Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Fiction Review: Local Girl Missing

One of the audiobooks I listened to for the R.I.P. Challenge in October was Local Girl Missing by Claire Douglas, a creepy British suspense novel with possible ghost-y elements that fit the challenge perfectly and kept me riveted.

Francesca Howe, now almost 40, returns to her hometown of Oldcliffe-on-Sea 18 years after her best friend, Sophie, disappeared. Sophie's brother, Daniel, called to ask her to come back because a foot has been found washed ashore that the police think might be Sophie's. Daniel, now a journalist for the small-town newspaper, still thinks that Sophie's disappearance and death were due to foul play, rather than the result of youthful indiscretions, as the police think, and he wants Frankie - as she was known back then - to help him investigate. Frankie settles into the rental apartment Daniel arranged for her, overlooking the very pier where Sophie was last seen. The almost-empty building in the off-season leaves Frankie feeling isolated and nervous, especially when she looks out the window and sees a woman on the broken-down, now-closed pier who looks exactly like Sophie. Is the old pier actually haunted, as decades of stories have said?

That's the basis for this suspenseful, tension-filled story about going home and trying to find answers to a 20-year old mystery. The novel unfolds along two parallel paths, alternating chapters narrated by Frankie in the present day, back home, investigating, and thinking back on the events of 18 years ago and Sophie, in diary-form, telling her own story of what happened in the months leading up to her disappearance. This is a very twisty, unpredictable mystery - every time I thought I had things figured out, another surprise was just around the corner. I very much enjoyed this creepy suspense novel with its unsettling tone, and it was excellent on audio, with the two narrators read by two different women.

352 pages, HarperCollins

Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review. My review is my own opinion and is not influenced by my relationship with the publisher or author.

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Listen to a sample of the audiobook here - just click on "audiobook sample" under the photo.

Local Girl Missing
by Claire DouglasTrade Paperback

Or order Local Girl Missing from Book Depository, with free shipping worldwide.

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