This is a summary based on my understanding of the novel. Please also note that this summary contains spoilers. You may want to read the entire book first before proceeding
Tallulah and Zach didn’t come home after dinner and some unexpected drinks with friends. Tallulah’s mother, Kim, is extremely worried. She knows Tallulah, she’s responsible and is a hands on mother to her baby, Noah.
The last update Kim received from Tallulah was a text, informing her that they bumped into her college friend Scarlett Jacques, and they’ll be going to her place for some drinks.
Kim contacted Scarlet, went to her house called the “Dark Place” and asked details about what happened the night before. Scarlet said they drank, then Tallulah and Zach went home by themselves – saying they’ll just grab a cab. That was the end of it, even when Kim tried asking the other friends who were also there that night.
Kim had the police involved and an investigation has been started. Over a year later, Tallulah and Zach are still missing.
Sophie moved with his boyfriend in the countryside. She is a novelist who writes detective books and she was instantly intrigued about Tallulah & Zach’s story. She suddenly got involved when she found a sign that said “Dig Here” and she dug, then found a ring. She had the ring checked and found out that it was purchased by Zach. Sophie took the ring to Kim – and it reopened the case. They are investigating Tallulah & Zach’s disappearance again.
There was also a second clue that was a found, it was a metal lever – but no one could figure out what it was used for. It was found the same way Sophie found the ring – under a sign that says Dig Here, but this time it was Lexie who found it. Lexie used to be Scarlet’s friend – she was also there during the pool party, the night Tallulah & Zach disappeared.
As the police did their own investigation, Sophie did some digging too. Kim also started trusting her – and together they looked for clues online.
They found a video of Mimi, she was also one of the friends present at the pool party. On the video, she said that she thinks what happened last year could finally get resolved.
They also found Scarlet’s secret Instagram account. It looks like she is on a boat – she and her family already left the Dark Place.
Sophie also hung out with Liam, a teacher assistant who was Scarlet’s ex boyfriend. He was also there during the pool party. While Sophie and him talked in his apartment- Sophie saw the paintings being hung on the wall. It was a painting by Scarlet – Liam thought nothing about it but Sophie found clues. There was a painting of a staircase, and when looked at closely, the lever can be found. This meant that the lever opens the staircase – which is actually a secret passage nobody else knew about.
The police searched the Dark Place, found the staircase and opened it. They found male human remains, and Tallulah’s phone. It turns out it was Zach’s remains that they found. They also found things that suggested that someone previously lived there – the police believed that Tallulah was captured, and could still be alive.
They searched for the records back when Scarlet and her family left the Dark Place – and they found out that they took Tallulah with them, disguised her as someone else.
The police are now looking for Scarlet and her family – which they later on found with the help of her instagram posts. They were able to rescue Tallulah. She still needs to be treated since she has become weak, and was constantly drugged. She was able to be reunited to Kim and to her son, Noah.
The truth, what really happened:
Tallulah and Scarlet are in love. Scarlet is still hanging out with ex boyfriend Liam, while Tallulah is still living with her boyfriend, Zach – for the sake of their baby.
Every Sunday when Zach plays football, Tallulah would go to the Dark Place and spend time with Scarlet. Tallulah even decided that she’s going to reveal to Scarlet that she has a baby, and she’s now willing to take the risk, to lose Zach so that she can be with her. However, when Tallulah arrives at the Dark Place, Liam was there with Scarlet. Tallulah left Scarlet, decided she’ll just focus on being a good mother.
After being apart for quite some time, Tallulah and Scarlet bumped into each other once again. This time, Tallulah is with her baby – so now Scarlet knows the truth. Scarlet was okay with it and asked for another chance. They rekindled their relationship and Tallulah becamse sure that she is inlove with Scarlet, and she no longer loves Zach.
Problem rose when Tallulah found a ring on Zach’s pocket. They were having problems. Tallulah wants to end things with Zach, while he wants to be with her and their baby. Zach invited her to dinner – and Tallulah is sure that he is going to propose to her that night. She wants to say No, but she’s not sure how to handle it. She feels bad about Zach, since he is a good father afrer all. At the same time, she is scared of him. Zach has a temper and he is also very controlling of Tallulah.
Tallulah told Scarlet about this – they got a plan: Tallulah just have to say no. Scarlet will be on the same restaurant just in case. As they were ordering, Zach noticed Scarlet and started becoming bothered. He even asked what was going on between her and Scarlet. Tallulah knows that he is now in a bad mood, so she calls for back up – their Plan B. Scarlet approaches their table and starts a conversation.
Scarlet invited her group of friends to Tallulah and Zach’s table. They ate and drank – buf Tallulah now wants to go home. She feels like this is getting out of hand. Then, Scarlett invites them to a pool party and Zach said he’s game.
At the Dark Place, while everyone else was in the pool, Zach and Tallulah got the chance to talk. He revealed that he was supposed to propose tonight, then Tallulah revealed that she would’ve said No because she is inlove with Scarlet.
Zach got angry, stood up and threatened to take their baby, and she’ll never see Noah again. Before Zach could get out of the house – Scarlet appeared and hit Zach with the Pipin. Zach died, and Tallulah was shocked at what Scarlet did.
Just in time, Scarlet’s mom appeared and saw the body. She asked them to explain, then she and Scarlet got rid of the body – hid it to the Turret Room (the hidden room by the staircase). After Scarlet’s mom cleaned the floor, she made them drink hot choco with rum. Tallulah got dizzy and the next thing she new, she is also in the Turret Room – with Zach’s dead body.
The Jacques family kept Tallulah a captive so they can make sure that Scarlet doesn’t go to prison for what she did. Scarlet still visits Tallulah and constantly promises her that she’ll eventually go home. They kept her a prisoner until the police came.
The Jacques family will face charges – Scarlet also confessed to killing Zach.
The ring was burried by Lexie – as per Mimi’s instructions. She actually heard them the night Zach died, but she was drunk and did drugs so she wasn’t sure about the details. Before going home, she took the ring as Scarlet slept in the living room.
The lever was burried by Liam – he knows about the Turret Room since he once hid a body there. Scarlet was raped by Mr. Croft, the head teacher’s husband (although she previously had an affair with him, he was married, and Scarlet was with Liam). Mr. Croft left his wife, now wants to be with Scarlet. Scarlet no longer wants him. Liam saw the confrontation and ended up killing the man – they hid him in the Turret Room.
When the investigation was reopened after the ring was found, Scarlet contacted Liam to help her. She asked her to get rid of the bodies in the Turret Room. Liam did – but he only got rid of Mr. Croft’s remains to cover his crime, then left Zach’s remains. He no longer wants to keep saving Scarlet, especially when she only reaches out to him when she needs something – knowing that he’ll drop everything for her. But this time it is different, he no longer cares about her.
The End of Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell.