[Book Talk] Local Girl Missing by Claire Douglas

Book Details:

Format: ARC (& Audiobook)
Source: #HCCFirstReads
Read: July 2017

Synopsis:

Someone knows where she is…

The old Victorian pier was a thing of beauty until it was allowed to decay. It was where the youth of Oldcliffe-on-Sea would go to hang out. It’s also where twenty-one-year-old Sophie Collier disappeared eighteen years ago.

Francesca Howe, known as Frankie, was Sophie’s best friend, and even now she is haunted by the mystery of what happened to her. When Frankie gets a call from Sophie’s brother, Daniel, informing her that human remains have been found washed up nearby, she immediately wonders if it could be Sophie, and returns to her old hometown to try and find closure. Now an editor at a local newspaper, Daniel believes that Sophie was terrified of someone and that her death was the result of foul play rather than “death by misadventure,” as the police claim.

Daniel arranges a holiday rental for Frankie that overlooks the pier where Sophie disappeared. In the middle of winter and out of season, Frankie feels isolated and unnerved, especially when she is out on the pier late one night and catches a glimpse of a woman who looks like Sophie. Is the pier really haunted, as they joked all those years ago? Could she really be seeing her friend’s ghost? And what actually happened to her best friend all those years ago?

Harrowing, electrifying, and thoroughly compelling, Local Girl Missing showcases once again bestselling author Claire Douglas’ extraordinary storytelling talent.

My Thoughts

Thank you to Ashley with the HarperCollins Canada #HCCFirstReads program for a review copy of this book! 

This book was definitely a lot of fun to read, especially since I love mystery and suspense books that keep me guessing until the very end. The kids and I had a very lazy day planned and while they watched movies and napped, I read – and I’m glad that I had the whole day since I devoured this book in a single day and was just hooked from the first chapter and had this need to read.

Local Girl Missing really reminded me of books like The Girl On The Train where there’s a narrator who you think you’re getting the story from, but there are glimpses along the way that make you question if they’re telling the truth or not. I seriously had no clue what was going on, who to trust, or how the book was going to end. The only thing that really threw me was the fact that Frankie is constantly talking to Sophie, the girl who goes missing, as if she’s there with her. It took a while to get used to but it definitely started to add to the mystery of the story, especially as almost paranormal elements pop up.

One of my favourite parts of this story was the fact that it was written in a dual narrative. We get Frankie’s story which is in the present and we get Sophie’s story which is in the past. I loved the build up of what really happened as Frankie investigates and as Sophie told me of the past. It was intense, thrilling, and I honestly couldn’t guess what was going to happen. The cast of characters was very diverse and there was very much a whodunnit feel to the story that as new characters are introduced, you wonder if they had a hand in the mystery.

The only negative thing I can really say about this story is I had a bit of a hard time connecting to it because I couldn’t connect myself to any of the characters. I think that’s almost normal with mystery books and me, but I do like a story where I feel like I could almost be a part of it. However, it was still really enjoyable and after I finished I saw some of the other books Claire Douglas has written and I was surprised to recognize a few covers.

This book was fast-paced and didn’t lag at all in the narrative. I loved Claire’s writing in that not once did I feel like any information was given that shouldn’t belong in the story; instead, everything helped drive the story to its final conclusion and I definitely finished feeling excited to read more of Claire’s books. If they’re all like this one, I think they’ll be fantastic!

Audiobook Thoughts

Surprise! I actually listened to the audiobook version of this book! HarperCollins Canada was nice enough to send me the ARC but when I saw Audible had the audiobook I just had to get a copy of it because this is exactly the kind of story I love to listen to. I did read along in the book while listening at times, mainly because the narrator for Sophie’s voice was a lot quicker and very accented, but the audiobook helped me fly through this book and finish it within a day. Loved it!

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My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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