The Alphabet Reading Challenge: ALL THE MISSING GIRLS, A Review

Around the next-to-the-last week in January, I took on the challenge of reading a book whose title began with each letter of the alphabet.  I did this as an overlap challenge with my January six book challenge, and have “retired” several of the letters, but not necessarily posted any reviews of the books. Today I want to review Megan Miranda’s All the Missing Girls. Obviously, it is a mystery, but its uniqueness lies in that it is told backwards. It was published in 2016, and I found it at Half Price Books.

Nicollete Farrell, the protagonist, receives a phone call from her brother, Daniel, saying their father is rapidly declining and asking her to come home. Ten years before, she had left Cooley Ridge, a “town full of liars,” and set out on a new path and had begun a new life. She is satisfied with her current status and her engagement to a prominent attorney.

During her teen years, her best friend, Corrine Prescott, had mysteriously disappeared, and when she returns and runs into her old boyfriend, Tyler, she meets his now-girlfriend, who also mysteriously disappears. All the memories, and all the details of Corrine’s disappearance flood back, as do old feelings for Tyler.

There are many suspects, including Tyler, her brother Daniel, and her confused and sometimes incoherent father, who have been questioned in both disappearances.  Was there foul play or another case of a teen runaway?

The story is told in reverse, “keeping readers on the edge their seats until the last page is turned.” There are too many secrets which are unburied, and the whole mess is complicated by efforts to protect and to be protected from the truth. The author presents the question, “How well can we know other people–and ourselves”?