The night Olivia fell / Christina McDonald.
Booklist Reviews 2019 January #1
*Starred Review* Single mom Abi Knight receives a call that her teenage daughter, Olivia, is clinging to life after plummeting from a bridge into a fast-moving river. Then, at the hospital, Abi receives another shock: Olivia is pregnant. While the detectives investigating the incident believe it was an accident, Abi suspects foul play, and she begins looking carefully at her daughter's life. The deeper Abi digs, the more difficult it becomes to trust anyone. Is it the paranoia of a grieving mother, or is Olivia's absentee father, a rising star politician, making good on a past promise? In alternating chapters, Olivia tells her own story, which includes a love triangle, a friendship gone sour, and an encounter with a young woman who looks uncannily like Olivia. McDonald ratchets up the suspense with every chapter, including plenty of gasp-worthy twists and turns as Abi and Olivia's story pushes towards its devastating conclusion. The suspense is supplemented by relationships of surprising depth and tenderness, providing balance and nuance to the story. A worthy debut from an up-and-coming domestic-suspense author; readers who enjoy mother-daughter stories in the genre should line up for this one. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.
PW Reviews 2018 December #3
Abigail Knight, the protagonist of McDonald's complex, emotionally intense first novel, is determined to get answers after her 17-year-old daughter, Olivia, who recently seemed unusually distracted and moody, is found, brain-dead and pregnant, at the bottom of an embankment below a bridge in her hometown of Portage Point, Wash. Meanwhile, Abi manages the grief of seeing Olivia being maintained on life support just long enough to allow her granddaughter to live. The chapters told from Olivia's viewpoint in the months leading up to the accident, during which she struggles with friendships and romantic relationships while piecing together the truth about her absent father, convey the cadence and the awkward urgency of teenage thought and behavior without exaggerating it. Every carefully fleshed-out character behaves authentically, yielding a satisfying sense of tragedy rather than one of villainy. McDonald dives into the mother-daughter conflict without compromising the reader's compassion for either of them. Fans of twisty domestic suspense novels will be rewarded.