How to Disappear by Ann Redisch Stampler


This electric cross-country thriller follows the game of cat and mouse between a girl on the run from a murder she witnessed—or committed?—and the boy who’s sent to kill her.

Nicolette Holland is the girl everyone likes. Up for adventure. Loyal to a fault. And she’s pretty sure she can get away with anything…until a young woman is brutally murdered in the woods near Nicolette’s house. Which is why she has to disappear.

Jack Manx has always been the stand-up guy with the killer last name. But straight A’s and athletic trophies can’t make people forget that his father was a hit man and his brother is doing time for armed assault. Just when Jack is about to graduate from his Las Vegas high school and head east for college, his brother pulls him into the family business with inescapable instructions: find this ruthless Nicolette Holland and get rid of her. Or else Jack and everyone he loves will pay the price.

As Nicolette and Jack race to outsmart each other, tensions—and attractions—run high. Told in alternating voices, this tightly plotted mystery and tense love story challenges our assumptions about right and wrong, guilt and innocence, truth and lies.

-Synopsis from Goodreads

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I had high expectations with this book (not that I read reviews about this book or even read the blurb or synopsis beforehand, I like to surprise myself that way) because the premise sounds exciting enough. Girl saw things she shouldn’t have seen. Boy is sent to eliminate her, operating on the knowledge that Girl is a cold-blooded killer and his mom’s life is on the line if he doesn’t do what they say. Girl and Boy feel attraction to each other. What do they do now?

I was flipping through the pages for the first half of the book but it felt kind of flat from there. Like what a heart monitor displays when a person is dead. One straight line.

It didn’t have the heart-beating-out-of-your-chest, rush-of-adrenaline feeling that is given when reading suspense mysteries like this one.

On the other hand, I am in love with the characters. They are not perfect, not by a long shot. They have flaws but that’s what makes them real and relatable. Nicolette and Jack both have their own demons to have inner battles with, at the same time struggling to be a good person on the outside. This is what most of us do. The rest, they are just naturally good people. Jerks.

Another thing that I like with this book is how it is ended. I won’t spoil it to you but I kind of like a little bit of a deviation. That’s all I’m going to say.

And the twist on Nicolette’s epilogue is satisfying. It might not be earth-shattering but at least it’s satisfying.

How To Disappear is a suspense mystery with a little less about the suspense or the mystery but more about the romance.

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I’ve told the other story so often that the truth feels like a lie.


You think the sun rises over his left shoulder, but he’s only standing there to eclipse the light.


I’d act like he was Mr. Dreamy. I’d peer into his eyes with pseudo-adoration. Then I’d cut his heart out with my nail file.

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People who like light mystery with romance thrown in.


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