Full Pour Review: Vanishing Falls

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Set in a small town of Tasmania, Vanishing Falls by Poppy Gee is a slow burning murder mystery full of intriguing characters with dark secrets and a fascinating glimpse into class separation and drug addiction.

DESCRIPTION: Celia Lily is rich, beautiful, and admired. She’s also missing. And the search for the glamorous socialite is about to expose all the dark, dirty secrets of Vanishing Falls…

Deep within the lush Tasmanian rainforest is the remote town of Vanishing Falls, a place with a storied past. The town’s showpiece, built in the 1800s, is its Calendar House—currently occupied by Jack Lily, a prominent art collector and landowner; his wife, Celia; and their four daughters. The elaborate, eccentrically designed mansion houses one masterpiece and 52 rooms—and Celia Lily isn’t in any of them. She has vanished without a trace.…

Joelle Smithton knows that a few folks in Vanishing Falls believe that she’s simple-minded. It’s true that Joelle’s brain works a little differently—a legacy of shocking childhood trauma. But Joelle sees far more than most people realize, and remembers details that others cast away. For instance, she knows that Celia’s husband, Jack, has connections to unsavory local characters whom he’s desperate to keep hidden. He’s not the only one in town with something to conceal. Even Joelle’s own husband, Brian, a butcher, is acting suspiciously. While the police flounder, unable to find Celia, Joelle is gradually parsing the truth from the gossip she hears and from the simple gestures and statements that can unwittingly reveal so much.   

Just as the water from the falls disappears into the ground, gushing away through subterranean creeks, the secrets in Vanishing Falls are pulsing through the town, about to converge. And when they do, Joelle must summon the courage to reveal what really happened to Celia, even if it means exposing her own past…

Poppy Gee is a talented writer. I really enjoyed the complexity of the characters and how the book was told from multiple POV’s- the interwoven character story lines gave me a Big Little Lies vibe. Joelle was an excellent protagonist and I adored her strength, resilience and vulnerability. I also adored her husband Brian and their relationship, but would’ve loved to have learned more about his character. I felt that out of all the characters portrayed in this story, I knew the least about him. I also really enjoyed the setting of the story. Poppy Gee did a fantastic job at illustrating a beautiful and intriguing Tasmanian rain forest setting, as well as the Calendar House occupied by Celia and Jack- I was fascinated by the concept of a house like this and would love to see it in person. The drug addiction and class separation portrayed within this small town was intense and Poppy Gee did a wonderful job at detailing the struggles that the characters (i.e. Cliff and Kim, Brendan and Karen) faced as a direct result of these things. I couldn’t help but feel pain and sadness for these characters.

This was my first novel by Poppy Gee, and I look forward to reading more by this author! If you’re looking for a slow burning murder mystery with intriguing, complex characters and an illustrative setting, I recommend checking out Vanishing Falls. Thank you again so much to WilliamMorrow for gifting me this book in exchange for my honest review 💛


BEER DESCRIPTION: Vanishing Falls by Poppy Gee is best paired with Dunkin’ + Pumpkin by Harpoon Brewery. Inspired by everyone’s favorite fall pumpkin latte, this “Spiced Latte Ale” is brewed with real pumpkin, pumpkin pie spices, and a splash of coffee. Light in color and easy-drinking, it’s a perfect blend of all the autumn flavors we love, with just a touch of espresso-like roast 🍻

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