Alice Teale is Missing by H.A. Linskey

This book really intrigued me from the blurb – how can a 17-year-old girl just vanish and no one know anything about it? It was also a lovely surprise to find it set in Northumberland where I’ve spent some time over the last couple of years and could relate to the places being described. I think it’s a great added bonus when a book has a personal touch, even a thriller or crime story where the subjects can be tough to read, the familiarity of the setting can be comforting… or unsettling.

I loved the twists in this book and found it really was a head-scratcher. I did guess the main twist, but maybe because I was trying to look for one and figure it out as I read along. There’s a lot of story planning and the author does well to keep the reader drawn in all the way through. There was a mix of like-able and hate-able characters, but the balance works well. I found the police duo to be an unlikely match and awkward at the beginning but I do think they gelled towards the end and helped it become more realistic.

There are some hard subjects to read about in the plot, so beware if child abuse, teenage bullying and coming of age are triggers for you. It was an easy book to read and the author uses colloquial language to help set the scenes, which adds a sense of homely-ness. In a nutshell, this book is a social/domestic thriller about a young girl trying to make good decisions but gets caught up in a secret with serious consequences. I would read another book by the author, but he’s not an auto-buy for me as there were a few points where I thought the book could be improved and therefore isn’t as highly recommended as others I’ve read and raved about. – GJ

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