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.
The decade-old investigation focused on Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson. Since then, only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic’s younger neighbor and the group’s alibi the night Corinne disappeared. Then, within days of Nic’s return, Annaleise goes missing.
Told backwards—Day 15 to Day 1—from the time Annaleise goes missing, Nic works to unravel the truth about her younger neighbor’s disappearance, revealing shocking truths about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne that night ten years ago.
***North Carolina Author***
So, it’s no secret that I like to support North Carolina authors, but Megan Miranda is one that I’ve known for a handful of years now. Not only does she live really close to me, she is a fantastic author that is now finally getting the recognition she deserves with the arrival of her first adult novel, All the Missing Girls.
Like the synopsis states, the story is told backwards. Now when I visited Miranda at one of her book signings here in Huntersville, NC, she said the idea to write the novel this way came during her long drive from New Jersey down to North Carolina (which is around a 9 hour drive depending on your destination) as she considered the character’s journey. Not a bad way to brainstorm, albeit the caviat of having nowhere to write it down. But she got it done!
Anywho, the novel starts off quickly and it manages to pick up pace up until practically the last chapter and it is an absolute thrill ride. Plot-wise the novel is executed well, and the reader is kept on their toes throughout. I was also intrigued by the dichotomy established between Nic’s life in the North (although other than her being a school councelor and being engaged to Everett, we don’t know a whole lot) and her life back home in Cooley Ridge. It was done really well, and I did appreciate the comment about how the character’s southern accent came back once she arrives home, as it is something she masks in her life up north. I think that it is a really clever way to hint that it’s not the only thing Nic has been masking while living outside of Cooley Ridge.
Speaking of masking, let’s talk about unreliable narrators. Nelly from Wuthering Heights is a popular example of this, as she is relaying a story she was only on the periphery of, but what happens when you have a main character narrator that you can’t trust? A damn good novel is what happens. Trust no one in this thriller.
The ending was something I am pleased to say surprised me for the most part and it is one that I literally dreamed about after I finished the book at 1 AM.
Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of this novel, it will keep you on your toes and possibly keep you awake at night.