I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Girls Who Disappeared by Claire Douglas
Published by Penguin UK on September 15, 2022
ISBN: 9781405951197
Genres: Fiction, Thrillers, Crime, Suspense, Psychological, Family Life, General, Mystery & Detective
Pages: 365
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
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four half stars - The Girls Who Disappeared by Claire Douglas - REVIEW

THE NO. 1 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER AND RICHARD & JUDY PICK FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE COUPLE AT NO 9
'Clever. Gripping. Terrifically compelling. Kept me glued to the page' SARAH PEARSE'Eerie, spine-tingling. Douglas is a master storyteller. The perfect immersive read' JANICE HALLETT'Douglas is the queen of the unexpected twist, and this is her best wrongfooting yet' GILLIAN MCALLISTER'A deliciously dark, captivating and twisty mystery from the Queen of Gripping Pageturners' CL TAYLOR_________
THREE GIRLS MISSING
Twenty years ago, Olivia Rutherfood crashed her car while driving home with three friends.When she regained consciousness, she was alone - her friends had vanished.
THEY WERE NEVER SEEN AGAIN
Now, journalist Jenna Halliday visits the town where it happened, determined to unlock the girls' disappearance.
But Olivia won't speak. And as Jenna probes further, the locals grow frightened . . .
How many secrets can one small town hide?_________
'Clever . . . Adventurous . . . Fans of Douglas's bestseller, The Couple at No 9, will enjoy her particularly lively female characters and twisty plot' DAILY MAIL'Moody, menacing and gothic . . . A chillingly atmospheric thriller' JP DELANEY
'A fabulous book. Brilliantly plotted, heart-wrenchingly emotional, and with a central premise to die for. This delivered by the armful. I loved it!' GYTHA LODGE
'I was hooked from the first page and turned the last with my head reeling at the fiendishly clever ending. Atmospheric, haunting and endlessly surprising, I loved it' EVE CHASE
'Absorbing, atmospheric . . . A tense, spine-chilling mystery' GILLY MACMILLAN
READERS ARE GRIPPED BY THE GIRLS WHO DISAPPEARED:
'Totally gripping from start to finish, twists and turns galore' 5***** READER REVIEW
'I was gripped from the very beginning' 5***** READER REVIEW
'Another great keep-you-guessing read from a fabulous author' 5***** READER REVIEW
'It's getting harder and harder for thrillers to shock, but this one hit the mark. Fantastic' 5***** READER REVIEW
'A gripping story which kept me awake last night as I had to finish reading it!' 5***** READER REVIEW
'Masterful' 5***** READER REVIEW
Praise for Claire Douglas
'Devotees of domestic noir will love the multiple perspectives and shifts in time that Claire Douglas uses to complicate her nervy narrative' Sunday Times Crime Club'Few people do psychological thrillers as claustrophobic and as creepy as Claire Douglas' Tim Weaver'A gripping page-turner' Jane Fallon'Smart and atmospheric' Gillian McAllister'Spine-chilling' Sunday Times'Intriguing. Twisting. Surprising. Touching' Dorothy Koomson'Twisty, nail-biting and utterly absorbing' Louise O'Neill'Claire is a mistress at weaving the reader into a web of domestic deceit' Jane Corry'The perfect gripping holiday read' Lesley Pearse'Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train' Marie Claire

The Girls Who Disappeared is a story crafted by the Queen of the unfathomable twist. It’s like an itch you can’t quite reach, a brilliant character study with razor sharp writing.

The girls who disappeared is a strong novel about friendship, family, and the spreading virus that is lies and betrayal. We can all remember what it was like being eighteen, right? That taste of freedom has seeped into our veins, and we want more of it. A driving license, a car, and a group of friends – the possibilities are endless, well they would be if it wasn’t cut to a drastic end with a car accident on the notoriously mysterious Devil’s Corridor – a stretch of road where dark figures and baby’s cries have been heard. Four girls were involved in the crash, but only one was found still trapped at the wheel – Olivia.

A group of friends traveling in Olivia’s car through rural Wiltshire is involved in a catastrophic car accident. It’s left the driver, Olivia, with serious injuries to her leg twenty years on. The girls were never seen again, and with no conclusion to their disappearance or the accident, she’s got a severe case of survivor’s guilt. She doesn’t know what happened to her friends, but she knows that it can’t be good. They’d never leave without telling their families – only one conclusion makes sense, and that’s that someone must have hurt them further. It’s not something she can dwell on.

That night is burned into Olivia’s memory. She recalls seeing a bright white light and talking to the local weirdo – Ralph. The fact that he was first on the scene instantly got the family’s back up, and he was questioned, but no charges were brought. The entire event was a mystery to the police, Olivia, and the missing girl’s families. It’s twenty years on and Manchester Journalist, Jenna Halliday has been tasked with covering the story on behalf of the BBC for a podcast. It’s something to really get her teeth in after the collapse of her marriage.

Jenna’s arrival doesn’t go down well with the locals. Reinvestigating the case has stirred up some strong emotional responses and Jenna is very quickly reminded just how vicious people can be. She strikes up a good working relationship with the detective tasked with reinvestigating the case, Dale. She starts receiving threatening notes and it’s becoming clear that she’s getting a little too close to the truth.

The Girls Who Disappeared felt like swimming in a murky pool, just when you thought you had a handle on where it was going, the currents pulled you back under. A story spanning two times, a story that makes you audibly gasp. It leaves you questioning the action and consequence of characters. They’re all multi-layered and the ending will make you grateful the quiet life you lead.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

image 4 - The Girls Who Disappeared by Claire Douglas - REVIEW

Claire has always wanted to be a writer since she was a child. She studied journalism at university and then worked for various press agencies writing human interest features for national magazines and newspapers. In 2013 she won the Marie Claire Debut Novel Award with The Sisters, which went on to be published by HarperCollins in August 2015. Her second novel Local Girl Missing published by Penguin in 2016, was in the Sunday Times top ten for four weeks, selling over 100,000 copies. Published in Germany as Missing in 2018 by Penguin Verlag, it placed in the German bestseller charts for six consecutive weeks, peaking at number three, and was the bestselling crime debut of that year.

Since then Claire has written four more bestselling thrillers, Last Seen AliveDo Not DisturbThen She VanishesJust Like The Other Girls, and The Couple at No 9 which instantly became a Sunday Times Bestseller. 

Claire’s books have been published in fifteen countries. She lives in Bath with her husband, children and two very fluffy cats. 

Claire Douglas

four half stars - The Girls Who Disappeared by Claire Douglas - REVIEW