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All the Missing Girls


All the Missing Girls

Megan Miranda, who is best known for her young adult fiction, has penned her first novel for adults. The frame of the narrative is told in reverse over a two-week period, beginning on Day 15 and unwinding to Day 1. The protagonist, Nicolette "Nic" Farrell, left her home in Cooley Ridge to become a school counselor in Pennsylvania. The novel’s plot takes her back to Cooley Ridge over her summer vacation because her father's house must be sold and things moved out.

But this is not a pleasure trip. Nic’s father is in a facility for people suffering from Alzheimer's disease. So when she gets a letter from him saying, "I need to talk to you. That girl, I saw that girl," at first she doesn’t pay too much attention to it. But she does know who the girl is: her best friend from childhood, Corinne Prescott, who disappeared without a trace 10 years ago.

"Miranda takes readers on a twisty, suspenseful trip in ALL THE MISSING GIRLS.... The surprise ending is breathtaking and may cause you to reread the novel right then and there."

Although a decade has passed, the trip tears open memories that Nic never wanted to explore again. At the time of her disappearance, Corinne was 18, so the police thought she left town of her own volition. However, they did investigate the group she hung out with: Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson. Nothing came of the investigation, and Nic was the only one to move away from Cooley Ridge. Presently, Daniel is soon to be a father, Jackson tends bar, and Tyler's girlfriend is Annaleise Carter, who is the group’s alibi the night Corinne disappeared. An amazing coincidence takes place when Annaleise goes missing, and it looks like the same set of circumstances that surrounded Corinne's disappearance.

Nic is not alone in Cooley Ridge: her fiancé, Everette, has followed her there. Everette is a high class attorney who comes from old money and is very arrogant. He wants to take care of everything regarding Nic and her father. Because of Annaleise's disappearance, everyone questioned in the 10-year-old vanishing of Corrine is being questioned again. Everette doesn't want Nic's father to answer any questions, especially in his current mental condition. Meanwhile, Nic does take an active part in the investigation, despite Everette’s warnings.

One of the striking realities of living in a small town where everyone knows everyone else is the development of gossip. In ALL THE MISSING GIRLS, this form of communication is strong and now has a new subject to dissect in Annaleise. This adds to the reader's curiosity about the two girls who have disappeared. Who were they, really? Who did they hang out with? Why were the same men involved in both stories? The suspense boiling up in the narrative is given a dose of new information that is strikingly familiar because it is so similar to Corinne's case.

Miranda takes readers on a twisty, suspenseful trip in ALL THE MISSING GIRLS. She has the ability to throw around clues and red herrings to tantalize her captive audience. The surprise ending is breathtaking and may cause you to reread the novel right then and there.

Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum on June 30, 2016

All the Missing Girls
by Megan Miranda