I was delighted to receive an early review copy of this long awaited novel from Barbara Copperthwaite and boy has she come back with a twisted bang!
Published on 23rd Feb 2021.
Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says:
MISSING – Have you seen this girl? Nineteen-year-old Leila Hawkins was last seen on 24 June, 1994, when she left her parents’ anniversary party early and ran into the stormy night wearing her twin sister Stella’s long red coat. She was never seen again.
I wrap my arms around the tree trunk, pressing my cheek against it until the bark digs in and the missing poster is finally secured. I try not to look at the photograph on it. At the features so similar to mine. Perhaps this will be the year someone comes forward.
Were crucial mistakes made by detectives from the very beginning?
Could the pressure of living two lives have led my sister to run away – or even end it?
Or did someone in her tight circle of friends and family have reason to want her gone?
Someone out there must know something.
But the last thing I ever expect is a direct response from the person who took Leila. Wracked with guilt and completely alone in the world without the other half of me, I have no choice but to agree to his strange request: private, intimate details of my life in return for answers.
As the final moments of my sister’s life play out before me, I feel closer to her than I ever dreamed I’d be again. So close, it could almost be happening to me. But when I finally realise who is behind this terrifying tragedy, will I make it out alive?
Stella Hawkins has spent the last 25 years trying to find out what happened to her twin sister, Lelia, who disappeared on the night of their dads 50th birthday.
There’s a real sense of unease reading this book, Stella’s obsession, at times seems unhealthy but you can really empathise with what she is going through. When she meets Euan, the journalist, who is just about to blow the story wide for a Netflix documentary featuring the case, life takes a more sinister turn for Stella and a whole host of incidents will have your spidey senses set on edge.
Interspersed with scenes from the documentary give the book a really unique feel and what a great way to tell the story of Lelia’s disappearance as well as introducing characters who have connections with the case. A whole host of twists and turns leave you reeling as secrets and lies are exposed and leave you fearing for Stella’s safety.
I loved Mary, Stella and Lelia’s parents best friend. A star in her own time, Mary is a delightfully eccentric woman in her 70s who brought a real sparkle to the tale.
The use of social media and cyber manipulation added an extra edge to the story and at times I wanted to reach into the pages and pull Stella away from it all.
An enjoyable, twister of a tale with a whole load of moments that will take your breath away.
Welcome back Barbara!
The Girl in the Missing Poster is avaialable to purchase via: