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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Local Gone Missing

ISBN: 978-1984803047

Publisher: Berkley

Publication Date: 06/14/2022

Format: Other

My Rating: 4 Stars (ARC)

Detective Elise King investigates a man’s disappearance in a seaside town where the locals and weekenders are at odds with each other in this rich and captivating new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Widow.

Elise King is a successful and ambitious detective—or she was before a medical leave left her unsure if she'd ever return to work. She now spends most days watching the growing tensions in her small seaside town of Ebbing—the weekenders renovating old bungalows into luxury homes, and the locals resentful of the changes.

Elise can only guess what really happens behind closed doors. But Dee Eastwood, her house cleaner, often knows. She’s an invisible presence in many of the houses in town, but she sees and hears everything.

The conflicts boil over when a newcomer wants to put the town on the map with a giant music festival, and two teenagers overdose on drugs. When a man disappears the first night of the festival, Elise is drawn back into her detective work and starts digging for answers. Ebbing is a small town, but it's full of secrets and hidden connections that run deeper and darker than Elise could have ever imagined.


"In the community of Ebbing, Fiona Barton has created a town full of suspense and a cast of characters with so many reasons to keep secrets buried deep. A dark and twisty read."

--Nita Prose, New York Times bestselling author of The Maid

"Tense and full of reveals and twists. This compulsively dark mystery is a joy to read. Fiona Barton never disappoints!"

--Lesley Kara, international bestselling author of The Rumor

"Barton presents such an embarrassment of riches. . . .Layers and layers of unlovely revelations about people who seemed perfectly nice."

--Kirkus Reviews

"A captivating read. A first-grade suspense novel and highly recommended."


My Review

A big fan of bestselling author, Fiona Barton, having read all her previous books, The Widow, The Child, and The Suspect, I was delighted to snag an early reading copy of her latest twisty mystery, LOCAL GONE MISSING.

LOCAL GONE MISSING showcases Barton's razor-sharp skills in maneuvering complex multi-layered plots, investigative reporting, cop procedurals, and juggling timelines past and present with multiple characters. Highly impressive! I cannot even imagine how she kept up with the moving parts of this captivating suspense mystery thriller.

Set in a small by-the-sea fictional town of Ebbing, England, we meet Detective Elise King, currently on medical leave from the police Major Crime Team following cancer surgery. Still, she stays in touch with her partner, Caro Brennan.

There is a lot of friction between the tourists and the local people of the town. The visitors are coming in and renovating and buying up the properties for luxury second homes. A festival brings on tension with events around which the story is centered. Two teens overdose on drugs, and a local man, Charlie Perry, goes missing.

Elise is still on leave but is quite curious about these events. Her neighbor, Ronnie is quite the sleuth and gets her going. These two were hilarious together. Ronnie cracked me up and enjoyed these scenes. They make quite the dynamic duo!

At the center of the action is Dee Eastwood, a house cleaner. She cleans for Charlie and many others in town and knows things. She is the eyes and ears of the town, and of course, she has her own hidden secret, and boy, are they juicy!

From past to present, another storyline from twenty years earlier that held my attention was Charlie's story. Charlie has multiple names and lives and is a man of hidden secrets. He currently is married and she demands the best, but Charlie has some financial problems. His biggest worry is his daughter, Birdie, by his first wife.

Charlie's greed and lies cost lives. People were destroyed by him, and he has enemies and people who know things about him. They are about to catch up with him but who will get to him first?

Birdie was a smart young woman with a bright future. However, one evening she and her boyfriend used the key to Charlie's house. While there, there was a break-in, and a bag was put over Birdie's face, losing oxygen and now has brain injuries.

Charlie out of guilt keeps her in a very expensive care home. However, now, he is afraid he may not be able to keep up the payments and what will happen to Birdie. His current wife does not care. The guy who did this went to prison, but he is getting out.

The author expertly unravels the past events leading up to the present, keeping you in suspense, quickly page-turning, Dee, her husband, Charlie, and other guys are all connected in some way. There is also a big twist you do not see coming. Someone is going to pay, but there seem to be many people after Charlie, so stand in line!

If you enjoy whodunit twisty dark mysteries and complex cop procedurals with dual timelines, you will enjoy this one, but keep up because you will need a score card. If you have not read this author's work, I highly recommend it.

For me, I enjoyed Elsie/Ronnie and the Birdie/Charlie twist. Dee was a mysterious character in the middle of it all with a lot of drama. There are a lot of hidden secrets in this town, and you never know what goes on behind closed doors. In the end, a satisfying conclusion wraps up the mystery.

Fiona's writing reminds me of Linwood Barclay, Michael Rothotham, and Michael Connelly. Fiona and these other fine authors were journalists and investigative reporters before becoming full-time authors. Their past experience shows in their attention to detail— making them the bestselling authors.

Looking forward to seeing what comes next and if we will see more of Detective Elise King.

A special thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for an ARC to read, enjoy, and review.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

My Rating: 4 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Pub Date: 14 June 2022

About the Author

Fiona Barton is the New York Times bestselling author of The Widow, The Child, and The Suspect. She has trained and worked with journalists all over the world. Previously, she was a senior writer at the Daily Mail, news editor at the Daily Telegraph, and chief reporter at the Mail on Sunday, where she won Reporter of the Year at the British Press Awards. Born in Cambridge, England, she lives in England. WEBSITE



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