Blogger’s note: After a couple of months off, I am back! I’ve slowly crawled out of my reading slump over the past few weeks, and slowly but surely am easing my way back into the book-blogging world. I don’t want to push myself as hard as before; that’s how I got so burned out.
Also, to those of you who live here in the States, happy Fourth of July!
“Local Girl Missing” by Claire Douglas
352 pages, Harper Paperbacks
Release date: July 4, 2017 (originally released Aug. 11, 2016, by Penguin)
Eighteen years after the disappearance of her best friend Sophie Collier, Francesca “Frankie” Bloom is summoned from London to her seaside hometown of Oldcliffe. Some remains have been found by the dilapidated pier where Sophie was last seen, and Sophie’s brother Daniel wants Frankie to be there when he views them.
As Frankie and Daniel, now editor of the local newspaper, try to piece together what might have become of Sophie, old secrets long buried are revealed. Frankie begins to wonder if she ever really knew Sophie. And then, Sophie starts showing up – on the pier, at Frankie’s apartment … But Sophie is dead. Right? Who was responsible for her disappearance? And why did she vanish?
“Local Girl Missing” has all the makings of a good psychological thriller – a successful woman confronting the demons of her past, a touristy setting with plenty of small-town drama, even the perspective of Sophie, in journal entries beginning months before she went missing. It becomes apparent that Sophie hasn’t been totally honest with Frankie – about her relationships, about the way she sees Frankie, among other things.
The journal entries alternate with Frankie’s present-day return to Oldcliffe-on-Sea, where she battles her feelings for Daniel, confronts Sophie’s oddball ex-boyfriend Leon and his sleazy older brother Lorcan, and wonders what her reclusive elderly neighbor is up to.
I wasn’t fully prepared for what is revealed at the end, although I had my suspicions as to how things would turn out. There are a lot of fascinating elements to consider while reading this book, from Frankie and Sophie’s unbalanced friendship to their relationships with their parents. And so much more. It all builds up to a shocking, yet oddly satisfying, conclusion.
I received an ARC from Goodreads, in exchange for an honest review.
About the author
Her second novel, LOCAL GIRL MISSING (Penguin), is a Sunday Times bestseller.
Author photo and bio courtesy of Goodreads