Local Girl Missing – Claire Douglas

cover92123-mediumI started reading this book expecting the usual formula for a women’s mystery thriller – woman returns home after years away, secrets from the past are revealed, a romance happens – but I was wrong. Local Girl Missing has so much more.

Twenty years ago, Frankie’s best friend, Sophie, disappeared. Now her body has been found and Sophie’s brother wants Frankie to return to the town of her childhood to help him uncover what really happened. Once back, Frankie is faced with unfriendly faces and ghosts from her past.

The plot is fantastic. There’s so much going on, with mystery upon mystery being piled up. What really happened to Sophie? Who is threatening Frankie? Why does Sophie’s ghost seem to be haunting her? What’s going on with Frankie’s dad? What secret were the two girls keeping?

To begin with, I didn’t much like Frankie (or any of the characters), but as the story progressed and I was able to understand her better, she really grew on me. And then: plot twists galore. All questions are answered but in the most unexpected ways. Even though I thought I’d guessed the answers to some of the mysteries, I was shocked and hooked to the very end.

The story is written from Frankie’s point of view, as a sort of letter to Sophie, which gave the book a unique flair. Alternating chapters are written from Sophie’s perspective, filling in the blanks of the past. Claire Douglas’ writing is smooth and engaging. She really drew me in and I literally couldn’t put the book down. READ IT. Seriously.

I received this copy from Penguin UK Michael Joseph via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. (Thanks!)

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