When the Stars Go Dark: A Novel

Written by:
Paula McLain
Narrated by:
Marin Ireland

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
April 2021
11 hours 29 minutes
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • GOOD MORNING AMERICA BUZZ PICK • “A total departure for the author of The Paris Wife, McLain’s emotionally intense and exceptionally well-written thriller entwines its fictional crime with real cases.”—People (Book of the Week)

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY MARIE CLAIRE • “The kind of heart-pounding conclusion that thriller fans crave . . . In the end, a book full of darkness lands with a message of hope.”—The New York Times Book Review

“This mystery will keep you guessing, and stay with you long after you finish. Dive in.”—Daily Skimm

Anna Hart is a seasoned missing persons detective in San Francisco with far too much knowledge of the darkest side of human nature. When tragedy strikes her personal life, Anna, desperate and numb, flees to the Northern California village of Mendocino to grieve. She lived there as a child with her beloved foster parents, and now she believes it might be the only place left for her. Yet the day she arrives, she learns that a local teenage girl has gone missing.

The crime feels frighteningly reminiscent of the most crucial time in Anna’s childhood, when the unsolved murder of a young girl touched Mendocino and changed the community forever. As past and present collide, Anna realizes that she has been led to this moment. The most difficult lessons of her life have given her insight into how victims come into contact with violent predators. As Anna becomes obsessed with saving the missing girl, she must accept that true courage means getting out of her own way and learning to let others in.

Weaving together actual cases of missing persons, trauma theory, and a hint of the metaphysical, this propulsive and deeply affecting novel tells a story of fate, necessary redemption, and what it takes, when the worst happens, to reclaim our lives—and our faith in one another.
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Mary T.

Started slow, with annoying detail, but as I read, the plot picked-up & I really became interested and entertained. Would recommend.

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Slow with too much unnecessary detail that is distracting from the main story. I struggled to finish but kept waiting for the "twist" only to realize I figured out the story at the beginning.

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Robin B.

what s great mystery brought to life by a fabulous narrator! i was initially put off by her tone but as the book began to go deeper, i understood why the flatness that i’d initially heard. the writing was excellent and the sensitivity of several subject matters were empathically dealt with. kudos to the author and narrator

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Regina S.

Not a bad listen, but too predictable. Unfortunately the psychic's prediction at end of story of Polly Klaas's death...'will forever be remembered and will have made REAL DIFFERENCES in the future...her death will have meaning' did NOT come to fruition. Yes there is a Polly Klaas law passed, but children still go missing, still get abused, still get killed...and those monsters are NOT isolated from society FOREVER...as they should be. They serve their time (if caught), they get out and continue their nightmare for other innocent children to survive...or too often, NOT. In fact modern society is trying to change laws so that pedophilia is an acceptable sexual preference. Tell that to Jaycee Lee Dugard, Elizabeth Smart, Amanda Berry...and too many others. Author stated she picked a 'sensitive/controversial' topic...and with that...she brought the topic to the forefront in my thoughts...so for that she gets 5 STARS...changing my rating now!

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The book was interesting with a great plot. The narrators voice made it hard for me to pay attention

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