Local Woman Missing By Mary Kubica: Book’s Review and Summary

Blog Tour Review: Local Woman Missing – Jill's Book Blog

Local Woman Missing is a gripping thriller written by bestselling author, Mary Kubica. Kubica has been hailed as one of the best writers of psychological suspense, and this book certainly lives up to that praise. In this article, we will delve into the main themes and ideas presented in the book, as well as discuss the effectiveness of the author’s writing style. We will also examine the strengths and weaknesses of the book and how it compares to other works in its genre.


“Local Woman Missing” is a captivating domestic thriller written by Mary Kubica. The novel delves into the consequences that unfold when a series of individuals mysteriously vanish in quick succession. Exploring themes of suburban malaise, trauma, and individualism, this book takes readers on a thrilling journey. The citations provided in this guide correspond to the Park Row Books edition of the text.

Author Background

Mary Kubica is a New York Times bestselling author known for her suspenseful thrillers. Her notable works include “When the Lights Go Out,” “Just the Nicest Couple,” “The Good Girl,” “The Other Mrs.,” “Every Last Lie,” “Pretty Baby,” “Don’t You Cry,” and “Nothing As It Seems.”

Content Warning

This guide contains references to neglect and abuse of children, as well as violent death and apparent death by suicide.

Plot Summary

Set in a Chicago suburb, “Local Woman Missing” presents a nonchronological narrative through multiple perspectives. The story revolves around Meredith Dickey, a young mother and doula, who receives threatening anonymous text messages from her neighbor, Cassandra Hanaka. Misinterpreting Meredith’s past relationship with her husband Marty, Cassandra suspects an affair. Consequently, their once-amicable relationship turns sour. Concurrently, Meredith takes on a new doula client named Shelby Tebow, whose childbirth experiences complications. Meredith’s testimony becomes crucial in a medical malpractice suit against Dr. Feingold.

Tragedy and Secrets Unfold

During a dinner with her husband Josh, Meredith plans to disclose the Hanakas’ situation and the lawsuit, which she had kept hidden. However, they encounter their neighbors, Kate and Bea, celebrating Bea’s birthday. As the night progresses, Meredith offers to stay with Bea while Josh and Kate leave. Inebriated, Meredith and Bea accidentally hit and kill Shelby, who was on her way to meet someone. Bea convinces Meredith to help hide the body.

Guilt and Deception

As guilt consumes Meredith, Bea orchestrates a plan to frame Jason, Shelby’s husband, for the crime. When Meredith attempts to confess to the police, Bea reluctantly kills her, staging it as a suicide. Moreover, Bea captures Meredith’s daughter Delilah, who witnessed the attack, and hides her in the attic of her converted music studio garage. While the bodies of Shelby and Meredith are discovered in the following weeks, Delilah remains missing.

The Copycat Kidnapping and Discovery

Years later, Eddie and Martha Cutter, a pair of copycat criminals, kidnap Carly Byrd and manipulate her into believing she is Delilah Dickey. After Carly escapes their captivity, the police mistake her for Delilah and send her to live with Josh and Leo, Meredith’s son. When a DNA test reveals the truth, an empathetic officer conceals the results to spare Josh’s feelings. Suspicion arises when Carly lacks a distinctive trait of Delilah’s—her cleft chin. Leo and Josh confront the officer, who confesses to the lie.

Justice and Resolution

The police accompany Carly to the Dickey residence to collect her belongings, but she escapes through an open window. A search ensues, and the police request permission to search Bea’s music studio. Bea flees, leaving Kate, Josh, and the police to discover Delilah hidden in the studio’s attic. Delilah reunites with Josh and Leo, and Carly is returned to her family. Bea is apprehended and incarcerated. The conclusion hints at the lingering trauma and far-reaching consequences of Bea’s actions that can never be fully resolved.

In conclusion, “Local Woman Missing” is an enthralling tale that explores the depths of suburban malaise and trauma. With its nonchronological narrative, intense plot twists, and complex characters, Mary Kubica’s domestic thriller offers a gripping reading experience.


What is Local Woman Missing about?

Local Woman Missing is a psychological thriller about the disappearance of two women – Delilah and Shelby – and the lives that are affected by their disappearance. The book explores themes of human relationships, human nature, secrets and privacy, and the desperate need for love and belonging.

Who is the author of Local Woman Missing?

The author of Local Woman Missing is Mary Kubica, a bestselling author known for her psychological suspense novels.

What is the writing style of Local Woman Missing?

The writing style of Local Woman Missing is engaging and accessible. The author uses a multi-perspective approach to storytelling, giving readers a chance to see the world through the eyes of different characters. The writing is suspenseful and unpredictable, with plenty of twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the very end.

Would you recommend Local Woman Missing?

Yes, I would highly recommend Local Woman Missing to anyone looking for a well-written and suspenseful psychological thriller. While the book has its weaknesses, particularly in terms of pacing and predictability, the strengths more than make up for them. The fully realized characters and engaging writing style make for a thrilling and compelling read.

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