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  • Writer's pictureJulie Mackin

The Easy Silence

In which our heroine realized she doesn't have as much control as she thought

The Other Side of Disappearing by Kate Clayborn


Rating: PG-13

Perfect if you like:

  • Cinnamon Roll Heros

  • Mysteries with your romance

  • Road trips 

  • Only Murders in the Building 

You know how I know 2024 is going to be good? I was lucky enough (see what I did there) to get my hands on the ARC for Kate Clayborn’s newest book, coming out next month. I have devoured her books after I found Beginner’s Luck so many years ago. Like I did with Georgie, All the Way, I read this book slowly, savoring all the looks, emotions, unspoken words, and touches between our two main characters, Adam and Jess. 

Jess has been raising her sister, Tegan, since their mother left them ten years ago, when Jess was 21 and Tegan just 8. And that entire time, Jess has been worried that someone would figure out that their mother ran off with a con man, Lynton Baltimore,  made famous in one of the seminal true crime podcasts.  In the summer before Tegan leaves for college, those fears come true, as podcaster Salem Durant (I was picturing Tina Fey as Cinda Channing the whole time) and her producer, Adam Hawkins, show up at Jess’s door, ready to embark on a road trip to find out what happen to Baltimore in the ten years since he disappeared.. Off the foursome go across the country in a minivan, forced proximity and all. Along the way, Jess and Adam, two people who have endured more than their fair share of trauma, will find each other (because duh, this is a romance). 

There is a song by The Chicks, Easy Silence, who's chorus contains the line “And the way you keep the world at bay for me.”  When Adam and Jess meet, I feel like Adam just immediately exudes that for Jess, whether or not she wants it. And by creating that space for peace, he provides the truest expression of love. 

In this new work, Clayborn is masterful in adding a mystery element to her story, giving the reader both a good romance along with a bit of a puzzle. And not one that is just an afterthought; the discovery at the heart of this book is essential to the growth of all the characters. If Kate Clayborn wants to start writing detective stories with a sassy PI heroine who has a will-they-won’t-they relationship with a grumpy cop, I would be the first person in line for that book. 

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