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Ratings and Reviews (5 25 star ratings
5 reviews
)

Overall rating

4.2 out of 5
25
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  • 2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    A Dark, Moody Tale of Secrets and Revenge

    Full disclosure: I received an advanced review copy of this book from Harper Collins Canada's First Look program. That being said, this review is an honest reflection of my opinion after reading. When I read the plot synopsis for Local Girl Missing, I knew this book had everything my wife looks for in a novel: mystery, murder, women with secret pasts and complex relationships. This isn't typically the type of book I read, but I enjoy reading a book together with my wife so that we can discuss it as we go along. When I read a mystery, I like to think about every clue along the way and adjust my theories to incorporate new information. My wife is decidedly different in that she prefers to read the story and enjoy the surprise at the end when the mystery is revealed. This book worked for both of us as we were able to comment on the various mysterious clues and references in the story and wonder together about what it would come to mean. Local Girl Missing begins with the main character, Francesca Bloom (formerly Howe) receiving the not unexpected but still devastating news that her friend Sophie Collier who disappeared 18 years ago has been confirmed dead. Or has she? Some remains have washed up near where she disappeared, and while they wait for the police to confirm the identity, the event is enough to reignite Daniel Collier's determination to uncover the truth about what happened to his sister on that fateful night. Together, he and Frankie - who reluctantly returns to the hometown she fled from 20 years ago - try to retrace the events of that night and uncover the secrets Sophie was hiding before her death. But Frankie has secrets of her own that she has kept for decades, and someone in town seems to be determined to bring those secrets to light. One of my favourite aspects of this book is that the chapters alternate between Frankie's first person narration in the present and Sophie's diary entries from the summer leading up to her disappearance. The contrast between these two narrators deepens the mystery, as it becomes increasingly clear that one of the two narrators is decidedly unreliable, and this suspicion and distrust challenges our own reading of the text. Who do you believe when two narrators are painting a different picture of events? Are memories of the past more reliable than thoughts recorded in the heat of the moment? Does hindsight improve understanding, or obscure it? The tension and atmosphere in the book is really well done. The contrast between the miserable, off-season town Frankie is drawn back into and the bustling, energetic tourist destination Sophie spends her last summer in is stark, and it suits the characters as Frankie must track down their mutual friends who used to be typical 20-somethings with their whole lives ahead of them but for one reason or another have become trapped in this miserable town where the ghosts of the past linger around every corner. But are the ghosts literal or metaphorical? I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, even though it isn't the kind of book I normally invest my time in. I did find that there was a surprising amount of British slang that was at times difficult to decipher. I assumed that my lack of familiarity with this genre was to blame, and I imagine a reader more familiar with the work of modern British authors would have less trouble, but both my wife and I were left scratching our heads at a few words, including at least one that was a pretty important plot point. Mild spoiler: (view spoiler) The ending was surprising, but it brought together all of the clues from earlier in the text in a satisfactory way. Without spoiling anything, the twist at the end was shocking, but felt slightly clumsy in its execution. Still thoroughly enjoyable, but not quite up to the caliber of the great mystery novelist Ms. Douglas clearly admires. Overall I thoroughly recommend Local Girl Missing. It's a dark, moody tale of secrets and revenge, and an entertaining summer read. Check it out!
  • 2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

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    Enticing!

    I won't lie, it took me a little while to settle into this novel but once I did, I couldn't put it down. I think the dual narrative threw me off at first, especially with the diary format from Sophie, the deceased best-friend. However, once strange occurrences began happening to Frankie and Sophie's diary entries began to reveal secrets, the format of the story fell away and I was entranced by Douglas' mystery. This psychological thriller takes readers on a suspenseful journey with clues being littered throughout the story. I had hunches as to what was in store, but was never able to figure out the story's twists and turns until they were revealed. If you are looking for a borderline creepy, yet thrilling small-town tale to devour while sitting on a beach or from under the blankets in the fall, this book is for you! #HCCfirstlook
  • 1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

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    Great!

    Good storyline....didn't know who did it until the very end. Lots of twists to make it interesting. Recommend to anyone who loves mysteries.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

    0 people found this review helpful

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    Good read

    An intriguing and fascinating story, just the teeniest bit far-fetched but well written.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    Plot twists are real

    I loved it. hard to get into it at first. in the first 10 chapters i thought that this might be a normal read. heck was i wrong. there was so many unicspected plots in this story. i loved it. over all i think this is a great read for ages 9 to 10 and up.(i am only 10 years old) p.s it swers alot in this book
25

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