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Local Gone Missing


Local Gone Missing

The small seaside town of Ebbing is about to be rocked by two unfortunate events resulting from a music festival that was intended to put them on the map. Fiona Barton’s latest novel, LOCAL GONE MISSING, is a slow burn of a mystery that explores the background of Ebbing and its residents, whose quiet way of life has been seriously disrupted.

"LOCAL GONE MISSING is a sneaky thriller that creeps up on you chapter by chapter with more details to consider and ponder."

Initially, the big concern is finding the person who distributed the drugs --- ecstasy is the suspected culprit --- that caused the overdose of two teenagers at the festival, both of whom are now in comas. It was during all of this commotion that longtime Ebbing resident Charlie Perry went missing. His wife, Pauline, filed a report, indicating that he had an important appointment he would not have wanted to miss.

Once Detective Elise King, who is on medical leave, gets wind of this and involves herself in the case, she begins to do her own investigating. It does not take long before she learns that Charlie owes a lot of money to quite a few people around Ebbing. While Elise is unable to tie him specifically to the festival itself, it does not rule out that whoever the guilty party was in dealing the drugs could have had something to do with Charlie’s disappearance as well.

Charlie’s body is eventually found beneath his own cellar. While the medical examiner reports that he may have died of a heart attack, there is also evidence that he was struck in the head by what appeared to be a heavy metal object. The more worrisome recreation of events supposes that he was beaten following a fatal heart attack, which shows that someone really despised him and took it out on his corpse.

From an overbearing wife to several creditors, it is no wonder that Charlie may have wanted to disappear. Perhaps this is why Elise is not surprised when a laptop along with some clothes and a passport bearing the name Charles Williams is found hidden in a clothes dryer as if he were planning a quick getaway. Until someone stopped him and ended his life first. Elise now must put together all the clues, gossip and other dark secrets yet to be uncovered to find out what actually happened to Charlie and why.

LOCAL GONE MISSING is a sneaky thriller that creeps up on you chapter by chapter with more details to consider and ponder. Much like Ebbing itself, everything appears to be unassuming on the surface until someone dares to dig deeper and unearth the same darkness that makes this small town just like any other.

Reviewed by Ray Palen on June 17, 2022

Local Gone Missing
by Fiona Barton

  • Publication Date: May 9, 2023
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley
  • ISBN-10: 1984803069
  • ISBN-13: 9781984803061