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Ratings and Book Reviews (2 4 star ratings
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  • Excellent atmospheric thriller

    This was an excellent thriller that kept me guessing throughout. The two main protagonists have been very close friends since childhood. Madison comes from a well-off family, Fiona from a poor family with a drunken father. Now, as adults, Fiona has become the more successful, as a senior lecturer in metal archaeology at Cambridge University. Madison is also an archaeologist, but working in the field on digs lead by other people. Madison calls Fiona out of the blue, and insists she drop everything and come up to the dig in Orkney, where she is working, as there is something very important to see, that she cannot discuss on the phone. Reluctantly, Fiona decides to come. But when she arrives, Madison is nowhere to be seen, and none of her co-workers have seen her for several days. The person in charge is a TV personality, and renown archaeologist with a knack for picking excellent sites, and the dig they are working on, is shaping up to be something special. No-one has any idea what has happened to Madison, and all are bit narked that she has taken off when there is so much to do, and so little time before the bad winter weather destroys the site. There are a number of things that don’t add up. Madison has been uncharacteristically careless. Someone has been trolling her – who may or may not be her ex, the subject of a restraining order. Fiona is not sure who to trust. I love the setting in Orkney. I had a wonderful holiday there in the late 1980s, visiting a lot of the archaeological sites, such as Skara Brae, Maeshowe and the Ring of Brodgar. Thankfully, that was in a week of full summer sun. The book takes place in the middle of winter. It is bitterly cold, wet and muddy – you cannot help but shiver when reading. Like Fiona, you have no inkling about what has – or will – occur, until right near the end. Has Madison been abducted or has she disappeared of her own free will? Is she still the same person that Fiona thinks she has always known? Is she alive or dead? And what did she want (need) to show Fiona? I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good atmospheric thriller – and I recommend Orkney for a fabulous and fascinating holiday destination. I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

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  • Brilliant & Atmospheric

    Night Falls, Still Missing is an extremely suspenseful story and kicks off with a tantalising prologue. The reader is first introduced to archaeology professor Fiona Grey as she arrives on a tiny, isolated island in Orkney, Stromness, one cold, windy night, after setting off from Cambridge. Having accepted her old friend, Madison Kowalczyk's invitation to stay at her cottage in Caithness, she is surprised to find it in darkness, bearing no sign of Madison. Her chum appears to have vanished into thin air, so Fiona sets out to find her... with startling consequences. This compelling thriller had me hooked from the very first paragraph. In this chaotic whirl of lies and uneasiness, the abundant twists and turns kept me guessing. The complex characters and vivid descriptions of the locale - Orkney in January - and the bleak weather conditions all added weight to the mystery and quality of the story. Night Falls, Still Missing was an atmospheric and riveting read. For me, the cherry topping was the obvious ability of Helen Callaghan to create multi-faceted, though not particularly endearing, characters. With tensions running high, it was an exhilarating read with drama, dilemmas, revelations and surprises by the bucketload, all culminating in the unpredictable, astounding conclusion. This was my first read by Helen Callaghan and I highly recommend it to fans of the genre. 😊 I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Penguin UK - Michael Joseph via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

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