Alice Teale is Missing by H.A. Linskey

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for the brand new thriller from H.A. Linskey, Alice Teale is Missing. Absolutely full of intrigue this book had me reeled in from the very first chapter. My thanks to publisher Penguin for inviting me to join the tour. Here’s what the book is about:

Source: Amazon

About the Book

Alice Teale walked out of school at the end of a bright spring day.

She’s not been seen since.

Alice was popular and well-liked, and her boyfriend, friends and family are desperate to find her.

But soon it’s clear that everyone in her life has something to hide.

Then the police receive a disturbing package.

Pages from Alice’s precious diary.

Who could have sent them? And what have they done with Alice?

Available from: Amazon | Kobo | Waterstones | Googleplay | Apple Books

My Thoughts

I have read a number of books by Howard Linskey now and enjoyed them all. So diverse, but always entertaining, and so I had high hopes for this book, especially after seeing it being very highly praised by fellow blogger (and talented author herself) Noelle Holten. Big tick number one right here – right now. Expectations met and more. This is a book which hooked me at the very first chapter and then kept me invested right through to the last.

Probably no surprises as to what this book is about – the title really does tell you all you need to know. It’s about Alice Teale. She’s missing … Okay – so maybe you need to know a little more than that. Like the fact that Alice is a teenager, right in the middle of her A level studies. That she is a conscientious and kind person, very principled and absolutely not the kind of person who would just run away. That in spite of the apparently difficult and tumultuous nature of her family dynamic, her disappearance is considered completely out of character and the kind of thing that can, and does, send shockwaves through the community. But do people really know the real Alice?

Well we certainly get to know her over the course of the book as Mr Linskey has played a very clever game. At the heart of everything, fed throughout the book, are passages from Alice’s journal. A book in which she pours out her every thought, a book that tells us far more about the kind of girl she is than any number of friends, family or teacher testimonials could ever achieve. It adds a layer of uncertainty to everything we read and also made me far more invested in her as a character than someone who is completely absent from the actual action should have been. It made her real and it made me care – very clever and manipulative stuff.

Investigating Alice’s disappearance you could not possibly have two more diverse characters than the pairing of DC Beth Winter and DS Lucas Black (yes that name may well be familiar but no, it’s not that one …) Beth is new, keen, freshly promoted and with too little time under her belt to have yet become cynical and jaded. Black is a man with a certain reputation – tough, straight talking … a killer … Sort of. They don’t seem to be a pair who should work but the longer you spend time with them, the more you realise they are a perfect match. They feed off each other, and Beth has the knack of getting Black to open up, sort of. On his own terms of course. I really did like the dynamic between them and I hope to see more of them. This may have been planned as a stand-alone but the ending of the book holds so much promise of what could come from the pair, that I can only live in hope.

The story is full of tension and misdirection, the underlying theme hard to read, disturbing even, and yet all too realistic in both nature and execution. I can’t say too much about it as it would give away too much about the whole book, but it is a key study in the ability of humanity to manipulate each other to entirely their own ends and the question of whether people are strong or indeed brave enough, to stand up for their principals. The author keeps the truth well hidden with a myriad of suspects, meaning that while suspicion of what may have happened and why may pass from one character to the next, the final reveal is skin crawlingly shocking and emotional. I did have a thought about one element of the plot, one which turned out to be correct, but that is as much because I read far too many crime novels and watch far too many Detective shows on TV so I am a naturally suspicious person, as it is the book.

This is a top class mystery, one I heartily recommend. Tense, intriguing and perfectly paced, it’s a another cracking offering from Mr Linskey.

About the Author

Howard Linskey is a best-selling author of crime and historical fiction published in seven countries. His debut novel ‘The Drop’ was voted one of the Top Five Thrillers of the Year by the Times newspaper and ‘The Damage’ was voted one of its top summer reads. His David Blake series was optioned for TV by Harry Potter producer, David Barron.

Howard writes a series of north-east set, crime fiction novels for Penguin Random House featuring investigative journalists Tom Carney and Helen Norton, as well as Detective Sergeant Ian Bradshaw.

His historical novels are set in WW2. ‘Hunting the Hangman’ tells the story of the assassination of Nazi general and architect of the Holocaust, Reinhard Heydrich in Prague in 1942. ‘Ungentlemanly Warfare’ follows SOE agent Harry Walsh into occupied France.

Originally from the north east of England, Howard now lives in Herts with his wife Alison and daughter Erin.

Howard was featured on CBS Reality true crime TV series ‘Written In Blood’.

Author links: Twitter | Website

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