The disappearance of a young internet celebrity ignites a firestorm of speculation on social media, and to find her a detective will have to extinguish the blaze.
Chloe Cates is missing. The 13-year-old star of the hit web series, “CC and Me,” has disappeared, and nobody knows where she’s gone — least of all ruthless momager Jennifer Scarborough, who has spent much of her daughter’s young life crafting a child celebrity persona that is finally beginning to pay off. And in Chloe’s absence, the faux-fairytale world that supported that persona begins to fracture, revealing secrets capable of reducing the highly-dysfunctional Scarborough family to rubble.
Anxious to find her daughter and preserve the life she’s worked so hard to build, Jennifer turns to social media for help, but the hearsay, false claims, and salacious suspicions only multiply. As the search becomes as sensational as Chloe’s series, Missing Persons detective Emilina Stone steps in, only to realize she has a connection to this case herself. Will she be able to stay objective and cut through the rumors to find the truth before it’s too late?
Told from multiple points of view including Jennifer, Emilina, and pages from Chloe’s lost diary, Chloe Cates Is Missing is a suspenseful novel of a child pushed to the brink, and of the troubled family that desperately needs her back.
About the Author
Mandy McHugh is a first-time novelist from Troy, NY. She holds an MA in English from the College of Saint Rose and a BA in English Education from Le Moyne College. Her works have appeared in various literary magazines and podcasts, and she lives in upstate NY (where the novel is set) with her husband, two kids, and dog.
A thriller for our social-media obsessed times — Popsugar
Gripping debut [...] Chapters told from multiple perspectives skillfully tease out the characters’ respective secrets to reveal the rage lurking beneath their smiling faces. McHugh is off to a strong start. — Publishers Weekly
A tale guaranteed to keep genre fans up till dawn. — Kirkus
This is a promising debut on a timely topic that might seem unbelievable save the recent headlines about the ruinous life of Britney Spears and the never-ending list of child stars and their misfortunes. — Booklist
Mandy McHugh delightfully claws away the glitter to reveal the darkness and dysfunction roiling beneath the surface of a seemingly perfect family. Everyone has a secret they’re desperate to hide, everyone is lying, and it’s great fun (can I call murder fun?) to fit the shifting pieces together. A spectacular debut from a promising writer. — Laura McHugh, award-winning author of What's Done in Darkness
It’s a mommy blog gone terribly wrong in this captivating debut from Mandy McHugh. CHLOE CATES IS MISSING has everything I want in a domestic thriller: propulsive storytelling, razor-sharp prose, disturbing behavior, explosive secrets, and a uniquely dysfunctional family. Settle in for this stunner; once you start reading, you won’t be able to stop. — Megan Collins, author of The Family Plot
McHugh weaves these stories together seamlessly in an of-the-moment thriller that will leave you guessing what the truth is until the final page. A terrific debut! — Catherine McKenzie, USA Today bestselling author of I’ll Never Tell and Six Weeks to Live
From the timely social media relevance, to the constant tension, to the tightly weaved plot, this one doesn’t let go until delivering an ending that will leave your mouth hanging open. With chilling prose and an atmospheric setting, I’m already looking forward to her next. — Jaime Lynn Hendricks, author of Finding Tessa
In the way that we constantly check our retweets or shamelessly devour the latest social media scandal, I compulsively devoured Chloe Cates Is Missing. With characters you love to hate, this novel is Drama with a capital D—and is utterly terrifying in its snapshot of our selfie society’s obsession with popularity and perception. — Tara Laskowski, award-winning author of One Night Gone and The Mother Next Door
Fast-paced and brimming with secrets to unspool, Mandy McHugh's razor sharp debut explores the dark side of internet fame and is as addictive as social media itself. A refreshingly original read that will have you rethinking what's behind those carefully curated online personas. — Lindsay Cameron, author of Just One Look
Full of disturbing secrets, a supremely dysfunctional family and an unapologetically unlikeable protagonist, McHugh raises important questions around what parents should be allowed to post about their children on social media. Scratch the shiny surface of this perfect family and you’ll see the dark secrets lurking beneath the glitter. A smart and textured thriller. — Christina McDonald, USA Today Bestselling Author