In the idyllic community of Ridgedale, New Jersey, crime is rare and homicide even more so. So when an infant girl turns up dead in a nearby wooded area, with signs of possible homicide, everyone is anxiously awaiting the results of the coroner’s findings. Both the identity and the cause of death are unknown throughout most of the book.
Molly Sanderson, a reporter at the Ridgedale Reader, is usually on the arts beat, but due to the absence of the regular reporter of hard news, Molly has a chance to do something exciting. But the death of a baby hits close to home, since her own youngest child was stillborn only two years before.
The wooded area where the body was found is part of the university campus, where Molly’s husband Justin works as a professor…and several of the university staff appear inordinately involved in keeping tabs on what is happening.
Meanwhile, other mothers at the school attended by Ella, Molly and Justin’s daughter, provide enough drama all around, complicating Molly’s task. There is Barbara, the wife of Steve, the Chief of Police, who is described in unflattering terms by other mothers. Then there is Stella, who happens to be Molly’s friend, whose own drama could appear on a reality show. Each of these mothers has issues with her own children, but keeping things under control is important to them, and blaming other mothers is almost like a sport.
Our story is told by multiple narrators, beginning with an unidentified first person voice in the prologue, and also periodically inserting the journal entries of a woman named Jenna, whose daughter Sandy, is being tutored by Hannah, the police chief’s daughter.
Jenna’s journal is from 1994, and the characters she writes about are identified by nicknames. And Jenna has gone missing.
What happened to these main characters back in 1994? What secrets they kept are now impacting what is happening in the present? And how will Molly herself figure out who is responsible for the events leading to the baby’s death?
Where They Found Her: A Novel is a riveting story with lots of red herrings and questionable actions by numerous individuals, which made the story interesting, but at times I had difficulty keeping everything straight, and the numerous ways in which the characters were connected became mind-boggling. An enjoyable read. 4.0 stars.