The Search Party by Simon Lelic


The setup of this story is straightforward, although the unravelling of the actual facts is a little more complicated than it looks in the beginning. We are thrown right into the midst of a secondary issue that was precipitated by a missing girl.
We have a close-knit group of friends, each hiding their own little (sometimes petty, sometimes not) secrets. The missing girl was almost the lynchpin that held them all together. In a sequence of police interviews, they tell and retell their stories which may not always be the same. With the central character missing, everyone has to learn their place anew. This ruffles quite a few feathers.
I must say that I struggle with the new normal for teenagers in fiction not yet out of school. All the characters and the characterizations have them in such adult situations. I wonder if that is the new reality all over the world ( or if it is just fictitious). If it is, that’s not reassuring news.
I did not see the twists coming for the most part. The backstory of the investigator did not go anywhere. I thought there would be something more to his presence! It was an easy, if troubling, read, which meant I finished it in a few short sittings. This helped keep the atmosphere in which to best enjoy the narrative and feel for all the sorry people mixed up in it all.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.

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