Thursday 16 June 2022

Local Gone Missing by Fiona Barton BLOG TOUR #LocalGoneMissing @figbarton @PenguinUKBooks @RandomTTours #BookReview


Everyone watches their neighbours.

Elise King moves into the sleepy seaside town of Ebbing. Illness has thrown her career as a successful detective into doubt, but no matter how hard she tries to relax and recuperate, she knows that something isn't right.

Everyone lies about their friends.

Tensions are running high beneath the surface of this idyllic community: the weekenders in their fancy clothes, renovating old bungalows into luxury homes, and the locals resentful of the changes. A town divided, with the threat of violence only a heartbeat away.

Everyone knows a secret.

This peaceful world is shattered when two teenagers end up in hospital and a local man vanishes without trace. Elise starts digging for answers, but the community closes ranks, and the truth begins to slip through her fingers. Because in a small town like this, the locals are good at keeping secrets...

Everyone's a suspect when a local goes missing.

Local Gone Missing by Fiona Barton was published on 9 June 2022 by Bantam Press / Penguin. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour 

I've read all of Fiona Barton's previous novels and enjoyed them. It seems ages since her last book and I was really looking forward to Local Gone Missing. I was lucky enough to read this whilst sitting in the sun in Corfu, I sped through it in a couple of days. I was invested from the start and despite having to concentrate pretty hard at times due to the number of character voices, I enjoyed the story so much. 

Ebbing is a small seaside down with an assorted mix of residents. There are those who have lived in the area for years, there are relative newcomers and there are the people who arrive on Friday and leave on Monday morning. Despite the small town feel, there's a distinct separation between the community, with the long term residents often resenting those who flit in and out. 

Elise King and Dee Eastwood are the prominent female characters in the story. Elise is a police detective, currently taking sick leave after chemotherapy and Dee is her cleaner. Dee also cleans for other households in the area and although not treated badly, she appears to be invisible. Families talk about personal things when she's in the room and she sees and hears far more than other realise. Dee is a fascinating character who just grows throughout the novel.

One of Dee's clients is Charlie Perry who lives in a caravan with his wife Pauline whilst their house is being renovated. Charlie is popular man in the community, in his 70s and well known for his kindness. His wife is a different kettle of fish though and Dee knows what is really going on. 

When Charlie disappears after a local music festival, and two teenagers need treatment after taking drugs, the community feels shockwaves. Elise cannot help herself but get involved, using her detective skills combined with her local knowledge to try to get to the bottom of what's going on. 

This is a complex tale, told from different points of view and skipping back and forward in time. You do need to keep your wits about you when reading, it would be easy to lose the thread. I was lucky enough to have the time to invest in reading large chunks with no breaks, in fact, I was loathe to put it down until I found out what happened at the end! 

The writing is sharp, the plot is involved and intriguing and the characters are well developed. A great read and one I'd recommend. 

Fiona Barton's debut, The Widow, was a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller and has been published in 36 countries and optioned for television. 
Her second novel, The Child, was a Sunday Times bestseller. Born in Cambridge, Fiona currently lives in Sussex and south-west France.

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.
While working as a journalist, Fiona reported on many high-profile criminal cases and she developed a fascination with watching those involved, their body language and verbal tics. Fiona interviewed people at the heart of these crimes, from the guilty to their families, as well as those on the periphery, and found it was those just outside the spotlight who interested her most

Twitter @figbarton

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