Day Fifteen – All The Missing Girls.

It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared without trace. Then a letter from her father arrives – ‘I need to talk to you. That girl. I saw that girl.’ Has her father’s dementia worsened, or has he really seen Corinne? Returning home, Nicolette must finally face what happened on that terrible night all those years ago.

Then, another young woman goes missing, almost to the day of the anniversary of when Corinne vanished. And like ten years ago, the whole town is a suspect.

Told backwards – Day 15 to Day 1 – Nicolette works to unravel the truth, revealing shocking secrets about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne.

“Tic Toc Nic”

That is the phrase that will stay with me from “All The Missing Girls” – a really intense and extraordinarily clever novel, taking that entirely popular premise of a missing person and turning it on its head. Nic hears this in her head all the time, and time is everything in this book…

Before I get to that though, I should point out that this novel isn’t just a twist on an old favourite or a blatant attention grabber (although it certainly grabbed mine) but is beautifully written throughout. Haunting, evocative, capturing that small town vibe and teenage friendship dynamic perfectly, using personal history and present events to paint a picture, a twisted and addictive picture one small step at a time. You will be hooked all the way through, my advice would be to read this in a few sittings, one if at all possible because as things unfold it is brilliantly done.

Nic returns home and we see day one of her journey back to her childhood home, her memories unfolding, her very real emotional pull towards this place and the events that defined her. Then another girl goes missing and POP forward we jump to day 15. Day by day we move backwards towards that very first day, realising why decisions have been made, understanding slowly the consequences of each action, the hidden secrets inside each conversation, by the time you get back to day one it looks VERY different. The subtle clues, the ingenious layers of plot, the character development, all of it intelligently done, personally I loved every minute.

Megan Miranda unravels her characters as much as she does her mystery, adding definition, fleshing them out with every day that has passed but you see all that in reverse, I really did think it was very inventive. With a touch of class in the writing, a hint of magic in the setting and a realistic outcome that did not require an end run around – meticulously plotted from first page to last, or should that be from last page to first. Whatever. It was great!

If you love your psychological thrillers but would like to see a new take then I would highly recommend All the Missing Girls. In fact if you are a fan of great writing, great storytelling and can appreciate subtleties of plot and character then I would highly recommend All The Missing Girls no matter your preferred reading genre.

Give it a go. Its a real barn stormer.

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Happy Reading!

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