So Wednesday evening I got a stomach thing that expanded and for all of Thursday I was down for the count. The only good thing was that in my listless state I finally finished listening to All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda.
Narrated by Rebekkah Ross
June 28, 2016
Blurb: Like the spellbinding psychological suspense in The Girl on the Train and Luckiest Girl Alive, Megan Miranda’s novel is a nail-biting, breathtaking story about the disappearances of two young women – a decade apart – told in reverse.
It’s been 10 years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched.
The decade-old investigation focused on Nic; her brother, Daniel; her boyfriend, Tyler; and Corinne’s boyfriend, Jackson. Since then only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic’s younger neighbor and the group’s alibi the night Corinne disappeared. Then, within days of Nic’s return, Annaleise goes missing.
Told backward – day 15 to day 1 – from the time Annaleise goes missing, Nic works to unravel the truth about her younger neighbor’s disappearance, revealing shocking truths about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne that night 10 years ago.
Like nothing you’ve ever heard before, All the Missing Girls delivers in all the right ways. With twists and turns that lead down dark alleys and dead ends, you may think you’re walking a familiar path, but then Megan Miranda turns it all upside down and inside out and leaves us wondering just how far we would be willing to go to protect those we love.
SASCHA DARLINGTON’S REVIEW
One of the features that intrigued me most when I read the blurb for Megan Miranda’s All the Missing Girls was that the story was told in reverse. While reverse narratives aren’t new, I found the idea of doing it with a mystery to be intriguing. How can you maintain a good level of suspense if it’s all told in reverse?
As the story narrowed down to Day 2 and Day 1, the tension increased and I was still a tad clueless as to how it was all going to come together. Any worries about how the novel could maintain suspense were gone.
“People were like Russian nesting dolls – versions stacked inside the latest edition. But they all still lived inside, unchanged, just out of sight.”
The narrator tells us that people are like Russian dolls. The narration is much like that with each day being its own separate Russian doll that fits in to another one, the details fitting into the previous days details. While paying attention to details is true with most mysteries, for All the Missing Girls it felt just a bit more necessary. The seemingly inconsequential means something. “Tick tock, Nic.”
“It is quite true what philosophy says; that life must be understood backward. But then one forgets the other principle: that it must be lived forwards. – Soren Kierkegaard
While I very much enjoyed listening to All the Missing Girls, I would have liked a hard copy so that I could go back and see how the pieces fit. When you’re caught up in the unfolding drama of listening to a book, you can lose track of whether a character’s reaction or knowledge fit. I suspect in writing reverse narrative that is what is key. Can information be delivered in such a way that it fits together and yet a character may not pick up on the clues? Frankly, I didn’t have a moment where I thought the story and reactions were not plausible.
As for the writing, I thought it was excellent, very rhythmic, detailed, and thoughtful.
Rebekkah Ross’ narration was pretty much spot on: lilting for the philosophical thoughts and tense as action picked up.
If you love mysteries and haven’t yet read All the Missing Girls, be sure to add it to your TBR pile in whatever form you can get it!
I obtained the audiobook from my neighborhood library.
4 butterflies and a ladybug out of 5 butterflies