Desert Isle Keeper
All the Missing Girls
I’m not entirely sure I can fully articulate my feelings about this book, but I’m going to give it a go. All the Missing Girls is the story of Nicolette Farrell, who left her hometown immediately after high school and has not really returned. Summoned back by her father’s rapidly progressing dementia, she’s forced to face old demons and wrestle with the idea of being truly known.
When they were in high school, Nic’s best friend Corinne went missing. It’s the seminal event of Nic’s life and Corinne has never been found. Now, over a decade later, Nic is living in Philadelphia with her fiancé, far away from the rural mountain town of Cooley Ridge. At the beginning of the book, she’s poised to move forward into this new chapter of her life when her brother calls, requesting her to come home and help sort out the sale of their childhood home.
What happens after she arrives is where the book sets itself apart from the other female-centric suspense books of recent days, like Girl on a Train or The Passenger. Another girl goes missing, in the same fashion as Corinne all those years ago, but instead of us following the investigation and resolution in a linear fashion, this book is told backwards. Chapter Two of the book is “Day 15”, where Chapter Three is “Day 14”, etc. By the time we reach the day the girl actually disappeared, everything has both unraveled completely and repaired itself.
If that sounds like a gimmick to you, one where the device overwhelms the story, let me assure you it is not. Instead, Ms. Miranda uses the format to peel back layers slowly in order to heighten the suspense and suck the reader in so completely to this world she’s created that I could not mentally remove myself from it. I inhaled this book, and once finished, sat in stunned silence. Not only did I not foresee the conclusion fully, but the arresting nature of the format meant that I was still piecing things together long after I turned the final page.
This is an absolute must read for any suspense fans.
Note: Although there are no on-page sex scenes, the book contains frank discussion of sex and sexual acts.