File Size: 1329 KB
Print Length: 352 pages
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks (July 4, 2017)
Publication Date: July 4, 2017
Sophie Collier came to Oldcliffe-On-Sea with her mother and brother when they ran from Sophie's abusive father. Francesca (Frankie) Howe resided with her affluent mother and father in the beach destination hotel that they ran. Frankie had never got a close relationship with her mother and preferred the organization and attention of the woman dad, Alistair Howe. The beautiful, entitled, and popular Frankie took the less popular and plain Sophie under her wing and the ladies were best friends throughout their childhood and age of puberty.
Sophie spent a whole lot of time at Frankie's parents pink hotel and came to be attached to of Frankie's Dad. Fatherless, she craved a men role model in the woman life and Frankie's Daddy was always kind to her, letting her borrow books from him and so on. When they are sixteen, both girls produce a crush on the same handsome local young man, Jason.
Frankie and Sophie hold a dark secret about a devastating event that happened when they were just sixteen.
When the girl was just twenty-one years of age, in early September of 1997 Sophie died after she fell from the town's decrepit Victorian pier - taking her secret with her...
" Can you convince yourself to believe your own lies? "
18 years have passed since that fateful September and Frankie runs her family's successful hotel business, now situated in London. She has put her life again in Oldcliffe-On-Sea behind the woman and proceeded with the woman life - until the girl gets a phone call from Sophie's brother, Daniel. They have found some human remains and are going to test them to see if it is Sophie. Daniel would like Frankie to accompany your pet when he goes to identify the remains also to help him discover what really happened to his beloved sister. Against the woman better judgement, Frankie agrees - partly because the woman current relationship is not working and she desires a little space to think.
" Maybe you can never really escape your previous. "
Her come back to the seaside town brings about a series of events and meetings with people from her youth. Also, the woman youthful attraction to Sophie's brother Daniel seems to have blossomed into a more powerful emotion. Then... distressing notes are delivered to where Frankie is keeping:
Has someone discovered the secret from Frankie and Sophie's past?
Then, Frankie begins to see Sophie. Is she imagining things now?
" This place isn't good for me. A lot of memories, too many ghosts. "
Written via two narratives alternating in perspective between Frankie's present and Sophie's past, this psychological thriller kept me riveted throughout. This is a novel of the customarily complicated dynamic of women friendships and the damaging nature of lies carefully bred by secrecy. Recommended for all who enjoy a thriller with strong characterization and who don't object to an unreliable narrator., Actually pick up a book to read thinking it was going to one thing… and then it turns out to be another? I loathe to brag, but, lately, this rarely happens to me. As all of you know, I’ve read and reviewed so many publications on this blog for the last six and a half years (as well as written 6 novels and five musicals) that I can virtually figure out which works of fiction, especially in the chick-lit/thriller genre, activity formulaic plot lines and stereotypical characters.
And so I thought with Regional Girl Gone Missing, the second novel of Uk author Claire Douglas.
But… Oh boy! Oh, lady! Was I ever incorrect!
Let me just say that this is NOT NECESSARILY your usual run-of-the-mill summer read. Far from it. Set in the fictional seaside resort town of Oldcliffe, England, it is a profoundly exquisitely written psychological thriller best read by flashlight under the safety of your covers at night time rather than on a beach bordering a rickety pier. It truly is deliciously terrifying, enticingly intriguing, and authoritatively astute as it goes into what it means to be in a true companionship – “equally balanced, taking the good as well as the bad…”
Francesca “Frankie” Howe is divorced, has experienced seven miscarriages, and is quickly closing in on fourty. Born and raised in her parents’ pink-slatted hotel in Oldcliffe and now managing the opening of a new hotel in Bristol for her parents, she is called again to her childhood hometown to help solve the almost 20-year-old mystery of Sophie, her once best friend who has been missing for over twenty years. Sophie’s brother, Daniel, who lends Frankie the beach destination apartment of “a good friend”, explains that the remains of any young moms body has been found. Thinking, in fact these years, that it might be Sophie’s, he prevails after Frankie to come “home” and help him identify them. What happens in the course of their renewed relationship and their search for the facts of Sophie’s, um, “supposed” dying is the basis with this truly impressive literary thriller that had me securely gripping the cover and quickly turning pages to see what would be next revealed.
A few teasers:
In the small touristy apartment building where Frankie stays, there is a baby screaming during nighttime, although there are no babies in the building; an older downstairs neighbour acts peculiarly strange; and a female “stalker” who randomly appears. Frankie believes the girl with the ghost of Sophie, haunting her about “what happened that night”. Anonymous typed messages are brought to her door cushion: I UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU DO and I’M WATCHING A PERSON – are delivered in A4-size manila envelopes on her door mat. Leon McNamara, Sophie’s former boyfriend, is remarkably kind, then inexplicably cruel to Frankie. And, ***SPOILER ALERT*** the girl becomes increasingly suspicious of Daniel, whom she once thought loved her and who, now, she desires “more than anything else”.
When these don’t capture you interest… Well…
Written alternatively in the first person by both Frankie and Sophie, as if they are writing letters to one another, Douglas’ stunning novel is a tour-de-force of subtle, often seemingly bizarre, plot twists and turns and truly impressive insights into the internal workings of the human being mind and heart.
There are no formulaics here, folks. Just a great, imaginatively creative novel that any mature mystery/thriller enthusiast who enjoys a very well-written and realistic read will enjoy. Even if you are trying to relax at the shore.
Appreciate the read!, It's no surprise that psychological uncertainty if one of my favourite genres! So Regional Girl Missing by Expresse Douglas sounded like it was perfect for my next hammock read!
Frankie Howe left the village of Oldcliffe-on-Sea almost twenty years ago. That's when her best friend Sophie disappeared, with no trace ever found. Using the news of a body located that may be her, she unwillingly heads back at the request of Sophie's buddy.
Oh, Frankie is a mercurial, unreliable (and unlikable) narrator. Are her reminiscences accurate or has time blurred the sharp sides? Frankie often (and rapidly) changes her view on people and events in present day. We learn about her take on the past through the woman internal conversations with the long gone Sophie. " As the truth is sure to come out, Soph, and with it the dark secret we kept back then; the one thing we could never inform anyone else. Ever. " But Sophie also has a voice - through her journal entries from 1997 we see what occurred from her point of view.
The supporting characters are also hard to gauge - they seem to have their own agendas and their view of the past is again different from Frankie's.
Used to do find I grew somewhat tired of Frankie's again and forth after somewhat as I found it somewhat repetitive - perhaps this could have recently been shortened up a bit. Douglas drops hints as the book progresses that had me guessing at what some of that dark past might be. I was partially right, but not completely. Douglas falls a good little twist in towards the end. Local Girl Missing is perfect reading for the beach bag.
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