Local Girl Missing by Claire Douglas

‘It’s been such a long time,’ he says, his eyes fixed on mine. ‘So many years. So many lies.’

I expected a crime thriller, with a darker than usual thread running through it.

Frankie is surprised to receive a call from her old best friends brother, Daniel, asking her to cone back to her old home to go with him to identify her remains, which have turned up after nearly 20 years since her death/suspected murder. He arranges an apartment for her to stay in, while they try and work out what happened to Sophie at the end.

Frankie finds it difficult being back in Oldcliffe-On-Sea, there are too many memories and she finds herself obsessing about her dead best friend Sophie to the point that she starts seeing her: on the pier, in the apartment where she is staying, at places around Oldcliffe-On-Sea.

Frankie has had a hard life, a failed marriage and failed to have children, she feels these things strongly and they affect her ability to think about men in a rational way. As she spends more time in Oldcliffe-On-Sea, she starts to drink too much and struggles to stay rational about her dead best friend, Sophie, as well.

How did she die? What happened before she died? Who, if anyone, killed her?

At one point I knew who had killed Sophie, even before their involvement in the story became clear. But then, I’m not always right about everything!

This story allowed me to think that I knew where it was heading. Then it tripped me up just before the end and sent me down a different route. Meanwhile it was still engaging enough to keep me reading and guessing about the finer details of the story until the very end. It was a good read and I think anyone who has read the likes of Redemption Road by Lisa Ballantyne (you can read my review of that book here: https://julieshort.wordpress.com/2015/07/03/redemption-road-by-lisa-ballantyne-finished-12-april-2015/) will enjoy it as much as me. That book stayed with me for a long time after I had finished reading it, and I don’t doubt that this book will too.

I received an e-ARC of this novel through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. NetGalley does not allow for paid reviews.

4/5 Stars (What this means…five-stars-applied-carefully)

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Official description:
FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE SISTERS – ONE OF THE BEST SELLING DÉBUTS OF 2015 – COMES A TENSE PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER RIPPED STRAIGHT FROM THE HEADLINES . . . Twenty years ago 21-year-old Sophie Collier vanishes one night. She leaves nothing behind but a trainer on the old pier – and a hole in the heart of her best friend Francesca. Now A body’s been found. And Francesca’s drawn back to the seaside town she’s tried to forget. Perhaps the truth of what happened to Sophie will finally come out. Yet Francesca is beginning to wish she hadn’t returned. Everywhere she turns are ghosts from her past. The same old faces and familiar haunts of her youth. But if someone knows what really happened to Sophie that night then now’s the time to find out – isn’t it? Except sometimes discovering the truth can cost you everything you hold dear – your family, your sanity and even your life . . .

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