Rating - ⭐⭐
"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."
All the Missing Girls is a standalone mystery thriller novel by Megan Miranda.
Two things first, I did not read the synopsis before reading this, and I listened to this while playing The Painscreew Killings. Both of those facts impacted my reading experience negatively, but even without that I still don't think I would have enjoyed this.
I was hopeful going into this because this was supposed to be one of Megan Miranda's most popular books. By the time I finished the book though, I didn't get why.
Let's get into the details
Starting with issue #1, we have the timeline. I knew that it wasn't chronological, but I was listening to this on audio and wasn't paying attention to the chapter titles. Again, I also didn't read the synopsis, so I have no idea that the story was moving backwards until I got to the end of the book and things finally made sense.
Was this a different way to tell the story, sure, but it kind of falls apart because of the characters which I will get more into later on? I do think though that I ended up confusing myself more than necessary because I wasn't paying attention.
One final thing I wanted to note was that the narrator pronounced 'ugh' as 'ugg' which...
PLOT + CHARACTERS
I think I was expecting the story to be different than it was because of the titles. With something called All the Missing Girls, I was expecting this to be about mass kidnappings or killings, not just two people. Sure it makes sense considering the story, but I wanted it to be grander than what it was. The story is very much so isolated to its small cast of characters and doesn't get any bigger than that because that is what the story focuses on, the characters.
All things said, even with me half paying attention, I still found it to be kind of boring. It took a while for the thrilling aspect of the novel to kick in, and up until then, it was a bit slow. Once it got to the end as well, I wasn't very happy about the direction of the story.
Again, we follow a small cast all of whom are very obviously holding information back (and thus makes them unreliable). So by the time it got to the end I wasn't surprised by what had occurred, which is disappointing when it comes to a mystery book. I also simply didn't enjoy reading about these characters because they were so unreliable.
The more of Megan Miranda's books I read, the more hope I lose that I like her as an author. I have her latest book on hold right now, so I will give her one last shot before giving up on her entirely.