Autumn absolutely feels like thriller season for me. Enter The Girls Who Disappeared by Claire Douglas! The story centres around journalist Jenna Halliday who is making a BBC podcast on a very mysterious event that happened 20 years ago in the English town of Stafferbury in Wiltshire.
Opening sentence: They were singing.
What happened 20 years ago?
Olivia Rutherford and her 3 friends were driving home after a night out. They crash, and when Olivia comes to, her friends have totally vanished. Their bodies are never found. To get the rumour mill churning even more, this happened on a stretch of road known as the Devil’s Corridor. Yes – exactly.
It’s hard to know what has become folklore and what is reality. But don’t all myths stem from some semblance of fact?
Jenna is on the hunt to find out exactly what did happen on the Devil’s Corridor – was something supernatural at play? Alongside Jenna’s sleuthing, she’s recently separated from her husband so has to balance that emotional upheaval too.
Olivia Rutherford’s friends aren’t the first to disappear from here. Over two hundred years ago a similar thing happened – if you can believe the reports.
There is also a secondary storyline in play to up the intrigue. This one set in Thailand and has its own set of mysterious happenings. The threads all come together in a satisfying way and keep the pace cracking along.
The Girls Who Disappeared is a really engrossing psychological thriller. It layers on the emotion of Jenna’s life with the drama of her looking into the case to give us a fully-rounded character we can believe in.
I also enjoyed the suggestion of the supernatural – you can’t go wrong with a bit of myth and legend thrown into the mix. And, of course, the clever plotline keeps you guessing right up until the end.
- Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC;
- Get your copy of The Girls Who Disappeared here;
- Published by Michael Joseph 15th September 2022;
- 400 pages;
- My rating: