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Alice Teale is Missing: The gripping thriller packed with twists Paperback – 23 Jan 2020
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A masterful missing person thriller with great characters and plenty of twists - simply superb (Steve Cavanagh, bestselling author of Thirteen)
Delving into the complex world of a missing teenager, Linskey nails the adolescent voice to uncover a dark trail of secrets, lies and betrayal. This is page-turning fiction with real heart (Isabel Ashdown)
Alice Teale Is Missing is my kind of book. With exemplary prose and relentless plotting, Linskey puts shocking small town secrets under the microscope with superb results. The fresh-faced Beth Winter and the misanthropic Lucas Black are a pairing that shouldn't work but absolutely do. Dogged and intuitive, they are beating heart of this story and I can't wait to see where Linskey takes them next. (MW Craven, bestselling author of The Puppet Show)
A brilliantly plotted, perfectly clued story of the dark power of terrible truths. Compulsive reading from page one. (Gytha Lodge, author of She Lies in Wait)
He just keeps getting better and better. I was gripped by this one. Hooks you in and doesn't let go. Strength in characterisation as always - I was sad to let this one go (Luca Veste, author of The Six)
About the Author
H. A. Linskey is originally from Ferryhill in County Durham, but now lives in Hertfordshire with his wife and daughter. Under Howard Linskey, he is the author of a series of crime novels set in the North-East, featuring detective Ian Bradshaw and journalists Tom Carney and Helen Norton.
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Alice is beautiful, very bright, popular, a deputy headgirl, has a hectic life with a part time job and involved in numerous extra curricular activities, like drama. Lucas and Beth run down every lead they can follow, wanting to find Alice but time is running out, and they are afraid she is already dead. Their best hope that she has run away, Alice's family is dysfunctional, with her dad having an inbuilt dislike of her, although she is close to her brother, Daniel. The obvious suspect is her boyfriend, Christopher Mullery, but she has an ex-boyfriend who lost everything when she left him. There is a barman, Rick Madden, who was keen on her, rumours that it is common practice for male teachers to get involved with their young students, and her her best friends, Chloe and Kirstie are interviewed. The case takes a strange turn when torn out pages from Alice's journal find their way in dribs and drabs, delivered to the the police team. Lucas and Beth begin to form a close bond as the twisted case progresses, determined to find the truth of what happened to Alice in a town that is full of secrets.
This is an atmospheric crime read, you get a real feel for the economically impoverished North East in the Northumbrian town of Collemby. Linskey's characterisation is great, the complex Alice, Beth is the rookie out to prove herself and the ex-military Lucas is not the most talkative of men, grumpy, burdened by his past in the police force, both working a case that takes it toll on them, personally and professionally. It is fascinating watching their relationship develop under such intense pressure. This is a highly entertaining gripping and compulsive crime read, with many twists and turns until the horrifying truth comes to light. I would definitely recommend this to fans of crime fiction. Many thanks to Penguin Michael Joseph for an ARC.
Our two main characters, who were both so likeable, are Detectives Beth Winter and Lucas Black. Beth has been on the direct-entry scheme joining the Northumbria police force as 'trainee detective'. Completing a two year training program and passing the National Investigator's exam. Having so far only investigated minor crimes, she is about to be put to the test and given a job on a team looking into the disappearance of a seventeen year old girl. DS Lucas Black, an interesting character, has been in the force for a few years and has earned himself a reputation. Not the easiest to work with and surrounded with a fair bit of gossip which Beth knows nothing about. Will they get on? Or will her first big case turn out to be an absolute nightmare??
I really loved these two and I hope we may see them work together again in another book. The author really allows you to get to know each of them, but without distracting you from the story line and the investigation they are working on.
Talking of investigations, cue title: Alice Teale is Missing . A seventeen year old girl called Alice Teale leaves school one evening and hasn't been seen since. A seemingly likeable girl who works hard at school and takes part in many of the after school clubs, is seen leaving late one evening through the main entrance by a PE teacher. A bit late to be leaving but nothing more strange than that. However, Alice doesn't make it home and no one has seen or heard from her for six days.
Lucas and Beth are somewhat thrown together after they are instructed to take over the case, after the DI originally leading it suddenly decides to take early retirement and as Lucas's own DI is, 'out of action', and not likely to return soon, Lucas is put in charge.
It is a gripping tale, throwing new light onto Alice's life as you read, and uses her diary to allow us to slowing realise, that lots of things are going on around Alice that could have a bearing on her disappearance. I enjoyed the way the local area is described and adds feeling and depth to the story line, along with the other characters you meet in the book. The interviews between Beth, Lucas and those known to Alice are really well done. You can feel the awkwardness and tension as if you are in the room. The relationship between Beth and Lucas was wonderful to read and without giving away any spoilers, I really enjoyed their interactions as they spent more and more time with each other.
There are many twists and turns, as each new lead is followed up, and this keeps the book flowing at a great pace and leaves you wanting to read on. There isn't one page that felt unnecessary. No padding out, no misdirection, just great story telling to keep you guessing till the end. A great finish that I most certainly didn't see coming and I will definitely be looking into reading more by this author.