She thought she would never go back…
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 her mother’s estate, Ailsa returns to her childhood home nestled amongst the craggy peaks of the Scottish Highlands, accompanied by the half-sister she’s never taken the time to get to know.
With the past threatening to swallow her whole, she can’t escape the claustrophobic feeling that the house itself is watching her. And when Ailsa confronts the first nighttime intruder, she sees that the manor’s careless rugged beauty could cost her everything…
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Corvus; Main edition (6 Jun. 2019)
This book was like the perfect read for me given that I was reading this beauty while actually in the Highlands as I was on a little tour with my friend who is visiting. But aside from the context being perfect, The Missing Years is a GREAT mystery thriller. With Ailsa’s father missing, there’s already mystery and intrigue wrapped around our protagonist, but my favorite part about this book was actually the theories that Aisla had between each chapter about what happened to her father. I thought that was just so creative and loved getting to the end of a chapter to see what her next theory was for her father. Was he dead this time, was he hiding in a tropical climate, did he have a new family?
Aisla wears the years of her father’s disappearance internally and even to an extent an outsider as another character or even as us the reader can see how this has left a mark on her. With her mother recently passed and what happened to her Father still unanswered, she’s a woman who has seemed to keep many people at arm’s length, including her half sister Carrie. Trying to redeem that relationship, Aisla asks her sister to join her at the house she’s halfway inherited. The other half still technically belonging to her father.
With a life keeping people at a safe distance, Aisla is temporarily stuck in a small community, one that knows each other and all the goings on, and that includes knowing about her, and her family. People who were friends with them, people that had run-ins for better or worse with them, and Aisla is faced with the fact she can no longer hide.
There was such a great chilling and supernatural undertone to this and this is just another book I could sing praises for repeatedly. I loved the Manse itself and I loved the setting. [I’m not totally biased at all living in Scotland.]
Another aspect that really made this book enjoyable was the reconnecting of Aisla and Carrie, it felt really organic and natural. They have a big age gap, Aisla has been absent, and they don’t immediately become close as ever and I love that they struggled but obviously cared deeply for each other.
Elliott does a good job of keeping you guessing for a good chunk of the book. You may have inklings but you’re just not quite sure for a while and she just makes everything feel so natural as if Aisla is this real person and I find it hard to believe she wasn’t and this is just a story! Elliott also does a good job with giving us some LGBTQIA rep. She also doesn’t tie up everything too neatly at the end though she does give you a satisfying ending which is a huge bonus in this genre.
Overall definitely a 4 star read and one I plan on giving a reread someday!
About the Author
Lexie Elliott has been writing for as long as she can remember, but she began to focus on it more seriously after she lost her banking job in 2009 due to the Global Financial Crisis. After some success in short story competitions, she began planning a novel. With two kids and a (new) job, it took some time for that novel to move from her head to the page, but the result was The French Girl, which will be published by Berkley in February 2018 – available to pre-order on Amazon now!
When she’s not writing, Lexie can be found running, swimming or cycling whilst thinking about writing. In 2007 she swam the English Channel solo. She won’t be doing that again. In 2015 she ran 100km, raising money for Alzheimer Scotland. She won’t be doing that again either. But the odd triathlon or marathon isn’t out of the question.
Rest of the Tour Schedule