Local Gone Missing by Fiona Barton

EXCERPT: The signature is a scrawl, but I know who it is. Now I want to know what they told each other. The painful things they dug up.

Leave it alone, Dee, I tell myself. It’s ancient history. And Phil is dead.

But I know I won’t. Can’t. It’s never over, is it? The past is always there, flickering like our old telly in a dark corner of my head. Most of the time, I can make myself blank it out, but little things – like a song that used to make me cry or the smell of cheap Chinese takeaways, our birthday treat – and it fizzes into focus. I’ve got a lot of bad memories – my childhood was one long nightmare, really. But this is different. Unfinished business; a time bomb ticking quietly like a second heart in my chest.

ABOUT ‘LOCAL GONE MISSING’: Elise King is a successful and ambitious detective–or she was before a medical leave left her unsure if she’d ever return to work. She now spends most days watching the growing tensions in her small seaside town of Ebbing–the weekenders renovating old bungalows into luxury homes, and the locals resentful of the changes.

Elise can only guess what really happens behind closed doors. But Dee Eastwood, her house cleaner, often knows. She’s an invisible presence in many of the houses in town, but she sees and hears everything.

The conflicts boil over when a newcomer wants to put the town on the map with a giant music festival, and two teenagers overdose on drugs. When a man disappears the first night of the festival, Elise is drawn back into her detective work and starts digging for answers. Ebbing is a small town, but it’s full of secrets and hidden connections that run deeper and darker than Elise could have ever imagined.

MY THOUGHTS: Local Gone Missing is fun. And it is the central core of characters – Ronnie (unabashedly nosey, and my absolute favourite), Elise the detective on sick leave, and Dee the cleaner of many of the homes belonging to people in the village, all-seeing, all-hearing and almost invisible – that are the stars. There are a lot of characters spread across the two timelines, 1999 and twenty years later, 2019, and they can get a little confusing. My advice is not to stress about it, just go with the flow. The author provides little prompts to help us remember.

The missing man is Charlie, a happy, charming and generous man with a disabled daughter in full time care. Everyone is shocked when he is reported missing by his ex-model wife, Pauline. Elise, bored but not yet ready to return to work, and her delightfully nosey neighbour Ronnie decide to investigate Charlie’s disappearance to give themselves something to do.

Now I have to say that I enjoyed the first half of this book where Elise is still on leave and Ronnie is a prominent character infinitessimaly more than the second half, where Elise is officially investigating the disappearance and we don’t see so much of Ronnie. I missed Ronnie’s enthusiasm, her humour, her flashes of inspiration. She made me laugh, she made me wince. She’s brash and brainy. I love her.

The mystery, which at first seems simple, soon becomes complex, as secrets are revealed and the true natures of the characters are revealed. My head spun. My grey cells whirred. Cogs ground. But I didn’t have a clue. Lots of ideas, but none which stood up to the test of time in Barton’s writing. I loved it.

An intriguing mystery, that I read in the course of one day. A read that left me smiling, satisfied, and hoping to meet these characters again.

⭐⭐⭐⭐.3

#LocalGoneMissing #NetGalley

I: #fionabartonauthor @penguinrandomhouseuk

T: @figbarton @penguinrandom @TransworldBooks @BantamPress

#contemporaryfiction #crime #detectivefiction #mystery #smalltownfiction

THE AUTHOR: My career has taken some surprising twists and turns over the years. I have been a journalist – senior writer at the Daily Mail, news editor at the Daily Telegraph, and chief reporter at The Mail on Sunday, where I won Reporter of the Year at the National Press Awards, gave up my job to volunteer in Sri Lanka and since 2008, have trained and worked with exiled and threatened journalists all over the world.
But through it all, a story was cooking in my head. As a national newspaper journalist covering notorious crimes and trials, I found myself wondering what the families of those accused really knew – or allowed themselves to know.
My husband and I are living the good life in south-west France, where I am writing in bed, early in the morning when the only distraction is our cockerel, Sparky, crowing.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Random House UK, Transworld Publishers, Bantam Press via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Local Gone Missing by Fiona Barton for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review is also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and Goodreads.com

Author: sandysbookaday

I love good quality chocolate. I love the ocean and love to be in, on or beside it. I read any and every where. I am a proud mum and Nana. I like wine, gin, Southern Comfort, a cold Heineken on a hot day. I am very versatile like that. I cross stitch, do jigsaws, garden, and work on a farm. I am an occasional scribbler. I have far too many books I want to read to ever find the time to die. I am an active member of Goodreads as Sandy *the world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* and review on Amazon under the name Sandyj21. My Goodreads reviews are automatically linked to my Facebook page. Groups I belong to and participate in on Goodreads include: The Mystery, Crime and Thriller Group; Mysteries and Crime Thrillers; Psychological Thrillers; Reading for Pleasure; Crime Detective Mystery Thrillers; English Mysteries; Dead Good Crime; Kindle English Mystery, All About Books and NZ Readers. April 2016 I made the Top 1% of Goodreads reviewers (As follows) Hello Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*, In our community of readers, you stand out in a notable way: You're one of the top 1% of reviewers on Goodreads! With every rave and every pan, with every excited GIF and every critical assessment, you've helped the Goodreads community get closer to a very important milestone – the 50 Million Reviews mark!

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