Book Review: All the Missing Girls

Author: Megan Miranda

Pages: 368 (Paperback)

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Rating:  5 out of 5

Recommendation: Megan Miranda’s, All The Missing Girls, is a tantalizing, intriguing thriller about the disappearance of two young women, ten years apart, and it is not a story to be missed.  

Some say that Megan Miranda’s All The Missing Girls reminds them of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl and Paula Hawkins’ The Girl On The Train, but we would say that All The Missing Girls surpasses those two books.  Whereas Gone Girl and The Girl On The Train submerge you into a deep, dark setting to prove that not everything is what it seems and the authors threw in scenes solely for shock value, All The Missing Girls is a story where you can definitely find darkness, but it is found in the mundane, the words not spoken, the secrets kept, and the loyalty that binds.  

Not only is the story enthralling, but it is also written in a unique way.  Miranda has taken the art of story-telling and flipped it on its head by telling it in reverse chronology – every chapter taking the reader into the events of the day before.  It truly makes for a most compelling page-turner, as it gives you just enough information to be confused and intrigued before everything starts falling into place like swirling paint colors coming together to create a stunning portrait of a small town with dark secrets.

What is There to Discover?  

Nicolette Farrell has been called to come back home by her brother, who is caring for their ill father and can no longer do it on his own.  As a college professor, Nicolette has the entire summer to help get her father’s affairs in order as he slips into the gift of confused darkness that only early-onset Alzheimer’s can provide.  The only problem is that Nicolette left her hometown of  Cooley Ridge, North Carolina a decade ago, with the intent of building a completely new identity for herself.  She left shortly after her best friend, Corinne, went missing and all of their lives became notes in a police file that the authorities used to compile a story of the events leading to Corinne’s disappearance.  

Facing her past and her father’s bleak future, Nicolette finds herself back in the clutches of small town life with her resentful brother, his pregnant wife, their ailing father, and her irresistible high school boyfriend, whom is just as good-looking as ever, but not a path she wants to cross twice. As she deals with coming face-to-face with the life she blindly turned her back on ten years prior, Nicolette finds herself in the middle of a second tragedy in Cooley Ridge; another girl has gone missing without a trace.
She quickly becomes wrapped up in the commotion of her rural town and before she knows it, has plunged back into the frenzy that not only reawakens Corinne’s case, but breaks open all her old wounds – wounds she has worked hard to stitch up and forget.

As the reader, we follow Nic’s experience told from the two weeks before, counting backwards to day one, revealing all sorts of shocking truths about what really happened to Corrine that night ten years ago, and where the second missing girl  might actually be. The author’s writing style and use of reverse chronology are absolutely brilliant and is unlike anything we’ve read before. Its twists and turns have you believing one thing, and then the author turns everything upside down, surprising you and leaving you wondering just how far your friends and family would go to protect the ones they love.

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