Miranda, Megan. 2016. All the Missing Girls. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.
ISBN 978-1501107962. $25.00 USD.
YA author Megan Miranda makes her adult fiction debut in All the Missing Girls, and has created an unusual and challenging mystery written in reverse chronological order. Nicolette Farrell left Cooley Ridge, North Carolina after her best friend, Corrine, went missing one night after attending the local fair. Nic left behind her family, her boyfriend, Tyler, and a number of secrets. Ten years later, now engaged to a main line Philadelphia attorney, Nic is called home by her brother to help get her childhood home ready to sell, and deal with her father’s increasing dementia. She has also received a note from her father saying, “I saw that girl,” and Nic is convinced he’s talking about Corrine.
Once she arrives in Cooley Ridge, she is visited by her old boyfriend, and within a day the girl he is now dating goes missing. History seems to be repeating itself, the box of secrets is about to be opened, and Nic’s closest family and friends may be implicated.
What makes this novel different from other mysteries I’ve read is the author’s clever use of reverse chronology, so that each chapter steps backwards in time, over a two week period, and clues are revealed which alter the reader’s perspective and understanding of the events that have, and are, happening. I recommend paying close attention while reading this one, even keeping notes and a timeline. The unusual narrative of this excellent novel kept me fascinated right up to the satisfying end.