Author: Lexie Elliot
Book Name: The Missing Years
Release Date: April 23, 2019
Overall SPA: 4 Stars
Blurb: An eerie, old Scottish manor in the middle of nowhere that’s now hers.
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 the inheritance from her mother’s estate, Ailsa returns to her childhood home, nestled amongst the craggy peaks of the Scottish Highlands, joined by the half-sister who’s almost a stranger to her.
Ailsa can’t escape the claustrophobic feeling that the house itself is watching her—as if her past hungers to consume her. She also can’t ignore how the neighbourhood animals refuse to set one foot within the gates of the garden.
When the first nighttime intruder shows up, Ailsa fears that the manor’s careless rugged beauty could cost her everything.
Main SPA Evaluation Areas:
Characters: 4/5 Stars
Believability: 3.5/5 Stars
Personal Opinion: 4/5 Stars
This had a really nice balance between being suspenseful and creepy without being outright terrifying, making this a great choice for an October read.
It took me a little bit before I could get into this, but once I did, I sort of just sunk into it. I liked the fact that you aren’t certain which characters are bad guys, or if you even really have one, because no one is really overtly awful or in your face. They all seem to be mostly decent people, even if they each have interesting quirks.
I liked the fact that this rides a paranormal edge even though it really isn’t a paranormal book. The way that thread was woven through this made it fun to at least wonder about how far it would go in that direction.
The little bits about Ailsa’s father in between chapters were a bit confusing for a while, but they ended up being another interesting piece of the story.
The specifics of the ending left me with a “Dang! That is messed up!” kind of reaction, but it was done really well. Overall, I really enjoyed this.