Reviewed by Cassidy Hammel (Library Staff)
I eagerly picked up Local Gone Missing after reading Fiona Barton’s earlier novel The Suspect. That one I struggled from page one to put down and I did get to that point with this novel but it took 1/3rd to ½ of the book to reach it. It is steeped in mystery, a seaside town split into “the locals” and “the weekenders” at odds with each other over the town’s aesthetics. When one of their own goes missing, fingers point in all directions and it was that overarching mystery that kept me reading however the onslaught of characters at the beginning made it difficult for me to identify with a specific one. There’s one thread of the story I still wonder about, for the character’s sake, I wish she had addressed before the end.
Barton’s novel is unique in that the reader gets to know one of the main characters fairly well before he dies. My usual murder mysteries present a dead body right away and the reader works backwards to understand who they were and what happened to them. This involves the death of an incredibly flawed character, one running from one problem to the next and the author did a fantastic job drawing the reader through a rollercoaster of emotions while following him. Though I’d rank it second to her earlier novel, this is still an exciting mystery to spend the weekend with.
Located in Adult Fiction (FIC BARTON)