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All That Is Mine I Carry With Me


All That Is Mine I Carry With Me

William Landay, who is best known as the author of DEFENDING JACOB, brings readers a smashing new twisted mystery revolving around a family’s tragedy.

It was a normal school day for Miranda Larkin. She walked home as always, carrying her books, let herself into the house and called out for her mother. But that November day in 1975, she got no response. Everything in the house seemed to be in its proper place, except that her mom was nowhere inside. In fact, Miranda never saw her again.

"The whole story is presented in a deliciously layered fashion. By the end, nothing is left to wonder about. Well, maybe one little thing."

Naturally, the police were called and a report was filed. They took a long, hard look at Dan Larkin, the missing woman’s husband. They looked at him especially hard since he was an attorney who was well-versed in criminal law and knew how to work the system. He swore he had nothing to do with Jane's disappearance. He loved his wife and would never hurt the mother of their kids. Yet, by the first anniversary of Jane’s vanishing, Dan has moved a new woman into the family home. You can’t expect him to quit living because his wife is gone. Maybe she was unhappy and simply left. He has a right to move on, doesn’t he? Besides, there's no evidence that she’s dead or that he did anything to harm her.

So let’s hear from Jane herself. She has a voice in this. And what she tells us paints a vastly different picture. She recalls how her romance developed and what marriage was like with Dan, which included a lot of ups and downs. It’s normal for a husband and wife to go through cooling periods, right? Jane did her best to keep things interesting and still be a good mother. And she was. Just ask the kids.

For instance, Miranda will tell us how very much she missed Jane. She longingly searched for her everywhere she went, but for a girl not yet in her teens, that was difficult. She did what she could and clung to her memories. The effects of the trauma of having her mother vanish showed in every facet of her life thereafter. Ironically, it may have made her a better artist, because her paintings became quite excellent. Otherwise, it came close to destroying her.

The middle child, Jeff, didn’t bear the loss much better. In fact, it may have been worse for him. He ran away from confronting the reality of it. He drank and still does. He blamed his father and never quit doing so. He never succeeded at anything either. His life sort of stopped the day his mother disappeared. All of that sets him apart from his older brother, Alex, who steadfastly stood by Dan throughout the entire ordeal. He believed in his dad and has a thriving career like him.

Then there’s Jane’s sister, Kate, who was simmering with anger from the day she heard that Jane was gone. They spoke every day. She knew the intimate details of the Larkin marriage and was privy to Jane’s state of mind. She was well aware of the dark side of the relationship and of Dan. All these years, she has angrily pushed for someone in law enforcement to arrest her brother-in-law.

These have been the dynamics that the Larkin family has endured daily for 20 years. Jane’s disappearance, however it happened, tore them apart as if a knife severed them cleanly from each other. Even the few strings of a relationship they have left dangle precariously close to snapping.

Landay cleverly lays out the trappings of a criminal case from several perspectives, leaving readers curious as to who knows what. The whole story is presented in a deliciously layered fashion. By the end, nothing is left to wonder about. Well, maybe one little thing.

Reviewed by Kate Ayers on March 10, 2023

All That Is Mine I Carry With Me
by William Landay