Thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. I appreciate it!
The end is the beginning is the end. Told in reverse, this breathtaking mystery is not only superbly written, with a sleight of hand that rivals some of the best thriller writers, but it’s also rivered with real emotional weight.
I first came across this style of starting at the end in Sarah Waters’ The Night Watch (quite possibly one of my all time favourite books). In Waters’ novel, we know most of what we will know – superficially speaking – by the first few pages. We know who broke whose heart. We know who the characters became. What we don’t know is why or how. We don’t yet know their motivations or the spilled blood they left in their wakes.
In All the Missing Girls, we may start at the end, but the suspense never flags. Quite the opposite, actually. I found myself anxiously flipping pages (as much as you can on a Kindle!), riveted by the choking suspense and the unraveling of the main character, Nicolette. After leaving her home of Cooley Ridge a decade previously due to the disappearance of her wild and beautiful best friend Corinne, Nicolette is back to care for her ill father and tie up his affairs – including the sale of her childhood home.
Over a period of 15 days – told from Day 15 to Day 1, we follow in Nicolette’s footsteps as another girl vanishes, a new investigation is opened, Nic races to find out the truth of what happened to Corinne and why her hometown seems to swallow young girls, like a voracious monster with long, sharp teeth.
Through her journey, we meet the cast of her teenage years – her long suffering and heartbroken ex-boyfriend Tyler, her brother Daniel, still suffocated by fury and misplaced rage, and her friends – Bailey, Jackson and Corinne, Corinne so fierce and daring, so damaged and damaging.
For make no mistake, Corinne is at the heart of this, throbbing with blood and life, even after 10 years. How are she and Nicolette so entwined? What did happen to her? Who saw? Who wants to bury the past? How far will one small town go to protect its own?
Is there a monster in the woods?
Brilliantly written and absolutely unputdownable, All the Missing Girls is my choice as mystery of 2016. You’ll be stunned, shattered, touched and ultimately – I think – torn about what happens, but you’ll never be bored.
How could you be, with so many monsters waiting at your heels…
All the Missing Girls will be released on June 28th, 2016.