Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Author: Alretha Thomas
Format: eBook, Paperback
Release Date: eBook 05-05-15, Paperback 05-01-15
Bit on the Back:
Twenty-two years old with a journalism degree from UCLA and a promising entry level position at a television station, Madeline Patterson is ready to take on the Universe. Raised by two loving parents, adored by her grandmother, protected by her dog, Pepper, and supported by her best friend—Madeline has it all.
There’s only one thing missing—literally missing—her identical twin, Melissa.
When Madeline and Melissa were three-years-old, their mother was carjacked in broad daylight while taking them to a doctor’s appointment. She was able to get away with Madeline in tow, but the assailants left the scene before she could rescue Melissa. A long and massive search ensued, but Melissa was never found and is believed to be dead. However, a dream Madeline has on her twenty-second birthday, wherein Melissa appears to her as a grown woman pleading for help, convinces her Melissa is still alive. Against her parents’ wishes, Madeline vows to find her twin. However, in doing so, she unknowingly stumbles upon a series of startling clues that point to her parents’ possible involvement in Melissa’s disappearance. Paralyzed by fear, Madeline doesn’t want to face what could possibly be the ugly and grim truth about her parents. However, her desire to find Melissa propels her forward—but nothing could prepare her for what she discovers.
My So-Called Review:
Missing Melissa is a book that I would categorize as a “Cozy Mystery”, years ago I belonged to a book club by the same name and these were the types of books we read; good old fashioned who-done-its and mysteries. In more recent years I’ve been known to read slightly darker thrillers but I’m so glad I decided to give this one a try! Stepping into Maddie’s world was a breath of fresh air and I adored everything about her! She’s such a strong female character who knows what she wants and will stop at nothing to achieve her goals!
Maddie’s life may seem perfect on the outside; she’s recently graduated from college, has a new job at TV Station, and is getting ready to move into her first apartment with her best friend Ruby. She’s even surrounded by a wonderful (and sometimes hilarious) cast of characters; her parents who she has an amazing relationship with, Ruby who’s always been there for her, Pepper who clearly has no idea he’s really a Mastiff, and even a quirky little grandma who’s recently been hitting the bottle a little hard! But despite her seemingly idyllic life Maddie is clearly missing something, her sister Melissa who was kidnapped when they were just 3 years old.
After an extensive search by the police and no further evidence the case was closed and Melissa presumed dead. It’s now 19 years later and Maddie has never gotten over the loss of her sister, her twin; who could blame her?? Recently, Maddie’s been having dreams of Melissa; ones in which she’s very much alive and begging for her sister to come find her, to save her. It’s these dreams that give Maddie the courage and the hope needed to re-open her sister’s case. She reaches out to a local cold-case detective named Sam and together, along with Ruby (and Pepper) they search out the truth of what really happened to Melissa. There’s a nice romance that builds between Maddie and Sam but I like that it didn’t detract from the overall mystery and it really fit in naturally with the story-line.
Author, Alretha Thomas did a great job keeping me on the edge of my seat from start to finish! I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough; I just had to know what really happened and whether or not Melissa was still alive. About halfway through the story I thought I had it figured out, I was sooooo pleased with myself too! I love it when I think I’ve outsmarted an author and figured out the big twist before they want me too :) Then I kept reading…………………….. then there’s this bombshell and I’m like what!?!?.............. NO…………… FREAKING…………….. WAY!!! What the?? How the heck?? I totally did NOT see that coming!!!! Brilliant, brilliant twist!!
This was my first novel by Alretha Thomas but it most certainly won’t be my last! Missing Melissa is a fantastic read & I would absolutely recommend it for Book Clubs, Young Adults and Adults who love a good Mystery. I also detected the possibility for a future series (I won’t say how or why) but I’d just like it noted that I’d very much like to see this come to light!!
I received a complimentary advanced copy of this book from the author, Alretha Thomas and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review