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.
Paperback, 352 pages
Published July 4th 2017
by Harper Paperbacks
I love a good psychological thriller, one that has me deciphering clues, reading between the lines and where I have the inability to trust anybody.
It's been 18 years since Frankie has been back to her home town, the year her best friend disappeared. Now that it looks like she can finally have some sort of closure she returns when human remains are discovered.
...but since being back here I morphing into that girl again. I don't want to go back to being insecure Frankie. I'm Fran now, confident, assured, successful. A grown-up. This place isn't good for me. Too many memories, too many ghosts.There is a dual narrative here, one with Frankie talking to Sophie. It's a unique narrative and one that made me get inside her head garnering that emotional connection, between going over old memories and feelings about being back in a place she left long ago. The other narrative is Sophie telling her story and what leads up to her deadly fall off the pier. Usually I enjoy one narrative over another in these types of books, but here I enjoyed each equally.
I was drawn into the story pretty well from the beginning. There isn't just the mystery of the past but also things taking place to scare Frankie off, hence my distrust of many. I read the last half in one sitting, there were things that I didn't see coming which I felt played out nicely. On one hand I really liked the ending, it fit the story nicely but a there were few little things I would have loved to have seen a different outcome, but not enough to really spoil the book for me.
All in all an entertaining book and an author I am glad to have discovered. Claire Douglas's debut was The Sisters (which has been added to my TBR pile)
My sincere thanks to Harper Collins for a copy of this book in exchange for honest review.