I was totally blown away last year by ALL THE MISSING GIRLS. I knew this book wouldn’t be written in the same backwards fashion, but I still expected a lot. I was not disappointed.
This author has a talent for writing mystery. The story starts with Leah’s fixation on her free spirited roommate Emmy. Emmy and Leah are a good match. They work opposite shifts now and barely see each other. Perfect roommates, right? Leah is a girl running from a mysterious past. Now living in a sleepy little Pennsylvania town, this journalist-turned-school teacher is trying to forget what happened in Boston.
Like any great mystery, the layers of this story are peeled back slowly. Leah doesn’t realize at first it has been five days since she laid eye on Emmy. That same day, a local single female is found near death in a local park. When Leah reports her friend missing, we find that Leah barely knows Emmy. She can’t recall her last name, where she works, who she knows, or why the car she drives is in someone else’s name. Leah teams up with a local detective to try to find Emmy.
Leah is the classic unreliable character. We assume she is credible but everyone is skeptical of her for a reason, or are they? Since she is running away from something, I assumed she was guilty. The author doles out actual breadcrumb sized information about Leah so it was really hard to know if I could trust her.
I found this to be a pretty good mystery. The addition of students from her work was a nice touch. There is hardly anything creepier then high school kids with bad intentions. The romance sounded like a nice option as well. Alas, this is not a romance novel.
The main emotion I had while reading this was angst. Leah has done something wrong. She lives in an isolated location. She isn’t safe at work or at home. Someone(s) is watching her. No one is on her side. Also, this is all in first person so I internalized much of Leah’s thoughts. This story had me on pins and needles wishing for a safe place to go.
The author did a fantastic job of tying together two main plots. I was so eager to see how this story would end. This mystery could have gone either way. This didn’t end the way I thought it would. It did, but then it was so twisted. There was a few loose ends that I would have liked to see cleared up, but all in all this was a great mystery.
The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda
Published by Simon and Schuster on April 11th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Thrillers, Suspense, Psychological, Coming of Age, Contemporary Women
Also by this author: All the Missing Girls
eARC provided by Simon & Schuster
In the masterful follow-up to the New York Times bestseller All the Missing Girls—“think: Luckiest Girl Alive, The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl” (TheSkimm)—a journalist sets out to find a missing friend, a friend who may never have existed at all.
Confronted by a restraining order and the threat of a lawsuit, failed journalist Leah Stevens needs to get out of Boston when she runs into an old friend, Emmy Grey, who has just left a troubled relationship. Emmy proposes they move to rural Pennsylvania, where Leah can get a teaching position and both women can start again. But their new start is threatened when a woman with an eerie resemblance to Leah is assaulted by the lake, and Emmy disappears days later.
Determined to find Emmy, Leah cooperates with Kyle Donovan, a handsome young police officer on the case. As they investigate her friend’s life for clues, Leah begins to wonder: did she ever really know Emmy at all? With no friends, family, or a digital footprint, the police begin to suspect that there is no Emmy Grey. Soon Leah’s credibility is at stake, and she is forced to revisit her past: the article that ruined her career. To save herself, Leah must uncover the truth about Emmy Grey—and along the way, confront her old demons, find out who she can really trust, and clear her own name.
Everyone in this rural Pennsylvanian town has something to hide—including Leah herself. How do you uncover the truth when you are busy hiding your own?