Dawg-Eared: ‘The Reappearance of Rachel Price’

Holly Jackson’s new book “The Reappearance of Rachel Price” is captivating, clever and unique. Photo by Elle Rotter

ELLE ROTTER | STAFF REPORTER | earotter@butler.edu 

Many fans of Holly Jackson added “The Reappearance of Rachel Price” to their shopping carts soon after finding out about its release. Famous for her series “A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder”, Jackson is known to specialize in young adult thrillers and mysteries. 

Jackson’s newest book “The Reappearance of Rachel Price”, released April 2, is about an 18-year-old girl, named Bel, who has lived in the shadow of her mother’s disappearance for her entire life. Her mother’s disappearance is being turned into a documentary when her mother miraculously reappears. However, details about her mother’s disappearance — and reappearance — just aren’t adding up. 

The documentary switches to focus on Rachel’s reappearance, invading her family’s space while they try to find a new normal. Meanwhile, Bel ruthlessly pursues the truth: even if it ends up redefining what family looks like. 

This book is a page-turner after the first 200 pages, although it included a lot of setup and explanation in the beginning. The book didn’t necessarily struggle because of this, and it is captivating throughout the entire plotline; however, with Jackson’s other books, fans are used to pulling an all-nighter. 

The plot of this mystery novel is more personal than the typical whodunit mystery because the teenage detective is also the protagonist of the story, and the mystery involves her family. Jackson also follows her typical pattern of including romance as a subplot. This typically makes the book feel more complete and personal when dealing with a mystery. 

Another standard problem with mysteries is when the “bad guy” overexplains all of the clues and motivations behind the crime to the protagonist while usually threatening them with a gun. That is just a mystery trope. However, with this novel Jackson perfectly fills all the holes in the mystery without having an intense internal monologue, or any awkward dialogue. 

“The Reappearance of Rachel Price” should not be considered predictable overall, but the plot twist in the ending was clear by the time Bel figured it out herself. However, there were unexpected details and subplots that provided some surprising twists along the way. 

Overall, this book is unique, while still not being far-fetched or overly confusing. “The Reappearance of Rachel Price” is a great read for anyone who is a fan of Holly Jackson or young adult mysteries in general, but it’s not a work of literary genius. 

The Reappearance of Rachel Price” by Holly Jackson is available for purchase on all platforms where books are sold.


Related posts