Girl Last Seen is Nina Laurin's debut novel.
Ella Santos was taken when she was ten years old. Three years later, she's found stumbling down a road in the rain. Escaped? Released?
Ten years later Ella is living under an assumed name (Laine) when she sees a missing poster for a ten year old named Olivia. She somehow believes that the same man who took her has taken this girl as well. So do the cops. They bring Laine in to see if she can remember anything more......
Laurin has taken a popular premise and put her own spin on it.
For me, however, Girl Last Seen read like a YA novel, rather than an adult psychological thriller. But some of the details, scenarios and language would not be suitable for a YA aged reader.
The focus of Girl Last Seen is not so much on the investigation as it is on the romantic/attraction/sexual interest between the investigative Detective and Laine. The police procedural details are almost non-existent and those that are there are far removed from reality.
Laurin paints a clear picture of a walking wounded protagonist - one severely abused. Which is why I can't figure out why Laurin would have her working in a 'gentleman's club'. She is a sympathetic character though - I liked her. Not so much the cop - his behaviour was just too far-flung to be believable and I just didn't buy his 'caring.'
Laurin drops several bombshells into her plot that do surprise the reader and propel her plot forward. I read right to the end, curious as to where Girl Last Seen would finish up. Although Girl Last Seen wasn't turn out to be quite what I expected when I read the description, it was a quick and easy read for the hammock. Read an excerpt of Girl Last Seen.
I'm not a big fan of romance in books like these - it always seems forced and awkward to me.
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