Gillian McAllister has been writing quite successful suspense novels for years now, but last year’s Wrong Place, Wrong Time appears to have elevated her to another level. She is now following that bestseller with Just Another Missing Person—a more traditional domestic suspense novel that continues to prove Gillian McAllister as an author from whom to expect the unexpected.
Just Another Missing Person starts out as a standard police procedural. Twenty-two-year-old Olivia Johnson has gone missing. She appears on CCTV footage entering a random alley and is never seen again. It’s only been one day, but the police know that every moment counts in the early stages of an investigation.
Julia Day is the lead detective on the case. Before she can begin to piece together the few unusual and inconsistent pieces of the puzzle she has, she is forced to confront a moral dilemma in order to protect her own family. In the course of the investigation, Julia meets a stranger who knows way more about her past than she is comfortable with, and she will do just about anything to ensure he’s out of their lives as soon as possible. However, his demands may be more than she can give.
Gillian McAllister is a master at complex plot construction. Just Another Missing Person is a novel that requires the reader to invest in the story and keep multiple plot threads at the forefront while reading. Some readers may find it unspools slowly, but it’s really part of the methodical way McAllister has crafted the story. Every detail matters, so she makes it impossible for the reader to fly through the pages.
This does not mean to imply boredom, however. Just Another Missing Person has more twists than should be expected in any one novel. Some are just tiny revelations that alter the course of Julia’s investigation in small, but significant ways; while other twists throw seismic hand grenades into the center of the plot, leaving virtually nothing the same afterwards.
Just Another Missing Person may require more than the average suspension of disbelief, but McAllister’s characters ring true throughout. Each of them is fully developed and act/react in ways that one might expect. Like many of McAllister’s books, the parent/child relationship is front and center, with a discussion of the lengths one will go to in order to protect family.
Based on these last two novels and a long-string of successful books, it would appear that Gillian McAllister’s star is on the rise, with an ever-growing fan base anxious to see what she tackles next. Just Another Missing Person is the perfect place for newbies looking to see what all the fuss is about.
Disclaimer: A print galley of this title was provided to BOLO Books by the publisher. No promotion was promised and the above is an unbiased review of the novel.