Monday, August 29, 2016

Local Girl Missing by Claire Douglas

Claire Douglas always wanted to write novels and, after many years of trying to get published, her dream came true when she won the Marie Claire Debut Novel Award in 2013 with THE SISTERS.

Her second novel, LOCAL GIRL MISSING (Penguin), is a Sunday Times bestseller.
The old Victorian pier was once a thing of beauty. It's also where twenty-one-year-old Sophie Collier vanished eighteen years ago.

Francesca has spent the last twenty years haunted by the disappearance of her best friend. But when she receives a phone call from Sophie's brother saying that a body has been found, she knows she can't keep hiding from what happened. With her own secrets to keep, Francesca doesn't relish the idea of digging up the past or returning to Oldcliffe. But it is time to go back to where she grew up, and it looks like she isn't the only one there hiding truths.
I admit The Sisters went under my radar but from what I read about it it promises to be one of my favourite books of last year. After all the appraisal it got I admit I couldn't wait to see what Claire Douglas would follow it with and if it would be just as good.I needn't have worried Local Girl Missing is absolutely brilliant,very gripping,worth far more than five stars and I am very disappointed that I have finished reading it.
The story is told in alternating chapters between present day Frankie and the past where Sophie is telling what happened in the months leading up to her disappearance.I liked and felt a lot of sympathy for Sophie and her brother Daniel .There is a mixed bag of other characters that Frankie and Sophie interacted with throughout the book,one who is so nasty and sleazy I hated every moment he appeared in the story. All the people in Oldcliffe have their secrets and you never know who is telling the truth and who Frankie and Daniel can trust.
There is a lot to keep you hooked throughout the whole book, I dreaded the fact that I had to share my attention between Local Girl Missing and the other titles I was reading simultaneously. It absolutely deserves your full attention, the thing is I multitask, or rather multiread a lot, and I failed to give it the proper time of the day. Nevertheless, it is one of the best reads this year!
I've always wanted to live in a seaside town and the way Douglas described it in the book only made me want to change my residence even more! Come on: a small seaside holiday town, out of season and full of interesting characters with secrets to keep, really turns this into a first rate dark and atmospheric psychological suspense. 
And for the first time in a very long time I was surprised by the book. Not only was I immediately suspicious of one character, but then as the story progressed I realised that there were indeed MANY potential suspects. All characters seem shifty and to be hiding something. By the end I was totally and completely taken by surprise by the turn of events. I was NEVER expecting that finale...ever and I think it's very clever and original! I highly recommend it!!!!