Just Another Missing Person by Gillian McAllister
Thriller | Mystery
Olivia has been missing for one day and counting. She disappeared down a dead-end alley, never to be seen again… For fans of the bestselling author of Wrong Place, Wrong Time comes another thrilling and suspenseful read from Gillian McAllister — Just Another Missing Person.
Just Another Missing Person is a police procedural-style thriller following a lead detective who is forced to confront the secrets of her own past. Add in a woman who goes missing but is last seen on security cameras entering a one-way alley, and you get a twist-filled mystery where nothing is as it seems.
While I’ve seen some mixed reviews for this novel, I enjoyed Just Another Missing Person just as much as McAllister’s previous thriller. The book is mostly told in third-person from the detective’s (Julia’s) perspective. However, there are several other perspectives told in first-person, as well as social media posts from the missing girl — and this gave the story a shifting, non-linear feel that I enjoyed. (Although, potentially confusing for those listening on audio.)
Julia’s character is portrayed as someone who is intensely dedicated to her work and has a clear understanding of her responsibilities as an officer. However, one of the main plot points revolves around Julia facing an ethical dilemma, and having to decide between her family and what’s right. And this is where the plot lost me a little. I wasn’t fully convinced by Julia’s past actions. I didn’t think the decision she made during “the incident,” fit the character we’d been presented with and the instincts that would be ingrained in her as a cop. That being said, I understand that protecting one’s family is a very strong driving force, and I appreciated the author’s exploration of those “mama bear” instincts.
The mystery aspect of this book is fairly simple, and yet McAllister manages to weave in multiple subplots and twists that kept me engaged and curious as to how it would all wrap up. I’m not sure if I loved the final twist, but it made for an interesting conclusion and tied neatly into the book’s theme of moral dilemmas.
Overall, this was an enjoyable police procedural / mystery, and I look forward to reading more from this author!
Fans of police procedural mysteries
This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Advance copy of the book provided courtesy of the publisher, Harper Collins Canada. All opinions expressed are my own.
About the book:
(From the publisher): 22-year-old Olivia has been missing for one day…and counting. She was last seen on CCTV, entering a dead-end alley. And not coming back out again.
Julia, the detective heading up the search for Olivia, thinks she knows what to expect. A desperate family, a ticking clock, and long hours away from her husband and daughter. But she has no idea just how close to home this case is going to get.
Because the criminal at the heart of the disappearance has something she never expected. His weapon isn’t a gun, or a knife: it’s a secret. Her worst one. And her family’s safety depends on one thing: Julia must NOT find out what happened to Olivia – and must frame somebody else for her murder.
If you find her, you will lose everything. What would you do?
This clever and endlessly surprising thriller is laced with a smart look at family and motherhood, and cements Gillian McAllister as a major talent in the world of suspense and a master of creating ethical dilemmas that show just how murky the distinction between right and wrong can be.