Author: Lexie Elliott
Genre: Psychological thriller
Format: Paperback 384 pages
Release Date: 6 June 2019
I was lucky enough to win a copy of this book from Readers First. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
She thought she would never go back…
Ailsa Calder has inherited half of a house. The other half belongs to a man who disappeared without a trace twenty-seven years ago. Her father.
Leaving London behind to settle her mother’s estate, Ailsa returns to her childhood home nestled amongst the craggy peaks of the Scottish Highlands, accompanied by the half-sister she’s never taken the time to get to know.
With the past threatening to swallow her whole, she can’t escape the claustrophobic feeling that the house itself is watching her. And when Ailsa confronts the first nighttime intruder, she sees that the manor’s careless rugged beauty could cost her everything…
A book that even hints at some kind of mystery is usually enough to pique my interest and the title of this book ‘The Missing Years’ did just that. Together with the fact that the main characters father went missing 27 years ago and I knew before I even started that I would enjoy this story.
This isn’t the kind of book that has the big wow shock factor type of scenarios, but it does have that quiet simmering tension that constantly puts you on edge whilst reading. After Ailsa moves into ‘The Manse’, a large creepy house she inherits after the death of her mother, it becomes apparent very quickly that all is not as it seems here. Things seem… different, in the Manse, and Ailsa can’t quite keep her grip on reality when she is there.
As well as dealing with the weird goings on at the Manse, Ailsa is also navigating the tricky situation of living with her half sister Carrie, whom she hasn’t really had much of a relationship with for a long time. Reading about their tricky sisterly bond added a different dimension to this book and it was enjoyable to read how this grew as the story went on.
My only criticism was that randomly throughout the book there would be words and sentences written in Scottish dialect which seemed to me to be thrown in at random and made me falter with reading. Only a small thing, but it kept putting me off my reading flow. Other than this, I enjoyed this read, it’s not a fast page turner, but it does lead somewhere and kept me intrigued.
About the Author
Lexie Elliott has been writing for as long as she can remember, but she began to focus on it more seriously after she lost her banking job in 2009 due to the Global Financial Crisis. After some success in short story competitions, she began planning a novel. With two kids and a (new) job, it took some time for that novel to move from her head to the page, but the result was The French Girl, which will be published by Berkley in February 2018 – available to pre-order on Amazon now!
When she’s not writing, Lexie can be found running, swimming or cycling whilst thinking about writing. In 2007 she swam the English Channel solo. She won’t be doing that again. In 2015 she ran 100km, raising money for Alzheimer Scotland. She won’t be doing that again either. But the odd triathlon or marathon isn’t out of the question.
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