depicted on the stunning cover of Half Moon B
Linda Strong

When Jane's teenage daughter is killed, she is shattered. A year later she makes a move to put some kind of like together. She's done some things in the throes of her grief that she really doesn't want anyone to know, so this is a clean slate for her.

She finds a job in a nursery growing exotic plants. She gets along well with her boss and then there's Adam, a man who would like to get closer to Jane. She also meets a couple, Alma and Edward, who become her close, close friends.

But then a little
Susan Johnson
Jul 01, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley
Like many of the reviewers, I hate to write a bad review but even more, I hate reading a bad book and this is a bad book. If you are thinking of reading this, run. Don't waste your time. How this even got published is beyond me. What's so bad about it? The plot, the writing, the characters, shall I go on?

Jane is recovering from the death of her teen-age daughter in an auto accident a year ago and the subsequent divorce from a husband. She wanders in a fog and avoids human interaction as much a
CD {Boulder Blvd}
Aug 04, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
After numerous attempts I just couldn't get into the writing style of this book. Maybe the story/plot is good, but it's not worth the hurdle of reading it.
I may try again later but I just could not get interested in this story. The story is a jagged and the characters are not engaging. Shelving as DNF for now...

Thanks to Netgalley for an advanced reader's copy in exchange for my honest review.
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Half Moon Bay was a twisty psychological novel of suspense. Jane lost everything when her daughter was killed in an accident. She's been unraveling since and is attempting to regain some semblance of peace in her life. Eventually children start disappearing in her town and Jane quickly becomes a suspect, thanks to the knowledge of her breakdowns after the death of her daughter. This was a chilling, twisty story. I was not a fan of the writing, it was very random and all over the place. The premi ...more
Annette Geiss
Feb 04, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I finished this book in two days. I couldn’t wait for it to end. The main character, Jane, was so flawed that I found her unbelievable. I think the author was trying, albeit unsuccessfully, to paint her as a damaged, ravaged and heart broken woman. A soul to be pitied and looked upon with emphathy. She was so easily manipulated, shaken enough to be malleable. I was bereft of any compassion for her. I think we were to believe that Jane’s incredible loss led her to make so many poor choices. I did ...more
Kaycee Bowick (Off_The_Press)
Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for providing me with a advanced DRC of this title in exchange for an honest review!

Off The Press Reads: BlogInstagramBloglovin'
Cassie-Traveling Sister-
First I want to thank netgalley and the author for an advanced kindle version of this book. I was greatly disappointed. I felt like this book was just all over the place and hard for me to keep straight. This book starts with he main character Jane who is dealing with the death of her daughter a year ago. She moves to a new town called half moon bay. Shortly after she arrives young girls start to go missing and are found dead. The town start to think it’s her. She meets a couple who are named Al ...more
Holly Brown
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Turn of Mind" is one of my favorite psychological thrillers, so I was excited to get my hands on an early copy of this one. It didn't disappoint. Alice LaPlante is a great writer, and the protagonist Jane felt believable to me in her grief that becomes a form of madness. That said, this is not a page turner; rather, you're drawn in and pulled under, like Jane herself is. It's a masterful, methodical submersion, and, at times, the book is truly uncomfortable. Endings are a tricky, subjective bus ...more
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gosh, I frankly am very puzzled by the bad reviews for this book. To each their own of course, I have certainly felt the same about popular books that have received 5 stars and felt they only deserved 1 star. SO moving on from that.
To me, this novel was riveting and intense. Was it a bit of a slow building story, yes, but for me, that was the character building part, to be able to understand the whys and the motives as to what would come later.
I enjoyed everything about this book, the scenery, t
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If you enjoy beautifully written descriptions of native California flora, or beautifully written descriptions of the California coast, you might enjoy this book. If you expect a likeable heroine who captures your heart? You will be disappointed.

I wanted to like Jane. She’s lived through the worst nightmare a human can endure, the lose of a child and the subsequent disintegration of her marriage. Her childhood pretty much sucked, too. She’s depressed and adrift when she moves to a town near Half
May 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A woman’s only child is accidentally killed and shortly thereafter her husband leaves her. She falls apart and, in an effort to become anonymous she leaves home and moves to Half Moon Bay to reinvent herself. Shortly after she arrives there little girls start to disappear and their remains are found days later. She, because she is new and because she is strange, is suspected of these murders and is befriended by a couple whom she describes as beautiful. This leads to more complications and her l ...more
Aug 31, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I tried, I really did.

I was so excited to have won a kindle copy of this book from the Goodreads giveaways. The story sounds right up my alley with missing girls and a frazzled mother. And look at that cover, love it!

Unfortunately, I just couldn’t get into this book. I knew from the first page that it was going to be a tough go. The writing is all over the place. Ramblings and choppy sentences that made no sense. The author also doesn’t use quotations, which I’m sure is fine for others, but it
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm afraid I just couldn't get into this book. While the main plot of missing girls was good, the writing seemed stilted. Jane, the main character was not very likeable. The town of Half Moon Bay was excellently described. Thats about the only good thing I could say about this book.
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
great book! kept me on edge the whole book. would recommend it to anyone who likes a good suspense book
Oct 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book I have read by this author, and I picked it up because living in northern California, I thought the setting would be great for a psychological suspense story. The book exceeded my expectations and I was totally shocked at parts of the story. It involves Jane, who once lived in Berkeley, but after losing her teenage daughter and only child in a senseless and tragic car accident, she and her husband go their separate ways. Jane wants to start a new life, hoping that the cons ...more
Liz Barnsley
Sadly I couldn't get on with this one. It was just a little too strange for me and rather than feel sorry for the main protagonist who had lost her child I just wanted her to ssh. There's a weird relationship that she starts with a couple who, frankly, are a little caricature and the resolution is predictable in it's "who " but with an out of left field "why" At which point I was past caring anyway. BUT..

My honest opinion is that Half Moon Bay would have worked much better as a snapshot of grief
Luanne Ollivier
2.5 I've really enjoyed Alice LaPlante's previous two books and was eager to read her latest - Half Moon Bay.

Jane is very emotionally wounded. She has moved to the small town of Half Moon Bay from San Francisco. She has found work at a nursery, but avoids people as much as possible. When young children start to go missing in Half Moon Bay, she becomes a suspect. You see, her own daughter died in San Francisco.

I chose to listen to Half Moon Bay. The reader was Gabra Zackman. She did an excellent
Irene Adam
Jul 14, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I received a free advance e-copy of this book from the author and have chosen to write an honest and unbiased review. I have no personal affiliation with the author. This book is poorly written. Couldn’t make heads or tails of most of it. I don’t recommend this book.
Vishaka Rajan
Mar 10, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
There were two issues for me with this book: 1) Jane's character; and 2) the writing style. 

Jane is a mother who is shrouded in grief, for obvious reasons. While I could empathize with Jane, I wasn't able to connect with her or like her. I think this may have been because of the other personality traits the author tried to attribute to her, namely her ability to be easily manipulated. Personally, I prefer characters who have a bit more of a backbone to them, and the fact that Jane's malleable ch
Debi Samuels
Awful. I'm not a fan of first person, but the writing is so stilted it's almost like reading William Shatner speak. Every. Single. Sentence. I couldn't finish it, and there's rarely a book I do that to. I couldn't get into the plot because I was so distracted by the way it was written. Hard to follow because of that. I only gave it two stars instead of one because the plot itself seems good if you can put up with the writing style.
Amy Gennaro
Mar 31, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Thank you to NetGalley for giving me an ARC in exchange for a candid review.

Hmmmm... Something good: I finished this book. It was readable. But not at all realistic or believable. Most of the characters were unlikeable. You sympathize with the horrible tragedy, but most readers don't want to be immersed in it. At least not like this.

When the killer is finally revealed----it was obvious.....and the book ended two seconds later.

No, I would not recommend this book to anyone.
I enjoyed this book, but the ending was extremely rushed.
The psychological aspect of this book tries to engage the reader into a particular frame of mind. The plot would often go back into the main characters' past traumas, not because it had any relation to what was going on, but to get you into the desired mental state. This was easy to understand. It was clear when a characters' frame of mind was not at its' most stable. The author was good at getting you to relate to the emotions and if nothing else- sympathize with them.

I felt like there was an a
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Half Moon Bay by Alice LaPlante is a so-so dark mystery/psychological study of a grieving mother.

A year ago Jane O'Malley lost her teenage daughter, Angela, to a car accident. Ever since that day, Jane's grief has been overwhelming, all-encompassing, and consuming her every thought. Her marriage ended. In an effort to find some way to live her life, Jane, a botanist, has moved to the tiny seaside town of Half Moon Bay to work at Smithson’s Nursery with the native plants. Awkward handling interpe
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Deadly Daggers (A Renaissance Faire Mystery, #3)
  • Imperfect Inside
  • Trespassers Will Be Baptized: The Unordained Memoir of a Preacher's Daughter
  • The Suicide of Claire Bishop
  • Ginny Gall
  • Missing Isaac
  • Murder at the PTA (Beth Kennedy #1)
  • The Fifth Reflection
  • All the Pretty Lies
  • The Gospel According to Cane
  • Never Coming Home
  • Fissures
  • A Perfect Life: A Novel
  • The House on Harbor Hill
  • Dead Letter
  • A Killer Column (Mystery by the Numbers, #2)
  • Unkept
  • Reese's Leap—An Island Mystery (Island Mystery Series, #2)
Alice LaPlante is an award-winning writer of both fiction and non-fiction. She teaches creative writing at Stanford University, where she was a Wallace Stegner Fellow and Jones Lecturer. She also teaches in the MFA program at San Francisco State University. Her fiction has been widely published in Epoch, Southwestern Review, and other literary journals. Alice is the author of five books, including ...more
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »