Local Gone Missing
Detective Elise King investigates a man’s disappearance in a seaside town where the locals and weekenders are at odds in this rich and captivating new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Widow.
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 weekend music festival, and two teenagers overdose on drugs. When a man disappears the first night of the festival, Elise 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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
With her Kate Waters mysteries, Fiona Barton always keeps us guessing—and this tantalizing standalone is no different. When a neighbor disappears during a pop-music festival that’s very unpopular with the locals, tensions in the small English town of Ebbing—which are already high—threaten to boil over. It’s up to detective Elise King, who’s supposed to be recuperating on medical leave, to find the missing man…and keep the peace. Barton whips up another brainteaser with this puzzling tale that’s full of plot threads that lead in dozens of directions. We were smitten by the snarky wit and engaging characters, especially Detective Inspector King, who is both sympathetic and funny. Part cozy mystery, part rural English gothic, part police procedural, Local Gone Missing is a cheeky and suspenseful ride into English un-hospitality.
In the prologue of this suspenseful crime novel from bestseller Barton (The Widow), set in the small British seaside community of Ebbing, an unidentified man strains to spit out the gag in his mouth just as someone enters the room where he's being held. In the main narrative, cleaning woman Dee Eastwood, whose clientele includes 73-year-old Charlie Perry and his "some years" younger wife, Pauline, arrives one morning at the Perrys' caravan and discovers Charlie is missing. Pauline later admits she hadn't noticed his absence until Dee woke her. Flash back 17 days to Charlie's visit to his brain-damaged daughter, Birdie, in a residential care facility. Birdie's injuries were ostensibly caused by a drug addict who tortured her 20 years earlier during a burglary to get her to reveal where her valuables were. Another flashback introduces Det. Insp. Elise King, who also employs Dee. When Elise returns to active duty after being treated for breast cancer, she's assigned to the search for Charlie, an inquiry that reveals multiple secrets about him, including why he lied about the real cause of Birdie's injuries. Barton's facility at creating plausible characters makes emotional involvement with them easy. Minette Walters fans will be pleased. Agent: Madeleine Milburn, Madeleine Milburn Literary (U.K.).
The ending could’ve been a bit better. But the story was ok.