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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

@ATBR2019 Review: The Missing Years by Lexie Elliott @berkleypub @elliott_lexie @jessmapreviews

The Missing Years 
by Lexie Elliott

Publisher: Berkley
Publish Date: April 23, 2019
320 Pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller

An eerie, old Scottish manor in the middle of nowhere that’s now hers.

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 the inheritance from her mother’s estate, Ailsa returns to her childhood home, nestled amongst the craggy peaks of the Scottish Highlands, joined by the half-sister who’s almost a stranger to her.

Ailsa can’t escape the claustrophobic feeling that the house itself is watching her—as if her past hungers to consume her. She also can’t ignore how the neighbourhood animals refuse to set one foot within the gates of the garden.

When the first nighttime intruder shows up, Ailsa fears that the manor’s careless rugged beauty could cost her everything.

My Review:

This is my second Elliott book.  I had to take a look at my review for the last book of hers that I read, The French Girl, and it seems I have the same feelings with this book as I did with that. "I will say that maybe this is made for a slower pace.  Those that like the accelerated pacing with hanging chapters and a quick flip may not be prone to this.  I usually am not too much of a fan of a slower paced book.  HOWEVER, this one still kept me intrigued.  I was happy to go with Alisa on this journey.  There is no huge revelation or kick you in the pants WTF moment.  Instead, it was like reading a very well put together movie drama... but it did lack in some suspense.  I was hoping for just a little more.... something, but that's just my personal taste."

There's a lot more character development and I would include the house, Manse, as a character.  My favorite as a matter of fact. Elliott has a way of making a book extremely atmospheric.  The descriptions and small history lessons made for the feeling of being immersed in this slightly dark and foggy read.

There are moments of creepy, sinister suspense that made me believe it would continue in that direction or trip me up in some manner, but it never quite got there.  It stays in its own consistent manner but there are little spikes that come in every once in a while. I will say I didn't quite expect that ending to happen and it's always lovely to be surprised.

Anyone who loves that slow burn with supernatural undertones will absolutely love this read.  


Jessica's Review:

Right off the bat, I know this one has already divided a lot of readers. I feel like it was the same way with her debut novel, THE FRENCH GIRL. I'm personally a fan of when this happens because there are so many discussions and it really motivates some readers to pick it up and see how they feel about it. Before beginning I had seen some glowing reviews and some where it just didn't click with them, so I was anxious to see where I fell. I really enjoyed this one!

From the beginning we are treated to an overall eerie and uneasy vibe. A creepy Scottish manor in the middle of nowhere. Sounds like an ideal place, right? Ailsa has just inherited half of a house, while the other half is owned by her father that disappeared almost three decades ago. Once she arrives and gets settled in, she notices some odd things starting to happen. You know something is wrong with a house when animals refuse to cross onto the property - never doubt the instincts of animals. I don't want to go into too many more details so that I don't spoil some of the events that take place!

This story had so many unsettling elements and plenty of suspense to go around. What I think some readers aren't a fan of is that this is more of a slow building suspense. Lots of questions raised and I think Elliott did a great job bringing it all together for the reader. The characters were well-developed and she perfectly sets the scene and creates an atmospheric read. If you haven't read her debut yet, I highly recommend doing so and then pick this one up (these aren't in a series, but I think both are intriguing reads).

4 stars

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