Chloe Cates is Missing – Mandy McHugh

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. 

Book Info: Print length: 356 pages Publisher: Scarlet. Publication Date: 15 Feb 2022


Mandy McHugh is a first-time novelist from Troy, NY. She received her MA in English Lit from the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY and her BA in English Education from Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY.  Her works have appeared in various literary magazines, anthologies, and podcasts.

​CHLOE CATES IS MISSING is her debut novel.

When she isn’t writing or putting a dent in her never-ending TBR, Mandy enjoys singing, running, baking, or planning adventures for her family.

​Mandy lives in Upstate New York with her husband, two kids, and goofy dog.

My Review:

Chloe Cates is Missing is the debut novel by Mandy McHugh. This standalone thriller is about a young internet star who has gone missing from home. Chloe Cates is 13 years old and has spent her entire life in front of a camera and managed by her mother Jen and if you, like me, love unlikeable characters, batsh*t crazy mothers and dark secrets then you, like me, will be unable to put this book down.

Shining a very bright and unpleasant spotlight on the perils of social media, this story looks at how far people will go for a “like” or retweet. Jen has turned her daughter into a very profitable business and nothing is out of bounds and no line can be crossed when it comes to posting online about her family. She is relentless, driven and slightly unhinged, having experienced bullying herself as a child. Desperate to be liked, Jen sees social media and Chloe as the only way to be accepted even if it means exploiting her children and family.

When Chloe goes missing one morning Detective Emilina Stone who runs the Missing Persons unit takes over the case, however Emilina and Jen have some history together and it’s not good history!

The story is told through multiple points of view including both Chloe’s parents plus transcripts from Chloe’s journal so the reader slowly discovers the shocking truth behind this “perfect family” and the lengths they go to to portray their public personas.

I literally couldn’t put this down and enjoyed every page of this gripping thriller. Jen is possibly one of the worst mother characters I’ve read recently and she made my blood boil.

I have absolutely NO hesitation in recommending this book for thriller fans.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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