Heather Gudenkauf’s ‘Before She Was Found’ Proves the Need to Pick Our Friends Wisely [REVIEW]

Girl on tracks

A slumber party game has dangerous consequences in Heather Gudenkauf’s Before She Was Found. (Photo by Barta IV, Flickr)

Three young girlfriends. A sinister obsession. A chilling crime that rocks a quiet community to its core. In Heather Gudenkauf’s Before She Was Found, discover how some friendships prove treacherous. 

Heather Gudenkauf's BEFORE SHE WAS FOUND

Park Row Books

Three friends plan a sleepover with movies, junk food and innocent shenanigans, including 12-year-old Cora Landry, Violet Crow and Jordyn Petit. But when they sneak out of the house and head to the abandoned rail yard in the dark of night, little do they know that their little game will have dangerous consequences. 

When Cora is later found on the tracks, bloody and clinging to life, her friends are nowhere to be seen. However, no one really knows what happened to the girl or why, except those who were present, but they aren’t talking. Suddenly, as the investigation unfolds, everyone in the sleepy Iowa town is a suspect and no one can be trusted.

If you enjoy watching Criminal Minds, you are going to enjoy reading Before She Was Found. At first, it took me a little bit to get used to the novel’s format as Gudenkauf writes from her character’s various vantage points. Normally, this format disrupts the continuity for me, but here it actually works. After each chapter, I found myself piecing different clues and personalities traits together in order to gain a clear picture of what actually transpired in the early hours of the morning near that abandoned rail yard.

Before She Was Found paints a picture showcasing how one decision can bring such chaos, blame and dire consequences to many. It also makes us ask what we would do in this situation as a parent. Would our initial instinct be to protect our child or would we be honest even if it meant our child made a poor decision?

As readers turn the pages of Before She Was Found, they will find the answers to these questions and so many more. They may even begin to realize that where we come from and how we face our fears shapes who we become in the present. Filled with buried secrets, betrayal, and loads of suspense, this is one read that proves it pays to choose our friends carefully.

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Heather Gudenkauf

Heather Gudenkauf
(Photo by Erin Kirchoff)


Heather Gudenkauf is the Edgar Award nominated, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Weight of Silence and Not A Sound

The youngest of six children, she was born with a profound unilateral hearing loss, and as a child Heather tended to use books as a retreat and thus became a voracious reader and the seed of becoming a writer was planted.

Heather graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in elementary education, has spent her career working with students of all ages and continues to work in education as a Title I Reading Coordinator.

She lives in Iowa with her family and a very spoiled German Shorthaired Pointer named Lolo. In her free time Heather enjoys spending time with her family, reading and hiking. She is currently working on her next novel.

Visit Heather at her home on the Web at HeatherGudenkauf.com, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

By Heather Gudenkauf
368 pp. Park Row Books. $16.99

TLC Book Tours Tour HostPurchase Before She Was Found at one of these fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Harlequin, IndieBound, and Powell’s.

Before She Was Found is brought to you in association with TLC Book Tours.

About Heather Fink
Heather Fink is a writer, bibliophile and award-winning librarian who loves to introduce the next generation of readers to the wonderful world of books. She currently resides in Texas.

One Response to Heather Gudenkauf’s ‘Before She Was Found’ Proves the Need to Pick Our Friends Wisely [REVIEW]

  1. Sara Strand says:

    Funny story, so my daughter is going to sleepover tonight. Guess which book I’m reading?! Obviously I won’t be sleeping this evening. Thank you for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours

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