So I’ve recently been getting back into reading mysteries and thrillers. There’s just something about a good ‘who done it’ that intrigues me. I typically go back and forth between genres — chic lit, sci-fi and thrillers can usually be found in abundance on my Kobo. But I think I’ve come to realize that mystery and thriller reads are my one true and totally nerdy love.
I was skimming the ‘recommended’ section of my Kobo and came across All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda. It was recommended based on my past reads of Gone Girl (Gillian Flynn) and Girl on the Train (Paula Hawkins). While this book is trending on the New York Times Bestseller List right now, I have to admit that I haven’t heard any hype about it. In fact, I don’t think I’ve heard anyone talk about it at all. With that being said. I’ve found some pretty engaging and attention grabbing page turners that, to this day, I haven’t heard a word about.
Goodreads currently has All the Missing Girls rated 3.78 out of 5 stars.
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.
Reviews and Praise
“Extremely interesting…a novel that will probably be called Hitchcockian.” — The New York Times Book Review
“Are you paying attention? You’ll need to be; this thriller all test your brain with its reverse chronological structure, and it’s a page-turner to boot.” — Elle
“All the Missing Girls is the archetypal murder mystery, the kind it seems like everyone has been hungry for since Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl and Paula Hawkins’s Girl on a Train.”
I am going to start this review with a slight spoiler. I know, I know. Don’t worry, nothing big. Besides, you shouldn’t be reading reviews without expecting some kind of spoiler anyways! I expected that after reading this book, I would be sitting down to write a praising review. Instead, I find myself not quite sure how to disagree with the majority of readers that loved this book and found it hard to put down. I think the summary and reader reviews are what really had me hooked. I thought I was about to read one of the best thrillers I had picked up in a long time. I was ready for some major twists and turns and basically expected to have my jaw drop and my socks knocked off. At best, I think this book made me raise a slight eyebrow.
I think what I disliked the most was the structure of the book. The story is told in reverse: starting in the present and then moving backwards in time. Sounds like a cool concept in theory, but it ended up being more of a distraction than anything else. I often found myself back peddling and thinking of what I read in previous chapters, totally convinced that I’d somehow missed important details.
As I read on, I became more and more curious. I wanted to know who what happened to Corrine and Annaleise. Were they dead? Kidnapped? I needed to know. There were moments in this story that came alive and gave me chills. There where places where the tone was eery and suspenseful, which is exactly what I want in thrillers.
But, while the premise of this story was strong and intriguing, its execution felt half-hearted. I thought there were details mentioned toward the beginning of the book that were forgotten about in later chapters. I personally don’t want to be given threads that lead nowhere, especially when the story is told in reverse and is hard enough to follow. I also found that there was a lot of story telling and flashbacks. This can sometimes be helpful to the reader; however, in this case I found myself wanting more than anything to just get through it and move on.
The conclusion of the book was also a let down for me. The last couple chapters felt ridiculously rushed and like everything came to a head too quickly. I felt like I wasn’t given enough to help me process what had happened and why. I also don’t think the final “twists” (if you can call them that) were much of a surprise. I think most readers will see them coming a mile away and then be wildly disappointed at how poorly they are executed.
Living Blonde Rating: