Detective Inspector Elise King has had her world turned upside down. Her longstanding partner, Hugh, has left her for another woman – then, she received a diagnosis that she has breast cancer. Now, still on sick leave and irrevocably changed from the debilitating treatments, she is wary of returning to work. She spends most days sitting in front of the window of her small house watching the townsfolk become more and more tense as crime visits their small Sussex town.
Charlie Perry, a local man in his seventies has gone missing. Loved by all, it would seem, except maybe by his wife… Investigations reveal that he was a man with secrets and that he had reinvented himself. Charlie is a schemer, a dreamer, a charmer, and a con-man.
Dee Eastwood is the town’s cleaner. She flits from house to house cleaning the grime and keeping the secrets of her employers. Dee is married to Liam and has a young son. Her husband is a plumber who has had trouble finding work. The family depend on Dee’s income to stay afloat. Dee too is a woman who has had to reinvent herself.
NOW, DI Elise King is called back to work when the DI on the case goes on leave. Not feeling quite up to the task, she is nervous of failing her team – of dropping the ball…
Having read three other of this author’s novels and thoroughly enjoying them, I was thrilled to read her latest “Local Gone Missing“. My reading time was rewarded once again with an impeccably paced thriller, rich in characterization, that I have come to associate with Fiona Barton.
I loved the character of DI Elise King and hope that perhaps she’ll return in a subsequent novel. Her next-door neighbour, Ronnie added some levity to the narrative, a busy-body whom you can’t help but like.
Charlie Perry was a swindler, but he was written in a way that made him sympathetic on some levels. His wife, Pauline I found to be quite odious and self-serving. His brain-damaged adult daughter, Birdie, was a tragic character who was made even more tragic once you learned her story.
As with any good thriller, there was a plot twist which did manage to surprise me. The denouement was thoroughly satisfying, and, truth be told, it also managed to be poignant and chilling at the same time.
Publication Date: June 14, 2022
Fiona Barton trains and works 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 currently lives in southwest France.
Connect with Fiona Barton on Twitter.