Book review: Seaside town holds secrets in ‘Local Gone Missing’ | Entertainment

By Penny A Parrish FOR THE FREE LANCE–STAR

I have friends who live in oceanfront homes. They love being by the ocean, but absolutely hate Saturdays, when hundreds, if not thousands, of visitors descend on their paradise to rent the McMansions at the waterfront, clogging roads and overwhelming local restaurants.

This premise is the theme of “Local Gone Missing”. Ebbing is a small seaside town in England where longtime residents harbor resentment towards visitors during the season. In a place where everyone knows everyone and what everyone does, these intruders cause trouble.

But Dee Eastwood, a woman who cleans houses in Ebbing, has a pretty good idea that all is not as it seems. The city is full of secrets, not only in holiday homes but also in the homes of permanent residents. As she does the laundry and scrubs the floors, people forget she’s there. She hears a lot. And knows a lot. And hide a lot.

One of the visitors plans a music festival that goes awry when two local teenagers overdose on drugs at the event. On top of that, a well-liked local man goes missing that night. Elise King, a detective on sick leave, is dragged into the situation and tries to unofficially find answers.

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Who can she trust? Who last saw Charlie Perry missing? Is he really a good and honest citizen? Who brought the drugs to the music festival? Here are some of the questions Elise needs to find answers to. Since she’s been on furlough, she can’t go through the police department, so she calls on a neighbor, Ronnie, who devours detective novels.

Elise is a troubled character, recovering from breast cancer and subsequent treatment. She also came out of a long-term relationship with a fellow officer, a man she liked and thought she knew. And this man is now leading these investigations.

Charlie’s body is eventually found, but the thriller continues. The author drops suspicion on nearly every character, making it difficult for the reader to determine who killed him – if he was indeed killed.

The book is a good read, perfect for a beach chair. Little by little, the reader will unravel the threads and find an interesting and satisfying conclusion.

Penny A Parrish is a freelance writer in Stafford County.

Penny A Parrish is a freelance writer in Stafford County.

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