Review: “The Girl in the Missing Poster” by Barbara Copperthwaite

Rating: 4 out of 5.

An addictive mix of anxiety-inducing suspense and heart wrenching drama, “The Girl in the Missing Poster” by Barbara Copperthwaite is a perfectly paced thriller brimming with palpable tension.

About the Book

“The Girl in the Missing Poster” by Barbara Copperthwaite

MISSING – Have you seen this girl? Nineteen-year-old Leila Hawkins was last seen on 24 June, 1994, when she left her parents’ anniversary party early and ran into the stormy night wearing her twin sister Stella’s long red coat. She was never seen again.

I wrap my arms around the tree trunk, pressing my cheek against it until the bark digs in and the missing poster is finally secured. I try not to look at the photograph on it. At the features so similar to mine. Perhaps this will be the year someone comes forward.

Were crucial mistakes made by detectives from the very beginning?

Could the pressure of living two lives have led my sister to run away – or even end it?

Or did someone in her tight circle of friends and family have reason to want her gone?

Someone out there must know something.

But the last thing I ever expect is a direct response from the person who took Leila. Wracked with guilt and completely alone in the world without the other half of me, I have no choice but to agree to his strange request: private, intimate details of my life in return for answers.

As the final moments of my sister’s life play out before me, I feel closer to her than I ever dreamed I’d be again. So close, it could almost be happening to me. But when I finally realise who is behind this terrifying tragedy, will I make it out alive?

My Review

Stella’s identical twin sister Leila disappeared when they were nineteen years old. Twenty-five years later, Stella still hasn’t given up trying to find her. In fact, she’s devoted her entire life to it. When a production company approaches and offers to create a Netflix documentary about Leila’s disappearance, Stella immediately agrees to participate, hoping it might result in new clues. What happens instead draws her into a heart-racing, psychological game of cat and mouse with none other than her sister’s killer. In the end, finding out the truth about what happened to Leila may cost Stella her life.

An addictive mix of anxiety-inducing suspense and heart wrenching drama, “The Girl in the Missing Poster” by Barbara Copperthwaite is a perfectly paced thriller brimming with palpable tension. Possessing a true crime feel, eerie happenings in the book are used to cast suspicion on even the most likeable characters. Even Stella feels like an unreliable narrator at times. Slower at first, the story’s speed picks up in the second half, filling you with unease as the truth reveals itself. The shocking final twists will make your chest tighten. 

Alternating between Stella’s first person POV and the documentary script, author Barbara Copperthwaite uses both as tools to draw you into the story and hold you captive. It’s hard not to empathize with Stella, who can’t look in the mirror without seeing Leila’s face. The documentary script gives the much needed backstory of Leila’s disappearance, as well as insight into other characters. It does so without bogging the story down with boring details or stalling the plot. A lot of slower paced thrillers get that saggy mattress feel halfway through. Not this one, because of the way it’s written. If the tension and suspense don’t grab you by the hairs on the back of your neck, Stella’s story will grab you by the heart.   

“The Girl in the Missing Poster” combines my two favorite sub-genres, psych thrillers and crime, into one unputdownable book. It’s my first Barbara Copperthwaite novel, but it definitely won’t be my last.

Thanks to Barbara Copperthwaite and Bookouture for the free ARC given for review purposes. 

About the Author

Barbara is the Amazon, Kobo and USA Today bestselling author of psychological thrillers INVISIBLE, FLOWERS FOR THE DEAD, THE DARKEST LIES, HER LAST SECRET and THE PERFECT FRIEND. Her new book THE GIRL IN THE MISSING POSTER is out on February 23, 2021 – but is available for preorder now!

Her writing career started in journalism, writing for national newspapers and magazines. During a career spanning over twenty years Barbara interviewed the real victims of crime – and also those who have carried those crimes out. She is fascinated by creating realistic, complex characters, and taking them apart before the readers’ eyes in order to discover just how much it takes to push a person over a line.

Her first book, Invisible, was ‘totally gripping, and scarily believable’ according to Bella magazine. Its success was followed by Flowers For The Dead, which was the Sunday Mirror’s Choice Read, beating Lee Child’s latest offering. ‘Will have you looking over your shoulder and under your bed… Original, gripping, with a deep psychological impact,’ their review read.

The Darkest Lies came next, published by Bookouture, and became a USA Today bestseller. The follow-up, Her Last Secret, hit the Number 1 spot on Kobo. The Perfect Friend is a No 1 Kobo and Amazon best seller.

When not writing feverishly at her home in Birmingham, Barbara is often found walking her two dogs, Scamp and Buddy, or hiding behind a camera to take wildlife photographs.

2 Comments

  1. Thank you for taking the time to not only read my book but write a review – and what a great review! I’m so happy you enjoyed The Girl In The Missing Poster.

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