A resounding five stars:★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Finally a mystery thriller worth all the hype – yet how often is that statement  made, so as to become a cliche in itself. “Worth all the hype.” In this case, it’s Emma Healey’s 2014 Costa Book Award winning debut, Elizabeth is Missing. This was such a richly rewarding read, a journey into the complex mind of Maud, an 82 year old woman struggling with dementia while also trying to solve two intricate mysteries all on her own The first is the disappearance of her sister, Sukey, some 70 years earlier, a disappearance that shattered her family and left Maud haunted by memories ever since. Now that Maud’s memory is deteriorating, bits and pieces of the past come into greater clarity within her shattered mind, leading to a surprising resolution. The second mystery is the disappearance of Maud’s good friend, Elizabeth, but this turns out to be a mystery more easily resolved than the first. The two mysteries are intertwined and towards the end of the book, as Maud’s condition deteriorates further she has trouble keeping the two stores separate in her memory. Ms. Healy’s ability to capture the subtle shifts of a mind slowly unraveling is nothing short of astonishing. This is a carefully controlled and crafted work of true originality. A richly humane study of a shattered mind, this novel finally blurs the distinction between so called ‘serious fiction’ and mystery thrillers.

A true original and worth every one of it’s five stars:★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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