Today I am very happy to bring you my latest review for Los Angeles Review of Books. When my former editor contacted me he wanted to know if I would like to review books by female writers for the Noir section, and I obviously did not have to think about it. Sadly, my editor is now gone – wishing you the best, Zac – and the Noir section as such is gone, but I am still writing for them.
Zac’s last task before he left was to make sure I got a review copy of Megan Miranda’s first adult novel, All the Missing Girls. What makes this book special is that it is a crime story told backwards. Here’s what Goodreads says:
It’s been ten 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, 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 backwards—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 ten years ago.
Like nothing you’ve ever read 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.
The novel is the perfect mix of pop-culture intertextuality, complex structure and character study, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys American crime fiction.
You can read my review ‘A Breath of Fresh, Confusing Air in American Crime Fiction’ here.