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Cemetery Girl Paperback – October 4, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


"Cemetery Girl is a smasher. It twists and turns and never lets go, could happen just this way."—Jacquelyn Mitchard, New York Times bestselling author of The Deep End of the Ocean

"Cemetery Girl is more than just an utterly compelling thriller-- and it certainly is that. David Bell's stellar novel is also a haunting meditation on the ties that bind parent to child, husband to wife, brother to brother--and what survives even under the most shattering possible circumstance. An absolutely riveting, absorbing read not to be missed."—Lisa Unger, New York Times bestselling author of Darkness, My Old Friend

"Trust me: you have never read a missing persons story like this one....A fast, mean head trip of a thriller that reads like a collaboration between Michael Connelly and the gothic fiction of Joyce Carol Oates, Cemetery Girl is one of those novels that you cannot shake after it's over. A winner on every level." — Will Lavender, NYT bestselling author of Dominance

"Cemetery Girl grabbed me by the throat on page one and never let up. An intense, unrelenting powerhouse of a book, and the work of a master." — John Lescroart, New York Times bestselling author of Damage

"A smart, tense, creepy take on the story of a missing daughter, told by her far-from-perfect father. If you think you know this tale--from all- too-familiar newspaper accounts, from lesser movies and books--then this terrific novel will make you think otherwise."—Brock Clarke, national bestselling author of Exley and An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England

About the Author

David Bell is an assistant professor of English at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky. He received an M.A. in creative writing from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and a Ph.D. in American Literature and creative writing from the University of Cincinnati. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: NAL; 1 Original edition (October 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451234677
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451234674
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (224 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,933 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

David Bell is the bestselling and award-winning author of seven novels including SOMEBODY I USED TO KNOW, THE FORGOTTEN GIRL, NEVER COME BACK, THE HIDING PLACE, and CEMETERY GIRL. He is an Associate Professor of English at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky and can be reached through his website

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By J. Elattar on December 29, 2011
Format: Paperback
I was looking forward to reading this book based on its reviews and because I thought I would get some kind of insight into the mind of an abductor and his victim. I don't think that I've come across characters that I've liked less or cared less about than the characters in this novel, that includes the mother, father, and Caitlin (the returned abducted teenage daughter). I felt that the dialogue was being repeated in every chapter by the characters and it was tiresome. By the middle of the novel, I found that I was forcing myself to finish the book and hoping to find some kind of understanding of the subject of child abduction and the people who commit such an act.....I didn't. I guess you can try to read this book if you have nothing else to read, but I didn't enjoy it in the least.
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Literary Omnivore on April 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
Trigger warning. This book, concerning the abduction of a young girl, was obviously inspired by the Elizabeth Smart abduction case in Utah, my home state. Like that situation, the young girl is kidnapped, sexually abused--in this book, for several years--and then denies her identity at first when she is found. Unfortunately, the similarities stop there. The father in this book is far less concerned about his daughter than he is in finding out the specific details of what happened to her. Yum yum, what a fine dad. I won't go into further details other than to say that I found the father's behavior warped in the extreme. In fact, I found myself thinking that with parents like the ones this girl had it was hardly surprising that she was willing to get into a car with a strange man. In general, I found the author's portrayals and thinking very odd. The opening chapter of the book recounts, from the father's view, an incident where his little daughter lied to him. Was the author trying to imply that little girls who lie to their daddies deserve punishment of whatever sort they get? Ugh, particularly in view of the fact that lying is quite normal for young children and should hardly be taken as an indication of a character flaw. Not much else I could say about this mess except that ironically the most admirable and human character in the book was the family dog, and that I found myself wishing for some brain bleach so I could wash the whole thing right out of my mind.
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40 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Mason Canyon on October 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
Losing a child is devastating for the parents, but is it worse when the child simply disappears?

Leading an idealistic life, Tom and Abby Stuart have it all - a good marriage, successful careers, nice home and a delightful 12-year-old daughter, Caitlin. Then their world is scattered. Caitlin takes the family dog, Frosty, out for a walk and only the dog returns home.

Four years later Caitlin is discovered alive. She's disheveled, dirty, but unnaturally calm. She won't discuss the four years she's been gone or what happened to her. When an arrest is finally made in the case, Caitlin refuses to testify against the man.

Caitlin's disappearance had taken it's toll on the Stuart marriage. With her return, additional conflict is added and the marriage dissolves. Needing answers and fearing his daughter might have been involved in her own disappearance, Tom begins to investigate on his own. His determination could cause him to lose Caitlin again, land himself in jail and uncover information that will shock him.

CEMETERY GIRL is a nail-biting, grip your seat read. Parents will be shaking their heads in disbelief while keeping an extra watch on their youngsters because of the plausibility of the story.

Author David Bell tells the story from the father's point of view. Readers will feel his agony, as well as a roller coaster of other emotions. CEMETERY GIRL puts a new spin on how readers will look at children's disappearances.

Author David Bell's website is [...]

Cemetery Girl by David Bell, NAL Trade, @2011, ISBN: 9780451234674, Paperback, 400 pages

FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Groundhog Job on September 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
Don't make the same mistake I did: Don't keep valiantly wading through this book, thinking it will get better. It won't.

The characters were unsympathetic and largely uninteresting, didn't seem to have distinct or well developed personalities (unless you consider Ineffectual Selfish Jerk to be a personality, in which case the father definitely qualifies) and didn't have their own voices. I hate it when characters in books all speak with the same or similar cadence, word choice and style.

SPOILER ALERTS, although I'm not exactly spoiling a good story, so what the heck. Here goes:

1. In the first chapter, the father watches his six year old daughter almost get hit by a car and run off across the street. His response is to go back inside, finish making dinner and then politely ask her about it later. What? Seriously? I don't even know any *bad* parents who would blithely walk back inside after seeing that. My first reaction was that this author must not have children. Then I thought "Well, that's uncharitable. You don't have to experience something firsthand to write about it convincingly," which just made this bad writing.

2. What irritated me enough to write this review instead of just tossing this book aside was the scene in which the father was told about a witness who had seen the girl with a creepy older man in a sexual situation. The father's reaction is to suspect that this means that her daughter either hadn't been kidnapped or was staying with her kidnapper voluntarily. Quote: "Didn't that mean she wanted to be there?" Again, what? How could a father (even an imaginary one) be so tone deaf about kidnapping, about Stockholm Syndrome, about sexual coercion, about issues of consent that this would be the first thing to cross their mind?
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