As a child, Alice was stolen from her backyard in a tiny Indiana community, but against the odds, her policeman father tracked her down within twenty-four hours and rescued her from harm. In the aftermath of the crime, her family decided to move to Chicago and close the door on that horrible day.
Yet Alice hasn’t forgotten. She devotes her spare time volunteering for a website called The Doe Pages scrolling through pages upon pages of unidentified people, searching for clues that could help reunite families with their missing loved ones. When a face appears on Alice’s screen that she recognizes, she’s stunned to realize it’s the same man who kidnapped her decades ago. The post is deleted as quickly as it appeared, leaving Alice with more questions than answers.
Embarking on a search for the truth, she enlists the help of friends from The Doe Pages to connect the dots and find her kidnapper before he hurts someone else. Then Alice crosses paths with Merrily Cruz, another woman who’s been hunting for answers of her own. Together, they begin to unravel a dark, painful web of lies that will change what they thought they knew—and could cost them everything.
LORI RADER-DAY is the Edgar Award-nominated and Anthony Award and Mary Higgins Clark Award-winning author of Death at Greenway (coming October 2021), The Lucky One, Under a Dark Sky, The Day I Died, Little Pretty Things, and The Black Hour. Lori’s short fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Time Out Chicago, Good Housekeeping, and others. She lives in Chicago, where she is the co-chair of the mystery reader conference Murder and Mayhem in Chicago and serves as the national immediate past-president of Sisters in Crime. Visit her at LoriRaderDay.com.
Okay. I admit that I love dark, scary, unconventional, complex, nerve bending stories! So when I read the blurb I was already volunteered to jump in!
Mystery behind Alice’s kidnapping, her dysfunctional family story, two women’s collaboration to start a search for bringing out the truth are great materials to enjoy a book wholeheartedly.
The eerie and disturbing feeling, slow-burn dark theme usually work well for me but at some point slowness turned into too much stalling and BAM, the story’s building slowly collapsed with the help dislikable characters. Don’t get me wrong, I love broken, flawed, problematic characters which make them more realistic but at this book Alice’s attitudes and her passivity makes me pissed off. I wished she could have held on her life more.
I can sense them the author made some decision to build characters and form story progression with unexpected and different way but unfortunately her writing technique didn’t work for me and made me loss my interest easily.
So for darker themes and intriguing blurb, I could only give three stars. I couldn’t find anything from those characters’ stories resonate with me. I really did try but it didn’t fit with my expectations.
Special thanks to Netgalley and William Morrow Paperbacks to share this intriguing ARC Copy with me in exchange my honest review.
A cake of angels and beauty itself, chocolate on top of chocolate, like a last request before execution. Merrily had passed out in a food coma in her old room and had to borrow the twinset and skirt from her mom’s closet for work… Merrily looked like a giraffe dressed for church, but she still looked better than the women in the front office any day of the week. Fact.
“I turned thirty. Thirty.” … Thirty was a monster. She’d been pursued by it and now here it sat in her lap, breathing its stink on her. Her age would ruin everything, if not this year, then soon.
“There’s my Alice in Wonderland.” Alice got up and met him for a hug. He couldn’t swing her off her feet anymore, but the old nickname never failed to shrink her to fit the tiny door of childhood.
Every sweet thing about Uncle Jim, Jimmy could ruin like a funhouse mirror. She liked to think that Jimmy was adopted, some changeling JimBig and his ex-wife had found and taken home.
Merrily had always wished for a baby brother or sister, but she needn’t have bothered. Her own mother provided all the mischief she could handle… Why were the grown-ups in her life so damaged and needy?
This gripping, tautly written, and twisty book had me in knots and frequently chewing on my lips and picking at my ragged cuticles, which were merely the early clues that this was going to be a 5-Star read. Each character was oddly compelling and complex while also deeply flawed and not all that admirable. Neither of the two main characters, Merrily and Alice, were among the sharpest tools in the shed and I frequently wanted to schedule each of them a colonoscopy to search for their misplaced craniums.
The storylines were shrewdly crafted, cunningly paced, and riveting with intrigue while fraught with tension, family secrets, and impending peril. This was my first experience with the diabolically clever and unpredictable storytelling of Lori Rader-Day and in my expert analysis - she may well be a high priestess of the word voodoo as I was totally sucked into her vortex, tumbled around, and spit back out hours later feeling rather stunned, dazed, and pleasantly amazed.
Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins Publishers for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I got halfway through this book only to realize I didn’t care about what was happening or how it would end. It wasn’t a bad book, necessarily, just not a very compelling one.
The Lucky One stars two female protagonists. Alice Fine was kidnapped as a toddler and now works for her father’s construction firm and spends her free time identifying missing persons on a website called the Doe Pages. Merrily Cruz was raised by a single mother and now works a boring office job and has a lucrative side gig as a cam girl. They’re both connected to a man named Richard, or Rick, and their stories intertwine as they try to find Rick and figure out who he is/was.
Unfortunately I thought the characters in this book were mostly weak and underdeveloped, from Alice and Merrily to the modest cast of side characters that consisted of their friends, family, and coworkers. There were moments when I felt a tenuous connection to one or both of the protagonists, but it wasn’t enough to get me fully invested.
The plot, meanwhile, had a slow start, with not much happening for at least the first half of the book, and I was never fully invested. I kept reading mostly out of habit; I wasn’t even that interested to find out how it ended. At most, I was mildly intrigued. It was at that point that I decided to stop. This is a mystery, after all. If I didn’t care about solving the mystery, why keep reading?
I would be open to reading more of Lori Rader-Day’s books in the future, because I think her writing has promise, but only if she upped the suspense and engagement factors.
Alice Fine's life is defined by the fact that as a young child, she was kidnapped from her backyard. But her father, a policeman, defied the odds and found Alice within hours. However, the crime terrified her parents, who moved to Chicago to try to forget about the past. Still the kidnapping haunts Alice, who spends her time on a website called the Doe Pages, devoted to finding the missing--dead or alive. As she's scrolling through one day, Alice sees a familiar face: that of her kidnapper, so many years ago. Before she knows it, Alice and some others from the Doe Pages are working to find the man before he can hurt another. During their search, they meet Merrily, a woman searching for the same man for entirely different reasons. And Alice begins to dig deeper, she will uncover secrets that have long meant to be buried.
This was my first book by Lori Rader-Day and overall, I enjoyed it. I will read more by her, I'm sure. I did find the book a little choppy and hard to follow. There was just something that slowed it down for me. I also could never quite figure out why Merrily was so invested in finding Rick, Alice's missing person. I was never fully invested in the characters, including Alice or Merrily.
Still, there are a lot of mysteries to solve here and much to keep the reader guessing. The book is intricately plotted, with lots of twists. It's often captivating and certainly interesting. 3.75 stars, rounded to 4 here.
This book created a sense of unease, which I enjoyed, and I thought the ending was good. However, I also thought the book relied too much on characters not talking (most of this book's tension could have been solved with a good conversation), and I greatly disliked Alice, the book's protagonist. She was very passive, letting life slide over her. I realize that was on purpose and she does grow, but it made for dull reading, in my mind.
I received this review copy from the publisher on NetGalley. Thanks for the opportunity to read and review; I appreciate it!
Most people who go missing are never found… but Alice was the lucky one. As a child, Alice was stolen. But her quick thinking policeman father tracked her down and found her within 24 hours. As an adult, Alice devotes her spare time volunteering for a website called The Doe Pages - a group of amateur sleuths who search for missing people to reunite them with their families. When a missing man is posted on the site, she’s stunned to realize it’s the same man who kidnapped her decades ago. But it’s deleted right away and Alice finds herself determined to find him. This was a WILD ride! I love the idea of the Doe Pages and crowdsourcing to find missing people. And these characters are quirky, and smart, and just how you’d imagine them to be! The search for Alice’s kidnapper is a web of twisty turns and sooo many lies - and Alice begins to uncover things in both her personal and professional life that make this one compulsively readable and a true nail-biter. Definitely pick this one up if you enjoy true crime, solving mysteries, and sleuthing. It’s a fun read and I found myself marveling at the development and pace of the story. The intricacies of lies and deceptions - and their unravelling was a web of complexities that had an extremely satisfying ending. And a group of bad ass chicks solving cold cases…fantastic!
This is a decent book, if a little convoluted. Once I made sense of it in my head, it was pretty good, but it takes some work by the reader because the author's exposition is a bit clunky. I liked the idea of the reddit-type threads talking about missing people and trying to match them with discovered bodies. I just didn't get Alice's kidnapping in the first place, and couldn't figure out why she was so docile and let her dad bulldoze her into not asking questions about anything in her life or past. The ending is good because it does tie up all loose ends and things do make sense, so that's why 3 stars instead of 2, because my confusion was alleviated.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.
This was my first book by Lori-Rader-Day. I've heard a lot about her before and I'm glad that I was able to discover her writing.
The novel's plot was very interesting. Alice was kidnapped as a little child but then her dad, who was a ploce officer, found her and rescued her. She was the lucky one, but she had never forgotten what happened and she now spends most (if not all) of her time on a website called The Doe Pages to try and find other missing people, almost like a way to pay it forward. But she sees a profile on that page that she recognizes and her world spirals from there full of secrets and lies that she didn't know were being hidden from her.
I really enjoyed the narrative of this story. I liked how it was told in dual perspectives; Alice's and Merrily (a women who is somehow connected to Alice, and I won't say how). It's two different women, two different stories and the way their lives become connected is really entertaining to read. Each perspective is fresh and mysterious in their way and it always kept me hooked.
Halfway throughout the story, I felt like it was getting dragged on a little and the novel felt a little too long for me and so I started to lose interest in the story. That being said, I'm glad that I finished reading until the end because there were a few good plot twists.
The beginning and the ending of the story was a bit stronger than the middle part of it. I do wish that some of the twists would have been placed a little more in the center of the story, not that there weren't any in the middle, but not enough to hook me. A great ending though, fast-paced and action packed and it's a nice satisfying conclusion.
Thank you to HarperCollins Canada and William Morrow Books for providing me with an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.
Lori Rader-Day's fans will voraciously gobble up her newest thriller! By the end, the reader is left to put a question mark on the title - THE LUCKY ONE...who exactly was the lucky one? There are a thousand threads artfully woven into the story. Pay attention. Everything on every page is important by the time you come to the last few pages. Winding back and forth between Alice and Merrily's perspectives, it all comes full-circle. The relationship between the two women as they meet, begin working together to each answer a completely different question from her own life and finally, grudgingly considering becoming friends, is fascinating as it unfolds. The cocky reader thinks she's figured "it" out a quarter of the way in. But, no. Much more satisfying. Interestingly, two of the pivotal characters in the book never participate in the live action. Big thumbs up!
I couldn't put The Lucky One down. The twisted threads that finally come together, the search for the apparently lost, missing, or kidnapped, the suspense, the deeply drawn characters: Rader-Day had hooked me from page one through to the end.
The Lucky One by Lori Rader-Day is a twisty thriller of betrayal, murder, and dark family secrets.
Alice Fine has only vague memories of being kidnapped from her front yard as a toddler. Rescued within hours by her father, then a police officer, she has always considered herself one of the lucky ones to be reunited with her family, no harm done. Conscious of her good fortune, Alice uses her spare time to participate in the online Doe Network -a website which aims to identify missing persons- where one evening she unexpectedly comes across the face of her abductor. Wanting answers Alice, with the help of two other amateur websleuths, decides to learn more about him. When her search leads her to cross paths with Merrily Cruz, who is worried about her missing former stepfather, the pair realise they are both looking for the same man and the shocking truth about who he is will unravel their past, and their future.
The story unfolds from the alternating perspectives of Alice and Merrily, who seem to have almost nothing in common except for a tenuous connection to the missing man. Neither of them have any idea of the danger that will place them in as they begin to dig into his past in order to understand their own. To be honest I thought the characterisation overall was a little weak and sometimes inconsistent, particularly in relation to Alice, however I was interested in how Alice and Merrily would be affected as the truth was revealed.
The mystery is well plotted offering a few intriguing twists. I thought the pace was a little slow until the lives of Alice and Merrily intersected, but Rader-Day does effectively build tension, and I was engrossed in the unraveling lies, secrets, and betrayals. I thought the major twist was unique and unpredictable, leading to a satisfying conclusion.
With its original premise, I thought The Lucky One was a decent thriller.
Alice was kidnapped as a child, but her policeman father found her within a day. He then packed up his family and moved them to another town, where he started a different career. Now, Alice works for her father at his business, and he’s super protective of her. In her spare time, she tries to find missing people that have been posted online, hoping to reconnect loved ones and provide some closure. One day, when she is browsing the missing persons site, she sees a new listing. It seems that the man that kidnapped her many years ago is now missing himself.
At the same time, Merrily is looking for the man that has been like a father to her throughout her life. He has just gone missing, and she feels compelled to find him. Her path crosses with Alice’s one day, and Merrily learns that Alice may be looking for the very same man. So the two team up to try and find him. The thing is that these two women have very different ideas of who that man is.
I had no idea what to expect when Alice and Merrily found one another. What are the odds that they’d both be looking for the same man? The story started out a little bit slower for me, but picked up as I neared the halfway point. As the chapters unfold, there are little twists and turns that come up that threw me for a loop. I would think I had a grasp on solving the case, but then I would find that I was wildly wrong. I could not have foreseen how the book ended, but it was a lot of fun trying to guess while I was reading.
Neither Alice nor Merrily felt much like super-strong characters to me; what I liked about them is that when they decided to go look for this missing man, they were all in. It was both neat and horrifying to watch these two women re-examine their childhoods and their current lives to try to determine how much of what they remember is truth.
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Thank you, William Morrow Books!
PLOT SUMMARY: Alice has vague memories of the day she was kidnapped as a child. She remembers a strange room, a baby and then feeling safe in her father’s arms. Due to the experience that defined her life, she feels compelled to volunteer on a website that helps locate other missing persons. One day while checking the site for new cases, she sees a photo of a man...a man who she is sure is the man who kidnapped her years earlier. What does this mean for Alice? Can she finally get some closure on this haunting event? Or will her investigation into this man only leave her with more questions than ever before?
PROS and CONS: Personal preference - I don’t really care for message boards as a method for conveying information, I find it difficult to follow the threads and end up skimming them, not getting anything out of them (could just be my brain.) The writing that was not the message boards was great though!!
There are two POV’s - Alice and Merrily. These characters both fell a bit flat for me, and most of the book felt like two distinct stories as the women depicted their unique relationship and investigation into the missing man. I did end up liking Alice and Merrily but it took a while.
There are quite a few twists and turns that make the ending difficult to figure out. I tried very hard to pay attention to all the details provided as the story progressed, but for the life of me could just not figure out any motivations or reasons for the way it went down. Maybe I missed a few pages??? Was I skimming more than I thought?? Either way...it’s not an ending you’ll easily guess.
YES or NO: This one is a MAYBE! If you’re really into missing persons, then it might be for you!!
The Lucky One has an interesting premise of a former kidnap victim volunteering to help other find other missing people and possibly stumbling across her kidnapper. I did like how it switched between a couple different points of view as well as message boards. However, I couldn’t get as invested in the main characters as I would have liked and had to make myself keep reading it. It was a good read, but not great. Thanks to NetGalley, HarperCollins, and the author Lori Rader-Day for a digital review copy. This story was published February 4, 2020
When Alice was a young child, she was kidnapped from her backyard. But she was very lucky to be found in a few hours because of her father being a policeman.
Because of all that happened the Fins decide to move to Chicago to start a new life. Today, Alice, who still remembers the kidnapping night, is now devoted to find the missing and spend most of her time a on a website called the Doe Pages. Scrolling through the pages she sees a familiar face, the face of her kidnapper.....
I really liked the plot, and the characters. the twists left me curious about the ending. Yet there were too many details which made it a very slow paced read for me. and I ended up skimming to be able to finish this book.
Considering the perfectly developed characters and well written plot. So many people may like the details provided. Many thanks to the publisher and @NetGalley for the ARC
Merrily and Alice come from different worlds, but the story is told from both perspectives. Alice is an adult who was kidnapped as a child. She has an interest in the Doe Pages, which helps solve cases. Merrily is working, but cannot get off of the Chat X website that seems very similar to a sugardaddy/sugarbaby site. She has a unique relationship with "Searcher" who sends her decent money and expects virtually nothing but companionship from her. Merrily and Alice cross paths unexpectedly, and the story that unfolds is.... unlikely.
The plot was great and the description piqued my interest. However, this was a slow read for me, and did not keep my interest. I definitely skimmed here and there, and was just glad that it was finished. There were no questions at the end for me, but this is just "meh" to me.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Crowdsourcing to find missing persons & help solve crimes has become a real thing in the last decade & I find it amazing & fascinating. Billy Jensen has a book & podcast about it as well. Alice & The Doe Pages was inspiring to me as well, fiction or not. This book gave me some Rene Denfield "Child Finder"/"Butterfly GIrl" vibes (which is a good thing!). . "The Lucky One" gave me goosebumps at times & I found it suspenseful, unputdownable, utterly compelling & complex. Now I want to read more by the author! Get this one on your TBR today!
This dark and twisted book is told by the two main characters. Alice and Merrily are totally different people in every way but they both hold clues to what happened to them early in their lives and they won't have any answers until they can work together.
Both Alice and Merrily are on a quest to find out something important to them about their earlier lives. It isn't until they start to work together that they begin to get answers but what they discover will totally change their lives and put them both in danger.
What could have been a exciting book was a little slow. For much of the story, there were two separate stories with nothing connecting them and no connection between the two women. It wasn't until they began to work together that the book got really interesting. I was bored with the book when the two women were working alone as I didn't much like either character, especially Alice who seems to just live her life without any involvement - she just went along with whatever happened. Merrily was a bit more energetic in her life but it didn't make sense to my why she was even looking for this man. However, once they both started working together, after their initial dislike of each other, the book took off for me and I really enjoyed it.
Thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own.
My first listen for 2021 turned out to be absolutely fantastic! The Lucky One was a narrator motivated pick and I’m thrilled that searching for an audiobook performed by Leslie Howard brought me to discover Lori Rader-Day. This was my favorite kind of mystery/suspense novel. Lots of fascinating characters, complex yet compelling backstories, all melding into a completely unpredictable ending.
I liked and was annoyed by both Alice and Merrily – which I think is what made them truly human and relatable. The secondary characters were equally intriguing. I loved that Rader-Day dropped all these subtle hints about what was coming without ever tipping me off to the mysteries (plural!) that would be revealed. I’m looking forward to listening to this again to find the subtle clues that I likely missed the first time around.
I’ll definitely be adding more Lori Rader-Day to my TBL.
After discovering her through the Dr. Whyte Thriller series – I was already in love with Leslie Howard’s narration style. I think she was the perfect choice for this book. She gives Alice & Merrily, two unique women, separate voices and personalities. Howard also does a fantastic job of evoking emotion and tension which is absolutely necessary for this book.
The Lucky One is a slow burn suspense novel that shares the story of a woman who was previously kidnapped and is now looking for answers. While I enjoy a character-driven novel, I struggled to connect with these characters (I found them dislikable in general) which caused me to lose interest in the storyline.
I love a book with imperfect characters and some dysfunction but as much as I had hoped to, this one just didn't resonate with me. Thank you to NetGalley and William Morrow Books for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
2.5 stars. I try to be generous with my reviews because I love books and authors. I've read a couple of others from this author that I liked better than this one. Nothing about this book worked for me. It was confusing to read and the characters were bland. Everything came together in the end but it was hard for me to get there. On to the next book...
At first I thought premise sounded very interesting but as I started to read it I find the pace to be very slow and with the 2 pov's just seemed sort of disjointed for me. Sadly, I couldn't continue and it just wasn't for me.
I received this book at my request and have voluntarily left this unbiased review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This book went hot and cold on me all the way through the book. It had some good storyline and some confusing story line and those annoying posts from the other members of the club exploring dead and missing persons.
I rather liked the characters that Alice met with those investigating the dead and missing persons site. I didn't know how to figure them at times they did not seem to like Alice that much. They did help her find out information when researching the missing Richard and in finding Merrily. The story made Alice look weak, and gave Merrily some immoral behavior .
It did take me a while to read the book as it started slow and about midway through the book I wanted to finish it to find out how it ended. It was certainly an unexpected and twisted ending.
Thanks to Lori Rader-Day, Harper-Collins Publishers and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review an advance copy of the book
I was asked by the publisher if I would read this book and provide an honest review. I took my time with this book; but not feeling 100% made for a slow read. I do want to say that I enjoyed the book and have set it aside to re-read once I am feeling better.
What if everything you thought you knew about yourself and your life was wrong? What if a major event in your life was not quite what you thought happened? What if trying to help someone else turns your entire world upside down?
When Alice was but a toddler, she was taken from the yard of her home in a tiny Indiana community. Against all odds, her policeman father tracked her down, rescuing her within twenty-four hours. Needing to arase those memories, her family left the tiny community, moving to Chicago.
Despite the tender age at which Alice was abducted, she still recalls the day. Pieces of the time away from her own family float back to her at inopportune moments, paralyzing her. Subconsciously, Alice has turned her spare time volunteering to reunite family members or offering closure to families who have waited for years for word about a missing loved one.
She volunteers via a website called the Doe Pages. There are page upon page of information about those that are missing; and, page upon page of unidentified bodies throughout the United States. One night, as Alice scrolls through the website, she sees a familiar face; the face of the man who had kidnapped her so long ago. Shortly after seeing the photograph, the post is deleted; leaving Alice’s mind in a whirl.
Needing answers, Alice enlists the assistance of other Doe volunteers and the search begins. One of the women that Alice has enlisted in her search is searching for the same man; but for quite different reasons. Their search will drive a wedge between them but, what they learn will change both of their lives forever!
Alice Fine is kidnapped as a young girl, but her cop dad somehow finds her and rescues her. The family moves from Indiana to Chicago after this and makes a fresh start, or are the really just covering their tracks? Alice grows up, devotes her time to volunteering to, The Doe Pages trying time find missing families loved ones. She comes across a picture and knows it’s her kidnapper from years ago. Alices friends that also work the Doe Pages with her, Juby and Lillian set out to find Alice’s kidnapper, Rick or Richard or who is he really? Alice meets a lady named Merrily Cruz who has ties to Rick and this starts a crazy ride for them all! This book is one that will hook you from the get go and wait till you get to chapter 48! It will have everything you thought you knew and figured out thrown out the window! I received an Arc of this book and it comes out 2/18/2020 and is a must read for all! The characters each have their own strong story lines, but all come together for a wild, twisted conclusion that you won’t see coming!
Recently, I was fortunate enough to receive an advance copy of The Lucky One, compliments of Lori Rader-Day and HarperCollins Publishers. I couldn’t wait to read it, and immediately settled in for what I was certain would be a great read. I was not disappointed. Edgar Award nominated Rader-Day has done it again.
A delicious plot-twisting story with a surprise ending, The Lucky One is a suspenseful story told from the viewpoints of two characters, Alice and Merrily. Their confusion and disjointed lives are reflected in Rader-Day’s writing style, setting the mood for both characters and plot. If you enjoy roller coasters, strap yourself in for the ride she takes you on, complete with one of those thrilling loops that will leave you breathless.
This is my first Lori Rader-Day book and it won't be my last. The Lucky One started as a slow burn but quickly heated up to a complex mystery that surprised me at every turn. The author's characters were flawed but sympathetic, cowardly yet brave, cruel and at times conflicted. Towards the end of the story, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. I highly recommend this book for mystery/suspense lovers!