Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Review: Local Girl Missing by Claire Douglas (audio)

Title: Local Girl Missing
Author: Claire Douglas
Narrator: Hannah Murray, Emilia Fox
Published: July 2017, Harper Audio / Harper Paperbacks
Length: 10 hours 24 minutes / 352 pages
Source: Audio - Personal copy via Audible / Print - ARC Paperback via Publisher

Someone knows where she is…

The old Victorian pier was a thing of beauty until it was allowed to decay. It was where the youth of Oldcliffe-on-Sea would go to hang out. It’s also where twenty-one-year-old Sophie Collier disappeared eighteen years ago.

Francesca Howe, known as Frankie, was Sophie’s best friend, and even now she is haunted by the mystery of what happened to her. When Frankie gets a call from Sophie’s brother, Daniel, informing her that human remains have been found washed up nearby, she immediately wonders if it could be Sophie, and returns to her old hometown to try and find closure. Now an editor at a local newspaper, Daniel believes that Sophie was terrified of someone and that her death was the result of foul play rather than “death by misadventure,” as the police claim.

Daniel arranges a holiday rental for Frankie that overlooks the pier where Sophie disappeared. In the middle of winter and out of season, Frankie feels isolated and unnerved, especially when she is out on the pier late one night and catches a glimpse of a woman who looks like Sophie. Is the pier really haunted, as they joked all those years ago? Could she really be seeing her friend’s ghost? And what actually happened to her best friend all those years ago?

Harrowing, electrifying, and thoroughly compelling, Local Girl Missing showcases once again bestselling author Claire Douglas’ extraordinary storytelling talent.

My thoughts: This is the first book I've read by Claire Douglas and it definitely won't be my last. This book was so twisty and haunting - just how I like my psychological thrillers to be. I found myself completely mesmerized by this story - I was immediately drawn in and felt that it never really let up until the very end, an ending I definitely did not see coming!

I loved how this story was told - it alternates between the past, surrounding the time leading up to when Sophie goes missing, and the present when human remains have turned up that quite possibly may belong to Sophie. It is a chilling tale that pieces together just what happened leading up to that frightful night and as we meet all the players involved, you are taken on quite a ride.

I found myself constantly trying to guess who was behind what happened to Sophie and questioning everyone we meet in this book. The characters are so richly drawn, yet their motivations are quite questionable and I loved this. I didn't know who was to be trusted and as pieces and clues are revealed, everything becomes more and more suspect. On top of this, the setting contributes so much to the story - it is atmospheric and creepy, adding another element to an already tense and chilling situation. 

This book really kept me on my toes the entire time and the few twists and turns just added the right amount of suspense to heighten my enjoyment. I can't wait to read more from this talented author...she surely know how to spin a tale!

Audio thoughts: I thought this was a great book to listen to and while I was unfamiliar with Hannah Murray prior to listening to this audio book, I have listened to Emilia Fox before. I thought both narrators did a great job with the parts they portrayed in this audio book - their pacing and intonations were good and they infused just the right amount of tension and suspense into their voices as needed. I enjoyed listening to this audio book. 


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