Like the spellbinding psychological suspense in The Girl on the Train and Luckiest Girl Alive, Megan Miranda’s novel is a nail-biting, breathtaking story about the disappearances of two young women—a decade apart—told in reverse.
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.
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
If I were a monster, I’d pretend to be human.
All the Missing Girls is a punch to the stomach. For a few seconds you can’t take a breath, desperately wanting to inhale the so much needed oxygen – this book is the span of these seconds.
From the moment the heroine decided to go back home, I couldn’t shake that feeling of impending doom. The atmosphere in the book is the best, in my opinion. I could feel with my skin the moist air, the looming mountains that surround small sleepy Cooley Ridge town. All the secrets that are kept inside the borders; all the rumors and memories that turned into their own story with time.
Another thing that a lot of readers including me enjoyed is the backward storytelling. The events in the book reach a certain point of culmination and from that moment everything starts to go back. Every chapter is a day before, and then before that, and so on. We are getting back to the beginning desperately trying to grab the culmination. But the further we go back the more we understand that the way to revelation is not in the culmination but in the past. I can’t express how much I enjoyed being tossed and turned on the timeline, feeling shocked every time a secret was spilled. Basically, to get to the end we need to get to the beginning first.
I’ve noticed that a lot of readers weren’t satisfied with an anticlimactic ending. But I loved it. The thing is, sometimes we do not need a Deux ex machina to jump out of the bushes and reveal itself as a big scary villain. Sometimes the scariest script is the one that resembles life. I was shocked by the story’s secrets throughout the book so thoroughly that when the ending finally arrived and all cards were out in the open, I understood that the ending empathized my feelings tenfold because it was different from the one I expected at the beginning.
I don’t think this story would’ve worked so efficiently if not for Megan’s writing talent. The woman knows how to grab with the tentacles of sheer curiosity and hold on until the very end. Words, nature descriptions, inner thoughts of the heroine – created an unforgettable atmosphere I couldn’t shake even after finishing the book.
If you haven’t discovered Megan Miranda as an author yet, All the Missing Girls is a perfect opportunity to start.