The she in the title refers to Beth, a barmaid at a rural pub in England - kind, beautiful, a bit of a party girl and promiscuous. Nobody takes it too seriously when she doesn’t turn up for work one day - she’s got a reputation as a free spirit and everyone assumes she’s just gone off somewhere with a bloke.

Everyone, that is, except her friend and fellow barmaid Natalie. Nat has actually had a couple of texts supposedly from Beth saying she needed to spend time with her mother, but when she calls Beth’s mother, she learns that she hasn’t spoken to her daughter for years.

Nat is not in a good space, recovering from a regretted abortion and a break-up, and Beth was a source of tremendous support.

But when she contacts the police, they are more interested in the recent murder of a young man whose body turned up in the river. Even the fact that he knew Beth doesn’t help.

We know that something bad has happened to Beth, because from the very beginning we have access to the thought processes of a very unpleasant bloke who is clearly responsible.

This, we deduce, is the man who has been spotted by 92-year-old Victor, who saw a man coming up from the river with blood on his sleeve.

Victor wants to tell the police, but he has some kind of mild stroke and ends up in hospital, his speech and memory temporarily disabled.

So Kent cleverly veers between three threads - Natalie’s, as we watch her in her lonely search for what has happened to her best friend - Victor’s, as he struggles to regain his memory and communicate his disquiet - and the unnamed perpetrator, who is watching Natalie from a distance having her in his sights as his next victim.

All three strands are tense and the narrative is constructed in such a way that you are confused as to which of the several men with whom Nat has contact is the actual villain.

There is a sub-plot concerning Victor’s beloved only daughter Sophie. She’s moved to London and married a man who turns out to be a control freak and abuser who keeps Sophie on a tight rein and prevents her from visiting her much loved father.

I found the book an engrossing read, but one that was quite difficult to follow as it flitted between the many characters in the book.

There was a good plot twist at the end. So - if you’re in the market for an intelligent, lucid, thought-provoking psychological thriller, look no further. (R256)