All the Missing Girls has everything in the contemporary whodunit novel, and follows many of popular books of recent years, like Gone Girl, and The Girl on the Train (hmmm… a recurring girl theme), but then flips everything.
All the Missing Girls, by Megan Miranda (out in print tomorrow), does one thing completely different. It tells the story in reverse. The story takes place over 15 days. There is a brief preface. Then It jumps 15 days later. And each chapter is a day. In reverse. Each day reveals more of the story, but the problem is you have to tie it all together. Is this just a gimmick to sell books, or is it a novel plot device that works?
Probably a little bit of both. I found myself frustrated through much of the book, as I was having t
o store information away, trying to figure out each day’s events. Yet, as it came to a conclusion (and the book does come to a conclusion), it got easier and easier. But I wanted to go back and re-read the whole book. Yet, I didn’t do that, because, to be honest, there are too many good books out there to read, and nowhere enough time, and while I enjoyed the book, I didn’t enjoy it so much as to spend another couple days re-reading.
Does this plot device work? Yes. Do I want to see it in future books? Not really. Will the book be the next Gone Girl? I doubt it. But is it worth the time? Yes, I think so. All the Missing Girls provides the recreational reader who wants to view the reading experience as a kind of puzzle, with a unique opportunity.
I read an advance copy sent from Simon & Schuster. The book is out on Amazon and at your friendly bookstore, this week.