All the Missing Girls
By Megan Miranda
Published by Atlantic Books (2 February 2017)
It's been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared without trace. Then a letter from her father arrives - 'I need to talk to you. That girl. I saw that girl.' Has her father's dementia worsened, or has he really seen Corinne? Returning home, Nicolette must finally face what happened on that terrible night all those years ago. Then, another young woman goes missing, almost to the day of the anniversary of when Corinne vanished. And like ten years ago, the whole town is a suspect. Told backwards - Day 15 to Day 1 - Nicolette works to unravel the truth, revealing shocking secrets about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne.
All the Missing Girls features two mysteries (10 years apart), both involving the disappearance of two girls in a small rural town in the USA. Although the book opens and closes in the present day, the main part of the story is told backwards, from Day 15 to Day 1. The ending of the book is really the beginning of the story.
I found myself immersed in the narrative from early on. The setting is highly atmospheric, and there were plenty of believable characters, although I can't say I liked any of them. This is a great study of small town America, in a town filled with secrets and lies.
Each chapter/day reveals more facts about the disappearance of Nicolette's friend Corinne 10 years earlier and gets closer to the truth. The author cleverly dripfeeds the clues, with a slow reveal of Nicolette's haunting memories of that time. I gave up trying to figuring everything out, not only because of the twists and turns, but also because the format of the book made it more difficult to guess. This made the ending, with the truth finally revealed, very unexpected.
All the Missing Girls was an enjoyable and gripping read, with some fast-paced moments and plenty of tension.
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher.
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