Local Girl Missing – Clare Douglas

 

When Fran gets a call from the brother of her best friend Sophie asking for her help identifying Sophie’s body, she is drawn back to the little seaside town of her youth. Sophie disappeared 18 years ago, and her body was never found, until now.
Sophie left the small community, where her parents ran a little hotel, moving to London with her patents and getting involved in the family business as it grew. Now as she returns to help Sophie’s brother she feels unwelcome and is beset by the feeling that someone is stalking her. Things soon turn nasty, and are complicated by the untimely break up with her current partner.
Ms Douglas draws the reader into the intricacies of the story by alternating Fran’s narration, talking to Sophie about what happened, with extracts from Sophie’s diary.
What starts as a quick trip to bring closure to a family tragedy, soon turns into a tense race to find the killer of Sophie’s best friend.
This is a stunningly well written book. The plot unravels slowly, but remains captivating to the end. Had to read it in two sittings, because I just couldn’t put it down. This is a new author to me, and I will certainly look out for more of her work. Thanks are due to the publishers, penguin UK Michael Joseph, for making an advance copy available for review, via Netgalley.

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