I’m a bookworm and, as a bookworm, I get emails from Waterstones every week with their books of the week. I’ve actually had to take a break from reading the emails, because I always want ALL OF THE BOOKS. I read about The Missing Girl by Jenny Quintana on a Waterstones email and within seconds I’d ordered it and another book and I’d picked them up from the local Waterstones the next day.
As far as my reading goes, missing girls, missing sisters and historic cases are pretty standard subject matters and The Missing Girl ticks all of those boxes. But knowing that I’ve read about those subjects before doesn’t make this book any less good, because it ticks those boxes very well indeed!
Anna was just a child when her beloved teenage sister, Gabriella, went missing. Anna had felt there was something going on at home for a few months, but nobody would tell her anything. When Gabriella disappeared, her whole family fell apart. As soon as she was old enough, Anna left home to live abroad and escape her life as ‘the missing girl’s sister’.
Thirty years on, Anna’s mother is dead and Anna must return home for the funeral and to sort out her mother’s possessions. Going through her childhood home, seeing old neighbours and looking at her mother’s things brings back the pain of her loss. She couldn’t find Gabriella before, but could she find her now? With her whole family dead, will anyone be able to tell her what was going on in those weeks and months before her sister disappeared?
The Missing Girl alternates between the present – with Anna sorting through her mother’s things and remembering those sad times when Gabriella vanished – and 1982, when Gabriella went missing. Told completely from Anna’s perspective, you feel frustrated for her, knowing that there were people who had known more than they were letting on and that they weren’t sharing their knowledge with Anna.
This is a very good read and I was as desperate as Anna to know what had happened to Gabriella. It has a real dark, wintry, miserable feel to it, which works very well for the subject matter. If you enjoy a mystery, I would definitely recommend The Missing Girl.