Cover Image: The Disappearance of Stephanie Mailer

The Disappearance of Stephanie Mailer

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Member Reviews

Am afraid that the first few chapters really did not grip me, the storyline started to feel exhausting . Thank you for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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This was my first of Joël Dicker’s novels. I understand the love his book has received and think the mystery was one of detail and many layers. I did enjoy it but it felt on he long side,.
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After over twenty years on the police force Jesse Rosenberg is ready for early retirement but when young journalists Stephanie Mailer approaches Jesse to say that the murders he solved with partner Derek Scott twenty years ago was wrong and they got the wrong guy Jesse can't just let it go.
With only a few days left to retirement Stephanie goes missing and Jesse believes that it has something to do with the old case.
Could him and Derek had got it wrong all those years ago?
If so who is the real killer?
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This book was one hell of a journey. 

It's an incredibly long and detailed book. At times, it is confusing as you are trying to solve two interrelated mysteries. But I could just about stay with it until the ending. 

The ending confused the hell out of me. Part of the ending was disappointing but the very ending confused me to the point where I'm not sure what I just read.

I did enjoy this book. The mystery was good. The writing was good. The characters were engaging.

Could it have been shorter? Absolutely! It did feel convoluted at times. Some of the challenges were very annoying and there were lots of unnecessary descriptions. It could have done with a trim.

However, I was left guessing right to the end and I didn't see the ending coming.

This is very interesting and isn't forgettable that's for sure! 

TW: suicide references, violence and murder
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“Only those familiar with the Hamptons, in New York State, knew what happened on July 30th, 1994,

in a small, swanky Oceanside resort called Orphea.” (Page 7)

It was opening night of the Orphea Theatre Festival. It was also the day that Meghan Padalin was shot in the back of the head and the Mayor of the town and his whole family was murdered. Was it a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time for Meghan? Did she see something happen at the Mayor’s house which was across the street from where she was running?

Fast forward to June 23rd, 2014 which is the day that Captain Jesse Rosenberg is due to retire. At 45 he has decided to explore other opportunities before it becomes too late. It is a big blow to the local community as it was Rosenberg that solved the murder of the Mayor and his family back in 1994. Since that day, he has become somewhat of a celebrity around town.

But did he get it right?

Journalist Stephanie Mailer doesn’t believe so, and quite openly informs Rosenberg of this. She believes she has solid evidence that he is wrong but is not prepared to share any of this with him until she has met with her source; a source she is unprepared to disclose.

Unfortunately for Stephanie, the last time she is seen is at Rosenberg’s retirement party.

What has happened to her? Did she get too close to the truth? Has the killer come out of hiding after all these years?

Distressed and feeling responsible Rosenberg cannot settle and knows that, until this murder is resolved, he will be unable to retire from the force. But can he convince his old partner Derek, that there is a reason to reopen the supposedly solved case of 1994? Will his partner agree to work with him once again to bring justice to those that deserve it?

Was there undue pressure put on Rosenberg and Derek to solve the original case? Did they miss something of vital importance that meant they have convicted the wrong person? Did the time restrictions and pressure put upon them lead to them slacking on their investigation? Has all of this resulted in the recent disappearance of a savvy and intelligent young journalist who initially looked into the case thinking that she could turn the story into a book?

Anna Kanner is both intelligent and beautiful. When she was younger she thought she knew exactly what she wanted to do with her life. Driven, she went to university to study Law; it was the only thing she had ever wanted to do. She had her whole life planned out; knew exactly where her life was going. However, it wasn’t long before she became despondent with the legal system and billing hours so decided to quit and instead become a police officer, much to the dismay of her parents.

Since then, she has been married and divorced, again much to her parents disdain as they considered Mark, her then-husband to be the perfect partner for her and is now working in what her mother terms as a ‘one-horse town’, and so far, hasn’t even been promoted to Police Chief yet.

Could this case be the big break Anna needs to make her mark on the town?

With the old partnership of Derek and Jesse back on the case with the added benefit of having new insights from Anna, it seems that the team are uncovering far more than the initial investigation ever did.

The further the three of them seem to dig for answers, the more they discover about the well-heeled individuals calling Orphea home. On the outside, this may look like the perfect little sleepy town where only wholesome citizens reside, but as Anna, Derek and Jesse discover, not everything is always as it seems.

My Thoughts on The Disappearance of Stephanie Mailer
As soon as I heard that Joel Dicker, author of The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair, had a new book out I knew it had to be added to my reading list.

Firstly, I do need to stress that Joel Dicker’s writing isn’t for everyone. The author himself writes in French which means they are translated into English and the result, for some, is that his writing style can be a bit slow and tedious. I don’t agree with this, but I am a reader who enjoys detailed storylines and in-depth descriptions.

Friends recommended The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair to me a couple of years back and I consumed the 624 pages in a matter of days so I thought the same would happen again with this one. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Do not get me wrong, the story is extremely well written if not a bit slow. Whereas the first book of Dicker’s needed the extra details in order for the story to feel complete, I did feel that this one dragged in places.

That is not to say, I regretted reading it but I feel that my expectations clouded my thoughts on this one. If I had read The Disappearance of Stephanie Mailer before The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair, I honestly believe my final thoughts would have been very different.

It is a well-written tome of a novel, but for those that prefer a hard-hitting, fast-paced crime story, I am not sure it would be for you. The fact that many have compared this young writer to the likes of Nabokov and Roth suggests that his writing is more of a modern classic than anyone perhaps yet recognises.

In my opinion, he does indeed write like someone who lived many years ago and has clearly adopted their style of formal language and impeccable sentence structure. Joel has clearly perfected his craft and it is easy to see that he spends a great deal of time researching his storylines to make sure of their accuracy. His crime writing, for me at least, is a more believable reflection on what a true-life crime investigation would look like. I often feel that several popular crime novels sensationalise violent storylines in order to keep readers gripped. If anything, Joel’s writing manifests reality with the length of his books being symbolic of how lengthy investigations can often be.

Have you read The Disappearance of Stephanie Mailer? Perhaps you have read another book by the award-winner author and have an opinion you would like to share with us.
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I'm abandoning this one at around the 10% mark. Multiple narrators, all indistinguishable from one another; jumping back and forwards in time; messy writing, such as having a first-person narrator knowing what other characters are thinking, and what they did when not in the presence of the narrator. Frankly, I find it almost unreadably bad - all style over substance, and unfortunately not even good style. And it's hundreds of pages too long - where was the editor?
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I loved this book so much and can't quite believe I haven't come across this author before. So, here goes journalist Stephanie Mailer, approaches detective Jesse Rosenberg who is just about to take early retirement. Twenty years earlier Rosenberg along with his partner Scott solved a murder in which four people were gunned down...but did they? Stephanie Mailer believes they looked at the case the wrong way. When the duo arrange to meet her to discuss why she believes they got the wrong man ... Stephanie disappears... I loved everything about this book: the town of Orphea just outside of New York with it's mayor,  independent stores and subtle wealth. The strong female leads including the deputy mayor who helps Rosenberg and Scott solve the case gets a big thumbs up form me too. The backhand forth really works within the narrative and we also understand what happened to the deceives since they 'solved' the murder. A riveting read.
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I very much enjoyed this book.  It has a good story and excellent main characters.  I would definately recommend this book.
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I found this book very intriguing. I did however find that the writing style and progression was very slow for such a long book. In parts it really dragged and I found it a struggle to get through. The beginning and the end really did Lee me hooked and I really did like it. The middle however feel a little bit short for me, I ended up skim reading the book and putting it down very often. Unfortunately this means that the connection that I was starting to build with the characters started to fall short. I would recommend this book.
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The more I read the more interesting the story became. With lots of twists and turns along the way, and an ending I didn’t predict, this is a great crime story.
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A well-written addictive read, Plenty of twists and turns a genuine page-turner. An entertaining and enjoyable read. Recommended.
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loved tjhis book, really had me guessing and I really got involved in the characters and their back stories too. It was full of great deal on small American town detail and politics. Definitely read his other now.
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I loved the Harry Quebert Affair so was really excited to read this. The novel opens brilliantly, A prelude dramatically detailing Samuel Padalin's frantic search for his wife Meghan and the subsequent discovery of her body lying bloodied in the street which then abruptly moves to the novel proper and the speeches given as Detective Jesse Rosenberg is leaving the police force after 23 years. Jesse is known as Captain 100% because of his success rate in solving crimes. Jesse's first ever case was the case involving Meghan Padalin and the family of the town Mayor and his wife and child. 
Enter Stephanie Mailer, a journalist who approaches Jesse Rosenberg and calls him Captain 99%. Stephanie shows him a newspaper article about his historic solving of the Orphea Mayoral family and bystander murders and boldly tells him that he got the wrong man and that the killer is still out there. She "thought he'd like to know before he left the police force"
Stephanie asks for the original police force and says that she has a meeting coming up that will give her the irrefutable proof that she needs. She tells Rosenberg she will see him later, but later never comes as Stephanie disappears. 
The story moves between 1994 and 2014 and is told by Jesse Rosenberg and Derek Scott his partner from back in 1994. 
The novel centres around the Orphea Film Festival, both the first in 1994 and the upcoming 2014 festival with chapter beginings showing how many days until the festival, ramping up the pace of the story. 
There are so many twists and turns and every explanation seems completely correct and acceptable until someone else produces another theory. The end when it came was surprising but wasn't a complete surprise.
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Stephanie Mailer is a journalist looking into deaths that occurred in the small town of Orphea in The Hamptons. In 1994, on the evening of the Orphea Theatre Festival, four people are shot dead. The State police investigate the original killings, and detectives Jesse Rosenberg and Derek Scott believe the killer is a local. restaurant owner Ted Tennenbaum. Then, as Ted dies in an accident, the police closed the case, believing they found their killer. Then as Stephanie looks into the case in 2014, she suddenly disappears, so Jesse, Derek and Anne Kanner look into the new case, shedding light on the old one. 

Told in two time frames, through multiple narratives and with an exceptional level of detail the novel is quite slow. I had to really concentrate because there were times when the structure, multiple characters and timelines obscured the plot. I felt like it might have been a better book with some sub-plots removed. However, I did enjoy cases, both the current and past ones. They were twisty and the author really intensified the tension towards the end which made the novel more enjoyable. Amazingly, considering the detail, the loose ends do seem to tie up too. There were revelations I didn’t see coming, which is a rarity in this genre i find. The book was interesting and kept my attention, but might have benefitted from tightening the pace early on.
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My first foray into the work of Joël Dicker. This thriller was rich in detail and provided a real sense of the place and characters. I actually enjoyed that it was a bit longer than a usual thriller as I was so engrossed in the story, I didn't want it to end!
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I enjoyed Joel Dicker's previous works and am pleased to see that this lives up to the high precedent set by those. A gripping mystery, this is well written and the plot flows beautifully.
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A real whodunnit with so many interweaving characters that could be the culprit. It shows that everyone has secrets and some would do anything to keep those secrets. Joel Dicker has provided a full set of characters with full stories and makes them interesting, more so than the main characters who are investigating, this works perfectly so that you are fully submerged in the victims and suspects lives.
Certain parts seemed to go on for far longer than completely necessary, especially when learning about  Jesse’s (one of detectives) youth.
Overall a definite recommendation to all who love a classic whodunnit
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I really enjoyed a couple of Joel Dicker’s previous novels including The Truth About the  Harry Quebert Affair but The Disappearance of Stephanie Mailer is definitely not one of his better ones. I found it very slow and the conversations in it were very stilted- maybe a fault of the translation from French.
It is set in 2 time frames-1994 and 2014 where the same Detective is investigating 2 different but connected crimes. In the earlier time the Mayor of a small town and his family are murdered and in the latter time he is looking for the missing Stephanie Mailer
I got about a third of the way through and although the beginning had been promising it was not compelling enough for me to continue and I gave up.
This opinion is entirely my own and others might well thoroughly enjoy this mystery story.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for my arc in exchange for an honest review.
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Reporter Stephanie Mailer is investigating the murders of the mayor, his family and a jogger. She doesnt believe the right man was convicted and she may have evidence.  She goes to the detectives who investigated the case and they find themselves drawn back into it when Stephanie goes missing. Trying to find Stephanie leads them back to the town where it all began. Can they find the truth and Stephanie?

This was a very long book. I wasnt expecting so much length and detail. In some ways it's good, it allows more information of the characters and their lives. In others it meant the story dragged a little with extra parts that weren't needed. The story is told by various characters and jumps around the times quite a bit, frustrating when you want to know a certain thing but I think that's the point it keeps you reading.The mystery itself was clever and had plenty of twists along the way. The ending was good and finished the story well. I loved Anna, Jesse and Derek. They each had their own issues but were strong leads.
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In 1994 four people were killed in the small town of Orphea.  Police Officer Jesses Rosenberg and his partner were the ones who solved the crimes and a killer was convicted.  Years later and Rosenberg is on the point of retirement when a journalist, Stephanie Mailer, contacts him to say that they got the wrong person.  Days later Stephanie disappears.  Rosenberg feels that something is wrong and cannot retire until her finds out the truth.
The is a very long book for the genre and that is my biggest quibble.  Apart from that this is a nicely twisty book, jumping between time frames and addressing small-town life.
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