Other than the opening and closing pages, All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda is told in reverse. Memento-style. It’s an interesting approach and works in this instance because the big reveal would otherwise come ‘early’ in the novel.
All the Missing Girls
by Megan Miranda
Published by Simon & Schuster
on June 28th 2016
Genres: Thriller / Suspense
ISBN: 1501107968, 9781501107962
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.
Most people I know have LOVED this book, so I feel a little guilty I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as other readers.
I found myself trying to remember specific elements later… sure that there were some lapses in continuity. We learn of Corrine’s fate quite early in the book. I wasn’t sure how much Nic knew or had forgotten… at the time, but there’s a point at which she knows. And yet – later (in time), earlier (in the book) – it felt as if she was still suspicious of others and fearful of certain secrets.
It’s hard to say too much without giving anything away, but I did wonder – if the plot was re-sorted chronologically – there’d be some time-related editing issues.
The plot-in-reverse idea is probably what sets it apart from similar books. It works but isn’t entirely necessary – other than to hide the ‘whodunnit’ element from us as long as possible. Could it have been written in a less-perplexing and disjointed way I wonder?
Nic’s a likeable character but because we’re learning about her in reverse and it’s difficult to follow her movements I probably didn’t engage with her as much as I’d have liked. I have to admit I didn’t really like many of the other characters – other than Nic’s fiance, Everett, which is kinda ironic in retrospect.
The plot itself was quite complex. I did guess who killed Corinne but was at a loss as to the disappearance of Annaleise.
So other than the continuity and character engagement issues, I enjoyed this novel and would most definitely read more from Miranda.
All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda is published by Simon & Schuster and was released on 28 June 2016.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.