Local Gone Missing Book Review

Local Gone Missing Book Review

Title: Local Gone Missin1
Author: Fiona Barton
Published: June 14, 2022, Berkley
No. of Pages: 384
Cover Price: $27.00 Hardcover, $14.99 Kindle

Bestselling author Fiona Barton tells the story of elderly Charlie Price, who is loved in the seaside town of Ebbing. He has an extremely selfish wife, Pauline, and a daughter who has a brain injury and is in an expensive care center. Pauline has insisted that he purchase a huge mansion in terrible condition, and Charlie has been hiring sub-contractors to fix it up while living in a caravan nearby. Unfortunately, Charlie is leaving the contractors unpaid and scraping the money together to pay for his daughter at the care center. One day Charlie goes missing after a village celebration where the locals were against it being held and two young people overdosed on drugs. Charlie was seen on the evening of the celebration very drunk, and one of his creditors dropped him by his home. His body was found several days after he was reported missing, and it was assumed that the head injury he had was the cause of death until the medical examiner ruled that he had died of a heart attack and the head injury came after death.

Elise King, who is just returning to work after some months off for breast cancer, and is the lead detective on the case, has a long list of suspects, and must work through her own fatigue and problems to find clues to solve the case. After a slow start, the story emerges and becomes suspenseful with all kinds of twists and turns, leaving readers unsure just what has really happened. The dénouement is quite unexpected, and reminds readers that things are not as they seem. Barton is an English author and sets the novel in the UK, adding extra charm to the novel. She also does an excellent job of developing her characters. Charlie is very likeable, especially because he is so dedicated to his daughter and seems to treat everyone well, volunteering to help charity causes, and help people in the village, so it seems unlikely that he could be murdered.

While the novel gets off to a slow start, it speeds up and becomes well worth reading.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.

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