When the Stars Go Dark - Paula McLain

When the Stars Go Dark

By Paula McLain

  • Release Date: 2021-04-13
  • Genre: Mysteries & Thrillers
Score: 4
From 249 Ratings


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)
“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.”—theSkimm

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.


  • Just read it!

    By ORB's Mom
    As a California girl, this struck a cord with me. I love all things true crime but this one hits close to home. I couldn’t put it down, it’s just so good.
  • Refreshing book!

    By BogeyOtis11
    Loved all the characters and the detailed the author was so you felt like you were there in the forest breathing in the air and hearing the meadow. A lot of twist which kept me up all night reading and a great lesson for the main character and hope for the future at the end. Loved this book!
  • When the Stars Go Dark

    By Whydoineednick
    I couldn’t stop reading this book - Paula McClain brings her considerable talents to this gripping and suspenseful novel.
  • Well-woven mystery!

    By Brunetta4u
    This first word that comes to mind is Gripping. This well-woven mystery pulls you in from the beginning and simply cannot let you go until the end. You will search for the clues as everyone feels like a suspect.
  • Fantastic mystery! One of the best books I’ve read in awhile...

    By Michael Mast
    Buy it now. Incredible prose, characters that pull you in and a mystery with real stakes. Loved every word.