Sadie is a dual-narrative book following Sadie Hunter, a 19-year-old girl on the hunt to find the man who killed her sister, and West McCray, the radio personality tracing her footsteps for a true-crime podcast.
Sadie’s 13-year-old sister, Mattie, went missing and was later found dead. The police have no suspects, but Sadie has one, and she’s determined to find him.
West’s chapters, alternating with Sadie’s, take place later; Sadie is missing, her car found hundreds of miles from home with her belongings still inside. West’s goal is to find Sadie and uncover what really happened to Mattie.
(Warning: This book deals with the topics of child abuse/sexual abuse and addiction. Mentions of abuse are not graphic, but may be upsetting to some readers.)
If you are looking for a book that will grab you and pin you to your seat from page one, this book is it. The stakes are high and are established from the start, with Sadie missing and Mattie’s murder unsolved. Every moment counts up to the end, with even the more mundane or seemingly irrelevant scenes, such as the scene where Sadie picks up a hitchhiker, moving the plot forward and giving clues to Sadie’s whereabouts.
This book is not the type of book where everything is wrapped up neatly. There are some loose ends and unanswered questions, but West’s chapters, which occur later but are placed so his discoveries align with Sadie’s actions, help to give the book a sense of completeness anyway.
Enough answers are given and ends tied up to be satisfying, but not so much as to kill the thriller/mystery tone seen throughout the book. Too many loose ends and the book would have been frustrating; too few and it would have lost the emotional punch and drive that kept it worth reading. As it stands, the ending was well done and ultimately suited the story.
The lasting, memorable part of this book is the message it sends about family, relationships, and how people affect one another. Sadie is seen tearing through towns and blowing past people with a purpose based on a singular relationship: her relationship with Mattie. Through West’s investigations, though, the reader gets to see the bigger picture.
Sadie thinks she is alone and frequently brings up that she doesn’t have friends and the only person she had was Mattie, while West, working without the benefit of Sadie’s direct perspective, can only trace her through the various people she encountered during her trip, some of whom she made a huge and lasting impact on. After reading this book, it’s difficult not to think about the relationships you have with others and how you impact them.
This book would likely be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys thrillers, true crime, and complex characters.