Alice Teale walked out of school at the end of a bright spring day.
She’s not been seen since.
Alice was popular and well-liked, and her boyfriend, friends and family are desperate to find her.
But soon it’s clear that everyone in her life has something to hide.
Then the police receive a disturbing package.
Pages from Alice’s precious diary.
Who could have sent them? And what have they done with Alice?
As a real fan of an intriguing mystery, I was definitely seduced by the premise of this book featuring the disappearance of teenage Alice – when I discovered that it was set in a school too, that really sealed the deal for me and it quickly zoomed to the top of my TBR pile. I was delighted to be invited on the tour by the lovely Srija and couldn’t wait to see if it was as twisty as I expected
This book definitely did not disappoint, it grabbed me and pulled me right into the story. I was really intrigued by the premise of the book: that we will puzzle our way through the many clues and trails about what might have happened to Alice and this really added to the story for me. The many secrets that begin to emerge once Alice disappears really kept me turning the pages as the novel unfolds. The fact that this felt like one of the true crime disappearances that I adore really added to my enjoyment and I got really caught up in what part all of these characters might have played in Alice’s mysterious vanishing…
I absolutely loved the way that we managed to get a sneak peek into Alice’s diary and met her through her own words – this was a feature of the novel which made the mystery of Alice’s disappearance quite addictive as it felt like she came alive for us through her words. It was intriguing to see which trail of breadcrumbs would prove to be the right one as H.A. Linskey kept me changing my mind from one moment to the next. The fact that each new secret that’s revealed presents us with a different hypothesis was a fantastic device and really made me think as the novel moved forwards as I tried to solve this puzzle along with the detective team..
Even though there have been lots of novels this year where girls go missing, H.A. Linskey ensures that the characters we meet allow this plot to unfold in an original way which makes the story linger at the edges of our consciousness even when we aren’t reading it. The characters all feel very much like real people – rather than mechanisms to provide clues about Alice – which I’ve often found in novels like this with many characters who may or may not know the answer to the mystery. I particularly loved the team of Winter and Black as they joined forces to solve this case– they are definitely a detective pairing to watch, and I’ll say no more.
H.A. Linskey is an intriguing new writer for me – it’s hard to talk about this novel without spoilers, so I’ll just need to tell you that you must read it for yourself. You will be intrigued by the many secrets that are slowly revealed in this community and want to read on and find out exactly what is behind this mysterious disappearance – as it’s far from an open and shut case. It’s not one of these ‘keep looking for the big twist’ stories that people are getting a little bored of now. It is just that things start to appear through the murk and you’ll not be able to believe you never noticed them before – in a satisfyingly well-constructed way.
Anyone who loves trying to work out which characters to trust…or not…will love this compelling new voice. I had really high hopes for Alice Teale Is Missing and I’m delighted to say that I was definitely not disappointed. It was definitely a book that I’ll be recommending to lots of people as I was totally intrigued by the way it really kept me guessing
I can’t wait to see what H.A. Linskey does next. The idea that a simple school day can be a lot darker and more interesting than you might perceive on the surface is a very intriguing one. I think that this would make an excellent Book Group read as it would be sure to provoke lots and lots of discussion…
‘THIS STORY WILL CAUSE NIGHTMARES, IT IS THAT GOOD’ DAILY MAIL
‘DARK, CLEVER AND ENGROSSING’ C. L. Taylor
‘I WAS HOOKED FROM START TO FINISH’ LJ Ross
‘ONE OF THE BEST WRITERS AROUND’ Mark Billingham
Writer On The Shelf
H. A. Linskey is originally from Ferryhill in County Durham, but now lives in Hertfordshire with his wife and daughter. Under Howard Linskey, he is the author of a series of crime novels set in the North-East, featuring detective Ian Bradshaw and journalists Tom Carney and Helen Norton.