All The Missing Girls
Simon & Schuster
Like the spellbinding psychological suspense in The Girl on the Train and Luckiest Girl Alive, Megan Miranda’s novel is a nail-biting, breathtaking story about the disappearances of two young women—a decade apart—told in reverse. It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched.
All The Missing Girls is a well-written psychological thriller with a unique perspective. The story is told backwards, which means it starts from day 15 until you get to the 1st, where the plot actually begins. And you’ll be wondering the following: is this actually necessary? Certainly not. Is it enjoyable? YES.
The reason I don’t think this plot device was necessary is because nothing incredible or groundbreaking happens at the beginning (like for example, in the film Memento). There are revelations yes, but not at first. However, even though I didn’t really feel the “backwards structure”, the story kept my attention anyway.
All The Missing Girls is set in North Carolina (yay!) and tells the story of two disappearances, 10 years apart. The first one to disappear was Corinne, the main character’s best friend, who vanished ten years ago when they were still very young. Nic is the protagonist of the story, a troubled woman who clearly hasn’t had any kind of closure and seems to be hiding important stuff. When Nic goes back to her childhood town to help sell her parents’ house, another girl suddenly disappears. Her brother and ex-boyfriend are also there looking shady and suspicious and I couldn’t help but thinking everyone seemed guilty, including our dear Nic.
Are the two disappearances connected in any way? Well, obviously, if you’ve read enough thrillers and mysteries you know they are, but you surely won’t guess why.
All The Missing Girls was a short and fast-paced novel but my problem was that I didn’t care for any of the characters, which made the reading experience less satisfying. Would I recommend it for fans of thrillers? Yes, sure. But I’m afraid this didn’t impress me as much as other similar books.