In the opening pages of When All the Girls Have Gone, an unidentified killer waits for revenge. Soon the target appears, Gordon Greenslade, owner of the second largest employer in the town of Loring, Washington. He sees the killer, and apparently it is someone he knows, as he does nothing to ward off what happens. He is shot and killed in what will later be ruled a hunting accident.
Fast forward to the Rainy Creek Gardens Retirement Village, where Charlotte Sawyer is leading a Write Your Life workshop. After several previous jobs in Oregon, she has moved to Seattle, where her stepsister Jocelyn lives, and she is settling in nicely. Her recent devastating break-up with her fiancé, five days before the wedding, could have sent her into a tailspin. But support and a new purpose are helping.
As Charlotte is leaving work for the day, a man approaches and asks about the availability of units, as he is searching for a place for his grandmother. She responds with suggestions, and as she walks away, she looks back, only to find him staring after her. Red flag?
From the eerie first pages to what happens next, the story ratchets up with a murder of one of Jocelyn’s friends, Louise Flint, in what looks like a drug overdose. But Louise’s cousin, Daniel Flint, doesn’t believe that conclusion, and hires Max Cutler, a former profiler turned PI, to look into the matter.
Somehow, Charlotte and Max cross paths, because Louise was a friend of Jocelyn’s…and now Jocelyn, who was supposedly at a tech-free retreat, had received a package at her condo, where Charlotte was watering the plants and checking the mail. It was a package from Louise with a secret message. Charlotte wants to know more about the sender, but discovering her death sets off more alarms.
What is the connection between Jocelyn, Louise, Victoria, Emily, and Madison…all of whom belong to a mysterious investment club that might be a front for something else? Charlotte joins forces with Max to uncover what led to Louise’s death, and the trail takes them both to Loring, Washington, and to some assault cases and a rapist who might have progressed to murder. Will they find the answers before the girls in the club are all dead?
There were so many layers to the story, and whenever the mysteries and secrets seemed close to being uncovered, something else would happen to change up the scenario. How do all of the connections lead back to people in Loring, especially those who might have been bought? People who have secrets too hot to see the light of day?
A page turner that was full of mystery, secrets, some romantic moments, and fleshed out characters that were fascinating and often troubled, one theme stood out: The past has a way of coming forward into the present, and this 5 star read was another very satisfying story from this author.