Someone knows where she is…
The old Victorian pier was a thing of beauty until it was allowed to decay. It was where the youth of Oldcliffe-on-Sea would go to hang out. It’s also where twenty-one-year-old Sophie Collier disappeared eighteen years ago.
Francesca Howe, known as Frankie, was Sophie’s best friend, and even now she is haunted by the mystery of what happened to her. When Frankie gets a call from Sophie’s brother, Daniel, informing her that human remains have been found washed up nearby, she immediately wonders if it could be Sophie, and returns to her old hometown to try and find closure. Now an editor at a local newspaper, Daniel believes that Sophie was terrified of someone and that her death was the result of foul play rather than “death by misadventure,” as the police claim.
Daniel arranges a holiday rental for Frankie that overlooks the pier where Sophie disappeared. In the middle of winter and out of season, Frankie feels isolated and unnerved, especially when she is out on the pier late one night and catches a glimpse of a woman who looks like Sophie. Is the pier really haunted, as they joked all those years ago? Could she really be seeing her friend’s ghost? And what actually happened to her best friend all those years ago?
Harrowing, electrifying, and thoroughly compelling, Local Girl Missing showcases once again bestselling author Claire Douglas’ extraordinary storytelling talent.
Sophie Collier, the victim in British author Douglas's absorbing second novel (after 2016's The Sisters), vanished from a decrepit pier at Oldcliffe-on-Sea in 1997 at age 21 and is presumed dead. In 2016, Sophie's brother, Daniel, calls her best friend, Francesca "Frankie" Howe Bloom now a successful hotelier in London and says his sister's remains have been discovered. Suspecting murder, he persuades Frankie, despite her initial reluctance, to return to Oldcliffe and help him reconstruct Sophie's last night, when she fled from a local nightclub after a fight with her boyfriend. Back in the seaside town, Frankie becomes increasingly fearful when she keeps seeing a woman who resembles Sophie and comes across notes referencing a dark secret the two friends once shared. The suspense grows as Frankie in the present and Sophie in the past alternate sometimes conflicting first-person narratives. Only a problematic portrayal of mental illness undercuts this atmospheric, twist-filled thriller.
Loved this book! It kept me guessing till the very end and I was pleased with the surprise ending, I couldn’t put this book down because I couldn’t wait to find out what happened. The characters in this book were very likable and loved how the author switched back and forth between the characters so that you got to see each side. Would definitely recommend this book!
Disappointing 'Psychological Thriller' that is neither, the writer tries way too hard and fails miserably. Successful Frankie comes back to her hometown to help figure out who killed he best friend Sophie twenty years ago.
She moves in to an apartment with a view of the pier where Sophie was last seen. She hears a baby crying, sees visions of her old friend everywhere, feels cold drafts, finds anonymous threatening notes daily - what the heck is going on?
The reveal, as it were, is clumsy and worthy only of The Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew. Save your money.