Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight: Spoiler Discussion

If you have not read Where They Found Her and are planning to, do not read any further. There are SPOILERS in this post. Check out my spoiler free review instead!

Stop Sign

Where They Found Her
 is one of those books that it’s hard to talk about without revealing spoilers. So, for the second time ever, I’ve written a blog post with spoilers (the first was for The Girl on the Train)!

For a general overview of my thoughts about Where They Found Her, please see my spoiler free review.

Where They Found Her, Kimberly McCreight

One of my favorite things about this book was that every guess I had about the outcome was wrong…which is exactly what I’m looking for in a thriller. How disappointing is it to guess the ending (The Girl on the Train, I’m looking at you)?!

My Wrong Guesses
  • About 30% of the way through, I thought Steve was secretly Sandy’s biological father.
  • Speaking of Steve, I thought he was “The Captain” right up until the moment when Molly and Sandy were looking at the old yearbooks and discovered that Steve was actually Tex.
  • About halfway through, I thought Aiden could possibly be the father of Rose’s baby (i.e. the baby found in the woods). This seemed overly obvious at the time, but I thought Stella was somehow responsible for disposing of the baby to help cover for her son.
  • I thought Jenna was going to have a much bigger role in the scandal of the dead baby than she did.
  • At the end, I thought Hannah had been another victim of Thomas Price, the Dean of Students at Ridgedale University. What I 100% did NOT see coming was Justin being the father of Hannah’s baby. Did anyone out there guess this correctly?!

What were your wrong guesses? What plot twists did you get right?

There were a couple questions that I didn’t think were answered, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes endings can be a little too perfectly tied up in a bow.

My Lingering Questions
  • Towards the end of the book, Jenna was in a car accident after a run-in with Barbara. I thought Barbara had run her off the road in an attempt to get rid of her. This was never specifically addressed in the book, but there were certainly hints that Barbara might have been involved in her disappearance. Did Barbara cause Jenna’s car accident?
  • What happens between Steve and Jenna? Do they reconnect in any way? Possibly jailhouse pen pals?
  • What was Steve’s jail sentence? The book says that he confessed to voluntary manslaughter in Simon Barton’s death and that the judge was leaning against pursuing much jail time. I would have liked to know how much he ended up getting.
  • And, who was the father of Rose’s baby? To be honest, this may have been answered in the book, but I can’t remember!

And, finally…

What did you all think of Jenna forcing Sandy to go off on her own following the car accident?

This was the one part of the ending that I really didn’t like. It seems completely unrealistic that a mother would send her teenage daughter out into the world alone…especially after having almost died in a car accident. Isn’t Jenna’s brush with death more likely to give her the wherewithal to clean up her own act for the sake of her daughter than to lead her to send Sandy away because she’s convinced she’ll never right her ship? I couldn’t figure this one out.

What do you all think? Let’s talk…


After the Crash by Michel Bussi
All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker
Behind her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

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  1. I LOVE this idea! It was a tricky book to review — I really didn’t want to reveal anything. I have to head out the door to work now, but I’m thinking about your lingering questions, which are so interesting. By the way — I just posted my review and included a link to your spoiler discussion. My guess is it will take a while to get going because the book just came out, but we’ll see.

    Posted 4.16.15 Reply
    • admin wrote:

      I just saw your review – it was fantastic, especially given this is such a dicey book to talk about without revealing spoilers! You did a great job with it. And I’ll look forward to hearing your thoughts about lingering questions. And, yes, I agree that it will take a bit for the spoilers discussion to get going, but wanted to go ahead and get it out there.

      Posted 4.16.15 Reply
    • Emmery wrote:

      I don’t understand STELLA. WHat was her deal at the end with seeing Justin’s texts? Who texted Justin? And why were they at a bar alone? Confused!!!!!

      Posted 7.4.15 Reply
      • admin wrote:

        It’s been a little while since I read this one, so I’m a bit hazy on the details, but I thought Stella was being her flirty self at the bar and Justin was being his cheating self. I thought that scene was included to give a bit of foreshadowing that Justin is not the devoted husband he appeared to be. Maybe Stella saw texts to Justin from Hannah?

        Posted 7.11.15 Reply
      • T wrote:

        It was Hannah that texted him.

        Seems like Stella and Justin would’ve had an affair if she hadn’t seen the text.

        Posted 8.9.15 Reply
      • Christine La Pierre wrote:

        Hannah texted Justin presumably to tell him she was pregnant, and he was at the bar with Stella because they were both lying and planning on cheating behind Molly’s back with one another!

        Posted 10.28.16 Reply
  2. Anita wrote:

    Great discussion! I too thought Steve was the father of Sandy. I didn’t think too much about Rose, where was her baby while she was in the hospital? Aiden appeared to be more of a safety net for Sandy more than anything else.
    I wanted to slap Barbara through the whole book.
    I never suspected Justin, Molly’s husband….wow that one was good!
    I sort of understood why Jenna sent Sandy away, a part of me thought she might be dead, and that Molly’s family would take Sandy in.
    It was a really great twisty book.

    Posted 4.16.15 Reply
    • admin wrote:

      I feel like they answered the question of where Rose’s baby possibly was during her hospital stay at some point in the book, but I can’t remember it now!

      I did think Molly’s family would step in with Sandy…but that could have made for too “pat” an ending.

      Posted 4.16.15 Reply
    • T wrote:

      I think Erik and his wife adopted Rose’s baby. Sounded like it at the end

      Posted 8.9.15 Reply
      • Ciara wrote:

        Yeah that is what happened

        Posted 9.26.16 Reply
  3. I had nearly the same guesses as you did! Plus I also thought Barbara ran Jenna off the road. I think I was left with a good amount of questions at the end but oddly I loved that. Sometimes I liked to be left with questions that only the author knows the answers too. Great post Sarah!

    Posted 4.16.15 Reply
    • admin wrote:

      I agree – or questions that in real life would possibly never be answered (like if Barbara ran Jenna off the road)!

      Posted 4.16.15 Reply
  4. Theresa wrote:

    I’m listening to this book/while doing yardwork, housework, etc and I’m confused about some of the characters, so thought I’d read a few reviews. They’ve helped some, but guessing this will be a book I listen to several times before I get it all figured out!!

    Posted 5.12.15 Reply
    • admin wrote:

      It’s totally confusing in the beginning – I had to take notes about the characters and all the little connections! And, since I’m a visual person, I think it would be even harder on audio!

      Posted 5.12.15 Reply
  5. Kay wrote:

    I just wrote my review of this book and it will go live on Monday, the 18th. I linked to your spoiler free review and also to this one. You did a good job with both of them.

    OK, yes, I thought Steve might be Sandy’s father. But, I think she actually was from someone later on down the road because Barbara lost that baby she was carrying on the night that other boy was killed and Hannah and Sandy were close to the same age, right? I did think that Barbara could have run Jenna off the road – still do think that. Thought Aidan might be the father of Rose’s baby, but I’m thinking maybe it was that Thomas Price guy. So, Rose’s baby was the one that Erik and Nancy adopted and that’s where the baby was – with her sister, I think they said. Right? Steve obviously loved Jenna, but I was never sure that Jenna felt the same. Suspect that Steve didn’t get too much jail time. Jenna sending Sandy off to live her life – I think we are supposed to see that as unselfish and I did to certain extent. I thought maybe Molly would take her in, but she didn’t have to. Sandy did keep in contact with Molly.

    And, now we get to Justin and Hannah. I had suspected that Hannah was the mother of the baby. Couldn’t tell you why right now. Justin – yes, I did suspect him after the point where Molly saw him in the coffee shop with the high school gifted kids and he was explaining to her about high school girls. I wondered if he was even the one who was sexually assaulting the girls instead of that Price loser. Justin was obviously a serial cheater and she was well rid of him and I’m glad they finally brought that out in the therapy transcripts. How did I figure him out? Well, I read a lot of mysteries. LOL

    Now, don’t even get me started on Barbara. She was a lunatic. And I was very disappointed that Barbara just got to leave with both her kids. I thought her children should have been taken away from her. She was the worst mother of all the ones there, except maybe her own mother. What an awful, awful woman.

    OK, I guess that’s all. Any thoughts? 🙂

    Posted 5.13.15 Reply
    • admin wrote:

      I’m so sorry I’m just responding to this now…it got lost in the shuffle!! I agree – Barbara was absolutely awful! She was the kind of mother I run far away from at my children’s school, etc!

      Oooh – interesting that you thought Justin was the one sexually assaulting the girls…I definitely didn’t think that at the time, but looking back I can see it. Wouldn’t that have been an interesting twist?!

      Posted 7.11.15 Reply
  6. Olivia Christensen wrote:

    I just googled Where They Found Her spoiler discussion and it brought me here. I know I’m late to the conversation but I just had to talk about it!
    I was pretty impressed with Kimberly McCreight’s ability to mislead me. I am usually pretty good at solving fictional mysteries. I feel like I believed what she wanted the reader to believe for most of the book. Sandy being the baby’s mother, etc. I did figure out Steve was Tex when she put in there casually that his parents moved from Houston. But I never saw Thomas Price being Captain coming. And while I had a few passing concerns about Justin (with the high schoolers in the coffee shop, when he never answered his phone, etc.) It genuinely shocked me when he was the father. I also had a few passing concerns about Hannah since she was so high pressure to be perfect and her mom was the worst, but I through her out as a suspect as soon as she mentioned wanting to save herself for marriage.
    Over all the book was very engaging and I loved it. My only complaint was that the ending was too tidy and not tidy enough. It was a bit much to swallow that all of those characters were mutual acquaintances and somehow also key players in the drama. That was the area I felt like was too tidy. Justin being the father was a bit much but then Erik being Rose’s baby’s adoptive dad sent it over the top needlessly.
    The not tidy enough part was the vague explanation for things. Stella just reading a text, making a joke and figuring the rest out on instinct was asking a lot for readers to swallow. Hannah just starting to treat the situation like it was Sandy’s baby was believable and really interesting and I wish she hadn’t just thrown it in there in passing as a vague explanation for misleading clues and instead owned it and explored the topic in depth.
    Great book, much like Reconstructing Amelia it was strong and exceptional until the end where it kind of fell off for me. But it was better than Reconstructing Amelia and I think her next will be even better than this one. She is a fabulous writer. A character as multidimensional and yet still utterly hateable as Barbara is so much fun.

    Posted 7.20.15 Reply
    • admin wrote:

      I’m so sorry I’m just now responding to this! I’m impressed you guessed that Steve was Tex…I completely had that wrong!
      And – wasn’t Barbara the worst?! I’m actually using her in an upcoming Top 10 list about “characters you didn’t click with”.
      I did feel like it was a little coincidental about all the little connections, but then could see it in a small town…especially a college town where so much of the activity is centered around one place.
      I’m 2 for 2 on McCreight and she’s turning out to be one of my favorite thriller writers…a genre I’m not even reading that much of anymore!
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Posted 8.15.15 Reply
  7. Meghan wrote:

    I just finished listening to the audio book and needed to find somebody to talk to about it! I actually found the audio easier to keep straight since they had different voices for the main female characters. I did NOT see Justin being the father at all. Totally took me by surprise. I was completely sold on it being Thomas Price. Do we agree that the father of Rose’s baby was Thomas Price? One of the Goodreads reviewers said there were clues that it was Justin. Also, it’s hinted at in the psychiatrist transcripts that Justin had an affair in the past, when he was off with his pretty young teacher assistant at a conference at the time that Molly lost the baby. So his fling with Hannah wasn’t likely the first and only. I am looking forward to reading her first book now!

    Posted 10.7.15 Reply
    • admin wrote:

      Welcome – happy to discuss (what I remember of it at least since I read it awhile ago)! That’s an interesting point about the audio actually being easier to follow. I always assume the audio is harder to follow for intricate plots, I bet the different voices do make that easier!

      I do remember thinking that the father of Rose’s baby was Thomas Price, but now I can’t remember why!

      I do remember tiny clues that it was Justin, but not too many at all to really point to him. Only obvious looking back on things. I remember thinking something was off during the scene at the bar when he was with that other mom (now I can’t remember her name!!).

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Posted 10.7.15 Reply
  8. Stephanie wrote:

    This is an old thread and hopefully someone will answer my question but just finished reading the book and wouldn’t Justin also be going to jail for rape of minor if Hannah was 17 when they had sex? Did Molly not mention that to police to spare her husband and the father of her child from going to jail? That’s my ONLY lingering question.

    Posted 2.8.19 Reply
    • Okay! Figured it out ! The age of consent in New Jersey where the book is set is 16, in Florida which is my only point of reference its 18, I guess in the eyes of the law it isn’t illegal but I am not happy that Justin got the chance to move and live the rest of his cheating life Scott free.

      Posted 2.8.19 Reply

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