Book Review: Jackal

JACKAL by Erin E. Adams
10/4/2022 | Bantam
Rating: 4.5/5 stars


Liz Rocher is coming home . . . reluctantly. As a Black woman, Liz doesn’t exactly have fond memories of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, a predominantly white town. But her best friend is getting married, so she braces herself for a weekend of awkward and passive-aggressive reunions. But on the day of the wedding, somewhere between dancing and dessert, the bride’s daughter, Caroline, goes missing—and the only thing left behind is a piece of white fabric covered in blood. As a frantic search begins, with the police combing the trees for Caroline, Liz is the only one who notices a pattern: a summer night. A missing girl. A party in the woods. She’s seen this before. With the evil in the forest creeping closer, Liz knows what she must do: find Caroline, or be entirely consumed by the darkness.

Jackal is Erin E. Adams’ debut novel, but doesn’t feel anything like a first novel. Adams has constructed an intricately layered story centered not only around the main character of Liz, but also her hometown’s hidden secrets. Through Liz readers are able to learn the history of this town and its hidden pattern of missing black girls. No one has listened before to the mothers of these girls and Liz is determined to change that. 

Adams not only crafts a haunting present day storyline featuring Liz and a cast of secondary characters searching for Caroline, but she also includes chapters focused on several of the girls that have gone missing and the truth of what happened to them. What is that truth? Well it’s anything but simple. Adams had me second guessing every character’s motives and creating wild theories, only to be left shocked with the grand reveal. 

I saw that Adams has a new book releasing in 2024 and as soon as it becomes available, I’ll be securing my preorder!

A huge thank you to Random House for my gifted copy!

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