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March 11, 2023

All That is Mine I Carry With Me by William Landay ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

A mother vanished. A father presumed guilty. There is no proof. There are no witnesses. For the children, there is only doubt.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of psychological thriller All That is Mine I Carry With Me by William Landay
March 2023; Bantam; 978-0345531841
audio, ebook, print (336 pages); psychological thriller

I've been waiting since 2012 for a new book from the author of Defending Jacob and it has finally arrived.  This new book is as good, if not better than his previous book.  It had me turning pages to find out the outcome of the story and the final effect on the family dynamics.  It's full of twists and turns and just when you know who's guilty, there's a change a few pages later to show you how wrong you were.  I know it's early in 2023 but this is going to be one of my favorite books of the year.

The novel starts in November 1975.  Dan and Jane Larkin live a comfortable life with their three children - Alex, Jeff, and Miranda.  Dan is a popular lawyer and Jane is a stay-at-home mom.  One day ten-year-old Miranda comes home from school to a totally quiet house.  Her mom is always there when she gets home and she has no idea where her mom has gone.  Nothing is out of place in the house and her mom's purse is in its usual place.  When her father and brothers get home and find Miranda alone in the house they are very worried about Jane and Dan calls the police to report that his wife is missing.  The family waits and waits and there are no clues and no signs of Jane.  The main detective and Jane's sister are sure that Dan is responsible but there are no solid facts to prove it.  So life goes on for the family and the kids miss their mother more every day.  They suddenly realize that Dan may not miss her as much when his long-time mistress moves into their house.  The three children react totally differently - Alex remains on his father's side,  Jeff hates his father and moves away and Miranda gets clinically depressed.  

Twenty years later, the remains of Jane Larkin are found.  The children are now grown and have to decide whether their father is guilty or innocent and if they should have him brought to trial for their mother's murder.  As the case goes to civil court, there are decisions that need to be made by all of them that will affect the rest of their lives.

This story is told over the years in different voices - including Jane's - as the children question the guilt or innocence of their father and the way their family dynamic has changed over the years.  This is a story of family love and betrayal, secrets and vengeance and it questions how long family members should stay loyal to each other.  It's a real page-turner and a book that I couldn't put down once I started reading it.  Just like Defending Jacob, the characters and this story will stay on my mind for a long time.  I highly recommend it.

Susan Roberts grew up in Michigan but loves the laid-back life at her home in the Piedmont area of North Carolina where she is two hours from the beach to the east and the mountains in the west.  She reads almost anything but her favorite genres are Southern Fiction and Historical Fiction.  

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