Zoe Whittaker, the much-loved wife of a rich, handsome Wall Street guru, has a past at odds with her current situation. A name change and a coast-to-coast move to a new life put her unsavory past behind her—or did it?
The Vanishing Year offers a brief flashback, showing Zoe at the worst time in her life. She’s in mourning after her adopted mother’s death, and to numb her pain, she turns to drugs and alcohol and consorts with the dregs of society, drug dealers and pimps. Once Zoe learns her suppliers are involved in human sex trafficking, she cleans up her act and turns state’s witness. After being starved and beaten by the thugs, Zoe flees California and begins a new life in New York City.
Now it seems that her past is infringing on her present. At first, Zoe blithely chalks up nearly being hit by a car as a quintessential New York City experience. But when her apartment is ransacked, Zoe starts to wonder if the incidents are connected and begins to fear for her life. The story is fraught with Rebecca-esque tropes, such as a disturbingly devoted housekeeper and a husband who worships Zoe, his new second wife, but tends to be suspicious of her actions.
Zoe enlists the help of a society-page reporter to uncover part of her past that she wants revealed, that of her birth mother. Since Zoe’s husband doesn’t support her search, she does her sleuthing without his knowledge, and he becomes even more suspicious of her behavior. Readers will wonder who is good, evil, or simply the victim of misguided thinking as they devour bestselling author Kate Moretti’s latest book, full of expertly placed screens and revelations.