Girl Last Seen by Nina Laurin

“Normal is something you can fake really well if you try hard enough. You have to start by convincing yourself, and everyone else will follow, like sheep over a cliff.”

There’s nothing normal about this story. The main character, Lainey, is an unreliable narrator. At times I wondered if she was giving us the whole truth about situations or if we were being manipulated into thinking a certain way.

Lainey was taken at the age of 10 and held captive for 3 years. The story begins 10 years after she was discovered and released. As a 23-year-old she’s been scouring the missing person’s boards to see if any other girls are ever taken and for 10 years none have been taken. But now a 10-year-old girl is missing who meets Lainey’s captor’s criteria. Immediately, Lainey is certain her captor has struck again and she’s determined to bring him down. Her captor was never found and she’s not going to let him ruin another girl’s life.

“My life ended in that basement. It’s just that my body forgot to die for some reason. And I’m walking around, a body without a soul, waiting for someone to come along and pull the plug on me.”

Lainey is a broken girl/woman. She’s hiding in plain sight and yet her world is clouded. Her coping mechanisms have led her on a path of drugs. She’s made some poor life choices but who can blame her after the horrific childhood she’s endured. The empowerment Lainey comes to as she tries to track down this monster and free this missing girl will have the reader journeying down the rabbit hole with her. Lainey is a frustrating character because one minute the reader will be rooting for her to make a smart move and the next the reader will want to lock her up in a psych ward so she can’t continue to harm herself.

At times Lainey seemed to be a pawn in this situation. At every turn, she was either being manipulated and/or coerced into action. The whole plot twist and turns at every bend in the story.

Some of my favorite parts were reading the conspiracy chat boards Lainey frequents. The users had some interesting conspiracies on what was happening with this missing girl case. And at times I felt like how this user expressed: ”Mike6669: Holy s***. This case is starting to seriously give me the heebie-jeebies.”

For my romance friends, this book has zero romance in it. I repeat there’s no romance in this book. If you’re looking for a book to clean your palette I’d recommend reading this thriller. It has many plot twist that will have you flipping pages to figure out what’s on the horizon.

Girl Last Seen is a standalone thriller that takes place in Seattle, Washington.

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